9 Awesome Acoustical Panels
Forget boring color schemes. Embed photos of your trip to Venice or a “Braveheart” poster on acoustically-treated home theater panels.
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June 11, 2010 by Tom LeBlanc

Imagine, if you will, the acoustical panels in a home theater.

You’re probably picturing something red, maybe maroon, maybe even blue.

Maybe you’re picturing that universally-used zigzaggy pattern somebody once decided was perfect for home theaters.

You’re probably not picturing a tropical beach, the streets of Venice or your favorite movies’ posters.

Cinemacoustic Solutions is looking to breathe new life in the acoustic treatment category with its Cinema Imagery Product line, which allows customers to choose an image to be embedded in their acoustic panels. (Click here to view 9 Awesome Acoustical Panels.)

They can pick their vacation photos, art prints or a gallery of Marlon Brando movie posters. The integrators pass the request along to Cinemacoustic, which ships the custom panels in three to five weeks.

Cinemacoustic isn’t alone in terms of creating crafty panels. Auralex also has some creative solutions. But the concept of turning a photo into a panel in about a month seems new.

How it Works
Jupiter, Fla.-based Atlantic Smart Technologies (AST) has already provided home theater clients with the recently-launched Cinema Imagery Product panels. Some clients went the movie poster route, says vice president and director of A/V systems design Brian Grimo.

AST has also worked with professional athletes who wanted photos of their playing careers embedded in their panels.

The great thing, Grimo says, is the Cinema Imagery Product line allows AST to provide personalized décor while “maintaining the acoustical properties that are so often overlooked in regards to the overall performance of the theater.”

The hand-crafted panels are available in 1- or 2-inch absorptive, reflective or diffusive models and are custom-made using wood frames stained in a variety of finishes. Being able to add a favorite movie scene, vacation photos or whatever clients want gives installs “limitless possibilities,” says Cinemacoustic president Leeford Waite.

Converting those possibilities to images on clients’ home theater walls is a pretty painless process, Grimo says. After determining what photos or movie posters his clients want, AST generally finds the high-resolution images online and sends either a .jpg or .tif to Cinemacoustic.

“[It] transfers the image digitally to a computer file and then transfers the image digitally to the panel,” he says. “This way we know that the artwork has been purchased by the client and can return the poster to them when we are done.”

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