North Carolina-based retailer Audio Advice has developed a free interactive 3D design tool for modelling an “acoustically correct” home theater system, known as Home Theater Designer. The tool, which uses algebraic algorithms, sets out to optimize both the viewing and listening environment in the home and adopts modelling to include speakers, displays and seating. The tool also enables users to set their room dimensions and then answer key questions to create a three-dimensional rendering of their room in real-time and “at a fraction of the time and cost of the traditional planning experience.”

The Audio Advice Home Theater Designer can be used for any AV environment, whether a dedicated home theater, living room, family media room or man cave. The designer asks the user to enter room dimensions and then answers questions regarding number of seats, whether a TV or PJ is used, the desired screen size, number of speakers etc.

If you change your setup during the process, the program will adjust to give guidance as to whether the changes will work. A user can also opt to see the system from the viewpoint of their seating position to visualize and simulate real life. A finished report with exact speaker locations, screen size and dimensions is prepared for the user.

“People need resources when it comes to designing their entertainment set ups. The popularity of DIY home design software gives everyday people the power to take on projects on their own. The magic of this tool is that if you feel good with your report, you can take on your install; if you need additional help, our service team can guide you through deeper solutions; or if you want to hand it off for full installation, we can do that too,” said Audio Advice CEO Scott Newnam. “In a year that is falling short on gifts, this is our gift to anyone who wants to explore a better at-home entertainment experience.”

The Audio Advice Home Theater Designer tool is live today and free to use.

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Martin Dew

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John Dirk

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This is a great idea and I was happy to take it for a spin. Maybe it's still in beta but it allowed only basic configuration based on room size, projector vs TV and screen size and then made broad and mostly inaccurate assumptions. If the assumptions cause the tool to make recommendations or offer comments, they are displayed right over the room layout, preventing you from taking a close look at the rendering, which kind of defeats the purpose.

Again, it's a good starting point but would have to collect much more specific information to be truly useful as anything other than a marketing tool. For example, how can the system tell me my speakers are too wide without even knowing what type of speakers I am using? How can it know that my ceiling speakers are too close to the wall when it never even asked about their position and only knows that I have them.
 
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