INTEGRATED LIGHTED CUP HOLDER/NECK HEAD PILLOW ARM REST
So after owning Seatcraft's Venetian Home Theater Seats (Review here) for a little over a year now I was having a tough time with the cup holders. About every other month the lights on one or two would dim super low or just go completely out. After getting many free replacements from 4Seating I began to realize I was just chasing my tail. After speaking with Anna there she put me in touch with Ben Vollmer at Raffel Systems. He was very knowledgeable and was able to explain the situation to me. In a nutshell the original cup holders they had made for the seats were tough to match with the way they were being manufactured. And since these seats come from China that even makes it tougher (my words not his). The new cup holders are lower profile and touch sensitive. Also the blue is a little dimmer and since it is in the dimple it does not stand out as much or is less distracting than the higher profile model that came with the seats. We not only love the black look a lot more but the reaction and speed of putting your seat is quicker. I think this has to do with the boards that come with each cup holder (pic below). These are very easy to connect to your seat. The main connector with a green tag (pic below) just needs to plug into your seat and where the other cup holder is connected. The end with the yellow tag (pic below) which says LED lights or slave cup on it can connect where the other cup holder did which has the same exact end. Of course those are for the seat's bottom lights which can be 'big time" distracting. The front row can light up your screen blue! I have chose to not connect mine so only the cup holder lights up when the Light dimple is touched. I have put the tint over them and one of my really good friends Troy Walters has actually changed the angle of his by aiming the LED strips backward and downward (pic below) using zip ties but it may be easier to not connect them. The lights are usually on somewhat when people first enter the room so climbing into a seat is never a tough task. This of course is a personal taste choice...
The main connector. Just fish it down your seat (arm) and use electrical tape to keep it out of harms way. Then connect it where the original cup holder is at. Easy!
This is the Electronics Board or "Brain" of the new cup holders. It is definitely better built than the small box one that came with the original cup holders.
This is the cable which connects the LED strips at the bottom of the chair. I prefer not connecting it but that's just me. Not connected still means your cup holders light up!
These go in the bottom of the cup holder. Much nicer than the original paper style!
These are RUBBER!!!
The originals just didn't have longevity...
Removing cup holders is super easy. Under the bottom liner there is screws use just need to remove. Then from under the arm I found it a lot easier to pull gently the wires and disconnect them. Yes, you will need to either hold the chair up yourself or have an assistant. Then you pull it out of the chair. Insert the new one and feed the wires and brain box towards the front of the chair. They will fall down where you pulled the original wires out. All you do from there is connect the new main lead where the older one was at and the LED bar (optional).
Yes, the pic off to the right has a USB charging port. It can charge iPads and iPhones or other cellphone brands. I have to say it charges them very quickly. Charging my iPhone (with it low) during a movie usually guarantees it will be at 100% half way through the movie! Very cool and convenient. And yes I have signs asking people not to text during a movie but I guess charging is okay. The seats have compartments where they can sit in while they charge. Even better! I ended up with 4 with USBs and 4 regulars. I put the USB models towards the inside of the chairs and let the regular model be on the outside. They also have lumbar support models which have controls in all 5 dimples. Now we just need a "make popcorn" button and we are all set!
So what have friends and family said about the new Raffel Systems cup holders? You should have changed them out sooner! That is the most common. They like them being lower profile and they are less labor when opening and closing your seat. Instead of holding down a button you just slide your finger over the dimple. Nice touch! I also love the cooler looks which go with the seats a lot more. If you are interested give Ben a call at (888) 987 1011. You can also tap on the links to their site at the top of this page. Don't hesitate to try one out. You will be glad you did. So will your fingers...
In other news... Neck/Head pillows, Arm rests...
So what else can make your home theater seats more comfortable? How about Seatcraft's new leather 7000 pillows. Originally as Neck/Head pillows but for you side leaners (like me) why not use them as arm rests as well? They work great! They are adjustable so they will work with everybody. The cool thing I noticed is that when you have your neck on them and your head resting against it you can't help but stay 100% focused on the movie. Your eyes are lined up perfectly towards the screen. We have had overwhelming responses in favor of them both as pillows and arm rests. If you are looking to make your at home movie experience even more comfortable these will definitely get the job done. Call Anna with 4Seating at (800) 407 8665 and tell her I sent you. Your body will thank you!
And lastly in other news...
IOGEAR HDMI WIRELESS
Having family or friends over to watch movies is always a blast. I remember having my harmony in the extra docking station on my seat ready to hit still pause at a moment's notice should the call of nature arise. Fast-forward to today (literally) and I found a solution that works. Using the IOGEAR HDMI WIRELESS system I am able to send the same image (3D as well) in the theater to the restroom. I don't have sound on with the restroom TV since I would not want that distracting the theater side but you definitely can perfectly hear it (even with the fan on). There are also plastic 3D glasses on a shelf below it that you can slip on if you are going to be a little bit and want to be comfortable.
This is also a cool solution for NFL Sundays! No worries about missing a big play. Let's just hope guests wash their hands! Haha
After we painted! ->
The reviews on amazon are all over the map but the earlier version of this model had a couple issue until they released a firmware update. Also some people were not removing the plastic film over the components and that was blocking the signal. I have tried every HDMI wireless solution on the market and this one consistently has worked. As you can see in the pics above we also use it on a TV stand with wheels. We use the family room and send Blu-ray or DirecTV to the outdoor TV. It takes less than 2 minutes to roll the TV on the deck and turn it on. We have separate remotes (wrapped in plastic) which we use near water. The IOGEAR replaced another system that was very spotty. Nothing is more fun than sitting in the hot tub and watching your favorite shows. I really like having Jaws or Piranha on!
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Coming soon... The newly announced MARANTZ AV8802 pre-amp. How much better will it be over the amazing 8801? Will Dolby Atmos make a big difference in the theater? It's going to be a fun Fall....
Special thanks to our family and friends for their input as well as company watching movies. Nothing better than making POPCORN and watching an awesome movie. Especially with people you care about.
Troy's idea to aim the LED backwards and slightly down... Looks a lot better!
So I guess charging is allowed just no texting! Lol