The size and choice of screen is very much dependent on the size and purpose of the room. TVs are able to offer a crisper image and are great for sports and TV shows however, a projector screen works better with larger rooms as they offer better viewing angles and ultimately better for watching movies, even the largest TV can’t compare to the largest projector screens available.
There’s whole range of possibilities when it comes to getting the screen right. For example, they’re typically made out of an acoustically transparent material meaning that we can install the speakers behind it. This is how commercial cinemas do it! However, something that is becoming more and more popular is using a material with Ambient Light Rejection (ALR). It’s a bit like polarised sunglasses – they reject the light you don’t want that causes glare creating a clearer view. ALR screens reject the ‘normal’ light from the room and only reflect the light that is shone from the projector. This means that they work really well in rooms where traditionally projections wouldn’t, such as bright rooms with lots of windows. Have you ever been sat in front of a presentation and the picture is all washed out, making you close the blinds to see what’s going on? Not anymore! We have installed some fantastic ALR screens and the image is great. Almost as good as a giant TV!
If there’s one thing that takes your Cinema to the next level, it’s the sound. Typical cinemas have a 5.1 surround setup, that is five speakers + 1 subwoofer. These are arranged as centre front for all the dialogue, left/right front for the main action, and left/right rear for the ‘surround’ effect.
It is now becoming more common to install a 7.1 setup which includes an extra pair of left/right directly in line with your ears (halfway between the front and back pair) as this is where your hearing is actually most sensitive.
However, the current buzz word is Object Orientated Audio. The most well-known of these is Dolby Atmos. This works in an entirely different way; by using a range of speakers strategically placed around the room you are in, from all directions! This means that the sounds can be placed anywhere within the room. They are no longer limited to simply being panned from side to side, but front to back, and top to bottom.
When the sound for the movie is being mixed the position of the source can be virtually “placed” anywhere within the room. Trains can whizz past you, helicopters can fly over you, and bullets can even fly through you.
This also means that the overall acoustics of the room are very important for all these effects to work. Therefore, the materials we use on the walls aren’t simply for that “Odeon” effect, they help absorb unwanted frequencies and often conceal specialists’ panels to help control the lower bass frequencies too.
Cinema design can certainly be an art. We have some fantastic suppliers that we can take you to for demonstrations of how a Cinema should sound.
Oh, and if you want a popcorn machine, the we can do that too!