A while back, Amy Madden—Draper’s Residential Market Manager—shared with me a goofy online video called “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater.” No, seriously … it was a Goofy video. As in Walt Disney.

How_to_HT_Goofy2This hilarious animated short starts—as I imagine many home theatre installs start—on the day of the “big game” with a case of envy at the neighbors’ new home theatre system. So it’s away to the local electronics retailer to load up on every gadget and the biggest screen available.

No part of the DIYer’s experience escapes lampooning. Following the purchase of equipment just because it’s the biggest or newest, there’s the long wait for delivery, the unpacking of everything, the mountain of cable connections to be made, speakers to be mounted—but first, Goofy needs to get that darned cable out of its packaging!

Once it’s finally all done, Goofy is faced with the prospect of watching the big game on a system so oversized for his room that the entire house is in danger of going up in smoke when he turns it all on. In the end, Goofy winds up with an immersive theatre experience for Game Day…but perhaps a little TOO immersive.

One-person home cinema?

One-person home cinema?

I love this video because it is very funny, but behind the humor is an underpinning of truth. How many bad installs have we seen where the end user simply went to a “big box” store and bought all the shiny new stuff that the salespeople were trying to get out the door that week? Or mounting and placement scenarios ranging from the silly to the just plain dangerous?

What Goofy’s experience underlines for me is the importance of planning, and working with a professional AV dealer and installer, to get not just the most immersive experience, but the most perfectly immersive experience.

Ah-that's better! Design & Installation: Valley Home Theater & Automation, Dublin, California. Photography: Bruce Schneider, Oakland, California.

Ah-that’s better! Design & Installation: Valley Home Theater & Automation, Dublin, California. Photography: Bruce Schneider, Oakland, California.

That’s why we at Draper put so much emphasis on our online planning tools, such as the Projection Planner, to help dealers and end users find the perfect solution that will last. Draper’s Projection Planner provides the levels of sophistication and accuracy necessary to not only calculate projection system brightness, but also system contrast. Using InfoComm’s PISCR standard as a baseline, the Projection Planner walks the designer through a series of precise questions—including seating distance, image size, the type of information being projected; ambient light levels at the screen and in the room; and the projector’s format, lumens, contrast ratio, and throw distance—to build a complete system profile. The Projection Planner then calculates system brightness and contrast, and recommends specific projection viewing surfaces that will perform best in actual room conditions.

You’re on your own as far as getting those cables out of their pesky packaging, though.

If you’ve never used our Projection Planner, click here to give it a try! It’s free to use, but you must register for our Pro Portal.

Meanwhile, you can click here to watch the video.

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