HiFi and Home Cinema Integration
Gone are the days when you’d have a great sounding home cinema, but for critical music listening you’d have a separate system for Stereo. When we formed HiFi Cinema over 20 years ago (yes really!), we had the concept of bringing high-end Stereo principles into the Home Cinema arena. This is still the backbone of our philosphy, however there are different ways of going about it. With an unlimited budget you’d of course go for the best possible equipment for your cinema system, that would sound as good playing stereo music as anything else. Streaming music and Vinyl playback, would just be two more of the sources available in the system.
What we’ve found over the years is that there is most often a focus of budget towards the stereo playback, and that this is significantly less for the remaining channels in a cinema system. Here’s where we go for a great quality Stereo system, using a unity-gain input to allow it to be the front left and right channels of the cinema system, meaning the Stereo system is not compromised, and it enhances the cinema system. A typical simplified Schematic would be as in the image below:
Joining the HiFi and Home Cinema worlds…
The best of both worlds
With a Setup similar to the diagram above, you really can have the best of both. Quality stereo is independant of any processing in the video environment, so sounds as good as it can. Also the Cinema system qulaity is improved as its power supply doesn’t have to work so hard as the front channel power is driven by the Stereo.It really is win-win.
This is the design philosophy we’ve incorporated in a number of projects… See the following couple of examples:
- High-end HiFi and Cinemascope screen
- Top-end HiFi and Home Cinema
One press does it all
In the past we have used Logitech Harmony programmable remotes to simplify controlling these systems, however these have some limitations, not th eleast of which is that they are not manufactured any more. There are a few alternatives, but generally these want to control things via Infra-Red remote codes, which limits their applicability. With the advent of Digital streaming ,where the Stereo system might not have a straight forward IR control to it, coming up with a unified control system can be a bit of a challenge. There are a number of systems out there which do this at a varety of price points, and the one we’ve gone with is RTI Corp.
One of the RTI remotes (left) is able to control all of your Stereo and Home Cinema devices with a simple one button press – e.g. “Watch Sky” which switches everything on, and sets the correct inputs then presents you with the controls appropriate to watching Sky in this case. It means you don’t need to remember what connects to where and have to juggle half a dozen remote controls.
These systems can be expanded to control a whole home if required, and form the basis of a Smart Home controlling everything and anything that is possible to be controlled… User interfaces can be a regular looking remote (as left), in-wall fixed touch screens, or as an App on a tablet or phone, giving you protability around the home.
There’s even control via voice command, though we’ve found this is still a bit quirky, we’re sure it’s capabilities will only get better as the technology improves.
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Gone are the days when you’d have a great sounding home cinema, but for critical music listening you’d have a separate system for Stereo. When we formed HiFi Cinema over 20 years ago (yes really!), we had the concept of bringing high-end Stereo principles into the Home Cinema arena. This is still the backbone of […]