The D-BOX will make your cinema shake, rattle and roll, reports Anthony Fordham.
Even with a 7.1 surround setup and full 1080p HD projector, some home theatre users out there will feel like they’re still missing out on something. Thankfully, Canadian company D-BOX has the answer.
It’s called ‘Motion Code’, and it’s a hardware and software solution to turn your boring $20,000 home cinema into a completely awesome theme park of a home cinema by adding computer controlled actuators underneath your seat.
It’s not a hydraulic system, because it uses actuators that are powered by essentially electromagnets to reduce wear and tear, but it is like having your seat on four hydraulic lifts. The seat is connected to a module that syncs with movie playback to add a motion track to existing movies.
So when you sit back to watch a high-action film like The Transporter (which was the demo we experienced), you actually feel the movement of the car as Jason Stratham hurls it around dangerous corners. You feel the harsh vibration of automatic weapons fire. And you feel the sick lurch of vertigo as the car flies off an embankment onto the back of a passing truck.
As mentioned, D-BOX uses an actuator system to literally shake your seat around according to timing codes from a hardware module hooked up to your DVD or high definition optical disc player.
The boffins at D-BOX watch popular movies and program a motion track to coincide with the action on the screen. The track is then uploaded to a central server.
When you put a new disc into the module, it scans the movie and downloads the motion track from the server. You then remove the disc and pop it in a regular DVD player. The system syncs the motion to the vision, and the seat begins to move.
There are a few different systems available. The Quest series chairs are an integrated leather chair, with all the actuators hidden away, and can be installed in a regular living room.
The Universal Motion Platform is an ‘adaptor’ for existing chairs, and while it looks a bit gawky, it’s simple to install.
A Custom Motion Platform requires retrofitting your room and is usually done when you get really serious about home theatre and start installing floating floors as part of the acoustic treatment. It’s a platform that can take up to four home theatre-style seats.
Fitted beneath a floating floor, a Custom Motion Platform synchronises motion effects with the onscreen action and delivers them to up to four chairs.
Cabling runs from the platform or Quest chair to the module, which is in turn connected to the AV setup in general.
Switch everything on, start up the movie, and away you go!