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Television Movies

IMAX Will Build You a Home Theater -- Starting at $400K (arstechnica.com) 94

An anonymous reader shares an Ars Technica report: If you have about $400K to spare, IMAX's Private Theatre division will now build an IMAX cinema setup in your own home. The entry-level IMAX Private Theatre is the "Palais," which starts at about $400,000 for a screening room with up to 18 seats. For your money you get dual 4K 2D/3D projectors, a proprietary IMAX sound system, and a media playback system that supports everything you might want to throw at it (TV, games, Blu-ray, etc.) No word on the exact specifications of the projectors, but they're probably not IMAX-with-laser. Screen size will vary depending on the setup, but generally they will be 3 metres (10ft) tall or more. Stepping up to the "Platinum" IMAX home theatre for about $1 million gets you a much larger screening room with space for up to 40 people.
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IMAX Will Build You a Home Theater -- Starting at $400K

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  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Thursday June 30, 2016 @12:04PM (#52419561) Homepage

    How much more are they going to charge you for the film everytime you want to watch a movie? It would be a shame to get a set-up like this and then watch inferior Blu-Rays or DVDs on the thing.

    • Yeah cos their customers are world renowned penny-pinchers.

      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        Yeah cos their customers are world renowned penny-pinchers.

        Today. But this will come downmarket.

        IMO, this is exactly the sort of business that will be creating new jobs, and lots of them, as automation does its thing. Not at this price point, of course, but a $40k version will come soon enough, with 100x the customer base. Give it a few years, and there will be a $8k version, transform an existing room into a well set up home theater with top-notch gear, that no upper-middle-class house will be complete without - an industry with several million customers.

        The pr

        • That's the story of automation - what the rich are paying for today, the upper middle class will find affordable due to automation (with less prestigious branding), and the median family will have in a generation after that.

          ... and to be clear, we are talking about "technology generations" not human generations. Woodrow Wilson once complained that automobiles were playthings for the rich, and created envy and socialist feelings among the masses. Just five years later, the Model-T was in production, and anyone with a median income could afford one. A few years after that, the Soviet Union banned the film "Grapes of Wrath" because they didn't want their citizens to see that in America, even the dirt poor Joads, the lowest of

        • The greatest cost of this is the room. It doesn't matter how far the price comes down if the user doesn't have a spare room for it. So that price drop you're anticipating won't come with the technology costing less but with construction costs (including the seats) costing less. I'm not saying it won't happen but it will take much longer than you're thinking.
          • by lgw ( 121541 )

            Most American houses already have a room set up like a religious shrine, except with the TV in place of the holy object. Dedicating a room to the viewing of TV won't be an obstacle. Sure, for the average family it won't have theater seats, it will instead have furniture arranged conventionally so that a parent can watch TV while keeping the kids in sight, but people will still pay to have good AV gear integrated into that room so it's not in the way of the kids playing on the floor.

        • Nothing can transform 'any' room into a good listening space. The acoustics are typically _all_ wrong.

          You want at least one set of surfaces to not be parallel. Vaulted ceilings are a start.

          Of course many theaters are also terrible, boomy sound, long hall like spaces, but that's not the point.

          Megabucks on sound is all about chasing the last 1% of sound quality. For $100 you get 90%, $1000/99%, $10,000/99.9% There have been no breakthroughs in speaker technology in _decades_. Electrostatics are still t

          • by lgw ( 121541 )

            For the upper middle class, the room already has vaulted ceilings, and I'd expect the installation to include either a false wall or dressing up the wall the screen is on anyway, to properly hide all the equipment and wiring and make it all built-in and kid-safe. Making that surface reasonably dead acoustically would be good enough I think. I see the real product here as making that wall look good (non-geeky and female-approved) with all the crap in it.

            For the low end, this will not be an audiophile produ

            • At least one set of surfaces. Vaulted ceilings still leave the room with two characteristic frequencies. Even upper crusty homes don't have vaulted ceilings in every room.

              Also double drywall and the _right_ amount of acoustic absorbing material on the walls and in the corners.

              As to 'all the crap'...much less than 20 years ago. 20 years ago you had a turntable, TIVO, hacked satellite box, PC emulating satellite smart card, a CD/DVD player/changer, a cassette player, a VCR, shelves of CDs/DVDs/tapes and

        • Automation has little to do with it. Middle and working class are just good and finding cheaper alternatives that do almost the same thing as a person with more money than sense would pay someone to build
    • by Anonymous Coward

      How much for the license to show these movies to 40 people

      FTFY

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        The key phrase here is the notion of "private home viewing"... and where works are licensed for such, if the viewing is occurring inside of a privately owned residence that is not being used in sort of commercial, public, or communal capacity, then the phrase is applicable, and if the work is licensed for viewing as such, then the number of people that may happen to be in attendance is irrelevant. Typically, dvds or other movie media that you might buy from a store are licensed for such viewing, and so th
    • ... and then watch inferior Blu-Rays or DVDs on the thing.

      Are you talking about the medium or actual movie, 'cause *most* movies are worth watching on IMAX even in IMAX formats.

      • A: 10
        V: 10
        Thank you, yify.
      • ... and then watch inferior Blu-Rays or DVDs on the thing.

        Are you talking about the medium or actual movie, 'cause *most* movies are not worth watching on IMAX even in IMAX formats.

        FTFM [ Fixed that for me ] (sigh)

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      How much more are they going to charge you for the film everytime you want to watch a movie? It would be a shame to get a set-up like this and then watch inferior Blu-Rays or DVDs on the thing.

      And not to mention when. If you spend $400k on a private theater, I imagine you'll get Prima Cinema for $35k + $500/movie to watch what's in the cinema right now.

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      You're already too optimistic. If it's an IMAX theatre, then the projection equipment is probably going to be fitted with a proprietary interface which can only play IMAX-brand specially formatted cartridges; no DVDs or Blu-Rays for you.....

    • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

      or, shock horror, Academy 1080p!

      (oh, yes, that's a thing [nfvf.co.za].)

    • You can't afford it.

  • The theater room at Best Buy starts at $250K.
    • If you have $400K to spend on a home theater, somebody will show up to take your money.

      • by creimer ( 824291 )

        If you have $400K to spend on a home theater, somebody will show up to take your money.

        You shouldn't carry that much cash on your person. Pay by check instead.

      • Monster Gold HDMI cables, naturally. It adds up.
  • A nice 40-50 year plan would be helpful...
  • Warranty?
  • by magarity ( 164372 ) on Thursday June 30, 2016 @12:11PM (#52419615)

    If I was out making that kind of money, I wouldn't have time to lounge around watching movies on this kind of home system.

    • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Thursday June 30, 2016 @12:15PM (#52419649) Homepage Journal
      Yes you would. Rich people don't work as hard as their gardeners. There is this fallacy that the rich "work hard" for their money. Most inherit it.
      • by creimer ( 824291 )

        There is this fallacy that the rich "work hard" for their money.

        The rich works harder at being richer than the merely affluent. Conspicuous consumption ain't what it used to be.

        http://freedommyway.com/being-rich-or-merely-affluent/ [freedommyway.com]

        • They don't work harder. It is easy to get richer when you are rich. It is much more difficult when you aren't already rich.
      • Most inherit it.

        Not even close. Maybe 20% tops, depending on how you ask the question. http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/real-1-percent [cato.org]

      • Yes you would. Rich people don't work as hard as their gardeners. There is this fallacy that the rich "work hard" for their money. Most inherit it.

        That depends on how you are rich. If you're rich because you inherited old money, yeah. If you're rich because you're on the board of directors for multiple companies, CEO / COO of some other, chances are you're likely divorced from the wife you're ignoring, don't know the kids you pay someone else to look after, and the reason why you have a private jet or a Rolls Royce with a phone and a driver is because you're too busy to do shit like getting to work yourself, and that typically includes having multiple

      • The "most inherit it" is a fallacy. Look at the Forbes 500 list and you will realize more than half the people on it are self-made.

      • Actually only about 20% of those who are wealthy inherited it. Read the book "The Millionaire Nextdoor" and it goes into great detail about a study conducted on this very topic. It's a great read.

    • If I was out making that kind of money, I wouldn't have time to lounge around watching movies on this kind of home system.

      That's not how it works. You think that because you have to work for your money. But money works even when you're not looking. Once you have money, you usually have to actually try to go broke. You know, like Trump.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Thursday June 30, 2016 @12:14PM (#52419643) Homepage
    As someone who works in professional lighting and sound systems for a company in Los Angeles, I cant think of a worse decision than an IMAX theatre in your home. youre literally just buying it for the brand.

    you get dual 4K 2D/3D projectors

    And the subsequent headache of trying to source your favourite films in a format compatible with an imax 4k implementation. Enjoy your titles that never came out in an IMAX format because the studio didnt want to spend the money. IMAX projection units are also liquid cooled, require signed hardware and media, and typically require an internet connection.

    a proprietary IMAX sound system

    IMAX has no "sound system." it has a rough set of guidelines for theatre based on dimensions of the room, usually "huge." That having been said, most theatres run EV amps and a combination of Electrovoice or JBL drivers based on cost in your market. scaling this to the size of a home theater means you end up with image problems in the audio. It also means you wind up with a lot of pointless extras like compander/limiter setups that theaters use but you really wont.

    a media playback system that supports everything you might want to throw at it

    That...already exists. its called a home theater receiver or if you're raking in cut-rate lawyer money its something like a leviton system. but beware...once this is installed you really cant just "plug in" whatever new thing comes along and hope it to work. while a modern digital multiplexer might come with 30 ports, most are shut off until you buy a firmware license that lets you use them.

    all in all the biggest concern for this IMAX-in-the-home is the enormous amount of power draw and cooling required just to get 18 of your friends to gloat about your wealth. anyone with the sense could set up something comparable...and if you pick up a magic marker you can probably freehand draw the "IMAX" logo wherever you like.

    • According to the article IMAX provides the signed hardware and media you refer to. It's likely ad hoc licensing, TFA refers to a competitor that does that at $500 per viewing.

      Given that the screen is "small" I doubt they will use such a powerful light source. You would blind the people that are supposed to watch the movie anyway.
      I suppose "IMAX" is a brand, because I've seen IMAX over 20 years ago : the movie was on film, the screen was a dome and we wore LCD shutter glasses. Thus for years I thought the IM

    • As someone who works in professional lighting and sound systems for a company in Los Angeles, I cant think of a worse decision than an IMAX theatre in your home. youre literally just buying it for the brand.

      Did you mean to say: "As an IMAX competitor I'd appreciate if you don't buy IMAX stuff"

      • by adolf ( 21054 )

        Yep.

        And as an IMAX competitor myself, this doesn't sound like a particularly bad value -- part of which includes the IMAX certification.

        It's out of my budget, but meh: I've only got about $20k worth of AV gear in my tiny living room that seats 3.

  • For my Atari 2600 Pong
  • Let me go check under my couch cushions really quick to see which one I'm going to get. Oh, does the price include raising the roof of my house? This might be a tight fit with the 7.5 foot height of my ceilings.

  • by yayoubetcha ( 893774 ) on Thursday June 30, 2016 @12:38PM (#52419851)

    Gah! Like I'd put something that small in the main house... how embarrassing for me, if I asked my billionaire friends to watch a movie on something so cheap.

    Luckily, I have a legit 7 story high IMAX theater in my home.

  • I keep getting OMNI and IMAX flipped. A home OMNI theatre would be unbelievably awesome. A home IMAX threatre would be nifty but I'm not sure it would really get the neighbors that excited.
  • I wonder how many AVS audiophile snobs will be lining up to add one of these to their homes (in addition to their already existing 'home theatre') ? Then again, they'll probably find fault with the specs of the system from IMAX....

  • by The-Ixian ( 168184 ) on Thursday June 30, 2016 @01:57PM (#52420463)

    Of course, if they just didn't use the gold plated monster cables and cable risers, the cost would be couple hundred bucks...

  • Although it's less of a name, many commercial theaters use Christie Digital projectors and speakers. Their commercial division now sells a super high end home theater setup just like IMAX is doing. Probably similar quality for less markup. Still not cheap by any means.
  • I'll take three.

    I mean really?? Unless you're either a lottery winner or planning on charging admission, this is an insane waste of money.

    • My first thought was that these would get bought up for amenity spaces in high end multifamily housing. For a single home, sure, it's a ton. But we're already spending $50k on a roof top patch of turf to allow dogs to use the restroom (I'm sadly not even kidding here), why not spend a bit more on something that is slightly more useful?
    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      Judging by some of the houses and supercars I see just driving around in Scottsdale AZ, Its probably pocket change to a surprisngly large amount of people.

  • It better have dolby atmos or DTS-X at that price!

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