Look, up in the sky (or in this case, the ceiling)… it’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s a… soundbar? Jeff Francisco, president and CEO of The DaVinci Group, Inc. (TDG) might not be Superman, but he can lay claim to perhaps being one of the only exhibitors at CEDIA 2017 who invented an entirely new product category: the in-ceiling soundbar. Indeed, the company showed its new Skybar LCR architectural audio system that includes an in-ceiling soundbar, along with satellite speakers.
“TDG’s Skybar System is the result of deep collaboration with TDG dealers, who told us they needed a solution where the aesthetics of the installation require a lower impact design rather than multiple individual component speakers,” says Francisco. “With our new Skybar solution, integrators can fulfill their clients’ request and do so without sacrificing sound quality for a tremendous seven-channel home theater performance out of just three diminutive in-ceiling or in-wall boxes.”
TDG’s full $1,000 Skybar system uses three boxes – one Skybar LCR and two Skybar Satellites – to implement a full seven-channel surround sound system in a 6- x 25¼- x 3¾-inch enclosure. The Skybar LCR is versatile, so it can be also put in-wall or in a soffit if needed.
Inside the Skybar LCR are six 3-inch heavy duty, full-range drivers – two for the left channel, two for the right channel, and two full-range, along with a single 1-inch pivoting dome tweeter for the center channel. The drivers are mounted on an angled baffle board and the tweeter pivots allowing the sound wave to be directed downward towards the audience in an in-ceiling mount configuration, or left/right towards the audience in the case of an in-wall mounting situation.
Integrators have flexible connection options that allow them to configure the Skybar LCR as either a complete left/right/center setup – or in the alternative, the entire unit can operate as one channel depending on the system configuration. In this way, more Skybar LCRs can be added for the other channels in a situation where the listening area is extremely large, for example.
The Skybar Satellite features two front firing 3-inch side or surround speakers, and a third 3-inch reflecting speaker. The reflecting speaker is mounted such that it fires into an angled channel to direct the waveform either towards a wall or ceiling for more diffuse rear or height sounds.
The Skybar Satellite can either be configured to provide only surround channel information, or both surround and rear channel information. Reconfigurations are accomplished by connections on the back panel of either the Skybar LCR or the Skybar Satellite and are easy and intuitive for integrators to properly connect no matter what the system design requires, according to the company.
Most Common Use Cases
In most situations, the Skybar LCR and the Skybar Satellites will be set up in a U-shaped configuration, with the LCR at the front of the theater and the Satellites perpendicular to the front speaker in the ceiling towards the back and on either side of the room.
The Satellites can also be mounted in the side walls horizontally to provide surround and rear channel information. Or they can be mounted in the side walls vertically, with the reflecting speaker aimed towards the ceiling for height information for use in one of the newer advanced 3D surround-type systems.