Multi-Room Audio Overview
Media rooms are flexible, providing enjoyable viewing for sports, movies, and series programming. Media rooms start with a big screen television of at least 36". Most utilize screens of 50" or more.
Choosing the correct size of television is critical. The correct size depends on the location of seating, the amount of light in the room, the source material and the viewing habits of the family. Most consumers purchase a television that is too large for their environment. They think it's great, and if you just spent $2500 on a TV you would too, but their friends comment about how grainy the picture is. Rear projection television has gotten a bad reputation because of this. The truth is, in the right environment a rear projection television can have a fantastic picture. Properly calibrating the television also impacts picture quality significantly. Televisions are never shipped from the manufacturer with settings for optimum performance. They are much too bright, have the wrong color of white (it's almost blue in many cases), and have excessive contrast. Adjusting these and a couple of other controls will dramatically effect picture quality and extend the life of the set.
In addition to big TV every media room has a surround sound audio system. It doesn't have to be ultra high performance, as a matter of fact there are a number of component combinations that yield very impressive results while costing a fraction of the price of the high performance equipment. Three front speakers and two surround speakers are a must. With the new digital surround systems a powered subwoofer is also a must have. The nice thing about the subwoofer is that by including it in the system design we can utilize smaller front channel speakers. While the front speakers are very placement critical, smaller speakers are easier to install attractively in cabinetry and maintain proper placement. The subwoofer is less placement critical and easier to locate attractively. The key to an enjoyable system is to once again scale the audio performance to your needs.
Source components for the media room are the same as for a home theater. A DVD is a must, along with a VHS VCR. Satellite is also an attractive source because of its high quality picture, stereo surround sound on many channels and Dolby Digital on a few channels. Digital cable is just becoming available in Southern Colorado. It offers many of the advantages of satellite with the added benefit of clean network (NBC, CBS, etc.) reception.
As with home theaters we feel the most important aspect of a media room is that it is simple to operate. You don't want to have to think about each button press necessary to watch your DVD, you just want to watch a DVD. It requires an experienced designer working with reliable equipment to make a system simple to operate. The designers and technicians at Connected Technologies pride themselves on creating systems that perform better for the money and are simpler to operate. It's what makes a media room fun for your family.