Inspired Dwellings were invited to attend ‘The Future of Home Cinema’ event, located in Dolby Atmos’ fascinating 70-seat preview theatre. The room has as many as 36 JBL speakers installed, as well as a Christie 4K digital projector.
Some of the main topics of the event will be explained below, giving you an exciting insight to the technology that can be brought to your own home!
1. Dolby Atmos: a new cinema experience
Firstly, we were introduced to Dolby Atmos.
How does it work?
Dolby Atmos offers a must-have cinematic experience. The concept was developed in 2012, and first featured in the Dolby Atmos Cinema in their Central London headquarter office. It focuses on object based audio and overhead speakers, which means that sound exists as individual entities ‘audio objects’, rather than being delivered through channels.
Compared to a traditional surround sound system, speakers are placed throughout the entire cinema and are categorized within four distinct surround zones. This allows sound to be more accurately placed in the cinema, matching the audio with the visuals on the screen, and as a result, creating a more immersive experience for the customer. Additionally, the listening ‘sweet spot’ widens, meaning a bigger number of customers receive a better cinematic experience.
This concept can even be brought to your own home. The image below shows an example of one of the ways to set up your speakers; it demonstrates a 7.1.4 system speaker set-up.
 refers to the number of traditional surround speakers (front, center, surround).
[.1] refers to how many powered subwoofers you can connect to your receiver.
[.4] refers to how many in-ceiling or upward-firing speakers are in your Dolby Atmos setup.
For more set-up options, have a look at Dolby’s guide of how to set up your speakers Dolby Atmos style.
2. Upgrading to Ultra HD
Next, we discovered the reasons behind the ultra HD craze.
What is ultra HD?
The more pixels, the better the resolution. The better the resolution, the more detail exists in the image. Therefore, the more pixels, the better the overall quality of the image. This is the reason why we should upgrade to ultra HD.
How does it compare to SD?
Below is a comparison summary of SD, HD and Ultra HD in terms of resolution and aspect ratios:
3. Crestron tips: How to distribute 4K
After learning about the differences between SD, HD, and Ultra HD, Crestron proceeded to outline some challenges produced as a result of these differences.
a. Resolution Mismatch
- As 4K presents two different standard resolutions (and aspect ratios), all sources and displays will need to accommodate accordingly.
b. New Frame Rate Considerations
- 4K devices are limited to 30 frames per second (or less).
- The challenge is to design systems that could manage content at 24, 25, 30, 50, and 60 frames per second.
- ‘Chroma subsampling’ is a technology that can be used to achieve this.
c. Signal integrity (SI) issues
- SI is a set of measures for the quality of an electrical
- SI requirements for 4K video are significantly higher than those of HD.
- A Crestron DigitalMedia (DM) System can be used to overcome this issue.
d. New cable length restrictions
- Crestron DigitalMedia engineers have recommended maximum cable lengths:
e. Source/display compatibility
- When new 4K sources and displays enter the market, compatibility issues are likely to arise i.e. even between products which come from the same company.
Crestron 4K Certification Program
This program will guarantee that the sources and displays manufactured meet the requirements of a 4K distributed system.
Manufacturers can submit their 4K sources/displays to Crestron to ensure that they:
- … deliver 10 Gbit/s data rates – a large amount of bandwidth is needed to deliver a 4K video
- …that cable lengths integrated into the systems are the correct length
- …are compatible with other 4K products
4. Introducing a new era of projectors
After learning about the importance of compatibility, Sony introduced us to a couple of its updated projectors.
Short Throw 4K Sony Projector (VPL-GTZ1)
A laser light source projector, it produces 2,000 lumens colour brightness, resulting in a fantastic image quality. The projector can produce high-resolution images of up to 3.7m diagonal and 1.7m down (when projecting in a 17:9 format). This can be achieved at a short distance from the screen.
This ultra-short distance is beneficial for 2 reasons.
a) enables a presenter to stand closer to the screen, to check details of the 4K image
b) enables you do to this, without blocking the image from your shadow
Other pros include its stylish design which is able to be fitted as floor-standing or ceiling-mounted. It also has a low fan noise; perfect for when watching a film. Furthermore, this projector can last 20,000 hours without having to change the lamp, resulting in saved time and money.
The VPL-1000 ES
This projector also has a low fan noise and produces 2,000 lumens. As the projector is bright, it is suitable for large cinemas, with projector screens up to 300 inches. Further, it produces high-quality resolution, contrast and colour.
Most importantly, we witnessed how this projector is powerful enough to fill a 7.5m wide screen in a 70 seater commercial cinema.
5. LCD versus OLED; is OLED the future?
Our last talk of the day was an introduction to OLED from LG.
An LCD display is a screen made up of LEDs, which are used to illuminate their pixels. When a TV has a label ‘LED’, it is referring to an LCD display. An OLED however, has pixels which create their own light. The brightness of an OLED display can thus be controlled pixel-by-pixel.
When comparing the two, it is important to consider a contrast ratio. A good LCD will produce a contrast ratio of 1000:1. This means that the whites are a thousand times brighter than the blacks. An OLED however is more superior to an LCD as it has an infinite contrast ratio – a pure black screen will emit no light.
Why is a curved OLED TV better than a flat OLED TV?
Many customers still opt for a flat screen TV rather than a curved TV; they believe it is more aesthetically pleasing as it can be hung on the wall in a sleek manner. For all those sceptics, LG have written an article on the advantages of a curved TV and why consumers should move towards this.