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Home Theater- From Start to Finish

If you’re looking for someone to manage your project from start to finish, giving you more time to relax and enjoy the result, there’s no better place than Barrett’s Technology Solutions. A client who had done business with Barrett’s in the past, returned to their store when he was in the middle of remodeling his basement. “He wanted us to install a personal theater, not just a media room,” remembers Mark Folkers, Project Administrator. “He had seen our showroom and knew he wanted a ‘statement’ theater, but was looking for our guidance in designing it.” The Process The first step in the process involved a walkthrough of the space where Barrett’s made recommendations on what could be done. The client then came back to the store for a demonstration of a custom theater room. “When they saw the presentation,” Folkers adds, “they said, ‘We have to have that.’” Once the client had a clear vision for what the theater would be, it was time for Barrett’s to meet with the company in charge of the remodel. “We reviewed the builder’s plans, talked about the requirements for electrical service, the riser design, lighting and other design issues for the theater,” Folkers states. Barrett’s project management team kept in close contact with the remodeler. When the room was completed and painted, Barrett’s came in to integrate the electronics, complete the programming, and install the acoustic treatments. The Room The entire room is treated with acoustic sound panels. The first function of these is to optimize the acoustics of the room to enhance the performance of the speakers. A home theater isn’t...

THE JOY OF MEDIA ROOMS

When Bill Black was first introduced to the concept of integrating a media room into his home in S. Barrington, Illinois, he admittedly had no idea what that entailed. Twelve months later, Bill has not only remodeled his family room into a media room but has helped Barrett’s Home Theater redefine their concept of what applications that encompasses. Over the years, Barrett’s Home Theater Chicago has custom installed hundreds of home theaters. However, in addition to installing home theaters and educating consumers about the evolving world of technologies, the staff at Barrett’s Home Theater is now educating consumers about media rooms and the difference between a home theater and a media room. On average, home theaters are usually darker spaces with assembled seating revolved around flat screen televisions often with insulated walls and surround sound systems located away from the nosiest parts of the home. These are usually installed in basements. The hottest televisions in these home theaters are Samsung flat screens with B&W speakers that play back every sound imaginable and enhance the audio experience. By contrast, the recent media room designed at the Black residence was located within close range of the kitchen where mom and dad can keep tabs on what their kids are engaged in, albeit computers, television viewing, iPods, or Blu-ray movies. According to Jay Johnson, architect for many of Barrett’s designs, “Keeping the media room centrally located makes the most sense in order to keep all the wiring at the shortest distance. Some media control is affected or limited by the length of wiring or cabling, so this makes the most sense. However,...

Samung LED LCD TV Technology

What’s the latest craze in flat screen televisions this spring at Barrett’s Home Theater Chicago? Introducing the new 6000, 7000, and 8000 series flat screen panels which use a new edge lit LED technology. The definition of LED is: Light emitting diodes that let electricity pass in only one direction emitting visible light when electricity is applied, much like a light bulb. When many LEDs are side-by-side, they can create pictures, such as the scrolling red LED signs found everywhere. The LED flat screen televisions deliver better picture quality with an ultra-slim design, and are eco-friendly. The series carried in the showroom is white LEDs resulting in a television that is considerably less expensive than a television that uses a RGB value (red, green and blue LEDs). These flat screen televisions at Barrett’s Home Theater also consume up to 40% less power. Rob Lubas, store manager at Algonquin’s Barrett’s Home Theater states “I think the new Samsung LED backlit LCDS are a great product. Not only are they some of the sleekest and sexiest TV’s I have ever seen, they have great picture quality to compliment them.” Customers biggest complaint over the years with regular LCD’s televisions has been that the colors don’t look as good as they do on plasma’s flat screen television. Rob’s solution, “With this new LED backlighting system Samsung has bridged that gap to rival color saturation and black levels that in the past were unheard of from LCD television products. And probably the best news for the end user is that they consume 40% less energy than traditional LCD’s. Seeing is believing!” Along with...

The New Age of Flat Screen Television

Everything changed on Nov 4th 1964. That was the night America was introduced to the Beatles as they performed on the Ed Sullivan Show. I was moving and grooving in Dallas, Texas to the rhythms of “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” while staring at a small, boxy, black and white television with rabbit ears. It was the same black and white television my family watched I Love Lucy and The Marx Brothers on years before. Over the next decade, televisions got larger, and after Dorothy landed in Munchkin Land, we all had to make sure those larger TVs were in color.  In the nineties, characters like ‘Tim the Tool-man Taylor’ displayed their masculinity by disappearing into their garages to watch portable televisions as they tuned-up old hotrods. Crowding around a small black and white TV with rabbit ears is a memory of the distant past. These have been replaced by a new generation of TVs and TV enthusiasts who choose to bring together whole neighborhoods to show off their big screens for sporting events. Brian Perreault, General Manager of Barretts Home Theater Chicago, has witnessed the advent of many new technologies: “It is not as simple as plugging in a television anymore. There are some installation applications where older products such as CRT or DLP televisions simply would not work.” According to Perreault, “Clients no longer want bulky TVs.  They want flat panel televisions that open up the room. In the past, if you wanted a big screen you were forced to look at a big box television, sometimes coupled with a chucky piece of furniture to accommodate...

Barrett’s Technology Solutions Networking Power

Barrett’s Technology Solutions has been a member of Home Theater Specialist of America (HTSA) for ten years. Consisting of retail and custom installation specialists across America, HTSA has provided the entire team the ability to network several times a year in all facets of business operation to determine best business practices by attending education forums, conferences, and online web casting. In addition, because HTSA is a consortium of buyers, our Director Richard Glikes, is able to ensure purchasing power in the marketplace. Last year, Joe Barrett, president and owner, and I had the opportunity to visit with several of our HTSA partners in their perspective cities including Seattle and Dallas. We saw firsthand how the custom installation design centers and retail home theater stores integrated several technologies for home and office use. “Because the audio/video and technologies industry is changing so rapidly, networking among business owners is critical, especially in these challenging times.” states Joe. Our staff from sales consultants to custom installers and programmers are provided ample opportunity through professional training to continue their education to provide the customer with the latest and most timely information to meet their needs. According to John Cook, Project Manager for Barrett’s Home Theater Chicago, “Our custom installation team and programmers are CEDIA (Custom Electronics Design & Installation Association) trained and certified. The advanced education for the management team through HTSA sponsored educational forums enhances the shopping experience for the customer because the staff knows the business at all levels.” In addition most staff has attended some or all of the following training: B&W UK Factory Tour Stewart Filmscreen Factory Training Lutron...