Welcome to the new normal. Thanks to sheltering in place, social distancing and business closures, we are all spending much more of our time inside our homes. As a result of all of this staying at home, the audio-video industry is booming. Homeowners want faster internet, larger screens, more channels…and Troy Hanson and his team at Hanson Audio Video can hardly keep up.
“Connectivity is more important than ever,” Hanson, owner of the company he started in 1999, explains. “If anyone has lost their job due to this pandemic, they should look into the construction industry. I know of companies with over year-long back logs. People are stuck at home, so they want to be comfortable.”
Theatre closed? No problem.
Luckily one Cincinnati homeowner completed her home-theatre renovation last year. Hanson was introduced to her through Doni Flanigan, an interior designer who was working to renovate the lower level of the home. While Flanigan is a master of materials, fabrics and color; he knows Hanson is the expert of what’s happening behind the scenes.
“We do a 3D CAD design of the room to scale, because we know what seating will work best in the space, we know the best layout of the room for optimal viewing and audio; but then we turn it over to Doni for the finishes,” Hanson says. “Our work is behind the scenes.”
Where the magic happens
And there is a lot going on behind those fabric panels. Hanson works with a company that tests fabrics for their sound capabilities, and wall material is selected for the best sound quality. There are also foam panels behind all of the fabric panels in the room. And that’s just for the sound quality.
When Hanson sat down with the homeowner for what he calls a “Dream Session,” she had an existing, out-dated system she wanted replaced; but she had no idea of the capabilities available today. “We gave her a 160-inch screen with an 8k projector,” Hanson describes. “4k technology is eight million pixels. This is four times that. It is literally like looking through a window into whatever you’re watching.”
The homeowner agrees, “Sometimes the movies look like they’re in 3D.”
As for the theater’s name, Starlite, the homeowner’s son selected the name because of the twinkle light detail on the ceiling that looks like stars.
Photos by Dawn M. Smith