How to Get the Most From Your Home Theater - Without Spending a Fortune

Written by Steve Faber

Continued from page 1

Acoustic Improvements – These encompass a whole host of different things, from acoustically treatingrepparttar interior ofrepparttar 151184 room, to quieting down your projector. Whenever you lower your noise floor, you effectively increase your dynamic range. In addition, acoustic treatments can dramatically improve dialogue intelligibility, bass response and imaging.

One ofrepparttar 151185 best inrepparttar 151186 “bang forrepparttar 151187 buck” category is to put a 1” or 2” thick, acoustic panel onrepparttar 151188 two side walls ofrepparttar 151189 theater to reducerepparttar 151190 “first reflection”. The first reflection isrepparttar 151191 sound that leavesrepparttar 151192 front speaker and takes a longer path to your ears by bouncing offrepparttar 151193 side wall onrepparttar 151194 way. Since it takes a longer path, it takes more time and arrives later thanrepparttar 151195 direct sound that went straight fromrepparttar 151196 speakers to your ears. The net effect is a loss of dialog intelligibility.

Another, even cheaper, tweak is to optimize your subwoofer placement. For years people have been told “Bass is non-directional. You can put your sub anywhere”. That is, simply, BS. While low bass is fairly non-directional,repparttar 151197 tonal quality and amount of bass is tremendously affected by subwoofer placement.

A simple trick is to placerepparttar 151198 sub atrepparttar 151199 listening position (at ear height), then move aroundrepparttar 151200 room (at sub height) until you findrepparttar 151201 place withrepparttar 151202 best bass quality. If possible, that’s where you putrepparttar 151203 sub.

Keepingrepparttar 151204 ambient noise level in your home theater is critical to maintainrepparttar 151205 "suspension of disbelief" you've tried so hard to achieve. In addition, lower ambient noise will enable you to hearrepparttar 151206 softer portions ofrepparttar 151207 movie's sound track without turning up your home theater's volume so loud. This hasrepparttar 151208 effect of increasingrepparttar 151209 available dynamic range (the difference betweenrepparttar 151210 loudest and softest sounds your audio system can reproduce).

One cheap tweak is to build a hush box around your projector to minimize noise from it. Make sure you use adequate ventilation to maintain proper cooling. That cannot be emphasized enough. As a partial measure, without having to build a whole box, you can place acoustic absorption material onrepparttar 151211 ceiling aboverepparttar 151212 projector. If your projector is close torepparttar 151213 ceiling, this will killrepparttar 151214 noise that normally bounces offrepparttar 151215 ceiling and intorepparttar 151216 listening room. I hope this gets you started downrepparttar 151217 path to even more enjoyment from your home theater and saves you some money atrepparttar 151218 same time.

Steve has 15 yrs in electronics. He is a CEDIA certified designer with ISF and THX certificates. Experience includes: installer and programmer; system designer; business unit director for an a/v importer; sales rep for a CE distributor; and principal of a $1.5M+ CEDIA firm. He's now senior sales engineer for Digital Cinema Design in Redmond, WA. See him at The Home Theater and Automation Guide

Make Your Own Lampshades

Written by Dean Novosat

Continued from page 1

To begin making your new lampshade, you will needrepparttar measurements ofrepparttar 151120 current shade. If possible, takerepparttar 151121 old shade apart by carefully cutting it along it’s seams. You can then use this as a template for your new lampshade. However, don’t be stifled byrepparttar 151122 old shade! You can easily create an entirely new look with a piece of rigid wire, bending it into a new shape for a new shade. In this case, making a new cover may be a little trickier, butrepparttar 151123 process isrepparttar 151124 same. Simply coverrepparttar 151125 lampshade frame with your material. For fabric you can sewrepparttar 151126 seams or glue it. The same is true for other materials. Ifrepparttar 151127 glue is far enough away fromrepparttar 151128 light bulb, you can even use hot melt glue.

The best part of making your own lampshades is that if you don’t like your creation, or you redecorate your room, you can quickly and inexpensively make a new lampshade.

Dean Novosat holds a degree in Scenery and Lighting Design from Frankling & Marshall College and he uses his knowledge and experience with theatrical lighting in the home. He feels the home is just a blank canvas or stage that we choose to live in! He is the webmaster of and he enjoys using light in unique and different ways in the home.

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