First, thanks to Jeremy for inviting me to join his blog and be one of his “friends” musing on consumer technology. I have started my own blog but we both thought it would be fun to combine a few things. Here is my first post….
Recently at the Barrett-Jackson auto auction in Scottsdale, Arizona I had the chance to test and talk to the folks at Custom Theater Solutions. They are the creators of a new and impressive custom motion seating design. After testing their new setup, all I can say is
Their motion seating puts you into the movie like never before! After sitting in their seats I expected clunky movements, a little vibration and swaying. What I got was full action movements, smooth, fast and completely natural. There are not many things that can impress me this much, to actually make me grin like a child, but this was definitely one of those times. We were watching scenes from Terminator 3. Every movement, vibration, explosion you feel. Camera zooms in, you zoom in, vehicle accelerates and you feel as is you are too. But it’s not just all about the action scenes, you feel it when the camera zooms in, pans, or just sit there quietly during slow scenes.
How do they do it?
They don’t use hydraulics or bulky mechanisms, they use metal actuators. These actuators are fast and strong.
They can give you up to 2Gs of acceleration! They simply hook up the actuators to their seats and using a pivot point they can give you complete pitch, roll and yaw.
How do they tell the actuators what to do?
My first guess was from the audio portion of the movie, boy was I wrong.
The seats, mounted on a platform with all the electronics inside the platform are programmed with something called, ‘motion codes’. “When you need motion codes for the latest DVD, you connect a special set-top box to your internet connection and also to your DVD player. All your motion codes will be downloaded automatically as soon as they come out. Keep in mind that the motion codes aren’t part of the actual DVD, so it doesn’t matter if your movie is rented, store bought or downloaded from the internet. The system will automatically find the specific motion code for that movie and cue it up in real time. There are already over 600-plus movie motion codes available, with more than five new movies coded every week. The CTS system also has an alternate audio feedback mode for video games and TV shows.
They also can hook the actuators to almost any seating setup. Want your whole couch to move, no problem. One, two, three or four theater seats, no problem. This makes the system very versatile.
All in all I give this system a wow factor of 10.
Pros and Cons
Less expensive than other systems on the market. A three seat system is around $17,000.
Very versatile, can be made to fit any home theater environment.
If local they can bring their special built demo trailer directly to your home to test.
Wow your friends factor of 10.
Have to download the motion code before watching latest released movies, or check if availble before you purchase the movie.
It’s almost too much. After watching for awhile, it’s so intense you need a break.
Doesn’t work with regular TV… Yet.