Home Theater Design



AccuCal AV is here to help you make the best decisions on audio/video purchases and design decisions. Because of our engineering, ISF video calibration and THX audio calibration work in many homes, post production facilities and commercial venues we are exposed to a wide range of equipment and know what really delivers value.

AccuCal AV’s service will focus your budget in areas you may not have considered or save you considerable expense by purchasing equipment that is less marketing hype and more performance oriented. We sell no product which makes our advice unbiased by equipment sales.

This service is customized to your needs and budget and can include any of the following:

Equipment Selection

Considerations include room size, room lighting, room function, seating requirements, viewing preference (sports, movies, games…), budget, listening preferences (music, TV, movies), flexibility, automation needs, sound listening levels, equipment reliability and aesthetics. Benefits include:

  • Getting the right equipment for your situation
  • Better performing equipment for lower or similar cost
  • Avoiding equipment with durability problems
  • Avoiding equipment with severe software bugs

For example if you are not careful you may have a projector that is too dim or too bright for your application. Screen selection along with projector choice are significant factors in determining if the theater is going to function well. Here is a document of mine that provides guidance on selecting a projection screen as an example of the quality of these services.

This service is billed on an hourly basis. The cost will vary depending on how prepared you are and the complexity of your situation. Payment is typically made with PayPal. The cost ranges from as low as $25 to about $150.

Room Acoustics

Your room acoustics design will be based on your budget and use of the room. The tools that can be used are either simple calculation methods, 3D computer modeling and/or on site measurements before and after installation. All designs will have specified performance characteristics that can be measured. The design acoustical parameters will be based on desirable room sound performance characteristics from Dolby and personal experience. Without this you may be installing too much, too little or the wrong type of sound treatment in your room.

The following is an example of our design capabilities. The first image shows 63Hz room bass response in an AccuCal AV room design without any bass traps and a single speaker with no subwoofer. The smoother the response the closer to green the color is. Orange and red indicate areas where the bass levels are very high.Room Modes in AccuCal Room


The following image shows 63Hz room bass modes in a room design (golden ratio) following common design practices with a single speaker and no subwoofer. Note the lack of uniformity of bass response in multiple sections of the room. This is what happens in most home theaters, but it does not have to be the case.Room Modes in Golden Ratio Room

Benefits from this service include:

  • Improved dialog intelligibility.
  • Improved surround effect.
  • Improved sound quality.
  • Room acoustics that match your budget and use.
  • Low cost options that can deliver dramatic improvements with budgets as low as $200-$300 for consulting and treatment products.
  • A design or verification of performance based on measurements in your home is available.

This service is billed on an hourly basis. The cost will vary depending on the level of detail you desire and the complexity of your situation. Payment is typically made with PayPal. The cost for these services range from as low as $50 to about $400.

Room Layout

It is important to locate the equipment properly so it will work as intended. It is also key to know that elements of the room will not interfere with the picture or sound quality to obtain the best room layout.

Design Review

Individual theater designers have their strengths and weaknesses. It is valuable to get a second opinion before the theater is constructed. I have found numerous expensive mistakes with many other designs that have been corrected in the review stage before the design was finalized. This process only requires a few hours to complete and insures your system will function as intended and frequently reduces the cost as well. Common improvements include:

  • Better positioning of speakers and seating
  • Reduced cost of acoustic treatment
  • Better performing equipment for lower or similar cost
  • Avoiding equipment with durability problems
  • Avoiding equipment with severe software bugs

This service is billed on an hourly basis. The cost will vary depending on the complexity of your situation. Payment is typically made with PayPal. The cost for this service ranges from as low as $50 to about $150.

Equipment Experience:

  • Displays: Front Projection (CRT, DLP, LCD, LCoS, SXRD), Rear Projection (CRT, DLP, Laser, LCD, LED, SXRD, LCoS), Direct View (CRT, LCD, LED, OLED, Plasma)
  • Sources: Antennas, Blu-Ray, Cable, Computers, DVD, D-VHS, HD-DVD, Laser Disc, Satellite, Streaming Video, Video Scalers, VHS, SDI Post Equipment, Pro Cinema Cameras
  • Display Manufacturers: Anthem, BenQ, Brillian, Clarity Video Wall, Epson, Fujitsu, Insignia, Hitachi, JVC, Marantz Mitsubishi, NEC, NEC Video Wall, Optoma, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, RCA, Runco, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Sim2, Sony, Toshiba, TruVue, Vizio Video Processor Manufacturers: Algolith, Anthem, Crystalio, DVDO, Lumagen, Onkyo, SpectraCal
  • Speakers: Acapella, Acoustech, ADS, Adam Audio, Aerial Acoustics, Angstrom Loudspeakers, Artcoustic, Artison, Ascend, ATC, Atlantic Technology, Audio Physic, Axiom, Bang & Olufsen, BG Corp, B&W, Bose, Boston Acoustics, Braun, Canton, Crystal Audio, Dali, Danley, DCM, Definitive Technology, Dunlevy, Dynaudio, Eben, Elac, Electro-Voice, era, EMP Tek, Energy, Focal, Gedlee, Genesis, Genelec, GoldenEar, Guru Audio, Hales, Infinity, Jamo, JBL, JMLab, JTR, Kaiser Acoustics, KEF, Klipsch, Legacy Audio, M&K, Magnepan, Martin Logan, MBL, McIntosh, Mission, Mirage, Monitor Audio, Niles, NHT, Norh, Onix, Paradigm, Parts Express, Pioneer, Polk, ProAc, PSB, Raidho, RBH, Revel, Rockport Technologies, Ruark, Salk, Seaton Sound, Selah, Snell, Sonus Faber, Sonance, Sony, Sunfire, SVS, Tekton, Thiel, Totem, Triad, Triangle, Vandersteen, Vienna Acoustics, VMPS, Von Schweikert, Wilson Audio, Wisdom Audio, Yamaha, Zu Audio
  • Subwoofers: Aerial Acoustics, Angstrom Loudspeakers, Atlantic Technology, Axiom, B&W, Bose, Boston Acoustics, Cabasse, Crystal Audio, Danley, Dayton, Definitive Technology, Elemental Designs, Energy, EPIK, era, Funk Audio, Genelec, Hsu, Inifinity, James, Jamo, JBL, JL Audio, JTR, Klipsch, M&K, Martin Logan, McIntosh, Mirage, MJ Acoustics, Monitor Audio, MTX, Onix, Onkyo, Paradigm, Parts Express, PSB, Polk, REL, Revel, Rythmic, Seaton Sound, Snell, Sony, Sunfire, SVS, Talon Audio Technologies, Tekton, Triad, Velodyne, Von Schweikert, Yamaha
  • Preamplifiers: Acurus, ADA, Alpine, Anthem, Aragon, Arcam, Audio Control, B&K, Bel Canto, Blue Sky, Bryston, Cary, Classé, Datasat Digital, Denon, EAD, Emotiva, Golden Theater, Halcro, Integra, Krell, Lexicon, Marantz, Mark Levinson, McIntosh, Meridian, Moon, Onkyo, Outlaw, Parasound, Primare, Proceed, Sherbourn, Sony, Sunfire, Theta Digital, Yamaha
  • Receivers: Arcam, Anthem, B&K, Bang & Olufsen, Bose, Crestron, Denon, Harman Kardon, Integra, JVC, Marantz, Onkyo, Outlaw, Panasonic, Pioneer, Rotel, Samsung, Sherbourn, Sony, Sunfire, Yamaha
  • Amplifiers: Acurus, Adcom, Anthem, Aragon, Arcam, Artcoustic, B&K, Behringer, Bel Canto, Bryston, Butler Audio, Cary, Citation, Classé, EAD, Clayton Audio, Crown, Dartzeel, Earthquake, Emotiva, Golden Theater, Hafler, Halcro, Harmon Kardon, Krell, Lexicon, Marantz, McIntosh, Merrill, Audio, Moon, Music Fidelity, NAD, NHT, Outlaw, Parasound, Proceed, PS Audio, QSC, Rogue Audio, Rotel, Spectron, Sunfire, Theta Digital, Wyred 4 Sound, Yamaha
  • Equalizers/DSP: Anti-ModeTM (DSpeaker), ARC, Ashly, Audyssey, Behringer, Classe, Denon, DBX, Dirac, Elemental Designs, Emotiva, EMO-Q, Krell, MCACC, miniDSP, R-DES (Onix), QSC, Rane, Revel, RoomPerfect, SVS, Symetrix, Triad, Trinov, Velodyne, Yamaha, YPAO

THX Certified Home Theater Technician II