Gutting this A/V rack was just the start of our home-theater overhaul

In video two of our ongoing smart-home overhaul series with Control4, Digital Trends hones in on home theater. What was once a technological marvel just 15 years ago had grown outdated and accumulated a significant amount of dust. Not only did the home theater space and equipment closet need a metaphorical and literal freshening up, but the theater’s projector had to be moved, and a new control system had to be integrated.

If you haven’t yet gotten caught up with the scope and scale of this smart home transformation, be sure to check out video 1 of this series.

Given its reputation for exquisite, audiophile-approved audio gear, it might seem surprising that we ripped a 75-lb McIntosh A/V receiver and high-end CD player out of the system, but the CD player wouldn’t be needed, and the new Audio Control Concert AVR-9 A/V receiver would provide plenty of potent power along with all the latest surround sound processing needed for this project, as well as 4K video support.

The projector not only needed significant modernization, it also had to make a move. To allow for the throw distance required by the projector that was in use (and minimize on the heat and noise it put out), the previous home owner had to install it in an adjacent room — a bedroom, no less. Our installation partner for this project, Technology Design Associates, took control of moving the wires and power outlet, and installed a new projector mount for the quiet and cool Sony 4K projector that was supplied for this installation. As you’ll see, the results are a considerable upgrade on all fronts.

You’ll also see a lot of other old equipment ripped out — a monster CD changer, FM tuner, and a few other components — to make room for a Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player and some Apple TV set-top boxes. A newer addition which we just got started implementing is a serious of Roku Ultra 4K media streamers.

The home theater can also source music from a Sonos Bridge installed downstairs in the audio rack. If that sounds a little complicated, that’s because it is. If there were no control system to link all those components together and make switching among them and controlling them easy, the homeowners might never use all this sweet gear. That’s where Control4 stepped in. From keypads to tablets and even Amazon Alexa control, this theater is dialed in for easy use, and instant upgrades in the future.

And we’re just getting started. Stay tuned for next week when we dig into our third installment and see how several new smart home elements come together.

Some components of this installation were provided and installed courtesy of Control4, Sony, Audio Control, and Sunbrite TV.

Computing

Nvidia’s flagship RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards are failing. Or are they?

Nvidia's RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition may be the main cause for the worst problems associated with the new-generation high-end cards. All evidence suggests that partner cards aren't experiencing any common issues.
Mobile

Samsung made a $2,700 flip phone with the brains of a smartphone

The Samsung W2019 is a high-end flip phone that comes with flagship specifications such as 6GB of RAM and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845. The device features a pair of S-AMOLED displays, a dual rear camera setup, and an eye-popping price tag.
Home Theater

The seven best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2018.
Smart Home

Brew it fast, hot, and flavorful with our favorite coffee makers

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

Cut cable and keep quality with TiVo's 4K-friendly Bolt OTA DVR

Free over-the-air programming isn’t available in 4K, so why would you want a 4K OTA DVR? We’ll discuss what makes the new TiVo Bolt OTA a viable choice for cord-cutters with 4K UHD TVs who want to get ahead of the game.
Deals

Here are the best 4K TV deals for November 2018

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Buster Scruggs,’ ‘Missing Link,’ ‘Mowgli’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Mortal Engines, and the first trailer for Missing…
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘Room 104,’ German thriller ‘Beat,’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Room 104 returns for a second season, Robert the Bruce fights for Scotland's throne, and more.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Home Theater

LG price cuts on C8 OLED TVs for Black Friday are more of a sliver than a slash

LG cut prices on its vaunted C8 series OLED TVs, but the deals aren't as good as last year, and therefore are less compelling. Still, if you're in the market for a new TV this year, we still suggest giving these deals a serious look.
Deals

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.