Manufacturers of home theater furniture and
accessories are still riding out the global recession
that saw–at least for a few years–a diminished
consumer focus on dedicated home theater spaces,
but they aren’t taking the recovery sitting down.
“When we look ahead at what the prospects that
2013 has to offer, we don’t look at which products
may make our products obsolete, we look at the
overall demand for dedicated home theaters and
how we can effectively place our products at the
forefront of this demand,” said Glen Hoffman,
founder and president of 3-D Squared.
Hoffman founded the company in 2003 after
working for a local home theater company with
a wide-format printer next door. After multiple
years of experimentation, Hoffman launched 3-D
Squared, which specializes in custom-designed
acoustic prints for home theater settings. The
company’s acoustic panels are highly adaptable,
with digital art designs created by Hoffman himself.
|3-D Squared specializes in custom acoustic prints for home theater settings, with digital art designs created by founder Glen Hoffman.|
“As an industry, unlike the electronic
components, for theater design, there’s less pressure
on the year to year transition of our products.
Specifically speaking, the underlying acoustic
materials may change, but the concept of decorative
acoustic panels remains consistent,” Hoffman said.
Recently, however, the company added home
theater seating to its offerings as well, to supply
customers with a full range of products. The
Millennium Series from 3-D Squared comes with
a steel wall hugger mechanism for longer life, and
dual motor mechanisms that allow users to recline
the footrest and back cushions independently.
“Two-thousand and twelve was a good year for
Fortress,” said Donald Wolper, president. “Many
of our projects involved significant customization of
existing products as well as completely new designs,
and I see this trend continuing.”
One such customization is a recent limited
edition of the company's JR2 Off Broadway chair
with recessed lamps built into the arms of the chair.
Wood choices include walnut, maple, cherry, and
oak, and can be stained any color to match the
other wood detail in the room. In addition to the
built-in lamps, a light strip under the arm base
subtly illuminates the way.
|Fortress recently offered a special limited edition of its JR2 Off Broadway chairs with recessed lamps built into the arms of the chair. Fortress also offers the option for a motorized tray table, stored within the cavity of the arm of its home theater chairs.|
“The electronics that enhance the home cinema
experience keep getting better, which translates
into more home theaters,” Wolper added. “The
seating for the home theaters is also getting more
sophisticated. We are incorporating hidden tray
tables in the arms for use either as a worktable or
a food tray. Touchpanels, lights, electric and data
ports are but a few of the everyday accessories. “
In 2012, Fortress added an adjustable seat height
option, allowing an entire row of seats to be raised
up 7 inches. The control system is combined with
heavy-duty actuators to physically lift an entire row
of seats, giving added flexibility when planning
a theater for those that wish to avoid installing a
raised platform. Previously, Fortress added the
option for a motorized tray table to its home
|With two available models–a standalone, and a PC-based|
model–D-BOX’s motion controller relays motion information in real time to any D-BOX motion system, which offers three axes of movement and fits under existing single or loveseat seating.
“I believe 2013 will provide many
opportunities for companies that can build
and design what the discerning home owner or
designer really wants,” Wolper said. “Quality,
design, and engineering will be what moves
companies forward in the custom home theater
D-BOX Technologies, based in Quebec,
manufactures motion systems for home theaters,
designed to add a new dimension to the theater
experience. D-BOX motion systems can be
integrated with seats from a number of other
manufacturers–and may be installed in an existing
With two available models–a standalone, and
a PC-based model–D-BOX’s motion controller
serves as a link to a Blu-ray or DVD player,
allowing it to relay motion information in real
time to any D-BOX Motion System. The system
offers 3 axes of movement and fits under existing
single or loveseat seating. The user experiences
the full spectrum of motion: pitch, roll, heave, and
“Our growing number of partnerships with
major seating manufacturers enable more and
more movie fans to experience what D-BOX brings
to the home theater, bringing them directly into the
heart of the action,” said Mario Thibeault, account
manager, home, for D-BOX.
According to United Leather, based in Dallas,
TX, some of the new trends the company is
seeing recently include custom barstools and the
use of chaise seating in combination with theater
recliners. “Customers are always looking for new
ways to make their theater seating unique,” said
Juan Leon, president of the company.
|Adrian added new models to its PEARL line, which features precision European hardware, adjustable ventilated shelving, EZ-BACK panels, and oversized furniture glides.|
United Leather offers chaise seating in any style
and layout, with optional upgrades like memory
foam. Barstools are available in various frames and
designed to “match” the customer’s theater seating.
United Leather’s products are designed to integrate
not just into home theaters, but also the actual
living rooms and other domestic environments
within a home.
Adrian Lifestyles Furnishings recently
introduced new models in its Pearl and Victoria
lines designed to reach the high-end market. All
designs consist of multiple widths and heights,
feature precision European hardware, adjustable
ventilated shelving, EZ-BACK panels, and
oversized furniture glides for easy movement.
Cabinet doors are acoustically transparent to allow
the placement of speakers inside, and so that remote
controls may be used with the doors closed.
In the home theater market, 3-D Squared’s
Hoffman said, manufacturers and integrators will
always have to compete with other toys for attention.
“There’s that old ad that asks you: ‘do you want
the boat, the nice car, or the home theater?’ There’s
always a certain number of people who will pick the
home theater, who appreciate high-end audio,” he
said. “People understand what home theater can
do for the family–keep the kids in one place, where
you know they’re sitting still, and safe–and those
aspects of the home theater will always be there.”
Derek Dellinger is web editor for Residential
Systems and avnetwork.com.