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Home Cinema Upgrades

What is a Star Ceiling?

Star ceilingsStar ceilings

If you’ve made the decision to build a dedicated home cinema room, then chances are you’re looking for something pretty special and brimming with the 'wow factor'. With their 'sky at night' effect, Star Ceilings give you exactly that.

Many home cinema rooms start life as a low-ceilinged loft, cellar or garage. Star Ceilings are especially effective here, as they give the impression of a higher ceiling height. They help make a space feel less claustrophobic, as well as creating the perfect mood for movie, sports and gaming nights.

Using module panels, each with 100 LED ‘stars’, they create a realistic starscape above. Full-colour mixing and options for shooting stars, constellations or totally customised layouts, give you a completely unique experience. For effortless integration, Star Ceilings link with external control systems such as Lutron, Rako, Control4 and Zigbee.

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Why do I need acoustic panels?

As movie directors will tell you, a film’s soundtrack is equally as important as its visuals. For this reason, it’s vital to get the best sound possible from your home cinema room. Many converted home cinema rooms are sonically compromised by low ceilings, hard floors or other acoustic issues. These create unwanted audio distortion, leading to an edgy or unnatural sound. This is where acoustic panels come in.

Carefully placed acoustic panels dampen the sound in your room, helping to balance the audio for a more natural, lifelike quality. They can make a big difference - speech becomes easier to follow, soundtracks are smoother and special effects whizz around the room with pinpoint precision.

Acoustic panels come in all types of finishes but are usually fabric covered or felt-backed. The fabric type help create a warmer vibe in your room, as well as improving the sound. Many are acoustically transparent, meaning they can even be placed over in-wall speakers. Wood veneered panels give a totally different aesthetic but, thanks to their felt-backing, can be just as effective in damping the sound.

See all of our acoustic panels

Acoustic panelsAcoustic panels

Which projector screen is right for me?

Projector screensProjector screens

The type of projector screen can have a big effect on the final image you see. If you’ve got a room dedicated to home cinema, we’d usually recommend a fixed screen. By their nature, fixed screens stay in place, under constant tension and are therefore free from sway or creasing that can afflict other screen types. Acoustically transparent versions can even be placed over in-wall speakers – perfect for utilising every inch of wall space.

For spaces where a permanent screen is less desirable, such as in a living room, retractable screens provide a better option. These are usually electrically operated, with housings that sit proud or flush with the ceiling. Premium retractable screens feature tab-tensioning, helping to reduce creases and sway caused by drafts from heating/cooling systems in the room.

The next thing to consider is the screen material. ALR (Ambient Light Rejecting) screens work especially well in rooms with large windows and / or bright lighting. In recent years, many dedicated home cinema rooms have switched to using grey screens, rather than the more traditional bright white. These often improve the contrast but, in rooms with more ambient light, white can offer superior brightness. Our experts can help advise on which is best for your room.

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Why should I add home cinema seating?

For the truly authentic, multiplex experience, cinema seating is a must-have. Deeply upholstered, plush seating puts you in the best place to enjoy all the big-screen drama. Just like the very best, premium-priced cinema seating, many of our cinema seats have electric reline, broad armrests and cup-holders built-in. You can even keep smart devices charged up, via the integral USB power sockets.

Our range of cinema seating is modular, meaning there’s a combination that’s perfect for your room. Choose from inline or crescent-shaped rows, single or double seating, and corner sections for a less formal feel.

Helping to create the exact style you’re looking for, our cinema seating comes in a vast array of different colours and materials. From the classic elegance of black leather to the authentic cinema feel of red velour, there’s a colour and material that’s just perfect for you.

See our home cinema seating options

Home cinema seatingHome cinema seating

Dedicated power amps – here’s why.

Power ampifiers / processorsPower ampifiers / processors

Dedicated power amps take an AVR (Audio Visual Receiver) to the next level. There are three good reasons why you might want to consider upgrading to dedicated power amps. The first is to upgrade your AVR’s main, stereo channel. This not only gives a huge boost to 2-channel music, but it also takes the strain off the AVR, letting it ‘focus’ on the surround channels. The second is to gain an improvement in sound quality and power all round. Finally, they let you add additional channels, making it possible to take advantage of exciting new formats from Dolby, DTS and IMAX.

Provided your existing AVR has multi-channel RCA phono or XLR outputs, upgrading to dedicated power amplifiers is very straightforward. In most cases, you’ve got two options. Either upgrade the main, stereo channels, giving you superior stereo sound and making life easier for your AVR’s ability to drive the other channels. Better still, upgrade all the channels using a multi-channel amp or a stack of power amps. Simply connect via phono or XLR leads, set the levels and you’re good to go with an instant upgrade. Unlike AVRs, dedicated power amps have just one job to do – amplify the input signal – making them supremely fit for purpose.

Most power amps provide you with a boost in power but, more than that, higher quality componentry enhances the sound quality as well. With dedicated power amps the sound becomes more dynamic, impactful and yet clearer, too.

Many AVRs feature additional, line-level output channels. What is normally a 7.1 or 5.1.2 channel AVR, for example, may have line-level outputs for 9.1 or 7.1.2 channels. This means that simply by adding a dedicated power amplifier, or two, you get easy access to those extra channels of sound. Extra channels equal extra immersion and are especially noticeable when upgrading to Dolby Atmos / DTS:X.

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More advice & knowledge

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