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Choosing the correct speaker size for your theatre room

When you’re thinking of purchasing your first home theatre system or consider upgrading, where do you start? Usually the speakers, but what size speakers do you need? Selecting the correct speaker size is important for many reasons, usually you go in the retail store, look around and if you’re lucky somebody will come up to you and ask if you need any help, then you’re relying on there SALES skills to sell something that you hope is what you need.

Choosing the correct speaker package

Speakers that are too big;

The correct speaker package for home theatre room is important for a number of reasons, in our opion are all Large speakers, small roomequal. Starting with a speaker package that is too big for the room – there are limits and guide lines that need to be followed, if the sales guy walks you to the biggest speakers they have on display and talks you into them, and your room size for argument sake is 5m x 4m, there are a few problems, firstly you’ll never be able to use the speaker to their full potential, the sound pressure levels that they can produce would deafen a person in a small room, not the mention they’ll be taking up too much room and also usually bigger means more money, so you’d be wasting money there well on large speakers, although you can spend a lot of money on small speakers, if things were equal, the same amounts of money was spent on the right set of speakers (smaller speaker), you would be purchasing high performance award winning speakers for the same value as regular large speakers.

Speakers that are too small

The opposite is try as well, if the speaker package you purchased is too small, you’ll always have the system turned up to full all the time, the room will not fill up with sound properly and you’ll never feel immersed in the movie, if this is the case the life span of small speakers will decrease due to extreme wear and tere. In this case your budget needs to be extended regardless, even purchasing a larger amplifier to accommodate the extra power required to drive the larger speakers. To get the most out of floor standing speaker (larger speakers), there is a different way to wire them up, nearly all sales people and most installers do not know about the appropriate way, so do some research, ask the questions and be careful of installers that are unsure of your basic questions.

As a conclusion, to size up your home theatre room properly, a technician should come out to you and see the room first, to consultant with you and talk about options you’ll have, talking to a sales person only in the showroom can result in mistakes being make and we’ve seen this on many occasions which only after the installation, regrets are made.

 

Ashtonfield Installation

Home theatre system comprising of a 79inch LG, Marantz receiver, Jamo 360 series surround speakers, Panasonic blu-ray player.

In the living room area, the Panasonic TV was installed on a swivel bracket so the TV can be faced around to the kitchen.

Additional TVs were wall mounted in the kids play room and master bedroom.

We also installed a high gain TV antenna and connected 10 TV outlets.

 
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Wi-Fi, why it may not be the best solution (Part 2)

Is There a Solution to Unblocking a Blocked Doorway?

Blog_Wi-Fi_InternetCapableFridge

Yes, there is a solution, every router not only has Wi-Fi, but can also be hard wired (plugged in) in as well. So this basically means that device can have a direct link to the router. So now for example a computer can directly access a networked hard drive with less of a chance of the connection slowing down. Now we’re created multiple doors (it’s one door per device now), if there is a hard drive directly connected to the network, that’s one doorway, and if some computers and TV’s connected directly connected, that’s more doorways created as well, this would end up freeing up the Wi-Fi for things like laptops and iPhone/iPads, android devices to have a more reliable connection to the internet or other devices in the home.

 

Installing Data Cables

Blog_Wi-Fi_StructuredCablingInstalling data cable could be one of you best investment you make, just short of decorating your house. I can hear it now, nothing beats decorating a house, but I’ll tell you why it’s an investment. We live in a technology orientated world, it’s around us and we can’t get away from it, as many devices then ever connect to the internet nowadays and will only increase as time goes by, so unless your 80 years old or want to be disconnect from the world, you will be connected in one way or another. Any building can be wired up but of course when a house is in the stages of being built is the best time to get it done. Electricians can wire up your house but this is not the wisest choice, if you have a look at our home automation blog, there we tell you why, but to repeat, there are many government rules and regulations and most electricians will ignore just too either get the job or to finish the job in a very fast manner. If the data cabling is not installed correctly, it can course major problems, anything from interference in the signal through the cable to not working at all to even causing fire or equipment damage. When planing out a data network in the house, not ever electrician will not know where to put outlet to future proof a home, and even to a point miss outlet out that are critical that needs to be done now, the amount of times we’ve seen this is unbelievable.

 

Internet Speeds

One thing to always remember is “your fastest speed is your slowest connection” and this is at the moment your internet connection, but with the NBN coming (National Broadband Network), streaming video, or any content that requires high bandwidth will be easier in the future as streaming faster internet speeds get better.

 

  Previous – Wi-Fi (Part 1)

 

Wi-Fi, why it may not be the best solution (Part 1)

By Simon – Custom Audio Visual Solutions

Blog_Wi-Fi_DeviceConnectionIn recent years Wi-Fi technology with-in the home has been getting better, implementation for home theatre systems and TVs are getting much better by opening up many more opportunities with-in the home network to access the internet. But improvements happen that quickly that it feel like as soon as we buy a piece of technology, it’s already out of date as soon as it’s plugged in, unfortunately to get an easy and quick connection to the internet, this is a necessary evil. With more and more devises around the home that can be connected to the internet, Wi-Fi can very easily get congested and bring everything to a stop, even if only a few people as using it.

 

Problems with Congested Wireless Network

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As mentioned, congestion is easily created, two or three people streaming video on different TVs or computers or even playing games over the internet can slow other computers uses down or even stop them from accessing anything on the home network or assessing the internet entirely. The problem doesn’t sit with the Wi-Fi but more with its limitations and the amount of devise connected, what they are downloading at that time. We could for example have 100 computers connected to a wireless network and if all those computers were only browsing the internet, everything would be ok. But then get two or three of those computer downloading video off the internet, or a smart TV accessing a hard drive with video streaming HD content, then there goes all the Wi-Fi space for the other computers, Another reason to reduce the use of Wi-Fi is if your controlling your home theatre amplifier off your smart phone or tablet, the signal needs to bounce from your device to the Wi-Fi and then to the amplifier, even though it is easy to setup wireless, the time it takes for the signal to travel is a lot longer and less reliable than through cable as Wi-Fi can be interfered with and produce errors in the signal along the way, if errors are produced, the device needs to send the signal again to get through, this applies for anything that is wireless. A wireless device and a hardwired amplifier will respond much quicker and work more reliably than if both devices are wireless. An analogy we can use is if everybody is trying to walk through a doorway at one time, the doorway gets blocked.

 

  Next – Wi-Fi (Part 2)

sound proof room

Home theatre sound proofing

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when allowing for a home theatre room or what a lot of architects are calling it is a media room. There is very little to no thought about the sound waves that affect the theatre room or other room in the house and how soundproofing and acoustically treating the theatre room can reduce the effects and improve sound quality to simulate real world audio situations in the movie.

Just as a church or a concert hall have different acoustic properties, so does your home theatre room. Both soundproofing and acoustic treatments are different things but still, both are important to know about and what levels of effects are possible to achieve. Just a quick note, if you ask a gyprock installer, odds are they’ll know little to nothing about acoustic treatments, so further homework is required, this blog is a great start.

We’ll sound proof wallsstart with soundproofing (what most people would know and heard about), in its most basic form, it can be a matter of purchasing sound proof insulation, it is denser than regular insulation, then gyprock straight on top. It will work, but overall the result will be insignificant, for adequate sound proofing more work is required. There is special soundproofing gyprock you can purchase in different thicknesses, and within that, there are varying levels of soundproofing gyprock solutions, more importantly, different fixings are required and techniques in regards to installing it all. For a decent soundproof room, a double wall design is necessary with an air space between, like soundproof glass in high-end motels room or an inner-city apartment building. This level of work will eliminate nearly all sound waves, especially bass sound from travelling along timber framework that vibrates the walls, that’s how sound moves into the next room. More information about products can be seen at https://www.usgboral.com/en_au/solutions/plasterboard-systems/cinemazone-sound-reducing-system.html or http://www.gyprock.com.au/Pages/solutions/homes/noise.aspx or http://www.soundprooffoam.com/Guide_to_Soundproofing_a_Killer_Home_Theater.html this is an American site but give examples of sound proofing products used.

Now secondly, acoustic treatment in roomacoustic treatment is the next level up and is something not many people know about but more importantly is required for quality sound. This is where the difference audio quality will be noticed in the room. What happens in a normal room is sound wave bounce off all the wall, like in a large church (same in theory but nowhere near as bad in practice). If you clap your hands in the room and pay close enough attention you can hear a slight echo, that’s the sound waves bouncing off all the walls and then get to the ear; it can sound unnatural, and be amplified with hard surfaces like a timber or tile floor. With acoustic treatment you can clap your hands and the echo will dramatically decrease, the sound will be much clearer, and when done right, the entire room will have a different sound to it. To achieve a great sounding home theatre room, different types of acoustic diffusers and acoustic absorbers along with some bass traps need to be installed, so what is all that you say. Well, acoustic diffusers are just that, to diffuse the sound waves, to scatter the sound waves in more different angles than a flat wall, something with lots of different shapes. An acoustic absorber will absorb the sound waves like soundproof insulation, and a bass trap is a device that grabs the bass sound that is jumping about the room and absorbs it. With home theatre systems moving from 5.1 to 7.1 and 7.2, acoustic treatment in our opinion is extremely beneficial to produce a sound effect that is more realistic and will “blow your mind”. With saying all of that there are specialist companies that install acoustic treatment solutions and one manufacturer is Primacoustic, more information and a list of installation company can be found at http://www.primacoustic.com/ is an American website but is full of useful ideas and demonstrates the effects of sound waves in a room.

For those that want even more information, we have found this great YouTube video interview at www.youtube.com/watch?v=raAyF5ksbkk this interview will go deeper then what we have here about acoustic treatment. We have just scratched the surface, the video, as well as the website links, will also show you ways to do it yourself which we would highly recommend as the bare minimum.

One last note with soundproofing and acoustic treatment, please be aware that when going ahead with this, for best results a qualified installer should be used. There are low frequencies, high frequencies and “standing waves”, many other things to take into account as well that a professional will know about, they will do all the maths to deliver the best results, every room will be different and different treatment are required to achieve the perfect room. Also, you don’t want all the hard work you’ve done destroyed when the electrician installs the lights, power points, switches and the air conditioning guy puts in the ducts. If that is not done right you can hear the wind blowing around from within the ducts as well as the sound from the theatre room escaping to different rooms of the house (this is going to the extremes now), in regards to soundproofing this may sound like no big deal, but the tiniest of hole can ruin an entire installation. So it is imperative that all trades working in the theatre room knows what they can and can’t do and more importantly what extra precautions each party have to take.

So in conclusion, for a home theatre room that will “ROCK”, sound proofing the room first, this will allow the volume to be turned up to an enjoyable level. Then install acoustic treatment materials, this will enable you to enjoy the experience as well as appreciate your home theatre system much more then as if the treatment was not done. The result will be a home theatre room that will be an envy of all you family and friends.