The amount of time that goes into the planning and development of a cinema room can be extensive. From speaker and screen choice to seating arrangement and overall room layout, it can oft en take weeks for plans to be finalised and the production phase to begin.
This is where The Cinema Designer (TCD) is the industry’s time-saving superhero.
The cloud-based soft ware has been created by Guy Singleton; an integrator of 25 years who also has extensive knowledge and experience in electrical and electronic engineering. Guy serves on a range of CEDIA education and tech councils as well as having worked on standard development for the Institute for Engineering and Technology.
TCD brings the entire cinema design process into one, easily accessible place.
Guy says the soft ware automatically adjusts measurements and other variables to make it easier for the designer to decide what equipment to use in specific areas. This begs the question; how does TCD actually work?
“TCD does in minutes what would typically take a cinema designer weeks to do,” says Guy.
“The user enters the dimensions of the room, determines the orientation of the space and picks a screen from the dropdown selection box. Depending on changes made to seating arrangements during this process, the aspect ratio of the screen adapts to any adjustments accordingly.
“TCD also takes into account the acoustic transparency of a screen which affects loudspeaker placement and the amount of ambient light within the area that can’t be controlled. As a result, the soft ware puts together a list of projectors that would excel in the environment based on lumen output. Depending on the projector chosen, TCD will outline where it should be positioned as well as the most appropriate lens to use.
“Further, the soft ware automatically considers sightlines, which allows the user to alter the seating distance, seat depth, riser height and the gap between each seat. From there, it calculates the most suitable loudspeakers, subwoofers and processors for the room’s layout.”
A notable feature of TCD is the extensive database full of products that gives designers freedom when it comes to customising a room. The database consists of product information and CAD drawings and is constantly being updated as more companies partner with TCD.
For the integrator or designer that uses brands which aren’t listed, a ‘generic’ option is available which accommodates generic sensitivity levels of a loudspeaker and gain of a screen. The CAD drawing will use these generic measurements in conjunction with all the dimensions that have been entered by the user to design a cinema room.
To complement the soft ware’s extensive database, Guy’s expertise in standards and documentation means he has been able to create a program that not only details what the room would look like but it also provides all the relevant documentation for the designer to give to the end user.
“The soft ware creates nine drawings comprised of four isometrics, a top plan and four elevations. At the end, a PDF file is ready to be given to the client,” says Guy.
“The soft ware follows rules governed by mathematics and TCD’s theatre designs are based on CEB-22 and CEB-23 home theatre Standards for design along with ITU, AES, THX, HAA and ISF documents.
“The documentation also outlines the reasoning for each selection made so that there’s complete transparency between client and designer. ‘Screen grabs’ are also provided from CAD so that the entire layout of the room can be easily visualised by both parties.”
Currently, TCD has over 1,600 registered users and 100 manufacturers. With different membership breakdowns, it appeals to companies both large and small.
“The time-saving feature is an obvious stand-out but the thing that rounds out TCD is the fact that it can appeal to all aspects of the market. Companies – or lone users – are able to customise their own subscription based on how frequently or infrequently their designers or integrators may use it,” says Guy.