CUSTOM INSTALLATION HOW-TO

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Thomas Kern, homeowner  |  Aug 22, 2007  |  9 comments

I've always loved going to the movies. Most of my childhood Saturday mornings were spent at the Palace Theater in Winchester, Virginia, where I could watch two films, cartoons, a newsreel, a short, and coming attractions—all for a quarter. About three years ago, I was surfing eBay and ran across a listing for a movie poster from the 1956 horror film The Mole People. I became obsessed with that poster and soon found myself in a fierce bidding war. Later, I realized what was really going on. The Mole People poster had rekindled those childhood memories, and I somehow wanted to go back in time and relive those special Saturdays. That's when I decided to design and build an ornate 1950s style home theater.

Bob Yazel, Homeowner  |  Aug 22, 2007  |  0 comments

Our home theater started out as an unfinished basement room with dimensions of 14 by 18 by 9 feet. The room is rectangular, with three doors and no windows. Audio problems are inherently more difficult to solve than video problems. Fortunately, the room dimensions are friendly to acoustic resonances. Since the theater would be right under the great room of the house, the main goal was to decouple the theater from the rest of the house as best as possible.

Dan Daley  |  Aug 21, 2007  |  0 comments

The annual Williamson County Parade of Homes in midstate Tennessee is an opportunity for Williamson residents to display the genteel aesthetics that characterize the affluent side of the South. But it's also a chance for a little bit of neighborly, good-ole-boy one-upmanship. Last year, for instance, one of the mega homes along the route had its own rock-climbing wall off the patio; another had an indoor driving range.

Sunny McKinnon  |  Aug 20, 2007  |  0 comments

Maybe it's because one of the owners is an avid comic-book collector. Maybe it's because the owners are the parents of not one but two sets of twins—both under three years of age. Or maybe it's because the room is so perfectly balanced, technically equipped, and ideally soundproofed as to offer a uniquely singular feeling of audio/video perfection. Whatever the reasoning, the term Fortress of Solitude aptly describes this home theater in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Jon Iverson  |  Aug 17, 2007  |  2 comments
This home in California was built around a single multi-purpose room that houses both the home theater and living room area. Off to one side are the dining room and kitchen.
Paul Scarpelli  |  Oct 21, 2006  |  First Published: Oct 22, 2006  |  0 comments
Considerations for choosing custom-install speakers.

In the early 1980s, as an audio salesperson for a Chicago-area A/V retail/custom-install store, I fielded a phone call from Godehard Guenther, the founder and president of a/d/s/. We were one of the largest dealers for their fine line of automotive speakers, and he wanted photos of some of our high-end auto-sound installations featuring a/d/s/. "We don't even have a car-stereo department," I responded, freezing him mute. "We're installing your speakers into the walls of homes." This brilliant former NASA engineer and one-time employee of Wernher von Braun was dumbfounded. Car speakers cut into the walls of houses—what a concept.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 13, 2005  |  0 comments
Home theater in the World's Biggest Log Cabin
Thomas J. Norton  |  Feb 01, 2005  |  0 comments
Lawrence, Kansas, about an hour's drive west of Kansas City, is an unlikely spot to start a loudspeaker company. But it's the home of Kansas University, and in 1979, former KU students Gayle Martin Sanders and Ron Logan Sutherland (now you know the origin of the MartinLogan name) teamed up to design and build electrostatic speakers.
Larry Houser  |  Apr 09, 2003  |  First Published: Apr 10, 2003  |  0 comments
Simple tools to create the ideal lighting environment for your home theater.

When you go to a movie theater, you get your first indication that the movie is about to begin when the lights turn off. So what's the big deal over lighting systems if we only plan to watch movies in the dark?

Mike Wood  |  Nov 04, 2002  |  First Published: Nov 05, 2002  |  0 comments
Part two: Construction and acoustic treatment.

Last month, I introduced some basic concepts to help you design the ultimate home theater. For those of you who missed it, we invited three home theater design gurus to help us build a new listening room: Anthony Grimani, Russ Herschelmann, and Norm Varney. I tried to cover everything you'd need to build a great home theater, regardless of your budget. This month, I continue that approach as I discuss the construction and acoustic treatment of our room.

Mike Wood  |  Oct 05, 2002  |  First Published: Oct 06, 2002  |  0 comments
We did it...with a little help.

How many people have purchased high-performance sports cars only to drive them in bumper-to-bumper traffic? Sure, they might attract attention, but they certainly aren't taking advantage of the car's performance benefits. The world of home theater isn't all that different. Your listening environment can noticeably affect your system's performance, for better or for worse. Changing that environment may cost nothing, or it may cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Then again, we review plenty of subwoofers and amplifiers that cost thousands of dollars. Perhaps spending a little on room acoustics may not be such a bad idea.

Mark Elson  |  Jul 11, 2002  |  First Published: Jul 12, 2002  |  0 comments
Inside tips from the pros can save you hundreds of dollars in speaker-wire installation costs.

When you build a home theater, one of the biggest expenses is the labor for installing the speaker wire. The greater the obstacles, the more time and expense involved. However, you can conquer the majority of wiring situations with a little know-how and ingenuity. Here's how:

David Ranada  |  Apr 18, 2002  |  0 comments

Wouldn't it be great if you could just go out and buy the surround sound music titles you're interested in without having to worry about whether they're on DVD-Audio or Super Audio CD (SACD)?

David Ranada  |  Apr 05, 2005  |  0 comments

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.

David Ranada  |  Jan 13, 2003  |  0 comments
Finding a product that performs better than its price would lead you to expect is always a pleasure for a reviewer. Toshiba's SD-4800 is just such a product-a relatively inexpensive DVD player that's packed with all the latest features. For example, it plays DVD-Audio discs through its multichannel analog outputs, which also serve for Dolby Digital playback.

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