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HOW TO DESIGN YOUR OWN HOME CINEMA ROOM

HOW TO DESIGN YOUR OWN HOME CINEMA ROOM

Recreate the ultimate movie experience in the comfort of your own home


DESIGNING THE RIGHT HOME CINEMA SETUP

Home cinema ideas begin with finding the right space in your home. Smaller rooms that are ideally set back from the ‘high traffic’ downstairs areas generally work best so that it fits in with the rhythm of everyday life. If you have a boxier room with little natural light (like this one, above, by René Dekker), this will lend itself perfectly to being a home cinema; it’s the one room where natural light is a burden instead of a benefit. Most interior designers will say that the smaller the space, the easier it is to produce effective acoustics without having to spend large amounts on sound panels, extensive surround sound systems and anti-reverberation equipment. Choosing to have carpeted floors over wooden flooring and textile wall coverings or padded wall paneling will help with this too, because they all absorb the sound instead of causing an echo. Small, low ceilings, little light – three aspects that are actually welcomed in a cinema room.

Space settled, one of the key areas to look into when designing your home cinema is the electrical setup. If you aren’t working with an interior designer, it’s wise to bring in an electrician at the start of your project to consult them on how and where to fit all of your electrical appliances. Ideally, everything will be pre-wired so that they meld into the architecture of the room – this will reduce the amount of trailing wires too. In addition to your sizeable screen (whether it’s a television screen or a projector screen), you’re likely to want surround sound and various power outlets so that you’re not needing to add in electrical work post-decorating. A home cinema needs the input of experts in technical equipment and installation to be sure that it will function as it needs to.

And regarding colour palettes, cinema rooms thrive when the tones you use are dark and moody. Because the light is going to be kept down low and all eyes will be on the screen, you can afford to be a bit braver with the colours you use too. It might be that this is the room that you finally try applying the same inky colour on the walls to your ceiling or you go for the heavily patterned and textured wallpaper that you were concerned might overwhelm other rooms in your home. A cinema room is a space to be daring and to experiment with your dark side.


HOW TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT LIGHTING FOR YOUR HOME CINEMA ROOM

Most movie experiences don’t feature glaring lights, and neither should your own home cinema room. This really isn’t a multi-tasking space, and so it’s a rare instance where you don’t need to cater for scenario X, Y and Z, like in a kitchen where you need task-style, atmospheric and background lighting. All that will be happening in your media room is lots of film watching and relaxing. This therefore means that when considering how to light the cinema room in your house, concentrate more on ultra-soft, ambient light. Shorter table lamps keep the lighting level low so it’s not detracting from your home cinema screen. Seek out shades that throw the light downwards rather than at an angle – you might like to opt for a shade made from a heavier textile so that the light diffuses more subtly, like wool or heavy linen, or a patterned shade. It’s also wise to avoid glossy lamp stands such as chrome or polished brass as they pick up on the light and bounce it around the room – a distraction that’s not well-placed in a cinema room. Some home cinemas use LED strip lighting recessed into the skirting board or ceiling alcoves or spotlights, but both of these can feel too akin to an actual cinema. The difference here is you want it to feel like a home first and foremost, so try not to be tempted to include lighting that feels out of sync with your home’s personality.


GET COMFY ON A CINEMA ROOM-STYLE SOFA

Aside from the screen, the second most important part of your home cinema setup is the seating. The best cinema-style sofa will give you all of the things that cross your mind when you’re visiting an actual cinema – enough depth to comfortably stretch out, high enough comfort for you to want to curl up and settle down for a feature length film, and plenty of room rather than being confined to one seat per person.

One of the most popular cinema room settees has to be the L-shaped sofa. They give you the opportunity to fit plenty of people around the screen, or for just one or two of you to share and stretch out, like our own Meadway sofa or Eichholtz’s Colorado lounge sofa which has an extra generous chaise section that feels almost as good as being in bed. Similarly, modular corner sofas are impeccably placed for a home cinema, even in a small cinema room. Smania’s Mister P design is the dream seating solution that gives you the space, the comfort and the depth levels necessary for a rainy afternoon of back-to-back film-watching and means that you can make it as large or as small as your room allows.

But if corner and L-shaped sofas aren’t for you, just be sure to pick a sofa that’s got a generous seat depth, like our aptly-named Oscar cinema sofa or Smania’s smaller Mister P sofa. An ottoman or couple of pouffes in front of any cinema room seating provides you with even more opportunity to stretch out – nobody wants lack of legroom in their own home. And comforting touches like blankets to hand and an abundance of cushions are a given.


INDULGE IN HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR STYLE CINEMA ROOM DECOR

The interior design side to your home cinema room ideas is, like with any part of your house, entirely personal. But, if there’s one space where you can really afford to indulge in a dose of glamour, it’s here. There’s something about cinema rooms that have an retro, silver screen dimension to their character, so think about designing your scheme around the bygone Hollywood era. Or at least having the occasional nod to it.

An Art Deco-style bar cart in the corner is an easy yet playful touch that will make your cinema experience feel more luxurious – try Ralph Lauren’s range of cocktail essentials to top it off. Upholstery in velvet (red for the ultimate depiction of Hollywood glamour) with a touch of fringing here and there, be it on a sofa’s bottom edge or a vintage lampshade is where you begin to add the decadence. Curtains were then, and are now still, commonplace in a cinema, helping with acoustic absorption, noise reduction and to block out any light creeping in. Choose velvet for a traditional take on the home cinema design or linen, nubuck suede or even supple, aged leathers for a more contemporary look.

Hollywood’s Golden Age is known for its glitz and the cinemas of the 1930s were often highly ornate so don’t shy away from decorative touches like sculptures or even works of art that will help you to reference this, such as Eichholtz’s monochromatic of Old Hollywood heartthrobs like Humphrey Bogart and Sean Connery.

If somebody enters your cinema room and feels just a hint of Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe or Fred Astaire, then you’ll have achieved the intended effect.

No Cell Reception?  No Problem. We Have the Solution.

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No Cell Reception? No Problem. We Have the Solution.

The Hamptons are known for beautiful beaches, summer parties, and terrible mobile reception. Luckily with cell boosters you can drastically enhance the signal in your home.  There are two types of boosters, ones sold by  service providers and ones that support all carriers. 

Carrier Solutions  

The three major carriers, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint all have their own network specific solution. All of these boosters are the size of a router and get hardwired via an Ethernet cable turning the device into a private cell tower for your home. As you can see in the chart below, the features vary slightly depending on the carrier.

Sprint and AT&T require you to add an additional service to your plan in order to use Microcells/AIRAVEs, once the service is activated, you have unlimited calling and data usage that doesn't count toward your traditional usage limits. Verizon doesn't require a service, but all minutes and data used via the Wireless Network Extender are calculated into your monthly allowance.  

With AT&T you have to register your device in order to access your Microcell and they don't offer an open network for guests. Sprint allows you to have open or restricted accesses. Restricted access is limited to 50 registered users. Verizon is open access, while it does have a restricted mode, it's not locked. By passers can't gain access to your devices through these open extenders, but they can join your network counting as one of your active users, taking from your bandwidth. 

Non Carrier Solutions

There are a number of cell boosters that use wifi to enhance your cell signal regardless of carrier. Most of these devices work with Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, US Cellular, Datajack/Virgin Mobile, T-Mobile, and MetroPCS. These solutions tend to allow for more active users at a time, but are usually a bit more expensive. You don't have to add an additional service to your plan to use these (they work like Verizon's Wireless Network Extender, counting as part of your traditional plan's usage).

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Eye Catching Landscape Lighting

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Eye Catching Landscape Lighting

While there is no denying traditional white light provides an elegant aura, colored lighting and fiber optics are leading the way with eye catching one of a kind designs. With the establishment of HTE’s newest division, Hamptons Landscape Lighting, we are proud to offer a wide array of specialty lighting: 

Galaxy Pool Lighting

Using multiple fiber optic strands, we create a design in the base of the pool.  Due to the installation process, this can only be done during construction or when a pool is being resurfaced.  The fiber optics can also be used with colored fiber optic or colored LED pool lighting to create beautiful effects.

Galaxy Rocks

Use Galaxy Rocks and LEDs to create stunning designs in dry river beds, fountain accents, flagstone fillers, paver aggregates, rock gardens, bar counter tops, fire places, center pieces, and floor art.  The vibrant rocks will look great during the day and even better at night!

Illuminated Waterfalls

Illuminated waterfalls create a beautiful flowing sheet effect. The extraordinary combination of light and visual effect created by the fiber optic waterfall will provide a more animated and interesting landscape feature that brings your swimming pool to life. The waterfalls add a dramatic nighttime excitement that is breathtaking. 

Lightbender Laminars

Lightbender Laminars create totally clear, uniform arcs of moving water that originate from either your pool deck or surrounding landscape. At night, these translucent streams are brilliantly colored with an LED light source. The result is a water effect that adds an elegant bit of entertainment to your poolscape.

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Features

  • Water arcs reach up to six feet high and project out six feet into your pool, spa, or other water feature.
  •  Installation is made flush to your deck or other surface; no unsightly or unsafe edges, just the magic of water erupting from a hidden source.
  • Nighttime color effects include the ability to hold a steady color, or control through a range of available colors. A serial, color-changing LED lighting system is at the heart of the Lightbender Laminars. It has a variety of distinct programs— synchronized, random, or party, and can freeze on a single color.

Full Color Fiber Optic Bubbler Lighting

Imagine a backyard filled with soothing sound and brilliant color. Brilliant Wonders LED Bubblers shoot streams up to thirty inches high in vivid LED colors. The cascading flume creates a natural sound and relaxing ambiance.

We use a full color lighted bubbler that creates exciting sights and sounds for spas, sundecks, swim-outs and steps. With a maximum depth of 9" under water, the bubbler provides "lighted bubbling" for water spouts in beach entries, sunshelves, steps, etc. 

Illuminated Spills and Fire Bowls

Fiber Optic Pool Spills and Fire Pots are used to create water features in pools, ponds, and anywhere you want water to spill and light up.  The features are fabricated with unique concrete fiber optic pots with single, double and triple spouts. 

Fire Pots come in all shapes and sizes, and will fit in almost any space, large or small. Starry sparkles and dancing fire demands attention as the focal point of a backyard, or it can simply accent your outdoor design. Have fun creating your own outdoor experience with our one of a kind fiber optic fire pots.

Dock Lighting

Light is invaluable everywhere, not just on land. Use dock lighting to get the functionality of illumination in a stylish manner, instantly making the water's edge safer. 

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Do I Really Need An Outdoor TV?

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Do I Really Need An Outdoor TV?

There is no denying that an outdoor television is twice as expensive as a standard (indoor) TV.  We are often asked about installing a standard television located under a covering of some sort (patio, hood, inside of a media lift) as a substitute for an outdoor TV.  So, can it be done? 

Outdoor televisions are designed and tested to do four things typical televisions cannot:

 
  • Be seen in areas with higher ambient light
  • Withstand the elements
  • Operate properly in extreme temperatures
  • Comply with building codes for external use

 

Be Seen in Brighter Areas

Let’s be clear, no television is going to give you an amazing picture in direct sunlight.  In fact even manufactures of outdoor TVs suggest avoiding direct sunlight, or adding a hood, to help protect the screen (and of course to see it better).  So could you increase a standard television’s brightness, cover it, and see just as well?  Yes.

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Withstand the Elements

Most people associate this with water, usually rain and snow.  Yes, rain and snow will ruin standard electronics, as will extreme humidity.  (This is why waterproof televisions are installed in bathrooms and kitchens).  So why can’t we just use a waterproof TV?  Because outdoor televisions are also designed to withstand wind and airborne particles, such as pollen, that can also cause damage. 

So what if you put a standard display someplace that is covered?  You will be able to see it better, it will keep out the water and drastically reduce the amount of wind and pollen the display is exposed to.  Will that work?  Maybe, it depends on how well protected it is.

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Operate Properly in Extreme Temperatures

Standard televisions function properly at room temperature.  Think back to the days when flat panels first came out, remember how large and sometimes noisy the fans were?  Remember how hot they got?  There is a reason even the most stylish outdoor TVs are never as sleek as their interior counterparts, they need to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter, which requires larger fans and heaters.

When electronics get too hot, they overheat which quickly destroys the internal components.  In freezing temperatures, the liquid crystals in the screen (like most liquids) expand, which can cause distortion beyond repair or cracking.  Additionally, temperature changes can cause condensation within the unit leading to water damage.  

Now think back to withstanding the elements, the solution was to protect the display.  Often times this involves some sort of enclosure.   Can you properly protect a standard display from the elements and various temperature changes to the same level as an outdoor television? No.

Comply with Building Codes for External Use

Not only will a standard television located outside not be covered by warranty, it won’t be up to building codes. Why does this matter?  When water is introduced to electricians not only can it damage the products, but it has the potential to start a fire. We’re not trying to be over-dramatic, but the possibility that precipitation or condensation could result in flames is an issue that shouldn’t be ignored.  Can an standard television be held to the same standards, thus giving you the same sense of security? No.

 

Our Answer

We understand why the question is asked, but the answer is no.  We recommend against it.

 

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DTS:X to Rival ATMOS

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DTS:X to Rival ATMOS

At HTE we have been covering the advancements in 3D audio and the exciting implications it'll have on home theaters and media rooms.  If you haven't experience the effect yet, we suggest you grab a pair of headphones and hear and listen to the Virtual Barber Shop Demo.  The height component and move from a strictly channel based technology, allows audio to tell the story as accurately as video has been able to do.

Until now, Dolby Atmos had been the only player in the game.  We knew it was only a matter of time until DTS released their version of  audio-based objects, but now it is official.  DTS:X, which it it being called, has launched, with hardware being introduced throughout the year.

As of now DTS:X will co-exists with DOLBY Atmos the way DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD did in the past.  It will be up to the studios to select which format they wish to record in.  With that said, many sources suggest that hardware manufacturers are holding their new product lines to later in 2015 in hopes of making their equipment compatible with both.  

At HTE are following these announcements and working closely with our brands in order to provide a smoothest transition possible for our clients.  

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The Award for Best Comeback Goes to Vinyl

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The Award for Best Comeback Goes to Vinyl

This weekend the music world will honor those who made strides in their community throughout the year.  With superstars from various genres in attendance one thing is certain, the biggest comeback of 2014 goes to vinyl records.  In a technology age where new formats are outdated before they even catch on, Vinyl which debuted in 1945, might have seemed end of life with introduction of 8-track and compact cassettes. It wasn’t long ago that records appeared on pop culture “Kids these day will never know…” lists with typewriters and rotary phones.  Yet in a surprising twist, with music sales dropping and paid downloads declining, music lovers are buying vinyl in mass numbers.   

According to Nielson Sound Scan Data, 9.2 million records were sold in 2014 alone, a 52% increase in vinyl sales since 2012.  This is even more impressive when you take into consideration that music sales are on a steady decline, dropping 6% this year alone. Wall Street Journal, contributing editor, Ethan Smith, reports the general public is changing their listening habits.  Streaming services have grown in popularity (up 54%) a figure negatively correlated with the dip in music sales. With 9% fewer paid album downloads and purchased song downloads dropping 12%, it is easy to attribute these figures to the streaming trend.  But if that is the case and everybody is streaming their music instead of buying it, then why are vinyl sales through the roof?

In an attempt to answer this question HTE (home technology experts) looks at the science, psychology, and investment value of choosing vinyl.

The Science: Analog vs Digital

Ask an audiophile what’s the difference between LPs and iTunes lossless files you have been downloading since 2001 and they’ll surely scoff.  For those of you new to the revival of vinyl, it has to do with vinyl being an analog medium.  The term “analog” might seem outdated, bringing back images of brick sized cell phones and heavy square televisions, but when it comes to audio, analog has its advantages.

An analog recording reproduces a continuous wave, the way sound occurs naturally.  When you hear the word digital, think binary, where 0 is “off” and 1 is “on”. Digital recordings sample audio, using values to record data (music). Because of this, some people argue that digital recordings can miss subtle nuances, specifically with regards to lower frequencies (deeper sound).  

When comparing the two technologies it is important to consider how the music was originally recorded and the medium’s quality.  After the 1970’s, a significant amount of music was recorded using digital technology, negating any benefit of an analog medium. However, in 2011, Variety magazine reported that vinyl’s popularity encouraged new and seasoned artists alike, to create analog recordings of their work.

It is also important to look at the quality of the digital file.  Early digital downloads focused on reliability and smaller file size, sacrificing the music’s fidelity (quality), but with significant improvements in codecs (the coding and de-coding of digital data) that’s no longer the case.  Similarly, a record in poor condition (dirty or scratched) will produce subpar sound.

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So when comparing a high fidelity digital recording, such as MQA, with a mint condition vinyl, which sounds better? According to a study by NHK Laborites, the majority of untrained listeners could not tell the difference.  Most experts, agree that the quality of audio equipment (as opposed to the medium) is the most important factor when playing Hi-Fi music.  As with all entertainment, enjoying music isn't a science, it is an experience; one that differs greatly between the two technologies.

Psychology of Vinyl

The psychology of vinyl is about creating a listening experience, as reported by David C. Giles in peer-reviewed article, The psychology meaning of personal record collections and the impact of changing technological forms.

There is no question that carrying hundreds or even thousands of songs on your phone is convenient.  Let’s be honest, nobody is going to bring a turn table with them to the fitness center to pump them up while they run.  For this reason, digital downloads and streaming service play a vital role, but it is a very different experience.  Digital music focuses on convince and saving physical space, while records are about physically connecting to a tangible object associated with music. Taking the LP out, and playing it on the turn table mentally prepares you for the listening experience.

Additionally, vinyl have the visual appeal files do not.  Stating, listeners “very much associate certain LPs with the sleeves– the accompanying imagery is all part of the music, not just the front cover but the inside sleeve, the pictures surrounding the lyrics, and other images”.

While music has been known to be very personal, it is also extremely social.  Listening to your favorite artist with others, reinforces your appreciation of the music, “there is nothing that galvanizes people’s commitment…like seeing and meeting like-minded others”. Gathering around the turntable, or meeting in a record stores is a social activity. A download is not.  

Finally, LPs are a visual representation of taste and preference.  Like books on a shelf, vinyl records provide insight into who you are and where you’ve been (mentally and emotionally) at different points of your life. As Giles put it, “If we choose to show off our musical collection then it becomes part of us, or at least it’s a visible part of us that we are revealing to the people who we welcome into our home.”

Investment Value

Nobody is suggesting you dessert your hedge fund and stock up on records, but vinyls do have both a monetary and emotional investment value.  Much like art, sports memorabilia, or even comic books, the sacredness of an item is highly impacted by its rarity. 

Like chasing a white whale, obtaining or searching for an obscure record is significantly more emotional than simply buying a song with a click. Not only does obtaining such a gem feel more valuable, financially speaking it has an exponentially higher worth.  For example, according to NME, the holy grail of records, the 1958 original recording of the The Quarrymen (McCartney, Lennon, Harrison, with Colin Hanton, and John Duff Lowe), “That’ll Be The Day/In Spite Of All The Danger” is estimated at over $113,000.

What to Do?

Enjoy your music!  If you are interested in collecting then obviously go for the vinyl, but make sure you store them vertically, in a climate controlled environment.  Remember, you don’t have to choose between the two.  You can have a digital play list you rock out to in the car and a physical collection you enjoy at home.   

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Touch Downs, Time Outs, and Tech Tips

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Touch Downs, Time Outs, and Tech Tips

Whether you’re hosting a blow out in your living room, a small gathering in your home theater, these tips will help you make the most of the experience. 

Surround Yourself with Sound

Many media rooms are equipped with surround sound.  While your initial reaction maybe to reserve that feature for movies, consider it for the game.  Things get exciting during the Super Bowl; people are yelling, friends are chatting, and it’s easy for ambient noise to drown out penalty explanations or commercials. By using your surround sound system, everybody can hear what's being said and the guests closets to the screen won’t be blasted by sound (unless you want them to be). 

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Now Trending

If you are in a room with multiple displays and only one channel to watch, you may want to dedicate a screen to following social media.  All it takes is one good play, funny commercial, or on field hissy-fit for the internet to explode.  Monitoring what’s trending allows you view the hysterical comments, memes, and parodies being posted in real time.

If you are hosting a party, you can also view pictures guests are posting.  This comes in especially useful at parties with a Super Bowl Selfie Photo Booth.  Remember the better the props the better the pictures.

Rate the Ads

Let’s be honest we all do it.  We sit there with our friends and rate the commercials.  Granted we may not give them a score from 1-10 but the “ohhs”, “ehhs” and uncontrollable laughter subtly rate our favorites. This year take it a step further! Why let the ad executives have the last word on which spot was the best?  Go to admitter.usatoday.com and sign up.  During the game log in from any device and score the commercials as you watch them. 

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Tips and Tech to Help You Keep Your Resolution

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Tips and Tech to Help You Keep Your Resolution

Keeping a resolution can be hard, and while we like cool apps, sometimes it takes a little more to make a positive lifestyle change. Here are our tips and tech suggestions (yes, we did include an app or two) to help keep you on track while partaking in the most common resolutions such as eating healthy, working out, and getting organized.  

Let’s get it out of the way now… Calorie Counters, Activity Trackers, and Weight Loss Apps are great teach you already know about that will help you stay on track.

 

Eating Healthy

  • Don’t shop on an empty stomach
  • Make a list with apps such as Out of Milk to prevent impulse junk food purchases
  • Using an app such as AnyList, allows everybody in the family to share their requests with the person who does the grocery shopping
  • You could skip the store all together and order your groceries online
  •  Preparing food on a Smart Scale that ties into a tracking app keeps you from underestimating the amount you’re consuming daily
  • Use your tablet to look up healthy recipes or cooking videos, so you don’t get bored with your food
  • When eating out use apps like Food Tripping, InBloom, Clean Plates, or HealthyOut to find a restaurant that aligns with your dietary needs

 

Working Out

  • Your headphones should be like your sneakers: comfortable, reliable, and  fit your workout needs
  • If you don’t like exercising, make it fun by trying a dance class, playing a sport, or using technology such  as Xbox Kinect and an ultra-short throw projector to turn your workout into a game
  • If you are a serious exercise buff, Athos workout apparel uses electromyography (EMG) technology to record muscle and breathing activity to ensure you are preforming movements correctly
  • If you have an indoor pool, marine speakers and waterproof televisions can help make your time more entertaining
  • If a full pool isn’t in your budget, but you’re limited due to joint impact, you might want to look into an endless pool

 

Getting Organized

  • Pick one of these 100 apps to help with lists and reminders
  • If you get hundreds of emails a day, try an app such as Acompli, to get your inbox under control
  • Try reviewing your emails once a night to keep them from piling up
  • Commit to a cloud and stick with it so there is no question as to where that document is stored
  • If you’re always losing or forgetting items try using Tile or Trackr
  • Use sensors and home automation to take care of smaller tasks such as making sure the lights are off and doors are locked while you focus on more important tasks

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The Ultimate Audiophile Sonos Room Solution

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The Ultimate Audiophile Sonos Room Solution

Dynaudio Focus XD - a completely new generation of high-end digital active, wireless loudspeakers.

The Dynaudio Focus XD series is a completely new generation of high-end digital loudspeaker systems, offering both no-compromise sound quality and the optional convenience of wireless audio transmission. Comprised of three models, the compact Focus 200 XD, and the floorstanding Focus 400 XD and Focus 600 XD, the XD loudspeakers are actively powered and can accept high-res digital sources up to 24/192 resolution.

The Focus XD models utilize proprietary Dynaudio drivers that are individually powered by an amplifier rated at 150W that is specifically optimized via DSP for each driver and loudspeaker model. Thus the Focus 200 XD features 300 WPC total output power, the Focus 400 XD features 450 WPC total output power, and the Focus 600 XD features 600 WPC total output power. The amplification is fully digital, and thus remains extremely power-efficient, while also offering a remote-controllable digital volume control.

Each Focus XD model includes a direct, high-resolution compatible (75 ohm coax) digital input and well as an analog RCA input to offer flexibility without sonic compromise: You can play straight from any source connected to the analog or digital inputs, or via the optional Dynaudio wireless Hub, which allows the convenience of wireless playback and making it simple to set up multi-room distributed audio systems. There is no need for loudspeaker cables or external amplifiers, while a far better audio quality will also result. 

The latest True Digital Audio Amplifier technology makes the Focus XD an ideal choice for digital audio systems: Dynaudio's newly developed XD-technology sends out a purely digital signal from the instant you press “play” – whether on a smartphone, computer, streaming player, music server, disc player or any audio source with digital output. A DAC will not be necessary as the amp will amplify and convert a pure digital signal (at 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 or 192 kHz sampling rates) to music at the last moment possible - right at the drivers (which are directly connected to the amplifiers). High resolution digital files are transmitted from any digital source considetently and completely without any loss.

The Speaker Position EQ control allows the Focus XD loudspeakers to be optimized via DSP equalization for neutral, wall or corner placement in any room. Input Sensitivity is adjustable for analog sources.

The Focus XD offers hand-built quality and state-of-the-art performance crafted by Dynaudio in-house in Skanderborg, Denmark. Each model features magnetically attached grilles while the floorstanding models feature aluminum outrigger feet with retractable spike assemblies. By innovatively merging design and technology, Dynaudio has created a unique loudspeaker where both sound quality and aesthetics meet in perfect harmony. 

Focus XD-series Specifications

Inputs:                         1 Digital input (75 ohm coax) + 1 Analogue input (RCA)

Integrated amplifier:    

  • 2 x 150W per loudspeaker (Focus 200 XD)
  • 3 x 150W per loudspeaker (Focus 400 XD)
  •  4 x 150W per loudspeaker (Focus 600 XD)

Max resolution:              24 bit / 192 Khz

Wireless sound transfer:  Optional via Dynaudio Xeo Hub (max. resolution: 24/96)

Crossover:                     Digital with DSP

Remote:                        Included Remote with on-speaker display

Further specifications to be published at:  http://focusxd.dynaudio.com

Focus XD Retail Pricing (in USD):

  • Focus 200 XD:            $7,000 per pair
  • Focus 400 XD:            $11,000 per pair
  • Focus 600 XD:            $13,500 per pair

* Article content by Dynaudio via dealer newsletter.

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Kaleidescape... Now Downloading

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Kaleidescape... Now Downloading

In our world of instant downloads and media streaming, it may come as shock that Kaleidescape has only now introduced video downloading.  After all, Apple TV and Roku have been doing it for years.  Unfortunately those products are unable to produce cinema quality video.  Yes they offer movies in HD, but in a state of the art home theater, there is a noticeable difference between what is available through streaming devices and the Blu-ray quality content offered by Kaleidescape. (Read about the importance of high quality sources)

Now with Kaleidescape Alto, you can instantly download superior quality movies to your media server.  In addition to creating a beautiful image, these download contain additional coding (such as D-Box Motion) that is stored on physical Blu-rays.

To see the difference in video quality for yourself, schedule a demonstration at our Southampton experience center

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Great Gadget Gifts

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Great Gadget Gifts

We love technology and that’s why we’re sharing our recommended list of the best tech toys for children and adults alike.  We’ve already purchased many of these products for our loved ones this holiday season.  Find the perfect stocking stuffer, toy for your child, or gift for a fellow adult.

Stocking Stuffers

Touch Screen Gloves

An oldie but a goodie, touch screen gloves are a must have.  If you are looking for a little something to warp up with a greeting card, this is it.  From doormen to CEOs it’s a present everybody can use!

 

Onaji Pawa Card

There are a TON of battery bank products out there, and they all come in useful when when our phone is showing red and beeping for a charger.  What sets Onaji apart is that it's the size of a credit card with the capability to fully charge your dying cell.  You can also use it to store and sync data. It's compact profile make it easy to store so you have it on you when you need it.

 

Trackr Bravo

Tile has been on the market for a while, and is practical gift, but new comer Trackr Bravo, has an edge. Although Trackr won’t ship until the first week in January, it made our list because for belated celebrations or IOU presents because it's an upgrade on the genius concept.

Trackr is a tiny, small locator the size of a coin that you can attach to or place in objects you tend to lose.  When you need to locate said objects open your Tracker app to see it’s location.  Ping the locator and it will begin to beep.  It will also let others near your missing locator know you are looking for your object in case they come across it.  With unlike Tile, wit Trackr you can also use the device to ring your missing cell phone, even if your phone is on silent.

 

3-D Printing Pen

There are two major competitors out there, 3D Doodler and Lixpen. Both use a filament cartridge and operate similar to a plastic 3D printer.  While this is a fun gift, we should warn it's better in theory.  Both create vibrations which makes drawing a straight line nearly impossible, but if you're just  looking for something the kids will like to play with, it is pretty cool. 

 

Gifts for Children and Teens

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Osmo

Awarded Time Magazine's best invention of 2014, Osmo changes the way we think of an iPad.  A small attachable device is placed over the camera allowing the iPad to visually input all objects or markings in the play area onto the screen. The device has three games that can be downloaded from the App Store, Tanagram (uses blocks), Newton (Uses a regular writing utensil), and Words (uses letter tiles).  This innovation is something you have to see to fully understand.  

 

Leap TV

From the makers of educational software and products Leap Frog, Leap TV is Wii meets Kinect for the little guys. It's nothing ground breaking, but it is a way for younger kids who struggle with the other gaming systems to get up, move, and burn some energy while emulating the big kids.

 

Lego Fusion

Legos have come a log way from when we were kids.  Lego Fusion uses a tablet to capture what you build with the classic bricks. The compatible app allows you to import your Lego model and build a virtual world. There is the original Town Master, Battle Towers, and the female oriented Resort Designer

 

Smart Sports Equipment

New sports equipment such as the Micoach Smart Ball (soccer ball) from Adidas and 94Fifty (basketball), which was named one of TIME's "Top 25 Innovations of the Year" combine activity and technology.  These balls have sensors in them that analyze your activity and make suggestions on how you can improve your technique. 

 

 

Gift for Adults

Une Bobine

The Une Bobine is a flexible metal charger that will hold whatever position you put it in.  This is great for reading, driving, and eliminating the reaching arm from selfies (when used with apple smart head phones).

 

Go Pro Products

Go Pro is no longer a start up only active individuals know about.  It has revolutionized the video selfie so to speak. This winter, the new Hero 4 is out, along with a wide variety of mounts.  Third party companies make drones to hold your Go Pro or other DSLR camera for breath taking arial footage .

 

Nod

Wearable tech isn't for everybody, but we think the functionality Nod offers is worth wearing despite it's plain black design.  Nod is a ring that allows you to control your Smart TV, many electronic devices, power points, and even some home technology equipment with the flick of a finger. Unfortunately this is one of those pre-order items, but if your recipient is the patient type, it looks like it will be worth the wait. 

 

The Gift of Customized Integration

At HTE we receive requests from clients wanting to gift family members custom integration equipment.  Popular holiday items include Kaleiscape, a movie server that stores 100 blu-ray quality movies, high-end speakers and turn tables, and video equipment like Sony's short throw projector which is great for home theaters and gaming rooms where shadows just won't do.  If you're interested in giving the gift of customized integration, you can purchase an HTE Gift Card online, via  phone at 631-446-1000 ext. 115, or at our headquarters in Southampton.

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