The trend for home cinema continues to flourish despite the economic slowdown
In the world of home cinema ownership, Pulse are the go-to consultants. Just as one might choose an interior designer or landscape architect to improve one’s wallpaper or align herbaceous borders, when considering a cinema installation or upgrade, Pulse act as Yoda for support, technical know-how and creative concepts.
Mike Beatty, Chief Executive Officer of Pulse, shared some of the current trends with me, beginning by dispelling the myth that a home cinema is the lair of the bachelor. On the contrary, he elucidates: “95% of our customers are couples, choosing the cinema for the family to enjoy. Home cinema is definitely no longer perceived as Dad’s toy, our business is to create beautiful cinema designs and this includes choosing fabric for chairs, bespoke colour-schemes… It is a family decision. People often think home cinema is just for watching films, but they are awesome for watching music events or even playing console games.”
With installations starting at around £15K (going up to around £1.5 million) Mike tells us that whilst basement and garage conversions are still a popular choice, cinemas in log cabins in the garden are also on the up rise. The slick choice for city dwellers is the ‘flex cinema’; a beautiful and super-luxe living space which turns into a cinema at the touch of a button. Think artwork covering the screen, seats rising from the floor… it’s sophisticated stuff.
Mike says: “There’s not a more enthralling experience than spending the evening with friends and family watching the latest blockbuster movie on your the big screen within your very own dedicated cinema. But what if the space doesn’t allow for rows of Fortress Cinema chairs and a dedicated Screen Research screen, a projector shining from a darkened ceiling, a rack of Datasat processors and power amps; all driven by a Kaleidescape movie server?”
The solution, he explains, is as mesmerising in its transition as it is in its performance. He told me: “At first glance your beautiful living room offers nothing more than a low level Japanese dining table; cushions scattered around the floor and lighting that focuses the guests’ attention on the gorgeous meal that has been served. Then, at a touch of a button, like something from a Bond movie, your beautiful living space becomes an amazing cinema. Your Lutron lights dim, the blinds silently fall from a slither in the ceiling, the hidden Runco projector and Screen drops into place and suddenly the generous Kaleidescape offering of the latest blockbuster movies, in full HD quality, appears on screen for your guests to choose from.”
A recent example of a flex cinema created by Pulse and New Land Solutions in an SW1 home even included a variable number of cinema seats; as one main sofa shifted forwards in the remote control sequence to reveal another row of leather-clad chairs that would rise from the floor – and the entire room converted from living room to movie theatre in less than one hundred seconds.
The Kaleidescape system was created to support home cinema use and their Strato player is the world’s only 4K ultra HD high dynamic range movie player. In short, if you have the ultimate home viewing spec, anything other movie player would fall below par. The system runs in sync with the Kaleidescape movie store, films are downloaded, backed up and stored in the cloud.
Interior design website Houzz also identified the flex cinema trend and suggested that when it comes to décor, you keep things dark and banish the bling. “If your living room is doubling as a home cinema, be aware of glass or shiny surfaces around the room such as picture frames, mirrors and coffee tables that can reflect the screen and create a distraction,” they told me.
Pulse’s clientele includes HNWIs, celebs and sports personalities who have really pushed the boundaries in home cinema comfort, sound and visual quality and wow-factor. Pulse work to support dealers and benefit the industry by forging relationships with film distributor giants and with CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association).
“Despite downs and ups in the economy, the home cinema market is consistently buoyant,” Mike said, adding, “in fact as a business we have doubled in size over the last twelve months”.