Monday, December 27, 2010

$180,000 For This System??

That is just a smidgen of what some people are prepared to spend on their home theater sound systems.  The love of music for a few is shown by the extent to which they are prepared to reach into their pockets.

Here's a feature we researched and put together that may be interesting to many of our readers.  For those who love music, this is going to be fascinating.

 Most expensive home stereos feature.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday Sale Extended to Year End

Due to the huge success of the year end holiday sale, TheaterSeatStore has decided to extend it's holiday savings sale using coupon 'HOLIDAY5' to get an instant 5% off during checkout. 

The sale is for select Berkline top sellers.  Custom models are excluded because they are subject to Minimum Pricing Guidelines set by Berkline and therefore cannot be discounted beyond a certain point.  This is the last opportunity to get models like the Reno and Tangiers at prices that will no longer be allowed by Berkline from March 01, 2011 as all models will then become subject to Minimum Allowed Pricing.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Berkline Home Theater Product Comparison Chart

We are happy to announce that at long last, we proudly present a product comparison chart that will take all the guess work out of understanding what the differences are between models in Berkline home theater seating.  This is a one page summary - in a chart form - of the models they offer and what distinguishes them by feature and design.  Here is the page on TheaterSeatStore.com - product comparison chart

This is extremely useful and after being in this industry for so many years and knowing as much as I do, I find myself referring to this chart all the time.  If you are in the market for Berkline seating, this is a must use tool.

Plans are underway to produce one for Palliser as well and we hope to have that done in the next two weeks.  We will load that to this blog the minute it is done.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Leather vs Microfiber

Leather vs Microfiber - I can't decide.....

This is a question that often gets asked.  Both these materials come with major benefits but which is the best decision.  Here are some points of interest that may make the process easier:

  • Leather requires maintenance...that's the bottom line.  You can get a protected leather but reality is that it is a natural product and will require far more care and treatment than a synthetic material.
  • Leather gets better and better with age.  The nature of leather is that the more it absorbs the environment that it is in, the better it becomes to manage, and looks.  It needs to breath, and with careful use will look better 10 years later than any microfiber product.
  • Leather is generally a better choice when you don't have small children or pets on the furniture.  The reasons are obvious.  Spilling a glass of water can stain an unprotected leather and leave marks on protected leathers.  Leather is extremely absorbent and the hide acts like a sponge to almost any and all liquids.
  • One can wash almost anything off a protected microfiber.  The benefit of microfiber is it's 'washability'. 
  • There are now many leather look a likes that are in fact microfiber.  They are hard if not impossible to tell the difference.  So if you want the look of leather then consider a microfiber that looks and feels like leather and you cannot go wrong.
  • Bonded leather is not leather.  No matter how hard it is to tell the difference bonded leather is vinyl with leather offcuts glued to the back or unseen portion.  This gives the bonded leather the look and feel of real leather. See the video below for a detailed description of bonded leather.
  • Not all microfibers have the same level of protection.  Some are protected to resist staining more than others.  It's often worth spending the few extra dollars to get the extra protection and save yourself the hassle of your first wine spill.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wallaway Recline

We often get asked what 'Wallaway' actually means. It's hard to explain and understand it as 'the ability to recline fully by placing the furniture just 3 inches away from the wall".  A better way to understand it is to watch another short video from Berkline on the wallaway feature and how it works.  Its actually a unique reclining mechanism that allows for this type of operation where the seat reclines by having the seat - portion you sit on - move forward instead of only having the seat back recline.

Confused???  Watch this:

Bonded Leather Explained by Berkline in a Video

The debate and questions rage on as to bonded leather and its place in the universe.  There is no doubt that it is here to stay for good and will be a force in furniture for the foreseeable future.  Many variations of bonded leather of the last few years have been failures but the latest generations of products are very good - now lets just hope they stand the test of time.

This video from Berkline gives one a good look at a bonded leather products and also identifies what is done to manufacture the cover.  Bonded leather is now offered on sofas, sectionals, theater seating and furniture accessories and presents a significant savings over genuine leather.

The other major benefit of bonded leather is the fact that it is eco-friendly and is not made with the harmful and environmentally risky process used in the production of leather.  The curing and tanning process in leather production involves the use of dangerous and powerful chemicals.

Cyber Monday Sale Continues.........

Due to the overwhelming response from the Cyber Monday sale this season we have decided to keep the sale open for a few more days - at least until tomorrow.  Taking advantage of this opportunity gives one access to Berkline in-stock models at never before offered pricing.  These include top sellers like the Berkline Reno, Tangiers, Trylogy and more.  These are very in demand items and very rarely go on sale. 

Make sure to mention you want the special Cyber Monday deal to your sales person.  There are also a few other offers available relating to shipping upgrades but they cannot be combined with this offer. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What's New in Palliser Home Theater

Palliser continues to impress with it's Fall 2010 line up of new home theater seating.  The new introductions have many design and feature additions but there is one new model that stands above the rest and will set a design standard for 2011.

Most new introductions include storage and look very similar to the Magnolia model with different seat backs.  Another common characteristic is the introduction of a number of new space savers.  Palliser has entered this portion of the market with a vengeance.

The market star is undoubtedly the Palliser Axis or Palliser model 41934.  This seat introduces a very novel concept with a Perspex tray table that slides into a very elegant slot in the exterior outside portions of the seat.  The real catch is that this slit is lit with the same light used in the ambient base and cup holders.  This light reflects through the Perspex and lights the edges giving the model a very cool affect.  What's even better is when the tray table is removed, the light shines through the slit and looks nothing short of amazing.  The seat has a head rest that extends upwards as the seat reclines extending the fully reclined depth of this theater chair.  A cup holder that powers the lighting and recline function adds to the new design introductions on this model.

The Palliser 41930 Strategy looks very similar to the Pacifico but appears to have a higher seat back and very subtle design changes.

The other interesting introduction was the 3 seat sofa version of the blockbuster Pacifico theater seat (discussed in a post below).  This seat is now available in a row of three seats without arm rests between the seats and all three seats recline.  This will be a great addition to this already best seller.

Finally home theater featured the Phoenix faux leather on six floor models in different colors!!  The Phoenix is quite special and it one of the best replacement leather options on the market today.  It has a soft and buttery hand to it and after being introduced last season, will also continue along it upward path of success. 

The synthetic leathers available today, made now primarily from PU (polyurethane), which is the new better option over vinyl which was used in the past.  The end result is material that now rivals the exact look and feel of fine leathers.  It is the ultimate choice and well worth considering especially if price is a factor in the decision.  The Phoenix faux leather is just too hard to ignore!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Palliser Circuit Theater Seat Rivals the Rhumba

Palliser Circuit Theater Chair
Palliser had a number of exciting introductions in the fall furniture market that are worth covering.  The Pacifico theater sofa was one, another was the new Axis theater seat with a side tray table(write up coming soon).  The most comfortable new introduction was the seat we want to discuss now - the Palliser Circuit.

The Circuit has a unique design when you first see it.  Somewhat of a blend between the Magnolia and the Rhumba.  The arm rests look like the Magnolia and the seat back and seat cushion have a similar design to the Rhumba.  There is storage in the arm rests and the seat back has excellent lower lumbar support and deep seated padding on the upper back panel that will support the neck and upper back.  The seat cushion is a contour style (bucket style) which further improves the comfort of this already very comfortable theater chair.  Cup holders are available with lighting and the power version of the seat has the up/down control on the rim of the cup holders.

This theater seat, like it's cousin the Rhumba, is the kind of seat that is best experienced in person.  The seat is so comfortable that we know that anyone who sits in it will want it - its just that simple.  This will follow the foot steps of the Rhumba, and if the price is right, even beat the Rhumba due to extra features like storage and lighted cup holders.

Like all Palliser furniture, this includes their industry leading warranty so you never have to worry about repair issues.  The Circuit will be fully customizable in over 250 colors across leather, microfiber and fabric material options.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Pacifico Theater Seat in Phoenix Leather

There has been a lot written about the Pacifico theater seat over the past few years.  It has become an industry standard and probably the most worthy competitor to some of Berkline's premium theater seats like the 45090 and the Reno.  In most respects, the quality and value for money surpass all models that I am aware of.

Anyway, the purpose was not to sing the praise of this well know theater chair but to show it in two interesting formats - faux leather and the new 3 seat sofa option.  The picture of the row of 3 seats is in a red faux leather called Phoenix and it is beautiful.  It has a rich leather feel to it and is one of the best synthetics that I have come across in this space for years.

The grey 3 seat sofa picture is the new option for the Pacifico.  The grey material is also the Phoenix faux leather.  The sofa is unique because it will allow all three seats to recline individually.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jaymar Furniture - The Contemporary Leader

In the world of contemporary furniture, there are a lot of wannabees.  The most common issue are those vendors that design something contemporary and think that gives them a right to charge through the roof.  There are also a number of lower end brands that source their modern furniture from abroad and end up delivering quality that is shocking to the trained eye and built to make it through your front door and the first 6 months....just after the warranty ends.

There are however a few brands that offer modern cutting edge design at a price that will not leave you speechless.  Keep in mind though that they are not cheap but they are not over-priced for what you get.  They present exceptional value and are what I would consider as a great discovery.  Jaymar Furniture is such a brand and is based in Canada and produces furniture that will last forever and never age from a style perspective.

Here is a picture of one of their pieces that is simple and elegant and can live in my media room any time it wants.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Berkline Introduces 50 New Models

The International Furniture Market in High Point offers some exciting news from the reclining furniture leader - Berkline.  They have 50 new introductions across all product lines, the biggest amount of new product ever!  These include many new models in home theater on both the domestic product and import product.

The largest selection of home theater furniture comes from Berkline.  Some of the exciting new models add features that have not been available to any previous Berkline model before like power controls on the cupholder that are multi-function, iPad holders and more contemporary styles to choose from.

Having walked their showroom floor, the most notable new development was the introduction of transitional styles, especially in the sofa and sectional categories.  The color selection is another new trend as Berkline aims to appeal to a broader audience.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

International Furniture Market

The largest furniture show in the world is held in High Point, NC twice a year in the spring and fall.  Manufacturers introduce new products and pull existing non-performers at this show.

It is also common to have price increases at these markets for the following 6 months. Early indications are that all brands are instituting moderate price increases which will go into affect at the end of October. 

There are also a number of exciting new introductions and a team from TheaterSeatStore will be attending the market will full coverage of any of these new introductions.   Look for upcoming videos straight from the market floor of new introductions and exciting trends in furniture!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Buying the Best

If you are in the market for the finest theater seats that money can buy then the brand that gets the most attention is Fortress Seating.  It's client roster reads like a who's who of the celebrity sports world.  At an average price of $4000-$5000 per seat - and that's without all the options - you can easily understand why this seat is reserved for the select few.

Fortress Home theater seating is unique in that it prides itself on the fact that every seat is entirely unique.  Made to fit the exact custom specifications of the users is their goal.  What that means is that if you have a long torso and short legs and want rhinestone nail head trim, you are going to get exactly that.  Every seat is made to order.

When it comes to this level of customization and quality, there are few in this space that can compete.  Consider the standard 10 year warranty and you now understand why the good things in life don't come cheap.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Secret Way to Find Out About the Quality of Furniture Online

In all my years selling furniture, I often get asked the question 'Well is this seat good quality?'.  While differences may exist between models within a brand, the brand itself will most likely carry the quality across all models.  What is the quickest way to answer this question?

Ask about the manufacturer's warranty -  that is the answer!  The warranty is the testament of the brand to stand behind the quality of the product.  If the brand knows that the product quality is strong, then they will grant it an excellent warranty.  It's quite logical - who knows the quality of the product better than the people that make it. 

Marketing can promote a brand as being of a high standard but reading between the lines is done by reading the warranty.  The fine print there will tell the truth.

Good furniture warranties today include at least a limited lifetime on the frame and reclining mechanism.  Limited lifetime means for the life of the furniture which is most often regulated from 7-10 years.  Another important clause is the warranty coverage of the padding and frame - these should be at least 3 years. Finally, the material also needs a warranty and the norm for that in the industry is 1year.

Using these few guidelines will help one filter through the marketing and get to the reality of the product.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Choosing the right shipping method

Standard shipping for Theaterseatstore includes a threshold delivery which means the seats are delivered to the threshold of your home.  The threshold is defined as the front door and delivery occurs to the front door - not through the front door.  The distinction is important because there are liability implications that affect the shippers when they cross over the threshold and that demands more money in the form of an in-home or white glove delivery.

The white glove deliveries generally come in two forms.  One is when the furniture is brought into the room of choice, up or down no more than 2 flights of stairs, and placed in the packaging in that room for the customer to unpack and install at their own leisure.

The second type of white glove delivery is what's called a 'premium' delivery which means the furniture is brought into the room of choice, removed from the packaging and set up.  The set up does not include the connection of power cords -because that has further liability concerns for the delivery company and their insurers - and finally the pa caging is removed by the shipper and taken with them for disposal. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Best Buy RewardZone

Theaterseatstore is proud to be part of the Best Buy RewardZone partner program in 2010.  Through this relationship our products are now available to loyal RewardZone members through their loyalty program website and in select Best Buy Magnolia stores. 

Best Buy is the largest electronics retailer in North America with close to 1200 stores throughout the continent and a powerful and loyal customer base.  In 2010, Best Buy RewardZone members can get 3 points for every dollar spent and an extra 3000 bonus points on purchases of 3 seats or more.  This represents an excellent opportunity to earn points fast that are redeemable for many other RewardZone products.

Two exclusive models are available in the Magnolia home theater rooms in select stores.  They are the Magnolia and the Headliner theater seats.  Each seat is unique in it's feature offering.  The Magnolia has in arm storage and a space saving foot print where the Headliner brings luxury and size to the home theater seating equation.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Should you be afraid of motorized recline

One of the major fears anyone experiences buying theater seating today is the fear that the power recline motor will fail and render the seat useless.  It is the question I get asked more than any other single question when selling theater seating.

The motors used in furniture today are of the same quality and often source as the motors used in the power portion of your motor vehicle seat.  They are simple in design and perfected from a reliability perspective to the point where the only time we really ever encounter issues with them is generally straight out of the factory.  In an analysis we did two years ago, less than 1% of these motors failed. 

Added to the fact that they are reliable, is a manufactures warranty that covers the motors for 1-2 years, depending on the brand.  After that, most motors cost $75 to replace and installation is as easy as turning the seat over and pulling out the existing motor from a track and sliding in the replacement.  In 95% of the seats sold today this is the case and the only complicated replacements tend to occur in the very top end of the market.

If one is still nervous then my suggestion is to spend the extra $150 to buy the extended warranty plan which will cover any motor failure to 5 years and also add accidental damage coverage to the seat.  The accidental coverage will protect you against everyday mishaps like red wine or coffee stains and rips and tears. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Choosing Your Leather

When buying home theater seating, one if often faced with the decision of which material to select to best match the needs and style of the theater room.  In the custom home theater world, the selections are vast and this article hopes to provide a guide to navigate through this decision making process. 

90 % of all home theater seating sold in the market today is sold in black and dark brown leather.  Black leather (and it's synthetic look-a-likes) have dominated that category by 3:1.

Fabrics have become more popular as textiles have moved to imitating the look and feel of leather to the point where you cannot tell the difference.  These are called faux leathers and they hit a great price point with an even better durability than the real thing. 

This is not to be confused with bonded leather which is a synthetic - vinyl on the outside - and real leather on the inside.  The real leather is actually production off-cuts ground to pulp and then mixed with an adhesive and pasted to the back of the vinyl to give the hand touch of real leather.  Sounds off-putting?  Well it shouldn't - bonded leather has risen in popularity more than any other textile in the history of the business in a short period of time.

Most seating comes in one of two ways as it relates to leather.  Full leather or leather match.  Leather match is when the genuine leather exists on all the seating surfaces of the chair which includes the seat back, arm rests and foot rest - any portion of the seat that your body touches.  A perfect synthetic vinyl match exists on the exterior seat back and the lower exterior sides.   

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Palliser Blade - Another Theater Seat Exclusive

TheaterSeatStore is proud to announce the official release of the Palliser Blade, a space saving luxury theater recliner made exclusively by Palliser.  "Our years of experience in knowing what customers are looking for identified a gap in the Palliser line of home theater seating", said Peter Goldstein, VP of Sales.  "Customers were very loyal to the quality and luxury offered by Palliser, but did not have the options when it came to decorating a theater room with space constraints.  Through careful planning and collaboration, we developed a solution that would fill all those gaps and provide a truly superior space saving design".

The Palliser Blade is built on a slightly smaller foot print than most traditional theater recliners which tend to be very wide.  This leather theater seat also includes a higher than normal seat back which further enhances the experience.  Similar offerings from other brands always lack seat back height. At 44 inches that is no longer a problem. 

The Blade theater seat is available in stock for immediate delivery in black and brown leather.  Additional options include power or manual recliner mechanisms.  The power recline allows the user to recline the seat to any angle in the range of motion.  Black leather versions of the seat include stainless steel cup holders where brown leather versions include a brushed bronze cup holder.  The leather featured on the in stock models of this seat is a premium top grain leather on all seating surfaces and portions that one's body touches, with a complimentary perfect synthetic match on the back of the seat and lower exterior sides.

Unlike many of the other popular models in the market from other brands, this seat is not made in China.  The seat is manufactured here in North America at prices that match the foreign competitors.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Online Video with BrightCove

TheaterSeatStore is one of the few online furniture retailers that promotes best selling products through online video.  Product videos serve as a valuable tool to assist customers in the buying process, especially when one finds a product that is not available to physically see in a local store.

Through our partnership with the industry's leading vendor in the video platform space - BrightCove - TheaterSeatStore is able to deliver the best experience possible to the customer.  "The union of our access to famous brand name products and BrightCove's technology ensures the video experience to site visitors surpasses any expectations" said Bruce Tucker, Director of Marketing for InteriorMark, LLC, TheaterSeatStore's holding company.

The BrightCove platform continues to increase conversions as video is created for more and more products on the site.  The account management of video assets through their console and the speed with which that video is deployed on-demand is very impressive. 

Here is a case study on our relationship and integration with BrightCove that was recently posted to their community blog titled Achieving Real Results with Video Ecommerce that discusses the nature of the relationship in more depth.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Moroni Offers A Home Theater Seat

Moroni is a leading contemporary furniture manufacturer that produces a higher quality seat at an exceptional price point. Premium Italian leathers and beautiful designs define this line of sofas and sectional seating.

Now Moroni has a home theater seat that was shown at the summer Vegas Furniture Market and the seat is one of the best looking contemporary designs we have seen to-date. Very rich top grain full aniline Italian leather over an American hardwood frame, give the touch of pure elegance and comfort you would expect from this premium brand.

The other interesting feature with Moroni is the fact that the power button on the seat is located under the leather, hidden from plain site - an interesting method of doing this. Attention to detail is a trademark of Moroni and it is evident in this product from top to bottom. The head rest is adjustable and the recline mechanism is extremely smooth. At 6 ft tall, this seat was very supportive of my upper back and head...often a shortcoming in the more contemporary furniture designs. The stainless steel mounted cup holders were a nice touch to an almost perfect product.

Of course with leathers and a frame of this quality comes a price tag to match.....but nowhere near the levels of some of the equivalent domestic brands like Fortress. Although the final price has not been set in stone yet, all indications are a retail price in the region of $2,000 per seat.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Berkline Recliners for Your Home Theater

Who says you have to buy a seat with cup holders for your home theater?? Regular recliners work just as well and Berkline is a great choice for recliners too.

Berkline does it again with this gorgeous, comfortable WallAway Recliner. In two neutral fabric choices (Gunslinger light and dark browm) that highlight the plush styling, this is an easy choice. With generous padding in its chaise lounge design, a waterfall style seat back and pillow-style arms, you’ll feel at ease in this plush recliner, whether upright or reclined, with comfortable extra-cushiony support for your legs, arms and back.

Innovative features include Berkline’s patented WallAway design that allows fully reclining within just inches of a wall, and a handle-activated motion that allows easy rising of the footrest. Features also include a removable back for moving the unit from room to room or within your home. Along with the neutral tone, the many choices you have when interior designing are enhanced by the WallAway design. Put it in the center of the room, or against a wall, allowing for unobtrusive design and a stylish room.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Where Does Jaymar Home Theater Seating Fit Into the Equation?

Jaymar Furniture are a Canadian manufacturer based out of Terrebonne, Quebec. They are a premium custom furniture manufacturer that were recently acquired by Group Bermex.

Jaymar makes contemporary furniture and is known for its wide selection of seats in the home theater category. The one seat in this group that has gained notoriety is the Jaymar 262 model...or Bass Celebrity model as it was known in the US under the marketing of Bass Industries. This seat is a industry success for a few reasons:

  • clean contemporary lines - not too modern
  • availability of premium Italian leathers
  • tilt-out cup holders that reveal a hidden place holder for your drink
Product ordered from Jaymar is custom made to order and takes 6-7 weeks to deliver. The quality is exceptionally good and leather source is of a very high standard. Other popular models from Jaymar home theater seating are the Panther, Model 57334 and Model 59121.

Friday, July 9, 2010

3 Questions You Won't Ask When Buying Home Theater Seating Furniture

Navigating through the minefield of websites and furniture providers when looking for theater seating furniture can be a daunting task. Here are some tips to consider when looking at different seating options that are often overlooked:

  • Who will be using the furniture? This is important because the material covering this furniture can be sensitive. If you will have pets or small children on your furniture then go for microfiber. The microfibers are the most durable and easy to clean. Leather is nice to the touch but needs to be maintained and cared for. It scuffs easily and is very porous and susceptible to liquids. Water can even stain a natural leather.
  • How tall is the tallest person who will be using the seating? If you have someone that is over 6 foot tall you will need to be accommodating in the seat selection. Not all seats have a tall seat back. Some are too short period! Make sure that your seat back is at least 40 inches and preferably between 40-43 inches.
  • How comprehensive is the seat warranty? The warranty is a testament to the quality of the seats. Manufacturers who believe in their products will put a comprehensive warranty behind them. That should include at least 5 years on the frame and reclining mechanism. Those are the two most important parts of the chair equation.
These questions should be asked to every retailer and buyer to make the most out of your next theater room furniture purchase.