Although digital dominates audio
and video discussions,
three non-digital elements - the room, the speaker system, and
the TV - dictate an AV system's performance.
We cannot hear or see the zeros
or ones of a digital audio or video component. Digital
video must convert the zeros and ones to analog light on a
Digital audio must convert zeros and ones to analog sound
waves via a speaker. Also, the room has a significant
effect on both. This Handbook chapter inspects each of
these essential non-digital elements, the room, the speaker,
and the TV.
At the outset, however, a tangential element, the room's
aesthetics, should be considered. If you are closely
related to your interior designer (read spouse), this may
avoid a cataclysmic outcome. The following offers a
shortlist of ideas to get your design team into an agreeable
Movie Emphasis -- Consider the look of an opulent 1930s
movie theater -- plush seats, curtains, sconces. Add the
ticket booth, theater lighting, a snack bar with a popcorn
machine, and a soda fountain to complete the room.
Music Emphasis -- Imagine a room with the elegance of a
grand symphony hall. Picture the atmosphere of rock,
blues, jazz, or folk clubs. How about the aesthetic of a
Sports Emphasis -- Create a ballpark/stadium luxury
box. Install a counter with stools behind comfortable
seating facing a large home theater screen.
Frame the screen as a window with a view of the field.
Display pendants, photos, and other sports
paraphernalia. Complete the ultimate sports box with
additional broadcasts displayed on several TV monitors.
Literary Emphasis -- Fashion the comfy, relaxed, and
warm environment of a scholarly private library.
Book-filled shelves and plush furniture create ample
acoustical diffusion and absorption. The bookshelves
also provide storage for BluRay discs, DVDs, compact discs,
audiotapes, videotape, plus records.
A Family Room -- Although the ideal situation is a
dedicated room that originates on an architect's drawing
board, a typical family room will still work well.
Place seating, the speaker system, and television in a
comfortable social arrangement. But where practical,
adhere to the guidelines that follow.