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Home Theater really started to come into its own in the mid 90's. As it caught on and became more prominent, phrases like "Dolby Pro Logic" and "Surround Sound" started to make their way into the language. The whole idea of having that movie theater experience in your own home was exciting. And the emergence of DVDs took the experience to a whole new level with greatly enhanced picture and sound quality. Now, with High Definition and Digital Audio technology growing and becoming available every day, reproducing a true theater-quality image and audio track is more possible than ever.

The term "Home Theater" can refer to a wide range of systems from the very simple to the very complex. You may have seen a variety of systems offered at your local store that are called a "Home Theater In A Box". These systems usually consist of some combination of a receiver / amplifier, a DVD player, a set of speakers (usually between 5 and 7 in number), and a subwoofer (a box type speaker that's strictly for reproducing bass sounds - like the rumble of an earthquake). They are designed to hook up very easily, frequently offering color coded wires & illustrated instructions so the customer can set up and connect it to their TV as easily as possible. These systems are often limited in their abilities (such as the number of other components that can be connected to them, the capabilities of the system to output high quality sound, the integration possibilities with existing equipment in terms of control, etc.), but the serve their purpose as entry level systems.

The flip side of the "Home Theater In A Box" is a system made up of all separate components. The system can be built to literally do anything you need your system to do. You can get an A/V receiver that will accept all the video and audio inputs you want to run into it. You can get units that have set-up features that calibrate the speakers to your specific room and set-up. You can get a universal remote control that will turn on the TV, DVD player, and A/V Receiver, put the TV and Receiver on the right input, and start playing the DVD all with the push of one button. Just one button. You can even have that same remote control dim the lights in your room and close the blinds on the windows. And beyond those types of options, you can obviously customize the parts of the system to meet your needs in terms of sound and video quality, system capabilities, speaker size & appearance, and ability to integrate into other pieces of equipment in your home.

With so many options, you can have a system that does whatever you want to do. As simple or intricate as you need it to be. Think about what your ideal home theater room would be like and let us put together the pieces to make it happen for you.

Here are some pictures of one of our more elaborate projects:
(Click on pictures to see full sized images)

Theater and Video Editing Studio

Screen, LCD, Computer Overview Shot

This was a fairly elaborate system that we had the opportunity to develop for a customer of ours. The client had planned to put an addition onto their home, part of that being a room designed to be a true home theater. The customer also wanted part of the room to be used for audio-video production. We had previously helped design and install a system for them to do just that - a powerful computer based system with top shelf components, professional grade editing software, tons of inputs and source selectability, and multiple video screens. But the space where the system had been installed was a bit cramped and didn't allow them to do everything that they wanted to be able to do. A new location would allow them to do far more with what they already had, and allow for the system to be expanded to do even more.

Working with a local contractor we were able to deliver a room that features a 159" diagonal projection screen that raises and lowers via remote control, twenty real movie theater seats (complete with cup holders!), a full 7.1 surround sound speaker system with dual subwoofers, and a "one-touch" remote control that controls the audio/video equipment, projector, screen, and even the lights in the room.

-- Theater System Images --

The Seating Area During the Installation Process
(2) The Finished Seating Area

Views of the theater seating area both during installation and after completion.

The front of the theater room with the screen lowered, then with the screen raised.

(1) The front of the equipment rack during the installation process, (2) the rear of the rack in the process of routing and managing the power and signal wires, and (3) the rear of the rack with all wires routed and tied off.

-- Video Production System Images --

The audio gear that you see in the first picture above was added to the system when it was moved to this new location. The client wanted the ability to do interviews that they could record and use in their productions. So we set up a "studio" setting very similar to what you would find in a radio station. The person conducting the interview would sit on the right side of the console and control the audio levels, stop & start the recording, etc. while the person(s) being interviewed would sit on the other side. We also gave them all headphones so they could hear what was being recorded without the interference (or feedback) that would be created by using the computer's speakers. We also installed a telephone interface with a dial-pad. This allows the system operator to punch up a phone number and have that phone line connected to the computer as well so that interviews can be conducted with people no matter where in the world they are.

The second image shows the studio farther along in the installation process. You can see the dual screen computer and the well mounted LCD television (which can be used for a third computer monitor or to access any of the video feeds from the Home Theater System). This set-up allows the operator of the system to do all the work necessary on the computer while also being able to preview what the audience will actually see on a true television screen.

Also included in the upgrades to the system was a Green Screen on a remote controlled roller. The screen allows the clients to do the same thing that the weatherman does in a television studio. They can film someone in front of the screen, record that onto the computer, then take that footage & put a completely different background behind the person who was filmed. With a good lighting set-up to make the process virtually invisible to the viewer, this technology can greatly enhance not only the final result of the project being made, but also can open up many, many creative doors for the person working on the project.

This is only one example of a system that we have done, albeit a more involved one. We have done very simple home theater systems right along with the very elaborate ones. What your system will be depends on your needs, your wishes, and what you want the final outcome to be. And we'll be happy to get that outcome for you.

Grab your popcorn and get ready for the show....


Can you imagine? We can.

We Remain... At Your Service.

1071 Five Points Rd. //////// Indiana, PA 15701
Phone -- (724) 463-6463 ///// Fax -- (724) 354-2291
Web -- www.dougvarnersoundcompany.com
E-Mail -- dvsc@dougvarner.com