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Why Now is a Great Time to Start Planning Your Home Theater in Hinsdale

Gorgeous entrance of a recent Sound & Vision design build home theater project in Barrington Hills.

Gorgeous entrance of a recent Sound & Vision design build home theater project in Barrington Hills.

I recently watched, downloaded to the Kaleidescape Strato, Ant-Man and The Wasp in glorious 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos. It was amazing! I began thinking about the incredible level of performance we can provide today, for far less money than 10, or even 5, years ago. We can now truly deliver what the director intended in the comfort of your own home. This put a huge smile on my face. This was exactly the reason I started Sound & Vision over 25 years ago! Providing a magical experience is what we’re all about.

Pristine 4K HDR Video from classics to modern blockbusters.

Pristine 4K HDR Video from classics to modern blockbusters.

Why is now the time to plan your home theater? For the first time I can recall, there is a perfect alignment of both amazing sound with Dolby Atmos, breathtaking picture technology with 4K HDR, and plenty of available 4K HDR content. The advancements in both audio and video make it the perfect time to explore your theater options. We’d love to help you get started on planning your dream theater or providing an upgrade path for those with an existing system. We provide turn-key theaters from design, construction and the finest seating you’ve ever seen.

Immersive sound from Dolby Atmos that has to be heard to be believed.

Immersive sound from Dolby Atmos that has to be heard to be believed.

What is 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos?

4K televisions have been around for years but 4K projectors were reserved for the top end of the price range and 4K content was limited. Well both have now changed dramatically. We now have true 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range - contrast between the brightest whites and darkest blacks) projectors that start at $4,995 and 4K HDR content is everywhere with Kaleidescape and the Apple TV emerging as the content leaders. Kaleidescape has over 600 movies in 4K HDR for ultimate performance. All of your favorite original shows from Netflix and Amazon are in 4K, many with Dolby Atmos sound. iTunes also has tons of content.

Dolby Atmos employs overhead speakers as well as surrounds to immerse you in the sound. This has had a huge impact on the quality of sound and the in-home movie experience. With the addition of a couple speakers, you are enveloped in the sound like never before. This is the first major upgrade to sound we’ve had in more than a decade and it’s a massive improvement.

Let’s get started!

The Dolby Atmos Difference

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Sound moves around you in three-dimensional space, so you feel like you're inside the action. Experience how Dolby Atmos transports you from the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Dolby Atmos Redefines Your Entertainment Experience

  • Moves sound all around you

Rather than being constrained to channels, sounds can be precisely placed and moved in three-dimensional space.

  • Adds an overhead dimension

A new sensation of height immerses you in the action, creating a full audio atmosphere and realistically depicting objects moving overhead.

  • Produces breathtaking sound quality

Dolby Atmos renders everything from dialogue to quiet scenes to whirlwind action with astonishing clarity, richness, detail, and depth.

  • Creates a powerfully moving entertainment experience

It all comes together in sound that excites your senses and inspires your emotions to deliver the full impact of entertainment.

What is HDR TV (and why should you care)?

Digital Trends has a great deep dive on all things HDR and why you want it.

HDR: The basics

Contrast is measured by the difference between the brightest whites and darkest blacks a TV can display, as measured in candelas per square meter (cd/m2), known as nits. The ideal low end is completely black, or zero nits — currently only possible on OLED displays, which can turn pixels completely off. On the high end, it’s a different story. Standard dynamic range TVs generally produce 300 to 500 nits, but some HDR TVs aim much, much higher — thousands of nits even.

Multiple formats for displaying HDR are possible, but currently there are two major players: the proprietary Dolby Vision format and the open standard HDR10. Dolby was first to the party, displaying a prototype TV capable of displaying up to 4,000 nits of brightness. For a short time, Dolby Vision was essentially synonymous with HDR, but not every manufacturer wanted to play by Dolby’s rules (or pay its fees), and many started working on their own alternatives. Companies quickly realized that this could lead to madness, and many popular manufacturers, including LG, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, and Vizio, eventually agreed on an open standard called HDR10.

In April 2016, the UHD Alliance — an industry group made up of companies like Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Dolby, and many others — announced the Ultra HD Premium certification for UHD Blu-ray players. This benchmark sets some baseline goals for HDR, such as the ability to display up to 1,000 nits of brightness and feature a minimum of 10-bit color depth. Both HDR10 and Dolby Vision meet the standards set by the certification, but how the two go about it varies greatly.