How to Host the Spookiest Halloween Party with a Home AV System

Employ These AV Tips for an Unforgettable Evening 

Now that summer is behind us, not only is it time to embrace autumn but the holiday season as well. And what better holiday to kick things off than zany and spooky All Hallow's Eve? Crafting the right Halloween mood in your Baton Rouge, LA home is essential whether you want to go the cheesy route or truly terrify your neighbors. Even though the focus will be on your creepy decorations, we've all watched enough scary movies to know the sound effects are just as important!

Execute the ultimate haunted house or chilling night of entertainment by incorporating your home audio video into the mix. From spine-curling screams that terrorize anyone walking by to insidious soundtracks that leave everyone on edge, these are just some of the ways your technology provides a bag full of tricks for you to use this Halloween.

SEE MORE: FAQ: Answering Your Biggest Home Audio Video Questions

Embrace Some Motion-Activated Spooks

It all starts with the right curb appeal. The second people pass by your house, the Halloween energy should come through loud and clear. Now is the time to pull out every trick and treat in the book to create a spooktastic atmosphere outside your house. You'll want to incorporate some Jack o' Lanterns, ghosts, and witches strategically placed on your yard.

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How to Revamp Your Home Entertainment for Summer

Gain Easy Access to All Your Favorite Movies and Music

Summer is the perfect time to spend time with family and friends in your New Orleans, LA home. How can you make your space the ultimate destination? There are a few home entertainment upgrades we recommend to create the ideal hosting environment.

Outdoor entertainment is a critical component, but you'll also want to have some indoor havens for when the weather gets too hot and muggy. Embrace multi-room av solutions composed of intuitive control, high-end components, and expert installations. The features outlined below help you prep your space for summer and make your house the biggest hit on the block.

SEE MORE: Must-Have Updates for a Superior Home Theater

Dedicated Home Theater

Home theaters are a great way to bring family and friends together for movie marathons or sports events on summer nights. Enjoy the latest blockbusters on Blu-ray or streaming services within a cool, climate-controlled environment during the hottest days of the season. Recreate the cinema experience with a projector-and-screen combination and add Dolby Atmos surround sound for immersive audio. Through a multi-room av solution, easily pull up the movies and shows you want to watch via universal remotes, mobile apps, or dedicated touchpads.

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4 Ways to Make Your Home Theater Unique

Add some personality to your home theater while streamlining controls and more with these home theater design tips for Baton Rouge residents

 At Acadian Home Theater & Automation, we believe the smart technology in your home should reflect your lifestyle and needs. Nobody’s home is the same as anyone else’s, and your home automation system should be just as unique.

That principle extends to your home theater as well. Everyone has their favorite movies and genres, so your home theater should be just as personal. Coming up with ways to make your home theater stand out can be difficult, so we put together this list of tips to help Baton Rouge, LA, residents differentiate their home theater design from that of their neighbors.

SEE ALSO: Must-Have Upgrades for a Superior Home TheaterHIDDEN SPEAKERS AND TVSpeaker and home theater display technology has evolved rapidly in recent years, making it simpler to get higher performance from more smaller devices. In terms of home theater design, using smaller devices lets you take your speakers and display off the floor, freeing up floor space and removing elements that could detract from your aesthetic.

In-wall or in-ceiling speakers are popular options, which helps create a 3-D soundscape while giving you a cleaner look for your theater. As for your display, you can mount flat-screen TVs behind a retractable wall panel or install specially made furniture that hides your TV until you’re ready to watch something. Another option is to install a projector and screen, which gives you more of a theater feel as well as letting you hide your display by rolling up the screen when it’s not in use.

LIGHTING CONTROLLighting control makes your home theater easier to manage as well as providing design benefits. Lighting control systems utilize dimmers instead of on/off switches, giving you much more control over the ambiance in your home theater. Complete darkness can enhance the tension while you watch your favorite slasher movie. Alternatively, you can make things a bit brighter if you’re watching a children’s movie with your family. Lastly, lighting control lets you save time by creating and saving presets.

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Why Choose Acadian for Your Home Theater Installation?

Creating or Updating Your Home Theater? Here’s Why You Should Call Us.

At Acadian Home Theater and Automation we are proud to have earned a CE Pro Top 100 Integrator award for seven years in a row. Did you know that we are also the only winner in the entire state of Louisiana? It took a lot of dedication to get us where we are and we are happy to be the best choice for your home theater installation needs.

So, whether you want to create an entirely new home theater or update some of your AV equipment, Acadian promises a solution that will ensure exceptional service and complementary design that backs up our hard-earned industry reputation. Keep reading to see some top advantages of an Acadian home theater installation for your New Orleans, LA, home.

SEE ALSO: Introduction to Home Theaters: What You Need to Know

We’re Control4 Diamond Partners

In addition to the CE Pro recognition, Acadian Home Theater & Automation is also recognized as the only Diamond Control 4 Dealer within the state of Louisiana. This award honors those who exemplify excellence and dedication to the custom installation channel by Control4, a reputable leader in residential and commercial automation systems.

We Create A Plan With You And For You

The best-laid strategy starts by listening to you and what you want from your home theater, not blindly following the trends we’ve noticed in the industry. Accordingly, we then educate our clients about what works for their particular home theater and how we can help bring that dream to life.

Then, we build a proven, practical solution that meets our client’s every need using a robust, easy-to-operate system that home theater users will love. We don’t stop there though! After we’ve laid the installation framework, we show you how to use each one of the systems and provide continuous support over time: We check in with you regularly to make sure that your systems are still performing as expected and answer any questions you have.

We Work With The Details

We don’t think your home theater is complete without the extra features that enhance your comfort, such as the plush, comfy furniture, the snack bar, popcorn machine, beanbag chairs, video gaming accessories -- anything to create the desired effect.

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Video Projection Still a Top Option

Video projection technology has really come into its own over these past several years.  TV screen sizes have grown to 80 inches and larger but so have their prices.  More often than not, the choice for home theaters is still video projection.  And with the picture quality so amazing, why not?

But lets consider the homeowner who decides he wants to retrofit his existing home with large-screen format TV viewing.  A typical floor plan doesn't include a spacious but windowless room which could accommodate a home theater.  So the homeowner wants to use their family room for large-format TV viewing.  In that case, the most typical set-up will be installing a drop-down projection screen.  You'll have a few factors to consider in making your choice of projectors and screens.  Here's where you need your professional A/V installer on-board.

Briefly, factors to consider are: (1) screen placement in relation to seating; (2) screen size in relation to room dimensions; and (3) the amount of both fixed and ambient lighting which might reduce picture clarity.  There are other factors, to be sure, not the least of which will be the kind of sound dynamics the homeowner wants to achieve.  But for this discussion, we're just considering the viewing aspect.

The first two factors are simply a matter of ratios and proportions.  But the third factor--balancing the brilliance of the picture with existing room lighting--is the main dance.  The balance to strike is between a projector with proper luminosity and a screen with the optimum reflection surface.

Check out the photo included here comparing two screens in action.  You'll notice this demonstration includes a renegade light source bleeding onto the left side of the projection field.  The image on the upper screen really gets lost on that side because its reflecting that light back to the viewer.  Not so with the lower screen.  Also, its quite evident the upper screen offers less contrast overall than the lower screen.  The blacks appear more gray in the upper screen.  Lesson learned: the issue is not lamp strength of the projector but rather screen surface material.  Click here for a brief video demonstration of the difference between screen surfaces.

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What is 4K TV?

The newest technology in TVs is clearly 4K...no pun intended!  That's because 4K (aka Ultra HD) is simply HD quality at twice the number of pixels both horizontally AND vertically.  So 4K is HD resolution multiplied times four!  Put another way, 4K compresses four times the pixels in the same amount of space that Hi Def does.

Why is that important?  Well, if you prefer smaller screens and have a smaller room where you watch TV, its not important, quite frankly.  But the clear trend is people buying ever larger TVs.

Some TVs might feel like jumbotrons in an ordinary room!  But that kind of size is what it takes to have a great media room or home theater experience.  The problem is when the same number of HD pixels are stretched over  increasingly larger formats, the appearance can become ever so slightly grainier.  4K solves that!  There's also 8K out there that doubles resolution yet again to near IMAX clarity, but that's another story.

Like any newly released technology, most media content isn't yet formatted for that resolution, but the content IS already out there.  Blu-rays are already capable of 4K content but nearly all agree the future of the 4K advancement is in streaming video.  Netflix, which already shoots its successful original series, House of Cards, in 4K recently offered that it plans to deliver 4K content within the next two years.  Sony already has a big investment in 4K by way of the cameras they sell to the movie and television industries and the projectors they produce for theaters.

So 4K is not a fad, but neither is it for everyone right now.  Still, when you consider "upsizing" your video experience, you will definitely want to keep 4K as a strong contender in your plans.

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Movie Buffs and the Props They Love

[caption id="attachment_668" align="alignleft" width="169"] Minotaur Costume from The Chronicles of Narnia movies.

There is a small but growing industry in acquiring movie props and costumes.  Perhaps the most famous movie memorabilia are the ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz."  Five pair of the original shoes are known to exist.  One pair is on display at the Smithsonian and made an appearance on the red carpet at last night's Academy Awards.  Debbie Reynolds owned the "trick" pair that curled up under the house.  Years ago, Reynolds invested money into movie memorabilia which she planned to sell to help provide for herself during retirement.  At auction in 2011, her ruby slippers fetched $510,000.

Movie buffs have begun displaying props as part of the decor of their home theaters or media rooms.  The internet has made shopping for props easy for anyone.

[caption id="attachment_669" align="alignright" width="150"] Bread Dish from Titanic

Favored props from more contemporary films were those produced by WETA Workshop which produced thousands of highly intricate (and in many cases beautiful) props for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Troika Brodsky is the proud owner of the largest private collection of LOTR film props in the world--second only to the official studio archive in New Zealand.

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Presto! Change-o! Family Room Becomes a Home Theater

Most of us don't live in sprawling homes.  And we try to make the most of our available living area.  That's why our family room often also serves as our media room.  At the center of our "media room" are the flatscreen TV and surround sound system.  Add to that the Blu-ray or DVR and if you enjoy good music, that's also where you'll find the CD player, the receiver and the amp.  Oh, you have kids?  Then add the gaming system to our media room/family room.

Those are just some of the different types of media components you could expect in either of our two sample family rooms pictured here.  Using either of these two photos, you can easily imagine including something like a satellite receiver or AppleTV or some or digital components in these rooms.

So what if you decide that as a family Christmas gift, wouldn't it be cool to have a home theater?  I mean, the existing flatscreen is fine for routine TV viewing, but maybe you like the idea of "big event" home entertainment.  Maybe its a special movie night or a sporting event that you'd like to have a monster screen so having someone walk in front of you doesn't mean missing the big moment!  And you certainly don't have space for a room dedicated to a home theater.  Why not let your family room also become your home theater?

So picture this...you see you have a comfortable living space for friends and family to gather.  There's ample room to move about as guests refresh their plates with the food you have out as part of your spread.  Only thing is, everyone tends to huddle real tight for those "can't miss" moments on the screen.

That's when inspiration hits!  You can add a drop screen and video projector to your media room.  Pick either one of our sample rooms shown and imagine a motorized screen recessed into the ceiling.  At the start of your event, the massive screen lowers from the ceiling just forward of the existing flatscreen while the lights dim and your audio system prepares to thunder!  Even the video projector can be recessed into the ceiling only to descend as well on cue!

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Great A/V Systems Are Home Seller's Edge

If you tour a lot of homes for sale, it soon becomes clear what amenities one expects to find in great homes, though perhaps not considered to be in the "high-end" range.

You might expect, for example, triple-crown moulding, granite counter-tops, stainless appliances and extra-large walk-in closets.  In terms of electronics, you might look for flatscreen TVs, built-in speakers (both indoor and out) or even a security system with closed circuit cameras.

But consider what your reaction to the home is when you find a dedicated media room or even a home theater?  Or perhaps you learn the home features fully-distributed audio and video to all the rooms in the house.  How does that affect the home's desirability factor?  Then again, what if you learned the home is programmed to operate from a tablet or remotely from your smart phone?--adjust the temperature, check the security cameras, or turn lights on or off?  Wouldn't any of these amenities create the sort of "wow" factor that tells you THIS home seller has one great home!?

Distinctive home electronic systems not only put the "style" in your lifestyle but could be the very thing that helps your own home outclass the others on the market when its time to sell.

Jerry Del Colliano write in hometheaterreview.com:
In high-end homes, expectations of media rooms, highly programmed home automation and AV trickery are expected, but what about in a more modest house? Laura Gallagher is a Remax real estate agent in Collegeville, Pennsylvania (a suburb of Philadelphia), who says, "Often, we see media rooms as part of finished basements in the homes in our market which average about $375,000 a property. While I don't think an appraiser would put a specific premium on the value of a home because of a distributed audio system or media room, it sure does help differentiate a home from the competition. In developments where one house is very similar to the next and there are many houses for sale at any given time, the one with the flat-screen TVs, media room or even the sub-zero fridge will sell first."
No one can predict the value someone else will place on any amenity in your home.  But the high-end nature of superb A/V systems can go a long way to setting your home apart from ALL the rest on the market.

by Bryan Naquin.  Follow Bryan on Twitter @ACIexperts.  And you can always contact him at 225.906.2589 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Bryan Naquin is president of Acadian Home Theater and Automation based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  CEPro Magazine has ranked Acadian in the top 100 consumer electronic companies in the U.S. for the third year in a row.

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The Science of Subwoofers


When surround sound systems came out, everyone became familiar with what 5.1 meant--five speakers dispersed around the room and the ".1" was the subwoofer, centered down low and in front.

But there is a science to subwoofers that create those deep, rich, bass acoustics beyond what can be delivered by a single speaker.

The single subwoofer approach suffers from an unevenness in bass which is to say it is impossible to get smooth bass response in a home theater or media room from seat to seat. While one seating location might be outstanding, the other seats would suffer from bass peaks or dips...in other words, depending on the bass frequency, either too loud or too quiet.

Dr. Floyd Toole and Todd Welti have together been an invaluable asset to the home sound reproduction industry doing a lot of experimentation with subwoofer placement, numbers, and bass sound quality. This breakthrough work on bass reproduction has allowed us as home theater designers to create a room where we can significantly minimize bass response problems. Their whitepaper on the topic was the end-product of countless tests and acoustical models of playing with multiple subwoofers in different locations in a room to improve bass response over a much wider listening area.

In the end, Toole and Welti concluded that there are three ideal configurations for maximum bass reproduction.  They are listed here in order from optimum to acceptable:
  1. Have four subwoofers with one located at the midpoint of each of the four surrounding walls. This configuration displayed the least amount of variation in bass response from seat to seat.
  2. As an alternative to the above, locate the four subwoofers in each corner of the room.
  3. Yet a third alternative is to have only two subwoofers; one centered on the front wall and the other centered on the rear wall.
You might be wondering how ugly a home theater can look with four subwoofers taking up space in the room. The good news is that there are many subwoofer options available today, including good-quality in-wall subwoofers. Hiding technology in an aesthetically pleasing way is something we're good at.
by Bryan Naquin.  Follow Bryan on Twitter @ACIexperts.  And you can always contact him at 225.906.2589 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Bryan Naquin is president of Acadian Home Theater and Automation based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  CEPro Magazine has ranked Acadian in the top 100 consumer electronic companies in the U.S. for the third year in a row.
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acadian

10552 Perkins Rd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70810

(225) 906-2589

Acadian Home Theater & Automation is rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 44 reviews from around the Web.


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