How do I test a home cinema?


The only way you can be certain that you’ll be buying the best picture and sound quality you can afford is by trusting your own eyes and ears to guide you. You’ll be surprised how clear the differences are between similarly priced systems. Please put our systems and those of our competitors to the test –

Here are a few suggestions that will make choosing the best system for you easier:

  • Ask for a clear break down of the cost of all audio and video components
  • Add the cost of any specialist room design and treatment
  • Ask for a typical price of installation for a total installed system price
  • Compare a few of the same Blu Rays on every system – see below
  • Make a note of the cost v quality of the audio and video systems separately

Recommended Test Material

Here are a few reference quality Blu Rays that will reveal the flaws in any system.

Seabiscuit – You don’t have to be a horse lover to appreciate this terrific, feel good movie. The lighting, editing and camerawork on this disc combine to help recreate the mood of America in the wake of prohibition. While the horse racing shot in strong sunlight will flatter any video system, this is a film that really warrants the biggest and best projection system and surround sound you can buy!

Master & Commander – This recording is well known amongst audio enthusiasts for its exceptional soundtrack. The opening scenes with the gun crew are below decks is a great example of how surround should complement the story line rather than fighting to impress. The fight scenes with 18 pounder canon being fired at close quarter should create a truly memorable experience.

Fantasia 2000 – We highly recommend this disc for its superb soundtrack as reproducing the sound of a full orchestra or jazz ensemble is so revealing of a systems faults.

While any home cinema should be able to play loud, most become boomy and confused when trying to reproduce music of this calibre.

David Foster & Friends – While a good projector should be able to reproduce the texture and grain of film, it should be equally adept at photographic quality, digital content. Most contemporary concerts released on Blu Ray look stunning and this one if no different. What makes this disc standout is its wide range of great performances from artist such as Michael Bubble, Boz Scaggs and Kenny G, making it a great disc for testing both sound and vision.

Also try Zulu – This stereo recording shows just how tremendous Blu Ray is at bringing classic movies to life. The picture from the 70mm print is quite remarkable which makes watching this old favourite on a great projection system a completely different experience.

Open Range – If you want to test a systems dynamics, there’s simply no better movie soundtrack. The gunfight at the end of the movie will test your system to destruction with the crack of rifles and the show stopping shotgun finale.