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By Margot Douaihy June 25,2009
The Marriage of Form and Performance
LEADING MANUFACTURERS OFFER INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS TO FURNISH AND ENHANCE THE HOME THEATER ENVIRONMENT
How do you turn a regular room into a home theater? It takes more than popcorn and a movie poster.
To fully recreate the magic of the movies at home, custom systems installers are integrating high-performance audio/video equipment, and complimentary furniture and seating solutions. And, as display technology prices decrease, product availability is increasing, making more and more consumers eager to bring the enchantment of the cinema home. This, in turn, opens new revenue opportunities for dealers. Whether it’s a flat-screen or a projection screen coupled with a three-chip DLP projector, a dedicated viewing room is more possible now than any time in history.
| Sanus Systems’ VF5023|
From fine leather recliners, to ergonomically engineered loungers, the products of the 2008 buying season will thrill interior decorators and systems contractors alike. Leading companies such as Fortress, Bell’O, and Acoustic Innovations specialize in the design and custom manufacture of lounger seating. While Sanus Systems offers the furniture and time saving features to help dealers create complete, state-of-the-art installations.
The Science of Art
Materials and the placement of home theater furniture, chairs, as well as carpeting and architecture, can effect audio and video quality in the integrated systems environment, so it is critical for dealers to consider how to achieve the best viewing and listening environment. Tiered seating, spacing, and features such as fixed backs or motion, are top on the list.
| Bell’O’s AVS-4601HG|
But can you have optimized viewing, solid support, and the cushy comfort of sofa? Acoustic Innovations says yes. The Boca Raton, Florida manufacturer is best known as a manufacturer of home theater seating and it is also a designer and installer, too. In fact, it has its own dedicated Theater in the Home environments line which marries high-quality acoustics and the art of aesthetics. Beyond fine leather luxury, the company also supplies the CEDIA channel with Starry-Night fiber-optic ceilings, Harmony acoustic wall panels, Showcase Personal Theater Interiors, and more. New for this year are Monaco, Deco, EuroTech-additions to the popular CinemaChairs line. This brand of steel mechanisms kiln-dried wood frames are available in numerous widths and heights.
Robert Ruderman, national sales manager at Acoustic Innovations, says the new EuroTech was inspired by Italian styling and luxury. The single-needle tailoring, curved arms and back, and solid construction combine high style with cozy comfort. Also new, the Monaco CinemaChair owes design inspiration to the finest performance automobiles. So, whether your clients want a retro 1950s look, an elegant, old Silver Screen style, or an Italian auto, high-octane mood, AI has a solution.
| Bell’O recently expanded its merchandise offerings to include contemporary home theater seating and flat-panel wall mounts.|
Bell’O International is another manufacturer respected for its attention to detail and product range. “[We] offer the broadest selection of Italian designed home theater furniture, seating and flat-panel wall mounting kits in styles to fit any home theater setting,” Mitch Rubin, Bell’O stated. “...Unique, contemporary and innovative.” Bell’O International (formerly known as Bell’Oggetti) based in Morganville, New Jersey, company recently introduced its WAVS-327 espresso- finish real wood A/V cabinet, equipped with a patent-pending Bell’O Quick and Easy assembly system. It can accommodate flat-panels up to 52-inches and up to four or more A/V components and a center channel speaker. The CMS Cable Management System manages wires cleanly. Addditionally, the company expanded its offerings to include flat-panel wall mounts.
Fortress, based in Rancho Cucamonga, California, understands that in the home theater market, no two clients are alike. In this special business, the entertainment experience will be either enhanced by the correct seating or compromised by selecting the wrong seating. Fortress steps in as a trusted merchandise supplier. Though it offers numerous designs and specialty accessories, its ability to create something exclusive, in the highly custom area of home theaters is where the company excels. New products for this year from Fortress include Motorized Adjustable Seat Height that allows you to raise the seat to see above the person in front of you. Fortress president, Don Wolper, believes in giving his clients more than the top-of-the-line. “You get more than a chair when you buy from Fortress, you get the company. If you’re not satisfied, we’re not and will do what is necessary to make it right. And for a 65-year-old company to say, that is proof that we care.”
| Fortress Seating’s Motorized Adjustable Seat Height.|
Jim Wohlford, general manager of Sanus Systems, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, explained how for 2008 Sanus is offering its dealers high-quality home theater furniture plus labor-saving features.
Sanus Systems makes furniture, stands, and accessories that focus on durability and aesthetics. In major upgrades to the Component Foundations line, classic design meets modern technology. The CFHT47-CB1 can accommodate up to 46-inch plasma or LCD TV includes the VMPL50 flat-panel TV mount, a great value addition. Unique design allows speaker placement above TV and features knockouts to route and conceal wires. The patent-pending Quick Release function makes the back-panel easy to remove for quick access to cables and wires, and component swapping.
| AVS-4601HG Chic style with cable management.|
VERSATILITY, DURABILITY, AND STYLE
Bell’O International (formerly known as Bell’Oggetti) is a leading designer of luxury, ready-to-assemble (RTA) A/V furniture. Its stock lines run the gamut from contemporary metal and glass models to more traditional closed cabinetry made of real wood. Recently, Bell’O expanded its merchandise offerings to include contemporary home theater seating and flat-panel wall mounts. Bell’O now offers a full suite of products that add style to functionality and create the ultimate home theater. The company was formed in 1988 after founding President Ed Stravitz determined a need for luxury, RTA audio/video furniture, an idea that had not been conceptualized in the marketplace. This combined versatility, durability, and style make Bell’O products the ultimate complement to any home interior design. They accommodate a multitude of A/V components, including TVs, home theater systems, speakers, DVD players, stereos, and more.
| HTS-100 Maximum comfort in a fine leather recliner|
AVS-4601HG HIGH GLOSS BLACK AUDIO VIDEO SYSTEM: The angled oval sides, chrome accents, and high gloss black frame create a chic modern style that matches the latest flat-panel televisions. This sturdy, scratch resistant steel and black tempered safety glass stand will accommodate most flat-panel TVs up to 52-inches and up to four or more A/V components and a center channel speaker. There is an integrated CMS Cable Management System and enhanced ventilation.
WAVS-327 ESPRESSO FINISH WOOD AUDIO VIDEO CABINET: The classic mahogany finish wood audio video cabinet features the new patent-pending Bell’O Quick and Easy assembly system. It can accommodate most flat-panel TVs up to 52-inches and up to four or more A/V components and a center channel speaker. There are two raised panel doors for storage and two adjustable shelves. The CMS Cable Management System manages wires cleanly and extra slots allow proper ventilation.
| WAVS-327 Combining form and function|
HTS-100 HOME THEATER SEATING SYSTEM: The Bell’O HTS-100 chair prioritizes the customer’s viewing experience. The headrest is engineered to place the head at the optimal viewing position and provide the consumer with additional neck support. Created with the highest quality, hand-selected leather, the HTS-100 is supple to the touch, yet durable to withstand normal wear and tear. Additionally, the chair comes equipped with a compact recline mechanism that requires only three-inches for a full recline, as well as stainless steel cup holders for full functionality. To maximize comfort for the whole family, the HTS-100 offers buyers the option to connect to other Bell’O pieces to create a home theater sofa. Available in black or brown.
Visit www.bello.com or call 732-972-1333.
| THE VF5023 An on-wall designer unit with adjustable
Home theater furniture is constantly evolving. Today, consumers have a choice in how and where to house their TV and home theater components. Sanus Systems, a leading manufacturer of AV mounts, furniture, stands, and accessories, focuses on making high-aesthetic products to protect and enhance the performance of audio/video equipment.
COMPONENT FOUNDATIONS: Component Foundations are an expanding line of high-test, vented, cable organizing, resonance- absorbing cabinets with the beauty of natural hardwoods and contemporary design elements. New for 2008 is the CFHT47 component AV hutch. The lowprofile hutch is designed for flat-panel TVs and comes complete with a VisionMount VMPL50 mount. The hutch is built from high-quality hardwoods and real wood veneers and offers wood or smoked glass doors for the bottom cabinet. The cabinet features: ample vented storage space for components, adjustable shelves and quick-release back panels for easy cable access. The VMPL50 mount allows flat-panel TVs up to 46 inches to “float” within the hutch and offers easy tilting using patented Virtual Axis technology. Color choices include espresso and cherry. The CFHT47 is expected to ship in June.
| THE CFHT47 The new component AV hutch offers real woods and a contemporary design|
VERTICAL FOUNDATIONS: The new Vertical Foundations line of easy-to-install, on-wall furniture suspends components below a wall-mounted TV, which frees up floor space. This line has two distinct styles and four products that are expected to ship in May.
VF2012 and VF2022 are single- and double-pillar units, respectively. Both units offer easy post-installation adjustments including an inch of height adjustment on the VF2012 and an inch of height and leveling adjustments on the VF2022. Both units have adjustable glass shelves with toolfree installation. The generous wire management channels down both sides of the pillars separate wires to ensure a quality signal.
| THE VF2012 A single-pillar unit with tools-free
VF5022 and VF5023 are on-wall designer units with two and three shelves, respectively. Interchangeable back panels offer a modern look with black glass panels or wood panels for more traditional décor. These models feature easy height and lateral adjustments, a generous wire management channel, and ample space behind the units to conceal surge protection, switchers, and extra cable. Large adjustable glass shelves hold up to 75 pounds each.
Visit www.sanus.com or call 800-359-5520.
| ROYAL The ultimate in utility and convenience|
Acoustic Innovations is a leading designer, manufacturer, and installer of home theater seating and dedicated Theater in the Home™ environments. By blending the science of acoustics and the art of aesthetics, the company successfully creates comfortable, high performance media environments for their clients resulting in consistent critical industry acclaim. The company also provides a full range of products that are an integral part of today’s home theater experience that include Harmony acoustic wall panels, Unique and Custom Theater Interiors, Showcase Personal Theater Interiors, CinemaChair reclining and motorized theater seating, Starry-Night fiber-optic ceilings, and specialized theater accessories.
The CinemaChairs feature all-steel mechanisms, kiln-dried wood frames and many are available in different widths and heights. Plus, the company’s patented wall-hugger design and modular construction allow you to create almost any configuration, from free-standing chairs to curved or straight rows of any size, with optional whisper quiet Power Glide motorization.
| EUROTECH Fine Italian styling|
ROYAL MODEL: An addition to its successful CinemaChair line, the Royal design extends AI’s CinemaChair line-up to ten different recliner models. The Royal CinemaChair is available in a variety of fabric, suede, velvet, and leather grades and colors. Combinations allow individual or grouped seats, loveseats or sofas, providing the ultimate in seating flexibility. Two sizes of wedge-shaped arms allow curved seating applications with different radii. Two styles of consoles, both available in two widths, one incorporating a rollout storage bin, the other customized to fit a control panel, allow for ultimate utility and convenience. The Royal model, as well as all CinemaChair models, can be ordered with upgrade options from AI like a PowerGilde reclining mechanism, heat and massage units, and sound transducers.
CHARLETON: Designed by the expert team in Boca Raton, Florida, and built by craftspeople in its High Point, North Carolina, factory, the Charleton CinemaChair reflects the growing trend in residential interior design, blending popular styles used throughout the home with in-home private theaters. The Charleton is available in a variety of fabric, suede, velvet, and leather grades and colors. It is also available in three seat widths and three back heights, making it suitable for every member of the family. Combinations allow individual or grouped seats, loveseats or sofas, for enhanced flexibility.
| MONACO Classic elegance|
EUROTECH AND MONACO: Already shipping, the EuroTech and Monaco designs extend the CinemaChair line-up.
The EuroTech, as its name implies, is reminiscent of Italian styling and luxury. Impeccable tailoring, sinuous curved arms and back, and solid construction provide the highest level of style and comfort. The Monaco CinemaChair owes design inspiration to the finest performance automobiles. The Monaco offers solid support, cushioned comfort, and the finest single-needle tailoring available.
Visit www.acousticinnovations.com or call 800-983-6233.
A TRUE MANUFACTURER
| MOTORIZED ADJUSTABLE SEAT HEIGHT An innovative solution for more height options|
Home theater is all about enjoying a unique experience that will either be enhanced by the correct seating or compromised by selecting the wrong seating. The custom home theater deserves custom seating whether it is the design or size of the chair it should compliment the theater and augment the total theater experience. Though it offers several designs and numerous accessories its ability to create something exclusive, in the highly custom area of home theaters is where Fortress excels. As a true manufacturer with 60 years of experience, there is practically nothing Fortress cannot custom build.
MOTORIZED ADJUSTABLE SEAT HEIGHT: Innovative solutions this year include the Motorized Adjustable Seat Height where platforms become a choice, not a necessity. Not every theater has platforms, and not everybody is the same size, so the Adjustable Seat Height allows you to raise the seat to see above the person in front of you.
|POCKET ARM Theater seating with a luxurious sofa style|
POCKET ARM: Another hot new item is the Pocket Arm which takes the Retractable Arm (introduced in 2003 and offers you a choice of love seat or common arm unit) to a higher level. Now you have the benefits of theater seating but the look of a sofa. The Pocket Arm is a fully upholstered stationary housing between the backs of two chairs that accepts the Retractable Arm. Whether the arm is up or down the seating looks like a sofa with a continuous back cushion and no gaps between the backs. The Retractable Arm is upholstered in the same design as the back cushion, so when it is up, it becomes part of the back cushion.
Visit www.fortresseating.com or call 800-873-2828.