New York City’s Dolby Screening Room was the venue in early November for home cinema system specifier Cortex VIP Cinemas and producer of ready-to-assemble home theaters Rayva to bring tech media up to date on their latest activities and then, later in the day, to showcase their capabilities and service menus in front of some prominent integrators.
“We’re not a normal vendor. We’re a partner and a resource for dealers and designers,” said Cortex’s principal, John Russell. He described how his company partners with dealers to custom configure ‘experiential luxury’ theaters for homes, yachts and even planes based on the individual space, and then provide concierge-style 24/7 monitoring services for those systems – all with a quick turnaround. The company specializes in using Dolby’s CP850-C audio processor as anchor for its Dolby Atmos configurations.
“We provide dealers with the ‘engine;’ the dealers build the car,” said Russell. They do not install- unless the dealer asks for an assist. “We don’t do room acoustics or interior design – we just build the electronics that run the room” and handle final calibrations once all the elements are in place.
Russell opined that the topic of home theaters is the best place to start a conversation with consumers about the benefits of a full connected home: “Cinema created the custom installation business. Everyone understands what a home theater is and as a frame of reference, that’s an easy way to start the sales process.”
Russell added that dealers, when they grasp the business model being promoted, come to a realization that “subcontracting out a part of their business is smart. They don’t have to deal with eight different companies; just with us.” But, he adds, “we don’t want to replace the dealer’s relationship with the client. We’re really good at what we do, and are more efficient at it, due to repetition.”
Rayva, for its part, used its presentation slot to tout its model of services to integrators, which includes providing ready-to-assemble, prepackaged systems that include the theater’s acoustics and most of the room’s aesthetic elements. “We’re converting what was a science project into a simple product: an integrated, turnkey home theater,” explained Rayva President George Walter in talking up the firm founded by renowned custom integrator Theo Kalomirakis. Walter was joined at the event by Rayva CEO Vincent Bruno. (The photo is of Cortex’s Russell and of Rayva’s Bruno.)
The pre-engineered theaters consist of rail-mounted, highly magnetized panels that constitute the theater shell. They come in several stylistic flavors and size configurations and address not merely electronics and speaker needs but also seating and acoustics. Walters pointed to the importance of proper acoustics. “Ninety percent of all theaters don’t have acoustic treatments, and speakers sound twice as good in a properly treated room.”
Rayva is broadening its approach to address growing consumer interest in health and wellness, and is contemplating offering Rayva “Wellness Rooms” as a design option, where clients can practice mindfulness and yoga in what the company is calling a “virtual outdoor simulator,” complete with noise isolation, circadian lighting that illuminates the space depending upon time of day, and images of nature synched with soothing audio. It is also looking at offering less expensive, smaller room options with as few as four seats.
Rayva believes that the market out there waiting to be served by this type of home theater deployment is vast and, by their account, “only 10 to 15 percent of [potential] clients have been touched,” said Walter. “We feel we can bridge that gap and make the technology very approachable.”