Most people do not realize that a TV is merely a 2-dimensional picture. It?s a well designed 5.1 ? 7.1 channel audio system that actually provides the needed ?3-D? effect.

In-Wall/Ceiling Speaker Solutions for a Flat Video Home Installation

Kamel Yassin | Sound City, Inc.

In-Wall/Ceiling Speaker Solutions
for a Flat Video Home Installation
by Kamel Yassin, Sound City, Inc.

Most people do not realize that a TV is merely a 2-dimensional picture. It's a well designed 5.1 - 7.1 channel audio system that actually provides the needed "3-D" effect.


Consumers love the thin, almost stealth profile of Plasma and LCD video monitors that are so popular. It is a growing market as more and more display choices are being delivered at more affordable price points. But an interesting irony to this is the growing request of home owners and home builders to provide equal space savings or even invisibility for the 5-7 speakers required to provide the audio experience. Almost any "normal" speaker interferes with the main attraction of a flat screen: minimal size. The bottom line is that they want the sound, but often do not want to see large cabinet speakers, as they take space and influence the home's style or decor.

At Sound City our installation advantages are varied. Our reputation for excellence and our commitment to exceeding customer expectations is only the beginning. Today, Sound City brings homeowners a new commitment - one to those seeking a higher standard. We bring value and a superior standard to each and every home theater we build. We have been installing flat panel displays in homes and incorporating in-wall and in-ceiling speakers from companies such as Sonance, who offer solutions that have the superior sound they want, while at the same time take up zero space within the room!

One installation that we highlight had an additional challenge for our designers to meet the customer's lifestyle. In this case, Mom wanted to watch the family while working in the kitchen area, with the added benefit of enjoying the audio video system. There is very limited space on a short wall with typical wall depth construction. (see picture)
 

Sound City prides itself on innovative installations. As you can see, this is a powerful system with a 50 inch monitor. The beautiful picture and black gloss frame of the 50" display are provided by a Pioneer Elite PRO1010HD plasma TV mounted with the Chief PLP2081 swivel mounting bracket. The system's main components consist of an Onkyo TXSR702 surround receiver boasting THX certification fed by the popular combination of an Onkyo DXC 390 CD changer and the DVPS800 DVD player. The VCR is Mitsubishi's HSU749. Peace of mind and protection is provided with the Panamax MAX 4300 surge protector. All chosen for ease of use and reliability. This selection of components more than adequately powers the sound to Sonance Cinema.5 (can we say Select?) speakers providing the left, center and right channels. These speakers are perfectly matched to the receiver as they are also certified for THX systems, very rare for in-wall speakers to earn that rating. The rear left and right surround speakers are Sonance's popular Symphony 623TR's. These round speakers cannot be seen in the picture, and are located in the ceiling.

Those other two larger speakers on the bottom of the wall are amplified Sonance Virtuoso woofers. Yes, woofers within the wall! Sound City's installation answer to big bass needs instead of placing the usual big box woofer in the room. Needless to say, the customer was thrilled to get THX theater/music sound quality without giving up one inch of room space to the video set, or to the speakers.

Another innovative option available from Sound City is the unique Sonance Ellipse in-ceiling home theatre. Sound City can offer all speaker locations in the ceiling, thereby eliminating the sight of speakers located next to the video monitors. In this option, an elliptical speaker with 3 drivers in a dome allow for the sound to appear as if it's coming from the area of the video screen even though it is located in the ceiling. Most of the speakers in the Ellipse are aimed directly at the listener. This is accomplished with a great looking elliptical (like a football) design. The surround speakers, also located in the ceiling, are designed to envelope the sound at the rear of the room just like speakers positioned on the walls or on stands behind the listener.


A typical ceiling location

There are many tips to keep in mind when considering the successful installation of surround sound and video in a home. Just remember, everyone understands how big, bright and colorful flat panel TVs are important, but it is the audio that we stress is of equal or even greater importance from a performance standpoint. Most people do not realize that a TV is merely a 2-dimensional picture. It's a well designed 5.1 - 7.1 channel audio system that actually provides the needed "3-D" effect. It's the total design for performance that is integrated with the customer's architectural desires that is so important for Sound City and their manufacturer's to accomplish.


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