Definitely one place that an 80” Ultra High Definition LED Flatscreen Television does not belong. That is hanging, like some modern art canvas of a black hole deep in the void of some starless wasteland of the universe, above the mantle of your fireplace. It doesn’t really help if you put a slide show of your favorite vacation spots or the family dog or even the Louvre on the screen. That television is not a fit substitute for an over-mantle, or a mirror, or an original oil painting in a frame.
Was a time when the hearth and the fireplace was the heart of the home, the gathering place of family and friends.Way back when, the two warm places in the house on a winter’s night were around the kitchen stove and in front of the big fireplace in the living room. It was there that the family would gather to talk and to play.
But that was a very long time ago. And we really only live there in our dreams today. Our homes are climate controlled and almost hermetically sealed. We have a boatload of options available to us to keep us warm or cool in every room. That fireplace is pure nostalgia, an expensive decoration, unless you are a prepper trying to live off the grid somewhere in the backwoods. Many urban and suburban developments are either restricting or forbidding open flame fireplaces in their new constructions.
In most of 21st century America, fire really doesn’t belong inside the house, because it is simply anachronistic and very dangerous. Most of the younger generations have neither the time nor the inclination to chop wood or deal with the required maintenance of a fireplace. Once they see the bills they lose interest, if they happen to have even a gas fireplace in their home.
The first Audiolier was created because of this conundrum. It now actually is what once was a massive centrally located fireplace that runs from basement to roof in Bill Dodenhoff’s home. That fireplace was used perhaps twice a year, at Thanksgiving and at Christmas, and when it was used it filled the house with the lingering smell of stale woodsmoke and with a pall of fine greasy soot. As well there appeared a leak around the chimney flashing that caused several thousand dollars in damages, and that still has not been entirely tracked down after fifteen years and is still causing problems.
A time came when the desire for fine music and for a larger television overcame the nostalgia of the fireplace, and the fireplace and its surround and mantle were engineered into the first Audiolier Digital Theater. The television screen perfectly fit into the opening of the firebox, and the speakers were crafted into the hearth and the pilasters and the mantle shelf. To look at the system is to see a fireplace with a surround. But now, at the touch of an icon on Bill’s I-Phone, that fireplace becomes a window on the world, and from that fireplace surround the house fills with beautiful music. And when desired, a most realistic high-definition fire burns for hours in the fireplace, called up from YouTube’s nearly infinite selection of video feeds: A fire that is perfectly safe, and with the addition of a bit of scent and a fan is the 21st century’s answer to the deepest nostalgia.
Fire and our love affair with fire will not go away. But it belongs on the patio, or in a fire-pit, or in one of those cool-looking ceramic chimney things, and not in the house. We do not gather around the fire like we used to. We gather in the family room around the media machines. We live in and are addicted to a world of entertainment and infotainment. And this is exactly what the Audiolier Digital Theater has been created to optimize. As Bill and his wife discovered the family can still gather, even around a fire, but they can have so much more.
Our larger homes still have fireplaces: Our town homes and condos and apartments not so much. The Audiolier Digital Theater console is appropriate for whatever setting you might decide to place it in. It can as beautifully fit into a room with a fireplace as it can become the family focal center of a space that has none. If you don’t want to watch a movie or explore the world through Apple TV, then you can curl up on the couch, put your favorite CD’s on, and find a fire of your choice on YouTube to lose yourselves in.
It is time to move on, at least for those of us who are committed to living in the vital and technologically explosive 21st century world of the modern home and family. But we have to find ways to draw our families back together and to stop this fragmentation of our lives that the very speed of our progress is causing. The Audiolier Digital Theater can be a step in that direction because through its unique synthesis of audio and video and digital technologies it is able to offer family friendly entertainment and opportunities for interaction and bonding not previously available at a price that is affordable on most budgets.
The Audiolier is not the answer to all of the challenges of this amazing century at the beginning of this new millennium, but it is certainly a substantial and significant part of the answer for today’s challenges. Contact us today to make an appointment to experience the Audiolier Digital Theater at our showroom.