What Is Home Theater Automation?

C.B. Fox

Home theater automation allows a person to control their home entertainment center with minimal effort. In many cases, turning on one device will activate the system to turn on the other connected devices and adjust picture and sound without any additional user input. It is also possible for these systems to control other electronic devices in the home and to adjust the environmental controls.

A Blu-ray® player for a home theater.
A Blu-ray® player for a home theater.

One important part of home theater automation is the control of the display screen. When a system is automated, the screen may be set to automatically sense the correct contrast ratio, brightness level, and color, depending on the type of entertainment being viewed. The sound system is also often linked to the screen so that it automatically turns on when the screen is activated. It is often set to adjust to the correct volume without user input. Though these devices can be operated separately, home theater automation allows them to work together seamlessly.

Home theaters may include a digital projector.
Home theaters may include a digital projector.

The ambiance of a room can also be controlled through home theater automation. The system can be set to dim or turn out the lights in the room, draw the shades or black out the windows, and change the temperature in the room. This way, a person can determine what environmental conditions they prefer when watching a movie or playing a video game and instruct the system to return to these conditions whenever the home theater is activated.

In order to set up a system for home theater automation, a user needs to put certain information into the computer that controls the home theater. The devices in the room must be linked to the central controlling device and then instructed what to do when user input is given. A variety of different settings can be saved so that users can choose which one they want to experience at any given time. The system can also have access to information such as time of day or outdoor temperature and automatically adjust the settings based on this information.

Though home theater automation simplifies the process of getting the home theater equipment to adjust to the desired state, it does require some user input to function. Universal remote controls, computers, smart phones, and the user's voice can all be used to control the home theater. The automatic settings can be adjusted with these devices, making it possible for things such as volume, picture, or ambiance to be changed. Once changes are made, they can be ignored the next time the system is turned on or used as the new default settings.

The ambiance of a room can be controlled through home theater automation.
The ambiance of a room can be controlled through home theater automation.

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