May 20, 2010
| by Tom LeBlanc
When Glenn brought in Shapiro from Audio Video Intelligence, however, the home theater was significantly upgraded. “He was right about cables,” Glenn says. “He told me that he thinks I’m experiencing some [performance] loss and said let me come in and swap out the cables.”
Shapiro put in AudioQuest HDMI cables along with power protection by Monster Cable and Glenn says he can see and hear the difference. “I always like to make sure Glenn has the proper technology,” he says.
“We looked around for a 1080p projector, a great Blu-ray player and a receiver that was networkable and also to match the video processing for the projector and the Blu-ray player.” He chose a Sony STR-DA 6400 ES Series Home Theater Network AV Receiver and a Sony BDP-S5000ES Blu-ray Player to match the Sony ES 1080p projector.
Shapiro sold Glenn on the Sony components, in part because, he was sold on them himself by Neal Manowitz, director for the Sony Home Audio and Video division. Shapiro says the receiver has “incredible power.” He likes the Blu-ray player, “because they separate the audio boards from the video boards within the chassis; the entire cage of the disc drive is vacuum sealed so no dust gets in there. For a Blu-ray player, it’s heavy, like 40 pounds,” he says. “So we put these three components together as a match, which is what Sony recommended to get the utmost performance.”
Family Movie Night
Still, Glenn is proud of the base-level work he did on the theater. “One thing I was smart enough to do in planning it was I got these tubes across here and you can get into all of the panels,” he says, pointing to the drop ceiling panels.
“[Shapiro] just got in here, rewired everything and changed everything around for us. The shell was here along with the beautiful South American mahogany [baseboards].”
Even with the adjacent pool room and bar, which is complete with Niles in-ceiling speakers, Glenn’s home theater is often converted into a family room. His 7-year-old son loves watching movies and playing Nintendo Wii or Sony PlayStation 3 on the big screen — although “he’s starting to get into watching sports with me,” Glenn says.
Meanwhile, after a week of watching 50-plus games, Glenn likes converting his sports-viewing room into a family theater. “There are nights when I’d much rather sit here and watch a movie with my son, but I put that off usually until Friday night. We do movie night in here every Friday with the kids. We strike up the popcorn machine and they pick a movie.”
Glenn uses DirecTV for its NFL Sunday Ticket and takes advantage of its on-demand movie library to watch movies in 1080p.
Since the family uses the system a lot, Shapiro says Audio Video Intelligence’s biggest priority was to make it as easy to use as possible. He converted it to Control4 because the control platform Glenn has been using was too complicated. “My wife couldn’t use it,” Glenn recalls. “I could, but she would call me and say I can’t use this damn thing.”
As an extra precaution, Glenn now has a hand-held, super-simple Control4 SR-250 remote to back up the touchscreen tablet. His kids generally use the hand-held model.
From the sounds of it, though, they’ll soon be using a new iPad to control the theater — that is, until Glenn gets yet another call from his installer and decides to adopt the next cool technology.