At least three exhibitors at CEDIA 2017 will be showing solutions to help dealers design and sell home theaters. Two of the companies – Modus VR and The Cinema Designer (TCD) – provide 3D visualization and rendering tools. The third, Rayva, sells turnkey theater systems with packages that include everything from the electronics to the chairs.
The Cinema Designer (TCD)
UK-based TCD provides software that helps integrators design and sell home theaters. Integrators enter the parameters of the space, and specify components such as projectors, screens, speakers and seats. TCD does the rest, configuring a room that makes sense for the stated characteristics.
The resulting documentation tells integrators where to mount the speakers, how to arrange seating, what kind of acoustical materials to use and other details required to spec a fully finished home theater.
In addition to the data required by integrators, TCD supplies renderings to help customers visualize the end system. The software also can provide viewpoints from any virtual seat to ensure everyone in the theater gets a clear view of the screen before the first construction begins.
TCD now offers Cinema Room for basic theater designs, and Cinema Room Pro for more complex designs, allowing integrators to “design technically accurate 32 channel count immersive audio home cinemas in a matter of minutes.”
At CEDIA 2017, the company is introducing a new solution for designing multipurpose media rooms.
“TCD has gone mainstream,” says managing director Guy Singleton. “TCD isn’t just for uber, 32-channel count theatres. The new Media Room option allows installers to very quickly specify multi-channel rooms … [and] ensures the right speakers are specified for the right sized room, and are installed in the correct places.”
We first met Modus VR at CEDIA 2016 when it was a new endeavor by the integration firm Real Audio Video and 3D technology developer Fractal Mob.
The software allows integrators – with their customers – to design home theaters optimized for audio, video and aesthetics. Once the room characteristics and technical parameters are set, Modus outputs 3D files that enables participants to experience the room in virtual reality.
Donning VR headsets, participants can explore the room, viewing sound waves flowing through the area and checking the screen view from every seat.
High-end home-technology integrator Greg Margolis of Dallas-based Hometronics recently visited Modus’s Utah headquarters for a pre-CEDIA demo. He says he was able to build a theater in 30 minutes.
“I can’t tell you how many times clients want to know what different screen sizes look like from a front row, middle row, back row, etc.,” Margolis says. “Screen sizes can be changed on the fly, allowing clients to see what the perspective feels like from any seat in the room.”
Margolis says the VR approach to selling home theaters is infinitely better than Hometronics’ current method of showing a demo theater to clients and asking them to imagine larger and smaller screens and different room areas.
“I’m really looking forward to using this with clients,” he says.
Regardless of how “simple” it is to design a home theater with software solutions like TCD and Modus, it still takes a major investment to put all the pieces together.
Rayva goes the extra mile by providing not just the theater design, but all the parts that go with it … from the projectors and screens to the seating and acoustical treatments.
Rayva takes the guesswork out of configuration and construction, with complete documentation for builders and integrators that lets them create a complete home theater – starting at about $70,000 “retail” – in about a week.
At CEDIA 2017, Rayva is introducing two new upscale designs, Illuminations and Origami, to be included in its $250K Diamond, and $500K Titanium all-inclusive theater packages.
Rayva is inviting integrators to submit plans of their clients’ home theaters for free evaluation. Each submission will receive an autographed free copy of Theo Kalomirakis’ book – Great Escapes. Integrators who convert a set of plans into a signed contract with Rayva by October 21 will win an all-expense paid weekend trip for two in New York by December 31, 2017.