Blu-Ray DVD Audio & Video Reviews

A question that is always asked once I have completed installing a system is what are the best DVD’s to show off my new theater.  Here is a list of movies that I feel demonstrate the highest quality of audio and video in systems that are set up professionally and correctly.  Using these DVD’s, if you feel you’re just watching a movie versus feeling that you’re actually in the movie then your system needs to be modified or calibrated.  Calibrating the system to the room is extremely important to achieve the suspension of disbelief. “In order to enjoy such stories, the audience engages in a phenomenon known as “suspension of disbelief”. This is a semi-conscious decision in which you put aside your disbelief and accept the premise as being real for the duration of the story.” (MediaCollege.com) Please check back as I will be updating this blog with more DVD titles on a semi-regular basis.  If you feel you want to get more out of your system please contact us and we will guide you through the process. Eric Clapton- “One More Car One More Rider”-This DVD is standard definition not Blu-Ray but has one of the finest DTS audio soundtracks available.  I use

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Samsung LED Tips

Most televisions out of the box do not display true 1080p resolution.  Samsung LED’s are no exception but here is a tip on how to get maximum resolution from these displays.  These tips are only a start and are no where near what a professional ISF calibrator can do for you.  First turn your Sharpness to ZERO, In picture options, go to size, then select screen fit. Now your TV will have a high resolution noncalibrated picture, enjoy.

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Tips for mounting front projectors.

Almost all projectors have a throw distance.  In most cases the throw distance is between one and half to three feet.  Instinctively most installers will mount the projector as close to the screen as possible to try and get a sharper picture.  This is not the case, you actually get a sharper picture mounting the projector as far away from the screen as you can or at the end of the throw distance.  The reason for this is, the most delicate part of the light path is actually through the lens.  The majority of lenses manufactured spend the greatest care in polishing the lenses in the center and less care around the edges.  When the projector is mounted closer to the screen, the lens is zoomed in making the light path wider across the lens.  When the projector is mounted to the back of the throw distance the lens is zoomed out, making the light path smaller through the center part of the lens which is more highly polished.  The result is a much sharper picture.  There is much more to installing projectors and achieving a stunning picture.  This is one of many steps we take to installing projectors at Home Theater Solutions.  We have installed projectors in

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Whole House Music, With Sonos

If you’re interested in a music system distributed throughout your entire house , Sonos makes an awesome suite of streaming audio devices that are compact,  stylish, and are simple to operate.  It allows you to play the same song in every room with perfect synchronicity or simultaneously play different songs in different rooms.  It is very easy to expand your system to multiple rooms. Control Music throughout your house with your iPhone, iPod, or iTouch Music throughout your whole house and garden. Where are the speakers? Each of the Sonos units connects wirelessly to your router so it can access your music library from anywhere in the house when connected to your favorite speaker, receiver, or other audio components.  Another key feature of Sonos is access to an assortment of internet radio.  You can chose from over 100,000 national and international stations including NPR, LastFM and Pandora.  One of my personal favorites is getting radio stations from around the world.  Who would have thought there was a radio station in Antarctica, they play good dinner music. Sonos audio systems are also very simple to operate.  There are a few control options including the Sonos handheld controller, through your PC or Mac,

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Whats the best TV, Flatpanel, LED, Plasma, LCD, DLP, and Projector?

The most common question I am asked is who makes the best TV.  There are a number of good brands but the one that always rises to the top in our opinion is Runco.  We have personally installed Runco at Lucas Film in Marin County.  Please take a look at our portfolio.   We have reliable information that Runco has been used in the White House and N.A.S.A. along with other high profile companies.  What makes a good TV?  The simplest way to answer this is consider a TV as a computer.  Imagine putting a new video game in a five year old computer.  The game will lag and your computer can not keep up with the information given to it.   Your TV set is the same way.  Use an inexpensive processor and your screen will not be able to keep up with the motion.  You see this the most in sports when fast moving objects such as a football being punted or a baseball being hit, the image could momentarily disappear from the screen or the object may smear.  Just for fun look at your current TV and concentrate on a persons head.  As it rocks back and forward does the hair smear.  On a good

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Meridian 810 Reference Projector 5000p

Yes that’s right, 5000p!  Or 10,000,000 pixels.  We can currently install one of these beauties in your home.  We have installed hundreds of projectors, very seldom does something take my breath away.  Not only did the Meridian 810 Reference Projector take my breath away it gave me goose bumps as well.  The Meridian 810 Reference produces a picture that is virtually pixel free even at 20 feet wide.  Contrast ratio is second to none.  Detail in black is unpresidented.  The pictures I have included here are taken at Dolby Laboratories in San Francisco.  If you would like to be the first on your block or town, or probably even county, please give us a call and we will do everything in our power to make it happen.                                                                                                               

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Audio Room Design and Installation

Why do some budget systems sound better than high quality systems?   The most important component in any audio system is the room.  You can install a $100,000 system  and it will sound good.  You can install a $5,000 system in a properly designed room and it will outperform the $100,000 system.   Many people waste their time and money having an installer open up boxes, place the system on the shelf, and then leave.    Home Theater Solutions works with your architect and builder to insure the room is designed properly.   Thus, less money can be spent on the equipment to  achieve high results.  Installation and the location of the speakers in the room dramatically affect the sound.  If an audio video installer randomly places speakers in the room you most likely will not be getting the full potential of your system.  We position the speakers properly in the room and we also calibrate the system to the room.  Our home theater installation will be your best buy ever!

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Are Wireless Speakers Right for you?

We are frequently asked about wireless speakers during our initial walk-thru.  There is actually no such thing as a wireless speaker.  Speakers that receive their information without wires need to be plugged into the wall to power the internal amplifier.  There are some battery operated speakers, but they do not have the power to achieve the volume necessary for home theater applications.  In most cases, the batteries will die before the end of a two hour movie.  There are applications that justify wireless speakers.   Rooms with restrictions such as those on a slab foundation or with vaulted ceilings could benefit from wireless speakers.  We have also used them in basements with cinder block or concrete walls. What is the difference in sound between a wired or wireless speaker?   The difference is negligible with many entry level audio systems purchased at Best Buy, Costco, Target, Wal-Mart, ect.   The difference becomes noticeable in systems of average quality and up.  A wired speaker is tonally much more accurate.   A wireless speaker often sounds like a poorly tuned radio station in your car.  They can pick up interference and can produce static from wireless phones, microwaves, refridgerators, light switches with dimmers and other sources common in most homes.    Companies like Home Theater Solutions specialize in creative ideas and there have been very few

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