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Five Minutes with Home-Theater Designer Gary Yacoubian

Gary Yacoubian, president of MyerEmco AudioVisual, a company that builds custom home theaters, has spent his career incorporating the latest video and audio components into media rooms for Washingtonians who are serious about watching movies and TV.  After 20 years in the business, he still gets excited about new technology hitting the market.

“One of the latest trends is wireless audio and video products that let you access music, photos, and video files from your computer in rooms throughout the house,” he says. “It’s just really cool.” 

What are the three must-have components for a home theater?
You need a big screen, high-definition TV; a home theater receiver and source components; and a sonically matched speaker system with subwoofer.

What is a common mistake people make designing a system?
Evidence shows that more than half of new HDTV owners don’t have their TVs connected properly to display an HD picture.  Half of those people actually think they’re watching high definition!  You need to be a student of connectivity and setup issues—or you need to hire one—to really enjoy these awesome new technologies.

What is the biggest TV screen you’ve installed in the area?
It was a 133-inch screen for a front-projection system.

Is there a theater you designed that ranks as your favorite?
Yes. It featured a 42-inch rear-projection HDTV in a custom cabinet for everyday viewing, then a hidden 92-inch screen that drops down for a front projector when viewing movies and special events.

How much did the most elaborate media room you’ve designed cost?
In excess of $250,000. It was a dedicated theater with full acoustical room treatments and seating. The design, layout, and quality of gear made it fabulous.

MyerEmco has ten area locations, including a custom installation department in Gaithersburg.