D-Box, The ultimate in Home Cinema Immersion
Whilst researching for a new project. I came across something rather interesting in the way of home cinema seating.
I was just looking for some comfy type seating La-Z-Boy type seating when my search found something quite appealing and has been added to the “want when I am rich list”
D-Box is a system that interacts with a special code (D-Box motion code) hidden within a film or blu-ray. It then passes that information to either a special D-Box seat or a platform under your exsisting seat. Resulting in perfectly synchronised movement of the chair and the action taking place on the screen.
The conept sounds amazing, if a little like the very vomit inducing rides at theme parks in the ’80s. Add to this 3D and we are almost in virtual reality land!!
Unfortunatly these chairs and systems are out of the price range for the project so to get one to try is still a long way off for me. But, I have been trawling the internet to find some hands on experiences with it and I found a really good article on Gearheads: The Sterling Communitcation Blog.
Here we have a very candid and honest review of the system in action -
The Camera Cinemas has two dozen of the bright red, extra-wide and extra-high D-BOX seats in the front rows (which you can reserve in advance). When you enter the theater, the ticket-taker will assign you to a particular D-BOX seat, as only those seats will be activated when the movie starts. Right away, that created some confusion, as some people didn’t take the correct seats. Luckily, the seats have a light so you can tell if yours is on standby mode. The Camera host then gave quick instructions before the show started. There’s a control mounted on the right side of each seat, with high, medium and low settings, so the viewer can adjust the strength of the effects.The D-BOX Motion System generates three types of movements and intelligent vibrations: pitch, roll and heave, that move you up and down, side to side, and forwards and backwards. I expected D-BOX to be something similar to a theme park ride, where if you’re watching a car chase, you’ll feel your seat vibrate and tilt with the car. And it was rather like that, except the seat doesn’t lift up quite as high, and I never felt nauseous. In The Deathly Hallows, my seat tilted forward as Harry went downstairs, swayed from side to side as he flew over London to escape the Death Eaters, and violently jerked forward and back when Nagini attacked him in Godric’s Hollow. To get a better idea of how the D-BOX MFX system works, you can watch this (highly promotional) video done for the D-BOX version of The Prince of Persia — just scroll down.
So what did I think of it? It was a mistake — for me — to try D-BOX for the first time with The Deathly Hallows. The technology is definitely interesting, and the programmers did an excellent job of synching the seat movement to the action on screen, but I found it distracting and a bit noisy. The reason I still go to cinemas is that I like sitting in the dark theater and being totally focused on a giant screen for two hours, without the distractions I have at home. So when my chair started shaking and vibrating, that broke my concentration on the story. I started to brace myself in anticipation of the chair movement.
I found this very interesting and also made me think alot about how I like to enjoy films.
Part of the reason I started watching more at home and striving for better and big kit was to get away from the distractions of going out with the sweaty unwashed in public cinemas.
When I sit to watch a flick now I insist on utter silence (much to the disgust of my wife) from start to finish so I can get lost in the story.
To be distracted by whirring and anticipationof movement may mean this isn’t for me!!
Thank you Gearheads for your article I think you have save me some money….Oh who am I kidding. I would undoubtedly invest if I could!