Is Home Theater Coming Back?

  • Barco Orion home theater projector

The traditional home theater market served by the custom install community has not been a very happy place for a long time as the great recession really was not good for business.  But new signs of life are now emerging to suggest a turnaround may indeed be underway or possible in the near term.

One of the key indicators is the involvement of new and major players:

  • For the first time, Christie Digital has launched a new Home Entertainment Division with a range of 1-chip and 3-chip DLP projectors plus new flat panels, audio and control solutions.
  • Barco has re-entered the cinema space offering a cinemascope 21:9 aspect ratio projector called Orion.
  • IMAX is creating two home theater solutions for the first time.  The Private Theater initiative basically features a smaller scale but multi-million-dollar IMAX theater in your home with a second initiative aimed at much lower price points.

At the 2014 CEDIA EXPO, there was a lot of fresh energy and enthusiasm as well as new products.  The emergence of UHD/4K is going to be a big trend for this segment with new projectors from Digital Projection, Sony, Epson, Wolf Cinema and others on display.

Barco Orion projector

Barco Orion projector

Audio has always been a key element for this market as well and the Dolby Atmos solution is bringing new motivation for resellers and buyers alike.  These systems can use 12 to 20 speakers all individually controlled to deliver sounds that can come from nearly any direction in the room including from overhead.  Manufacturers of audio amplifiers, AV receivers and other gear have responded with a host of new equipment to support this format.

In addition, IMAX is going to introduce a new 12-track audio solution for their theaters that we had a chance to listen to on a recent visit that provides the same sound placement capability as the Atmos solution.  Don’t be surprised to see this implemented in their home theater solutions as well.

And the rebound may not be limited to the North American market.  A recent meeting with a laser supplier for projection systems we learned that their main custom is developing these projectors to serve the emerging home theater market in China.

It is clear many of these companies also see a rebound in the works as they are investing in new products and services.  Maybe it is time that your company paid more attention to this market.  Contact us if you think we can help you figure this out.


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About the Author: Chris Chinnock

Chris Chinnock the founder and president of Insight Media. His areas of focus include the 4K ecosystem, laser displays, 3D/Light Field/Holographic displays, advanced imaging technology (HDR, HFR, WCG), VR/AR/MR and emerging technologies and products in the broadcast, consumer electronics, ProAV and the display industries.