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Friday
Sep162016

Podcast #757: Home Theater Seating

We’ve had media/projector rooms in our homes for a few years now. We’ve talked about our electronics, our content, and even some of the decorations that go into those rooms. But we haven’t really discussed seating. That’s because for many of us the seating is simply your tradition couch or recliner.

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Home Theater Seating

We’ve had media/projector rooms in our homes for a few years now. We’ve talked about our electronics, our content, and even some of the decorations that go into those rooms. But we haven’t really discussed seating. That’s because for many of us the seating is simply your tradition couch or recliner.

Going back a few years if you wanted home theater seating you had to spend a lot of money to buy seats that were designed for actual theaters. Then we saw a company at CES (2009) that was showing off seats that had electro-mechanical actuators that made them move in unison with the movie. The D-BOX seats were stuff that only the rich could afford. To seat four people with this system could easily run you over $30,000. Plus only certain movies provided the codes to actually move the seats.

Fast Forward to 2016 and the Derderian’s need a new couch in the media room so for grins we looked around at what was available. To our pleasant surprise, there is plenty available and while not cheap, it's a far cry from costing $30,000 to comfortably seat a family of four to watch your favorite movies.


Manufactures

There are plenty of manufacturers out there selling “Home Theater” seats. They range from the traditional theater style to more family style. Here is a partial list:

  • Seatcraft - Started in 1978 in California as a manufacturer of automotive seating they began selling home theater seating 2001. They have many styles and different pricepoints. Pricing ranges from $399 to over $1000 a seat. They come in different fabrics and styles. From single recliners to rows of 2,3, and 4. Options include neck pillow, tablet holder, and wine caddy. They even include in seat USB charging ports and power recline. You’ll never want to watch a movie in a theater again!

  • Lane Home Theater Seating - Lane has been around for years and the know a trend when they see one. Their home theater seating offerings are limited to a two arm recliner as well as row seating. Pricing ranges between $500 and $650 a seet. Options include power recline, in arm storage, and cool LED lights at the base of  the seats. Higher end models include USB charging.

  • Barcalounger - Founded in 1941, Barcalounger is one of the highest regarded furniture companies in the USA. Translation, you will pay for the quality, but that’s not a bad thing in our opinion. Barcalounger sells row seating that ranges in price from $600 to $1000. Power recline, USB charging, Lighted Cupholder and base are the main options available.

There are many other manufacturers including Southern Motion, Coaster, Jaymer, and Berkline selling options that include curved seating, seatbacks that flip down into consoles and storage for your remote controls. There is a style, color, and option somewhere out there that will make even the toughest aesthetics committee chairman happy.  Oh yeah! Don’t forget the seat shakers. Everyone one of the above seats can be fitted with sound shaker amp kit. There are even wireless versions that make setup simple. Now you have a reason to buy a 7.2 receiver even in a small room!

 

Multimedia Sofas

So let’s say that you are married to someone who just doesn’t like theater seating. I’m not going to mention names but Ara knows someone like that. In fact his entire family is someone like that. They just can’t seem to wrap their minds around home theater seats. They say you can’t snuggle up during a movie. I say that’s what the downstairs TV is for… but I digress.

There is a line of seating called Multimedia Sofas. These are home theater seats without the armrests in between seats. These seats come in multiple configurations including wedge and console options. Sofas, loveseats, straight, curved, and L-shape designs. Essentially like the couch you have today! But these have many of the same options as actual theater seats like USB charging, fold down console, LED lighting, power recline, and lighted cupholders on the edges or in the wedges. And yes you can add sound shaker amps! Prices range from $1000 to $2200 depending on options.


Whatever happened to D-BOX?

Well they are still around. Their seats are popular in high end theaters around the world. They still are doing well in the home theater market. Not the theaters that we own (at least most of you who listen to this show) but the theaters that you read about in Electronic Home or on AVS forum. For us, it is in the realm of possibility to spend $2500 on seating for our theaters. We’ll have to wait and see what gets approved in Ara’s family. There are three committee members who are really standing in his way right now. Stay tuned!


 

 

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Reader Comments (1)

I don't have much hope that the cable companies will let there be third party DVR type devices, since having been through cable card use and support for Clear QAM that didn't work out so well.

Boxee clashes with cable companies over encryption
https://gigaom.com/2012/02/08/boxee-fcc-clear-qam/

Just pre-ordered some (Gen2) Amazon Dots for test integrated with my Control4 home automation system, looks like its worth a try to work on voice control of my house after trying YEARS AGO.

September 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterByron S.

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