29 Nov IT’S NOT JUST THE PICTURE
We’re all used to large screen TVs these days – some of us have a number of them at home. So what makes a truly terrific home cinema?
Of course, the image is important – and we can produce staggering results with 4K and 8K video projection – on screens up to 10metres in diagonal, but getting the environment right is important too. It’s great to be able to sit down with your friends and family in a truly special space; somewhere with the right seating, lighting and a little bit of drama; somewhere different with a cinema-style experience, without having to even leave your house.
What makes that experience really special, though?
Think about some of the most vivid memories you have. First time at a football match? Going swimming in the public swimming pool? Going skiing for the first time? Visiting somewhere unusual, like Venice?
I bet the SOUND of those memories is a really important component, just like the images and the people. The unexpected noise of the stadium; the hard, live acoustic of the municipal pool; the quiet of the slopes as you rush down or the weirdly quiet, echoey sound of pedestrians walking quickly through Venice’s car-free stone alleyways.
At SMC we think the sound plays the most significant part in an amazing movie experience. There are two elements to that: getting a faithful reproduction of the soundtrack – whether loud or quiet – and making sure the room doesn’t alter it. Movie soundtracks have come a long way, and an enormous effort goes into the sound design (not just the soundtrack or score) for successful films. This isn’t just about exploding helicopters, it’s about the ‘feel’ of a film. If you’ve seen Dunkirk or Gravity, you’ll know what we mean. The technology available to bring the experience into your home, like Dolby Atmos, has progressed enormously. Surround sound has gone from a few random booms behind you, to ‘it is here’ and now to ‘you are there’. Get it right and you genuinely feel like you are in the middle of the action.
What’s interesting is that the very best cinema sound systems work really well for music too. If you used to go clubbing, you’ll be familiar with the way in which music resonates, like a heartbeat. It drives your emotions.
Sound draws you in like pictures don’t – images might remain but sound gets you involved, in the moment, putting you right in the heart of the experience.
That’s what people will remember about your home cinema if you get it right, and that’s what you’ll enjoy every time you watch a film at home. It isn’t just ‘watching the telly’. It’s an experience.