Contractor Tips Blog


Home Theater Design

Posted in Home Theaters

So you have decided to put in a high tech home theater in your basement. After looking through hundreds of ideas on the Internet, how do you even know know where to begin? It is a good idea to the professionals at a home theater business help you. Choosing a company that has been designing home theaters for a number of years in and around your area is highly recommended. They will understand the ins and outs of making a home theater worth your time and money in your specific area. 

When designing a home theater, it should always be done on an individual basis. One must take the room dimensions, where the room is located in the home, acoustic design, and desires of each of client into consideration when designing a home theater. An expert home theater design team will help you choose the best components for your given budget and desires in order to develop the perfect home theater for your home. Many people believe that simply purchasing high-end electronics will automatically make their home theater something special, but a professional home theater design company knows that it takes much more than a good sound system and movie projector. 

Proper design, layout, and functionality are all important when designing a home theater. With our years of experience, a quality home theater company knows how to deliver results that take their customers by surprise each and every time. If you are searching for a company to trust to help you design your home theater, call begin by interviewing recommended companies in your area. You need to find the one that can take your desired entertainment components and your personal design ideas and make them work together to create an atmosphere that will make your personal home theater worth every penny.

Posted on behalf of Callaway Home Theater


The Benefits of a Custom Home Theater or Media Room Design

Posted in Home Theaters

A high quality home theater or multi-purpose media room system is much more than a bunch of high priced electronic equipment purchased either online or at the nearest big box retailer.  Often people become fixated on the brand name and price of the equipment, while ignoring the heart of the system, which is the design.  Even the best equipment in the world will not provide the level of audio and visual performance required, unless the entire system is well designed! 

The home theater design will incorporate a number of factors including room dimensions, room layout, seating layout, acoustic layout, projector location, screen location and component selection.  All of these factors must be considered together and integrated to provide the homeowner the best possible value and performance of the system.  

In some homes it may not be possible to have a home theater room due to space constraints, but it is possible to design a multi-purpose media room, which will provide as much enjoyment as a home theater.  The design of the multi-purpose media room will incorporate the design criteria as a home theater, but will also include provisions for concealing the audio and video components of the system so they do not dominate the room’s décor or use. 

A well designed home theater room or multi-purpose media room will provide years of enjoyment for any family.  The audio and video technology today is truly amazing and it has never been easier and more affordable to enjoy a movie like experience in the comfort of your home!

Posted on behalf of Callaway Home Theater


Elements Of The Perfect Home Theater Room

Posted in Home Theaters

A well designed home theater takes planning and expertise to get the right combination of visual and audio effects. While the electronics are important components, they alone are not what turn a good home theater into a great one. Whether you want a room to watch your favorite sports team or to enjoy movies with your friends and family in high definition splendor, how the room is designed and set up can play a major part in the quality of theater room you will end up with. 

Home Theater Design Elements

While any room could potentially turned into a home theater, there are certain aspects that need to be considered. Just adding a large television and sound system will not necessarily create the theater room you had in mind. Some elements to consider when designing your home theater include: 

  • Size – The size, dimensions and shape of a room can determine how the acoustics will perform.
  • Lighting – Most theater rooms will have no windows to create the perfect dark room for viewing.
  • Seating – Where you place your seating can effect both how the audio and visual effects are experienced.
  • Sound proofing – Depending on where your theater room is located, you may need sound proofing to keep outside sounds from disturbing your viewings as well as isolate the sound coming from the theater room. 

Many elements of creating a professional grade home theater room are complicated, requiring the expertise of a home theater designer. Since this is a sizable investment into your home, using a professional home theater design company to help you plan and build your room can make sure that it turns out exactly the way you envision.

Posted on behalf of Callaway Home Theater 


Home Theaters In Finished Basements

Posted in Home Theaters

Anyone considering finishing out the basement in their home should consider a integrated home theater system, which is an absolute must for any one creating a family recreational area or the ultimate “man cave”!  A fully integrated system will provide years of enjoyment for you and your family. 

One of the biggest advantages of having an integrated home theater installed prior to the basement being finished, is the ability to design the system based upon the proposed layout.  When done early on in the process, the designer can make adjustments to the design of the space to maximize the performance of the home theater system, as well as the enjoyment of the system by the owner. 

Another advantage is the ability to run properly sized wires in the walls and ceilings behind the drywall.  There is nothing worse than seeing wires running exposed on any home theater system, no matter how good the equipment is!  In addition, the home theater contractor can utilize flush mounted speakers on both the walls and the ceiling to provide maximum performance, without the need for floor-mounted speakers!  Finally, they will be able to locate the equipment in discreet areas so that it is not visible, which detracts from the “clean” look that people are looking for in an integrated home theater system. 

A qualified home theater contractor that is licensed and insured will be able to design and install a home theater system that meets you and your families needs, as well as your budget.  Their qualified technicians will be able to properly pre-wire the system prior to drywall installation and install the equipment as soon as the space is completed.


Which Type of TV is Best For You? Part II – LCD and LCD/LED TVs

Posted in Home Theaters

Since a television is one of the central components of your home theater system – and usually the most costly – it is well worth taking a good look at your options. In addition to plasma flat screen TVs, there are LCD and LCD/LED TVs. 


A LCD TV uses different technology than a plasma TV, something called a liquid crystal display. In LCD televisions, two pieces of transparent material are placed at right angles and are backlit by fluorescent tubing. 

LCD TVs come in sizes ranging from 16″ to 57″ and are made by many different manufacturers, not just a handful. In comparison to plasma, they have less of a side viewing angle and aren’t as good at tracking motion, say, in a sports game. But LCDs are lighter in weight than plasma, so they can be hung much more easily, and they use less power. 


The third type of flat screen TV is the LED TV, sometimes called the LED/LCD TV, and it is a technology that is relatively new, first appearing on the market around 2004.  LED TVs are very similar to LCD TVs, but instead of fluorescent lighting, they use LED to backlight the screen. 

LED TV’s come in a wide range of sizes, but are a bit thinner than their LCD predecessors, usually less than an inch. LEDs often surpass LCDs in terms of picture brightness and contrast in terms of quality. LEDs are also more energy efficient, making them the best choice of all TVs in terms of efficiency. 

As a new technology, LED TVs hold a lot of promise, but at the moment they are a bit more expensive than LCD TVs and comparable in price to plasma.


Which Type of Flat Screen TV is Best for You? Part I – Plasma TVs

Posted in Home Theaters

The most important component of any home theater system – for most people, anyway – is a flat screen television. But if you’ve done any shopping for a TV lately, you might be a little baffled or even downright confused by all the choices out there.

Is there really a big difference between a LCD TV and a plasma TV? And what is an LED/LCD TV anyhow? 


Plasma is a relatively new technology in TVs. When they hit the market in the late 1990s and early 2000s, plasma TVs were considered a status symbol, as they were very expensive, some fetching $45,000 or more. Prices have since come way down, and now it is possible to buy a plasma TV for less than $1,000. 

With this type of TV, the screen is built from two plates of glass with neon or xenon gas in between. When the gas is exposed to an electrical field, it glows, producing a picture.  

Plasma TVs are only available in 42″ screens or bigger, and from just a small handful of manufacturers. They have a great all-around viewing angle, vibrant color and great definition, but aren’t quite as bright as LCD or LED TVs. 

Plasma TVs are also very susceptible to damage. If they are hit with a hard object, it could break some of the gas filled pixels, eventually leading to a distorted screen image. So when purchasing a plasma TV, many people opt for an extended warranty or some sort of insurance. 



Pros and Cons of Wireless Alarm Systems

Posted in Home Theaters

Crime seems on the rise everywhere, with shootings, home invasions, kidnappings and burglaries reported daily in the news. The first thing that comes to mind is security, how to protect your home or business from the derelicts of society.  

Another simple fact of life today is cell phone technology, and the newest innovations in home and business security revolve around wireless systems. But how safe and efficient are they? Following is a list of pros and cons of wireless systems: 

Pro – Many homes and businesses are already fully wireless, so it is easy to coordinate a wireless security system with existing wireless facilities. 

Pro – If  you use a wireless system as your primary security, you forgo the need for a landline phone, thus saving you the cost of a monthly phone bill. 

Pro – Wireless systems take up less physical space. There are not as many wires or boxes as there are with telephone-based systems. Plus, the components can be spaced out around the location for less clutter and to make it more difficult for criminals to deaden the system. 

Con – Wireless systems generally rely on batteries to some degree, and battery packs will only last a couple hours. It’s best to have a system that plugs into the wall, and has a battery backup. 

Con –  Signal strength can be weak sometimes, especially with cheaper wireless systems. Signals can also be weakened by solar flares and stormy weather. 

Con – It is possible for an intruder to jam the signal on a wireless system, although most criminals do not carry jamming devices with them.


3 Top Reasons to Hire a Home Theater Specialist

Posted in Home Theaters

More and more homeowners are installing home theaters as a means of entertainment for family and friends. It is a cheaper alternative to going to the movies and, with the excellent quality and vast quantity of electronic equipment on the market, it is possible to get a real theater experience right in your very own home. 

But why pay a home theater specialist to do the design and installation? We’ve got the three best reasons right here. 

1. It is a complicated job. Whether you are building a theater from scratch, or adding to your existing home theater, installing new devices and getting them to work properly with existing devices can be very tricky work. A home theater design specialist will spare you the trials and tribulations and integrate your system so that every electronic component is working properly and harmoniously with other components. 

2. Flawless, professional results. A home theater installer not only knows how electronic components work best with one another, but can do the drilling, mounting and wiring so that all wires are hidden flawlessly within the walls. In other words, you can kiss all that tangled wire mess goodbye. 

3. Home theater specialists can work within a budget. Are you working within a tight budget? If so, the home theater designer and installer can stretch that dollar to get the most for your money. Depending on your own particular needs for budget and space, the designer may recommend, for example, that you go with a high end surround sound system and less of a TV, or vice versa.

 The bottom line is, hiring a home theater installer is a sure way to ensure, professional results. You’ll find that the extra money spent for this service is well worth it in the long run.


Adding a Custom Designed Home Theater

Posted in Home Theaters

With modern technological advancements and their affordability, having a personal home theater today is not at all far-fetched nor limited to the rich and famous. Big, wall-mounted, flat screen televisions combined with surround sound stereo have made owning some form of a home theater virtually a common experience in most homes today. Movie theater attendance is declining, with many opting for the ease and comfort of at-home viewing.

Now you can step up your home experience by having a licensed contractor assist you in creating the ultimate design you desire. Any unfinished space in your home (you know, that basement you’ve been planning on getting around to finishing someday) can be turned into your own custom designed theater. Home theater designers can fashion a system specifically for the size of your available space. All of the details of your design, such as room configuration and preferred seating selection, are carefully considered. While selecting the components of your home theater system may seem overwhelming at first glance, experts can help you narrow down those options that best fit with your needs, wants and budget. Design experts will assist you with everything from selecting acoustical equipment, projector and screen, to laying out seating placement.

Contact your local home theater construction and design experts today. You can have the home theater system that you’ve been dreaming about. With properly skilled designers, engineers and technicians, you will enjoy many hours of quality entertainment in your own custom designed home theater. No doubt, it will become the favorite place of home entertainment for your family and friends.  All you’ll have to worry about is supplying the popcorn.


Tips for Buying a Home Theater Projector

Posted in Home Theaters

An important element of home theater design is the display system. Life-like, immersive visuals are one of the hallmarks of any great theater experience and you will need a good video projection system to achieve this in your home theater. Understandably, aside from the quality of the display, factors like cost and portability will influence the type of projector you ultimately choose. Here are some things you need to know to ensure the quality of your home theater projection system.

1)      Projector type

Currently, there are three types of video projectors for home theaters on the market: digital light processing (DLP), liquid crystal display (LCD), and cathode ray tube (CRT). In terms of the brightness of the display, DLP projectors have the brightest display and older CRT projectors are the least bright; however, with LCD projectors, the images are sharper.

Cost-wise, LCD projectors are the least expensive kind of projector you can buy; however, with DLP projectors, the replacement bulbs can cost up to a few hundred dollars.  This goes for LCD projectors as well.

Where portability is concerned, LCD and DLP projectors are lightweight and small and so you can use them in other settings beside your home theater. CRT projectors on the other hand are larger and quite heavy; they usually require fixed installation.

2)      Resolution

The higher the resolution on a home theater video projector, the more detailed and vivid the images on the screen with appear. Also, the higher the resolution, the more expensive the projector will be. “High-definition” is the term used for displays with a very high resolution, 1920×1080 pixels being the ideal. XGA resolution (1024×768 pixels) ‎ and WXGA resolution (1280×768 pixels) are considered standard for an optimal movie-viewing experience. SVGA (800×600 pixels) resolution and VGA resolution (640×480 pixels) are the best bet if you’re working with a low budget.

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