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  • Not many people are aware of the fact that the room you select to place your home theater in also has an impact on its performance. Even if you buy the best home theater system, selecting the wrong room to install it in wouldn’t enable you to enjoy a superior viewing experience.

    There are a number of factors which come into play when deciding the room you should have the home theater in. Since you are spending so much money on the home theater, it is prudent that you make sure it can be integrated seamlessly into your home without any hassle. Here are some of the factors you should consider when deciding which room you should have the home theater in.

    Size & Space

    The size of the room plays an important role in determining which home theater is right for you. What most homeowners fail to recognize is that the size of the room can hinder the performance of the home theater system. Placing a large system in a small room would create noise, and vice versa. If all the rooms in your home are small, it does leave you with limited options to select from. Make sure the room you select has enough space to accommodate the home theater system without any major redesigning.

    Acoustics & Dimensions

    The dimensions of the room impact the quality of the sound. In particular, rooms which are square in shape are perhaps the worst when it comes to sound problems. On the other hand, rooms which are rectangular have better acoustics and offer a well-rounded audio experience. The best possible option is a room without any windows or other outlets.

    Seating & Sound

    Where you sit determines what you hear and how well you hear it. Home theater systems come with surround sound speakers. You can enjoy surround sound only if the speakers are scattered and placed around you. If you have to push your couch against the wall, you wouldn’t be able to feel the difference between normal and high-def surround sound.

    Distance & Picture

    The bigger the screen is, the grainier it will appear to you. Unless of course you are sitting right! The distance you sit at from the screen determines whether or not you will see the grains and lines on it. There is a minimum distance which you have to be away from the screen to enjoy the picture quality. Hence, you should choose the screen size according to the distance you can achieve without affecting the sound quality.

    Lighting & Other Factors

    The lighting in the room plays a major role in the overall experience. There is a reason why the lights in the movie theater are out: it creates the perfect environment for watching movies. The darker a room is, the better it is for having a room theater in. For this purpose, you need to take the impact of furniture, equipment and wall fixtures into account. There are other factors that also affect the experience, such as wall colors, flooring and noise disturbances from other parts of the home.

    Keep these factors in mind so you can choose the best room for installing the home theater in. A professional installer has the expertise and experience to consider all these factors.

    Selecting the right room for installing a home theater provides the best viewing and listening experience. Houston Custom Installers (www.houstoncustominstallers.com) offer topnotch installation services and also help you select the right room for installation.

    There was a time when going to the movie theater was considered to be the premier mode of entertainment. How times change? Now, the tickets are pricey and the food even pricier. Where you could watch two movies and much more on a single ticket, the tickets just keep getting expensive, what with the IMAX and 3D surcharges. What if you had the option to replicate the experience of watching a movie in a theater in your home? All you need to do is purchase a home theater system.

    The cost of going to the movies is just one of the reasons you should invest in a home theater. It could prove to be a valuable addition to your home entertainment system as well as providing you endless viewing options. Here are some other top reasons why you should buy a home theater system.

    Watch Movies & TV, Play Games, Listen to Music

    The main purpose of a home theater is to provide a movie theater-like experience at home but that doesn’t mean all you can do on it is watch movies. You have the option of playing video games, watching your favorite TV shows or listening to music. The options are constantly expanding and it is up to you to choose the way in which you want to be entertained on any given day.

    Enjoy Movies in the Comfort of Your Home

    You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to watch movies, old and new. Don’t worry about missing out on new movies as the disparity in dates between theater release and availability on DVD or online rentals is decreasing. Soon you won’t have to wait more than a few days to watch a new movie. Forget the hassle of driving to the theater and then standing in queues at the ticket and snacks’ counters. Also, you get to avoid parking difficulties!

    Create the Perfect Atmosphere

    One of the major advantages of having your home theater professionally installed is that you can create the perfect atmosphere to watch a movie. Everything, from the acoustics to the seating to the room color to the floor covering to the lighting is adjusted to create the effect of a cinema. You enjoy uninterrupted viewing without any disturbances from people talking or beeping cellphones, possibly the biggest nuisance for moviegoers today.

    High Definition Audio and Video

    The advantages are so numerous that the superior audio and video quality has been pushed down the pecking order. You get to enjoy crystal clear visuals with crisp surround sound. Professional installation ensures you don’t miss even the ruffling of a feather on the screen, while the large screen ensures you view every single visual clearly.

    These are some of the top reasons to buy a home theater system. A new home theater is going to cost you some serious money but it pays off in the long run. Have your home theater installed professionally for optimal performance.

    A home theater system is an endless supply of entertainment options for you while avoiding the hassle of going to the movies. Contact Houston Custom Installers (www.houstoncustominstallers.com) and have your home theater installed by experts.

    Nothing provides an aural treat better than high quality surround sound. Ever since surround sound systems have been available to the average Joe, they have proved worthy additions to home entertainment systems. Often times they are part of a home theater but if you’re not into buying the system, you can still enjoy surround sound. More important than selecting the right system is having it professionally installed. Here are the benefits of professional surround sound installation.

    Installation Can Be Complicated

    Depending on the size and make of the surround sound system you purchase, the installation process could be complicated. There are several technical considerations involved when installing surround sound in your living room. First of all, there are the wires of the speakers, if you aren’t using a wireless system. Secondly, the difficult part is sorting out the electronic issues which may arise. Handling these problems is difficult for a person not well-versed with the ins and outs of surround sound installation.

    Positioning the Speakers

    Another mistake which rookies can make is positioning the speakers wrongly. The surround sound experience can be diluted if you don’t place the speakers the way they are supposed to be placed. It is a common sight to see people with couches pushed back against the wall and the speakers lined up in front. The whole purpose of surround sound is to create an environment where you feel you are part of what is going on onscreen. The professionals know the best way to place the speakers.

    No Static Interference

    Problems with the wiring or power supply can cause interference in your speakers. No one is fond of the all-familiar static sound which greets you if you get something wrong. The chances of that happening are high because there are at least five speakers with long wires. Any interference in the system can ruin the whole experience of surround sound for you. However, professionals are well-equipped to deal with such problems and remove the interference.

    Future Assurance

    When you have the surround sound system installed by a professional, you will get a guarantee or warranty for at least one year. That means you can call up the technicians should you face any problems with your speakers or system. In some ways, this gives you some assurance for the future in the sense that the professionals are responsible for the quality of installation. Since you are paying them, you can only expect the best quality installation.

    These are some of the benefits of having a professional install your surround sound system. It makes sense for you to get proper installation done as you have spent your hard-earned money on buying the system. Hire a professional to remove the risk of any problems during installation and in the future.

    Professional installation of surround sound systems removes interference and other issues allowing you to enjoy a great audio experience. Call Houston Custom Installers (www.houstoncustominstallers.com) for perfect installation.

    Nowadays, many homes comprise of high quality audio and video systems. All these high class equipments have been designed to give optimal performance, but that is only possible when the transmitting signals are retained. For this purpose, the structured wiring approach is most suitable because it transmits signal without potential loss and prevents noise interference.

    Cables

    Every cable is connected to a central designated head – end location, which is usually in the basement. The cables must be far from other high voltage wiring in the house to minimize interference. Moreover, none of the cables must be bent sharply, nor should a large force be exerted on them. The cables should also be terminated properly as a prevention measure. In addition, they should also be labeled.

    Types of Wires

    The two main types of wire used in structural cabling are coaxial cable and Cat 5 or Cat 6. The former is used for transmitting video, and the latter is used for transmitting data.

    Central Unit

    The place, where the head – end location is set up, should have waterproof walls. This is a requirement because these walls have no moisture and keep dust particles down. Both humidity and dirt can damage the equipment. Plywood should also be installed to serve as a mount, it must be painted black. Moreover, a 2 to 3 inches wide PVC pipe should also be fixed from basement to attic for future cabling.

    Basic Design

    Phones

    Today, the multi line and multi function speaker phones are normally used. It is recommended to run one Cat 5e phone line from each bedroom and multipurpose room so that the wiring becomes capable of supporting a reliable phone system.  A weatherproof phone jack should also be installed at the porch or deck if the family loves spending time under the skies.

    Computers

    The computer cables must be connected to each room with a computer. The cable used is CAT 5e supporting frequencies up to 350 MHz. A separate cable will be needed if a printer has to be shared on the network. The CAT 6 cables can also be used for connecting computers to improve the transmission capacity but the cost will also rise.

    Video Distribution

    Video distribution uses an RG6 cable. However, video services like TIVO or Replay TV need the CAT 5e cable.  A separate RG6 cable will be needed for satellite.

    Quality speakers are one of the most important parts of any sound system, but quite a few installers tend to ignore this. However, Houston Customs Installers consider this to be their topmost priority. Their speaker wires are superb in terms of performance. The prime reason behind this is that they carefully plan design and implementation. After all, quality equipment and wiring is all that is needed for minimum signal distortion.

    If the cables have not been designed properly, a great deal of noise can affect the output. The material, gauge, length and shield are important factors to consider when designing a cable.

    Purpose

    The purpose of speaker wires is to transmit electrical signals from the amplifier to the speaker.

    Construction

    Speaker wires comprise of many electrical conductors which have been insulated from each other. A jacket encloses all of them. One group of conductors is positive (red) and the other is negative (black). Usually, copper is used as the conducting material. The insulators and jackets are composed of PVC.

    Typically, stranded cables are used because of their flexibility, which makes it easier to connect components.

    Improving the Quality

    The following factors play an important role in the performance of any audio equipment. They are all related to wiring.

    Copper

    Copper is available in different levels in term of performance and costs.  Low quality speakers make use of tough-pitch copper. This is not a great choice for audio when compared to other types.  Higher purity copper wires, which contain a lower percentage of other metals, must be used. These wires are manufactured in a controlled environment and contain less oxygen. This also makes them resistant to corrosion, and they have a longer life. This oxygen free metal is often termed as oxygen free copper (OFC) or high conductivity oxygen free copper (HC-OFC).

    A corroded copper serves as an obstacle for electrical signals, and cannot be tolerated at any cost. So OFC and HC-OFC should be used for cables so that distortion is minimized.

    Cable Twist

    Poor cables are made in the zip-cord manner. A twisted conductor is a much better option because noise interference is reduced and inductance is lowered which makes it easy for the amplifier to transmit an undistorted signal.

    Star Quad

    Sound quality is greatly improved if separate cables are used for the right and left speakers. This is referred to as the star quad design. It also reduces the inductance, and thus, the distortion.

    You get a user manual with your home theater system detailing how you can install and connect each and every device. Having spent thousands of dollars on the system, the temptation is there to save further expenses and do the installation yourself. However, unless you are a qualified technician, there is a chance you end up overlooking some minor detail and cause major damage. Instead, hiring a professional gives you peace of mind that your home theater has been installed perfectly.

    The reason you need to hire a service instead of doing it yourself is that it takes more than an electrician to carry out the job. Here is an overview of the professionals required for perfect home theater installation.

    Interior Designer

    The interior designer makes an assessment of the room where the home theater is to be placed. The reason you are purchasing the system it to enjoy top quality visuals on your screen. Unfortunately, the system itself is not so appealing to the eye. The interior designer will help you hide in a corner of the room where you won’t be able to see it. After all, you don’t need to see it, just turn it on and enjoy.

    Architect

    The architect usually works in tandem with the interior designer to determine if any renovation or redesigning is required. Nevertheless, major reconstruction is rarely needed and small modifications allow the perfect installation of the home theater system. The architect also oversees the work being done to your room to ensure no damage is done.

    Electrician

    The electrician checks out the room for the power supply. The home theater system comes with a number of devices, all of which need to be plugged in. The electrician will scan the room to see whether there are enough power outlets for the equipment. If not, he would have to install new ones. Also, the electrician checks the quality of wiring in the room to ensure it is tough enough to withstand the load from the home theater system.

    Lighting Consultant

    More often than not, the impact of lighting is ignored when it comes to home theater systems. To create the perfect environment for watching movies and playing video games, it is essential that the lighting in the room be in sync with the requirements. For that, you would need a lighting consultant to advise you on the level of lighting needed in the room.

    These are just some of the professionals you need for home theater installation. For a more complex and top-of-the-line your home theater system is, you would need other experts such as computer network specialists or builders. Get a professional to do the job for you. It would cost money but ensure the installation is done as required.

    Leaving the job to professionals when it comes to home theater installation is sensible. Houston Custom Installers (www.houstoncustominstallers.com) have experienced and skilled experts who can do the job for you. Contact now and get your home theater installed perfectly.

    Low voltage data transmission wires are normally referred to as LAN cables or networking wires. However, their generic name is Unshielded Twisted Pair or UTP. Low voltage wires have many applications such as telephone lines, interconnecting computers on a network, and DSS.

    ISO / IEC have divided low voltage wires into different categories based on how much shielding they can provide from outside interferences. The higher the category number, the greater the shielding level and data transfer rate.

    The categories of low voltage wires are as follows:

    • Grade 1, Grade 2, Category 3 and Category 4: These wires are now obsolete, so no discussion is necessary.
    • Category 5:  This category comprises of unshielded twisted pairs of wires which offer an impedance of 100 Ohm and support frequencies less than 100 MHz.
    • Category 5e or Enhanced Category 5: This category is better than Category 5 in terms of performance. The specifications have also been improved for Near End Cross Talk (NEXT), Power Sum Equal Level Far End Cross Talk (PSELFEXT) and attenuation.
    • Category 6: This class is similar to Category 5e because it supports the same networking standards. Its advantage lies in the fact that it is compatible with lower category grades.
    • Category 7: This category supports frequencies up to 600 MHz and offers an impedance of 100 Ohm.
    • 10 Gig: This type has not been classified officially. It supports up to 10 GB transmission speeds.

    The standard wires used in computer and telecom applications belong to category 5, 5E and 6 because they reject more interference and support faster data transmission equipments. Each cable consists of four twisted pairs of insulated copper wire which is further enclosed in thick plastic. One cable can support 4 telephone lines or a single network connection. The ratings of category 5, 5E and 6 wires are 100 MHz, 350 MHz and 550 MHz, respectively.

    A few standards have been set with low voltage wires. These are:

    • The cabling has been restricted to 100 meters or 328 feet.
    • The minimum grade for structured wiring is Category 5e.
    • When installing, all components used must be compatible with that category to achieve optimal performance.

    Loudspeakers are a type of a transducer which converts electrical signals into sound. This is done by forcing a diaphragm to vibrate and transmit these vibrations into the air, which serves as sound or acoustic waves.

    Types on the Basis of Location

    • Freestanding:  These speakers are just set up on the floor. They are not mounted or fixed on any wall. They are normally used with a 2 channel stereo, but can also be used for surround sound systems.
    • Architectural: These speakers are further classified on the basis of their placement.
    • In wall: In wall loudspeakers are fixed in the walls. Their depth is usually less than four inches so they can easily be fixed. However, if the depth can be extended to 6 inches, then a much better design is possible.
    • In ceiling: Just as the name implies, in ceiling speakers are located in the ceiling. The depth of these speakers can be as much as 8 inches. This increases the design possibilities, and so these speakers have a wide variety.
    • On wall: These speakers are just mounted externally on the walls. These are used when certain components are already enclosed in the wall such as HVAC systems.
    • Outdoor: Outdoor speakers are further categorized into rocks and wall types. The former category resembles a rock, and is placed on the floor. The latter category is just mounted on the outside walls of houses.
    • Wireless: Wireless speakers are not really wireless. They have to be connected to an AC source through a cord to turn on the power. The only thing is that music is transmitted to them wirelessly. Batteries may be used to power speakers, but this is not feasible because the sound quality is extremely poor.

     Usage and Applications

    • Multi Room Audio: These speakers are placed in almost every room in the house so that high quality music can be listened to anywhere on the premise.
    • Surround Sound: These speakers are placed in a single room and recreate the audio track of movies. Generally, a media room has five speakers and a subwoofer. This configuration is called the 5.1 surround sound. The speakers have been named left, center, right and the last two are side – surround speakers. Additionally, two more speakers can also be put up at the back of the room, but this is not necessary. If back speakers are used, the configuration is called 7.1 surround sound.

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the light you left on when you went to sleep led to energy wastage and added a few cents to your electricity bill. Such oversights and mistakes are commonly seen in households everywhere. With the economy in recession and the earth battling global warming, higher utility bills and heat emissions are two things you cannot afford. There is a way you can control the lighting in your home and make it environment-friendly: house lighting control.

    As the name clearly states, house lighting control helps you manage and regulate the lighting in your home. It covers the entire span of your home, from the basement to the garage. You can control all the lights in your home, indoors and outdoors with a remote. The remote is customized specially according to your needs providing you better control. Not only does it allow you to prevent wastage but to create a perfect ambience by manipulating the lighting.

    The biggest benefit of house lighting control is that you save energy. A system is installed in your home and the lights are programmed according to it. You can set the specific time at which you want certain lights to turn on or off. That way, you can have minimal lights on during the daylight hours and more lights when it is dark outside. Most importantly, there are occupancy sensors installed in the system. If a room is unoccupied, the lights there would turn off automatically.

    What this means is that you no longer need to worry about lights being left on after you have gone to bed. You can control the lights in your home while lying in your bed. Wouldn’t you love to turn the light on the porch off without having to get up from the bed? Of course, it is a highly convenient option that saves much of the hassle associated with managing the lights in your home.

    There are some other benefits of home lighting control apart from the eco-friendliness.

    • You can leave the home empty with the lighting programmed to a sequence. Depending on your programming, the lights in certain parts of the home will go on and off as you wish. That way, you can create the illusion that the house is occupied even if you are on a different continent!
    • The energy savings translate to cost savings. House lighting control not only allows you to turn the lights on and off but to dim them when low intensity lighting is required. That way, the power consumed is minimized as is the heat produced by the lights.
    • Preventing the lights in your home from being on uselessly lengthens their life. You can use the same lights for a longer time period providing you greater value for money.

    The only obvious drawback is that the house lighting control system might be incompatible with older homes. Yet, it is the best way for any homeowner to go green. Get a professional to install house lighting control and give you the remote that turns lights on and off!

    House lighting control is the best way to keep your house well lighted in an eco-friendly manner. Houston Custom Installers (www.houstoncustominstallers) are experts at installing lighting control systems.

    A coaxial cable comprises of two conductors with a common axis. The conductor on the inner side is just a straight wire which can be stranded or solid. The conductor on the outer side is braided or foiled so that it can act like a shield.

    The following layers are found in a coaxial cable. The first layer discussed takes up the centre spot and the last layer is the outermost layer. All other layers are found in between these two.

    • As mentioned above, the central layer comprises of a conducting material. The preferred choice for the core is solid copper. This layer transmits the baseband video signal. During transmission, a certain amount of signal is lost due to long distance. The main reason for this is resistance, so a bigger conductor should be used. Resistance is inversely proportional to area so it is decreased this way, and most of the signal is retained.
    • The dielectric layer surrounds the centre copper core. This is basically the waxy, opaque part of the cable, and is made up of hydrocarbons such as polyolefins, polystyrene and polypropylenes. At times, air is also used as dielectric, but in this case, spacers are used to support the inner wire and to prevent it with from coming in contact with the shield. The function of the dielectric is to separate the inner conductor from the shield and provide physical support.
    • The next layer is the metallic shield, generally composed of braided copper. It has two main purposes:  to protect the conductor from noise or other unwanted signals, referred to as ingress, and to retain the transmitted signal in the conductor, referred to as egress. On this basis, coaxial cables can also be classified as dual and quad. Dual cables have two layers of shielding and quad cables have four.
    • The last layer is the outside insulation which encloses all the inner layers. This is called a jacket and is usually made from PVC.

    Attenuation or Insertion Loss:

    Attenuation is the process of losing a signal when it is being transmitted. It is caused by long cables, humidity, temperature and excess return loss. Insertion loss is not only present in the coaxial cable, but is also seen in devices connected to the cable such as amplifiers and splitters.

    Systems are design such that attenuation is minimized.