Sometimes it takes the combined talents of two professional organizations to come up with a striking, one-of-a-kind home theater. Such was the case with this Florida home. Cinema Design Group is a leading designer, manufacturer, and installer of home theater seating, acoustic panels, and custom home theater environments. Along with Boca Theater and Automation, a premier provider of turn-key, custom-built integration systems and home theaters, these two specialists created a home theater that bears the resemblance of the familiar geometric Art Deco designs of the early 20's, yet, it reveals a distinctive 21st century edge.
Being a custom installer is no easy feat. More often than not, the job involves problem-solving and figuring out a way to make a square peg fit in a round hole. Fortunately, the manufacturers that support the world of custom installation have produced a lot of terrific products to make these possible.
Sanus Systems' VisionMount LMT15 motorized tilting mount provides automated movement by remote control, making it easy to adjust the viewing angle of your TV. It can automatically tilt to a pre-set position up to 13 degrees when the TV is turned on, or it can be positioned as desired with the IR remote control. When the TV is turned off, the mount returns to a neutral position, flat against the wall, for a low-profile appearance. It's available in black for $319, and supports flat panel displays from 40-60-inches, weighing up to 150 lbs.
Photos by Tony Cordoza Using a standalone DVD player in the connected home seems so inappropriately standoffish. Why live by disc alone? That's the thinking behind the Go-Video D2730, a richly featured DVD player that's also adept at playing music or videos, or displaying photos stored on a Windows-based computer.
I’ve always lived in a used house. “Existing home” is the euphemism real estate people like to use. Life is good—until you realize that there are no phone jacks close to the spots where your bed or desk should go. And why are there no Ethernet jacks in the house? And no wiring for TVs anywhere but the living room? Needless to say, you can’t find in-wall speakers, volume controls, or multiroom A/V distribution of any kind. Maybe you should have guessed from the horse and buggy parked in the garage when your real estate agent showed the house that the previous owners weren’t interested in keeping up with the more technologically advanced Joneses across the street.
Most of the DVD recorders we test nowadays are pretty routine devices. They're great for displacing your aging VCR for time-shifting TV programs or making archival DVDs of precious and fragile camcorder footage.
A cost-effective alternative to touch screen controllers are universal remotes. The Harmony Remote 900 by Logitech uses advanced RF technology to operate all your AV devices up to 100 feet away without the need for RF emitters attached to each device. Instead, the Harmony 900 uses a single IR blaster and one or two mini blasters on the cabinet shelves of your entertainment center.
Ever since I got my DVD player and video hard-disk recorder, I've been itching to throw my VCR in the garbage. I haven't done it, though, since I have no other way to play my many VHS tapes - or even VHS-C tapes without using a camcorder.
Themed theaters allow the homeowner to retreat into a sanctuary of sorts. This month's Nautilus Theater even transports you to another time, when hearty sea farthing men (and a woman on occasion) spent months on the ocean in small wooden ships. However, they were never as technologically decked out as this.