High-tech Entertainment

The classic movie theater experience will always remain a valued pastime that is deeply rooted in American history. The big screen, the surround sound, and the dimmed lights create an ambiance unlike any other. Today, movie lovers don’t have to travel far to indulge in a flick, as more and more families are opting for an at-home private theater experience versus the traditional movie-viewing outing at a commercial cinema. As this trend continues to increase in popularity, home theater options are becoming even more high-tech and aesthetically pleasing.

“People are spending more time at home and are really starting to utilize and enjoy their own spaces,” said Doug Dushan, business development manager at Echo Systems. “Part of this dramatic uptick also has to do with many movie theaters closing during the pandemic. Staying in, rather than going out, has also led homeowners to save money, which means they are more likely to invest in their homes. People who have existing theaters are also looking to update to more user friendly, higher performance technology. Overall, we are seeing home theaters more and more in new construction plans.”

In an industry that is still relatively young with few well-established processes, Dushan said the audio and video provider leverages custom design tailored to the needs of clients, while emphasizing the entire planning process from start to finish. “We aren’t just geared around the technology—everything for us starts in the drawing stage,” Dushan said. “Working with us is like working with an architect. When we are engaged on a project, we are going to have everything in black and white and mapped out prior to ever setting foot on site.”

Echo focuses on asking clients the right questions. For example, the team finds out very specific details, such as where the client likes to sit when they go to a traditional theater. “We try to recreate the experience as much as possible and really understand what their expectations are,” Dushan said. “We’re not looking at the project from a cookie cutter model but rather custom designing it for that specific family or individual.”

In addition to the recent boom in home theater installations, Dushan said one of the more interesting trends in the industry is the lean toward the aesthetic application of technology. Today, when homeowners embark on a project, there’s much more attention placed on how the space looks. “Consumers are starting to realize there are products that can look as good as the rest of their space—TVs that look like artwork, speakers that can be invisible behind drywall, or even electrical outlets that can be flushed with granite countertop,” Dushan said. In order to really get a feel for what they are looking for, Dushan encourages homeowners to visit the Echo Systems Experience Center, which offers a 30,000 sq. ft. view of aesthetic technology in a $2.5 million dollar space.

While native to Omaha, Echo Systems’s impressive technology is well known across the country. Competing against companies throughout the U.S. this year, Echo Systems received multiple national awards from audio/video publication CE Pro, including first place for Best Theater in America, first place for Best Equipment Room in America, and third place for Best Overall Audio and Video job over $150,000 in America. The company also took home first place for Best Showroom in America from both CE Pro and Lutron, a national tech company.

According to Dushan, who has more than 20 years of experience in the audio and video sector, these achievements are a nod to the company’s high level of detail and organization. In addition to its custom home theater offerings, Echo Systems also provides lighting design, lighting control, motorized shading for indoor and outdoor, and the distribution of audio and video throughout the home. To contact Echo Systems, email Doug Dushan at ddushan@echosystemsmidwest.com or call 402-334-4900.

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