Audio Advice’s free interactive 3D tool can help plan your dream home theater | TechHive

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So why hasn't that extra room turned into a killer home theater? Maybe you are surprised by the prospect of spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars to design a design for a home installer—after all, you shouldn’t just stick to those speakers


Enter Audio Advice, a 42-year-old professional audio-visual retailer based in North Carolina.

, This is an interactive tool that allows you to design your dream home theater through a simple drag and drop interface.

Using the home theater designer is very simple. First, use the three sliders to enter the width, depth and height of the room, and then insert your seating arrangement (including the number of seats per row, if you plan to increase the number of seats, you also need the number of rows) (one), your video settings ( Flat panel or projector, 16:9 or 2.4:1 and screen size) and speaker channels (Dolby Atmos settings from 5.1 to 7.1.4).

Next to all the sliders and menus is a 3D visualization of the proposed home theater, including seats, speaker positions and the screen itself. When entering or changing specifications, the 3D rendering is automatically updated, you can rotate the room, turn the lights on and off, and see the perspective of the screen from the "main" seat (ie, seat). 

(Please sit here), and then open a chart that previews the sound diffusion pattern based on the speaker and seat position.

If the speakers in your Home Theater Designer rendering turn orange, it means that they are placed incorrectly based on your current seating arrangement. To make adjustments, you only need to drag and drop the seat.

When designing a home theater, you may see the individual speakers in the picture turn orange, warning you (for example) that based on the current position of the seat, the rear wall speakers are too close to each other, or the front tower may change (from your From the perspective of) obscure the bottom of the screen. At that time, you can start to adjust, drag the seat position back and forth (or put it in a row or two) until all the speakers turn black again.

In addition to the standard room size and A/V specifications, the home theater designer also has an "immersion level" indicator that allows you to get a rough idea of ​​the size of the screen from the main observation seat. For those who like to sit in the front row, "high" immersion is ideal, while "medium" or "low" reading is suitable for movie lovers who like to sit in the middle or back rows of the theater. Fiddling with the screen size setting and paying attention to the "immersion level" is an effective way to choose a TV or projector screen of the right size, or,

The perfect size.

After saving your work (you need to enter your email address first), the home theater designer will publish a report with detailed specifications and diagrams, which you can give to the home installer or use it as a guide.

You can press a button to see a visualization of the sound diffusion pattern in your home theater based on the recommended seat and speaker positions.

Although Home Theater Designer is free to use, once you submit your email address to save your design, you should expect an Audio Advice representative to follow up.

Audio Advice CEO Scott Newman told me that a home theater designer has been developed for about a year, using various algorithms to help you place screens, speakers, and seats in accordance with Dolby and THX approved specifications.

With the help of the function of this tool, you can adjust the home theater schematic diagram in real time as you adjust the slider and drag the seat forward and backward, so that consumers "can do it almost in a few seconds", which usually requires "back and forth" "Four weeks," Newman said, using the installer, not to mention the $500 to more than $3,000 design fee.

According to Newman, North Carolina-based Audio Advice has a pair of "supermarkets" in Raleigh and Charlotte, as well as a retail website that stores high-end home theater components. Over the years, more than 1,000 homes have been installed. cinema.

Ben has been in the technology and consumer electronics industry for more than 20 years. Ben has been a PCWorld contributor since 2014. He joined TechHive in 2019 and is responsible for smart home and home entertainment products.

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