Training And Leveling Up

Welcome to the second article in a series dedicated to my journey in Home Theatre centred around my personal Home Theatre. A list of all articles in the series is below:

Introduction, Background & Hobby – The Introduction to Home Theatre
Training and Leveling Up
The UK Revolution – The Next Step
Design, Modelling & Specification
Physical Installation
Final Photos and Future Upgrades


We left off in the previous article with my first proper 5.1 Home Theatre. Back then, I worked as a software developer and had no aspiration to switch careers because I saw Home Theatre only as a hobby. This changed in 2014 when I was asked to consult on a media solution for a real home theatre. This was a dedicated room, and as soon as I walked in, I knew I would love to do this for a living! 

I started making plans, and with the help of a friend, I could quit my job to start working in this industry. Starting from the back foot and valuing formal education, I started searching for local training opportunities:


Even though CEDIA doesn’t have a massive presence in South Africa, it’s still considered our industry’s guiding light on recommended practices and training. I attended their CEB 22 (audio) and CEB 23 (video) training on their recommended practice for Home Cinema design.


Knowing THX was the golden standard in home theatre design and calibration for years, I searched for THX-accredited training. This was fortuitous timing because Sphere Custom had just arranged a training session by Gerry Lemay locally in Cape Town. It was the only session I’m aware of ever held in South Africa. I jumped at the opportunity and am HAA / THX Level 3 certified (highest level).
I’m listed on the THX and the HAA website for reference.


I immediately jump to ISF when thinking about video design and calibration. Joel Silver from ISF planned to provide training in South Africa but ultimately cancelled due to a lack of interest (not from me!). Once again, Sphere Custom came to the rescue and arranged training by Gregg Loewen from the PVA (Professional Video Alliance). As it turned out, Gregg used to head up the THX Video course and provides ICA (International Colorist Academy) accredited training. The training was phenomenal, and I’m Level 3 certified (highest level).
I’m listed on the PVA website for reference.

Home Theatre Upgrades

After all the training, I corrected a few design issues in my Home Theatre, which made a huge difference in clarity and sound image.

A few years later, I traded back a few Cornered Audio speakers, which I installed in place of the B&W M1s because of their smoother frequency response, upgraded my subwoofer to two Velodyne SPL 1200 Ultras, added projection with an Epson TW9300 onto a 106″ screen and upgraded my AVR to the Yamaha A3060 for the parametric equalization capability for calibration. You will also notice the mini cassette air conditioner on the first photo which was added around the some time.

Later, I moved on to an Emotiva XMC-2 with DIRAC live and an Emotiva XPA-5 Gen3 dedicated amplifier, which made a massive difference in dynamic output.

By now, my simplistic 5.1 system outperforms most commercial Cinemas in South Africa.

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