Q: how is cedia involved with this design tool?

CEDIA is pleased to announce that it acquired The Cinema Designer in August 2018 and renamed it The CEDIA Designer, which nicely aligns with the often-used acronym TCD. Guy Singleton and the staff responsible for creating this game-changing software will be staying on to help in product development and customer support. CEDIA members have free access to the Media Room software (a $650 value) as a benefit of membership, and members also receive substantial discounts on the other usage tiers.

Q: About CEDIA

CEDIA is the international trade association and central touch point for over 3,700 member companies worldwide who design, manufacture and install technology for the home.

Established in the USA in 1989, CEDIA is the leading global authority in the industry. The Association was introduced to the UK in 1996 and has grown into an international association that serves as the go-to home technology source for consumers and professionals alike.

CEDIA has come to be recognised as the universal mark of professionalism for businesses within the industry. CEDIA EMEA, the title for the Region governed by the UK CEDIA Office, covers the UK, Europe, Africa, this CIS, the Middle East, India and Pakistan.

CEDIA has advanced the industry by developing timely industry education and certification, launching research initiatives, advocacy on legislative issues, building relationships with architects, builders, and interior designers, educating the consumer and recognising industry achievement.

Q: What are the benefits to CEDIA members?

CEDIA members have free access to the CEDIA Media Room Designer and discounts on the full software. Click here for a price comparison for members and non-members.

To become a CEDIA member to realise these substantial cost savings, click here.

CEDIA member manufactures participating in the software are also offered a substantially discounted rate when compared to non-CEDIA member manufacturers.

Q: Do I have to be a CEDIA member in order to use TCD?

No; you can still use TCD even if you are not a CEDIA member.

However, CEDIA members have free access to the CEDIA Media Room Designer and benefit from significant discounts on the further three tiers of software.

Click here for a price comparison for CEDIA members and non-members.

To become a CEDIA member to realise these substantial cost savings, click here.

Q: How do I log in?

If you are a current subscriber of TCD:
Continue to use your original log in credentials when you set up your account.

If you are a NEW TDC User:
Please use your CEDIA log in (the same one you use to access the community and cedia.net) to access the software. From there you will be able to access your Level I Media Room subscription. You will also be able to purchase access to the other levels once you are logged in. 

If you have any questions or need help please don't hesitate to contact the membership team at member@cedia.org.

Q: How will the tool add value to my business?

You will be able to create designs and as a result of those designs, create accurate proposals and BOMs. As well, the designs can be added to your quotes with a margin, like every other product or service you deliver.

With TCD, you can show a client their new system in a matter of minutes.

Q: How does a manufacturer join TCD and what is the cost?


To join, the manufacturer should contact CEDIA for instructions on how to submit product data and details.

Q: If I subscribe to Cinema Room Pro, do I have access to media room functionality?

Yes, when you subscribe to Cinema Room Pro, you have access to all of the lower subscription option tiers and features.

With each subscription tier option you purchase, you automatically have access to the subscription tiers below.

Check out our subscription options and packages, here.

Q: How Much Time Is Saved Using The CEDIA Designer?

TCD creates in minutes what would typically take a cinema designer weeks to design. TCD allows cinema designers to quickly produce technically accurate designs that adhere to industry standards. Users spend less time on wasted man hours for projects that might not take place should the client change their mind. Visit our features page for a breakdown of TCD's full output functionality, outlining how much time is saved on each aspect of the cinema design process, and overall.

A recent quote from UK integration firm, Just Add Popcorn: 

“To say [TCD] is quick, easy and accurate is not doing the software justice. We recently had to design a cinema for a client with a £250K budget, and using TCD, we could easily and quickly provide detailed information giving the client three different initial ideas to choose from, and taking only 15 minutes to produce all three. Going forward, TCD is now our go-to software when designing our cinema and media rooms, and with more manufacturers being added all the time, it's only getting better."

Q: How much is TCD, and what subscription options are available?

TCD offers four tiers of subscription options: Media Room, Media Room Pro, Cinema Room, Cinema Room Pro. CEDIA members have access to the Media Room software (a $650 value) as a benefit of membership.

Click here for complete pricing and features information for each subscription.

Q: What if my loudspeakers or other preferred products aren’t in the database?

Even if your loudspeakers aren’t yet in the database, you can still manually add some generic details, which will allow the design tool to crunch the numbers. The advantage of using the product database is that it will bring the manufacturer's tech specs through into the PDF and Word document at the finish. You can manually input figures for lumens and loudspeaker sensitivity, making it possible to provide a very comprehensive design. Please get in touch with the team if you are a manufacturer or TCD user wishing to have new brands join the software.

Q: If I subscribe to TCD, but want to upgrade to a higher tier, what do I do?

Users can chose between Media Room, Media Room Pro, Cinema Room and Cinema Room Pro subscriptions to TCD.

If you subscribe to a level and later decide to upgrade to a higher tier, log into your account and and click which tier you want to upgrade to. This will prompt you to submit payment for the difference in price.

Q: How many designs does a subscription give me?

1. A single-use purchase gives you one design with up to two edits.

2. The monthly subscription allows you up to 30 designs per month. Each month that you remain subscribed and pay the monthly fee, you will receive 30 uses for that month. No uses are brought forward to the next month. The minimum term for monthly subscriptions is three months.

3. A yearly subscription is the best value for the money, giving you 365 designs per year. Visit our pricing page for full subscription and pricing options.

Q: What does the 'edit' function allow me to edit?

With TCD, you pay for 'uses' of the design tool. A new design project will count as one of these uses.

An edit of an existing design will also count as one of these uses.  An edit will revise an existing room project ('My project' becomes 'My project v2,' and so on).

Editing is intended to allow all aspects of a fixed screen, dedicated cinema room to be edited: title, room dimensions, RT60/acoustic treatment, fixed screen size/manufacturer/material/model, projector, seating, and all the loudspeakers, subwoofers and electronics.  The channel count can also be changed.

  • Media Room / Media Room Pro designs can’t be edited; in order to refine the design of a flat panel/drop down screen room will require a new use of the tool.

Not all codec changes or room fundamentals are possible with editing, some require a new job to be run. The following can be edited in a previous design:

  • Legacy – Dolby Atmos, DTS:X or Trinnov/Harman
  • Dolby Atmos – Trinnov/Harman
  • DTS:X – Trinnov/Harman

You must complete each project in order to save it. You may go back and edit any project twice more; the only sections you cannot edit on a previous design are the project name and room dimensions.

TCD will automatically re-load your equipment and design choices when you re-open a previous design, and you may edit any other part of the design and re-calculate.

It’s important to realize that stepping through a new design with the tool creates a huge number of permutations before getting to the calcs/CAD. Edit is really opening a previous design and recreating the steps in order, which gets to the configuration the user had before they pressed calculate. With this in mind, it’s not feasible to anticipate and code up all aspects as being changeable – such as edit a dedicated cinema room into a media room, or going from a high render channel count cinema with four different subs, back to a Legacy 5.1 design with a single subwoofer.  This would be more efficiently done with a new design.

Subscribers with remaining uses from their 30/month or 365/year can either edit any design in their account history or re-run the tool to refine any design in their account history.

Single users will have three uses and no time limit to either edit a design or re-run the tool to refine the design.

Q: Why isn’t there a trial version?

TCD is designed to be easy to use and generates salable documents that add real value to your business. The subscription fee is modest, especially compared to the time and money spent creating these designs and documents 'long-hand.' Please visit our features page to see how much time is saved, and the 'how to use' page for a wealth of comprehensive tutorial videos. If you have any questions prior to subscribing, please email us and you will receive a prompt reply.

Q: Why is the pricing set this way?

The pricing was set as a direct result of understanding exactly what this tool generates. What usually takes days can be done in just a few minutes. It can help any company deliver the very best documentation as part of the proposal process, as well as adding real value to the design process. TCD catapults users into a whole new level of documentation and professionalism. It isn’t software that you need to set up: it works online, in real-time. In minutes, you will have a full set of design documents that would otherwise take weeks. Of the multiple subscription options (found on our pricing page), the 365 uses over one year is the best value for the money.

Q: What if I don’t do 30 designs per month?

The monthly subscription option gives you up to 30 designs per month. Each month that you remain subscribed and pay the monthly fee, you will receive 30 uses for that month. No uses are brought forward to the next month. 

Although it is unlikely that a company will need to create 30 cinema designs per month, we give users this many as integrators tend to produce more than one set of specifications for any given project, tweaking screen sizes, loudspeaker models and projection systems until arriving at a design with the least amount of intelligent compromises. Many TCD users also create various iterations of a job, and produce gold, silver and bronze options for a client to review. 

Q: How long do I have to complete a design in TCD?

TCD was designed to allow residential cinema designers to create designs quickly, and as such the software is optimized to create cinema and media room designs in one session. The software times out after six hours of inactivity, and in that instance all design data will be lost.

Q: Where can TCD be used?

TCD is web-based software and can be used anywhere in the world.

Q: How many people can use one log-in?

Each company can acess one account.

You may share your log-in with someone else at your company, or multiple people at your company (you would log in using the same email and password), however you must only have one person using the tool at the same time if using the same log-in.

Q: What do I need to use TCD?

All you need is an internet connection and a device to access TCD: No need to install any software or plugins, just a HTML5-capable browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari or IE11.

Q: What does TCD calculate and produce?

See the video of a typical PDF output from TCD.

Q: Do I have to be a professional installer to use TCD?

The software is designed for use by professional home cinema installers, so having background knowledge and experience is key. For instance, knowledge on how to use AutoCAD or a similar computer-aided design software is beneficial. However, it is possible that an advanced home cinema enthusiast, or similar could make excellent use of the software.

Q: Does the render TCD produces reflect what the room will actually look like?

Yes. As part of its 35+ page PDF/Word output, TCD's render tool accurately reflects the room designed by the TCD user, allowing installers to show clients exactly the way the finished cinema or media room could look based on the equipment and decor choices the installer has made – before the install has even been approved. TCD creates two (facing front and back of room) 'blank renders' – which have proven to be beneficial with interior designers and architects – and two renders reflecting potential decor selections and equipment choices. View some examples, here.
Dimension-wise, the render replicates exactly what the room will look like, reflecting the exact dimensions of the room as entered by the user in the initial design, the screen size and position, whether the projector is in-room or on a lift, or whether the room has a coffer or starlit ceiling, for instance. The render tool lets users select which seat to render the view-to-screen from, and all seating will appear exactly as specified in the design. This will not be a generic representation of a chair; the render shows the manufacturer’s seating as it looks in real life (with all color options from each brand available), and in the correct location and correct configuration. Users can also choose from an ever-expanding list of fabrics, colors and textures for the walls, carpets and ceilings. TCD will soon offer everything from fabric swatches to Pantone pickers.

Renders take approximately six minutes, however should the TCD user need to send off a design right away, the placeholder renders TCD creates are produced automatically.

Q: Can you edit the render when editing a previous design?

Currently this requires another use of the tool as it requires a new version of CAD/PDF on the account page to display the renders against.

In the future, it will be possible to edit the render as part of TCD's edit functionality.


Q: How does TCD's immersive VR render work?

Using TCD's immersive VR functionality, integrators can quickly email their clients an immersive VR render file of any proposed theatre room – without the need for specialist viewing equipment.

The process to add the immersive visual render is simple: The TCD user designs the technical elements of any dedicated theatre room using the software, then selects the way the room will look by choosing from a plethora of décor and equipment options in TCD's render tool. The immersive render is generated automatically by the software, taking just 15-20 minutes to create the file. 

The client can open the immersive render jpeg file directly from an email and view it on an Android or iOS phone, tablet, or computer. If opening and viewing on a phone or tablet, all the client needs do is download a free panorama viewer app such as Photosphere or Panorama 360 Camera, then open the file using the chosen app to view their cinema room. For an immersive visual experience, the client can view the file using an inexpensive Google Cardboard (or similar) headset and compatible panorama file viewer app.

There are four levels in the tool: TCD's immersive render functionality is only available for subscribers to Cinema Room Pro. With Cinema Room Pro annual subscription ($500 member/$850 non-member), this functionality is included for free as a new value-added feature. For those subscribing to any of the other Cinema Room Pro levels each use of the VR tool is $25 member/$75 non-member per design.

See how to view the VR render file and compatible devices in the FAQ below:

For full details, click here.

Q: How do I view TCD's VR / immersive render file?

Once rendered, the file will appear in the job history portal. The immersive render jpeg file can be viewed directly on an Android or iOS phone, tablet, or computer. If opening and viewing on a phone or tablet, all the viewer needs to do (or tell their client to do) is download a free panorama viewer app such as Photosphere or Panorama 360 Camera, then open the file using the chosen app to view their cinema room.

For an immersive visual experience, the client can view the file using an inexpensive Google Cardboard (or similar) headset and compatible panorama file viewer app.

App suggestions:

Photosphere for iPhone.

Google Cardboard for iOS.

Google Cardboard for android.

Google Photos app for android (You can use the Google Photos app and the Daydream device to see your panoramas, 360-degree photos and photos taken with Cardboard Camera in virtual reality.)

High-end VR headsets such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and Oculus Go are not compatible with TCD's immersive VR output.

The VR render TCD produces is a single, 360 degree image of a theatre for use in immersive viewing apps on widely available devices (mobiles and tablets), and can be viewed for free. Or, the file can be viewed using a low-cost viewer with a free app as listed above: a simple way to view an image from a static position in 360 degrees with widely available kit, and at low cost.  This file is rendered out of the TCD dedicated cinema job in minutes.

TCD's VR output does not provide downloads of large scene files containing 3D geometry that require dedicated gaming hardware and VR headsets with wireless controllers. You can't interact with a VR render – you can look around it in 360, but you can't walk around it or interact with other people in it.  

Q: What if my room is not square?

If your room is not square – an L shape, for instance – you are advised to 'square off' the room and to enter these dimensions into TCD. The cinema and all equipment will exist within the specified room dimensions.

Q: Explain the room measurements that need to be entered

The room measurements required for the tool are the inner, finished surface measurements of the room structure. Think of it this way – if you are selecting in-wall speakers throughout the design, these will be recessed INTO the walls so that the front face of each speaker will be level with the walls of the dimensions specified. If you were selecting on-wall speakers throughout, these would be fixed TO the wall of the dimensions specified.


The reason for this particular speaker placement is because TCD’s cinema designs are based on speaker positions at angle ranges within CTA/CEDIA CEB-22 and CEB-23 Home Theater Audio and Video Recommended Practices, as well as several ITU documents on audio and video criteria. Users can open the finished cinema room design in AutoCAD or a similar program and move the speakers anywhere they wish. And, TCD will soon be launching an option that will automatically position speakers inside the acoustically transparent screen area.

When this goes live, loudspeakers will be positioned behind the screen if they are within the polar coordinates for the frontal soundstage. Where applicable, TCD will align a loudspeaker inside the edge of a projection screen (within the 22 degrees guidelines).

Q: How do I use the 3D CAD to get the speaker placement and equipment measurements?

Some of the dimensions, such as room dims and seating distance, can be found on the PDF that TCD produces.

However, you will need to open TCD's CAD file in AutoCAD and use the dims tool to measure the equipment distances within the room.

Q: I am a dealer of a TCD manufacturer member - is TCD available via the manufacturer?

No, the integrator needs to subscribe to TCD. 

Q: How does TCD's D-Tools integration work?

The combination of D-Tools’ estimation, design, and documentation capabilities, along with TCD’s cloud-based home cinema design tool provides system integrators and installers with a complete solution to streamline the manual, labor-intensive process of designing a technically perfect residential cinema, while taking care of all estimation and project management – allowing both D-Tools and TCD customers to realize substantial cost savings and return on investment.

Any TCD project can be exported in a 'CSV' file format specially designed to be imported into D-Tools System Integrator 2017. 

Each design located in a user's TCD account history has an 'Export CSV to D-Tools' button.

All equipment specified within the design will be exported: speakers, processor and amplification, electronics, screen/projector/flat panel and seating.

Locate the design you wish to export within your account page and click to download and save your CSV file; the file is ready to go, just save it for import into your D-Tools project.

Within your D-Tools software, your exported TCD file is an 'import' integration, meaning that data comes from TCD into D-Tools; there is no setup needed.

The only required step is to create a project in D-Tools, then import the Project_Items from the TCD export (csv) file.

Visit the D-Tools website here and here for further details.

Q: Does TCD calculate high render channel count speaker placements?

Yes. Trinnov Audio’s recommended speaker whitepaper has been incorporated into the cloud-based design tool, allowing home cinema installers to confidently design technically accurate 32-channel count Dolby Atmos and DTS:X home cinemas in a matter of minutes. Using TCD is the only way home technology professionals can accurately design technically perfect high spatial resolution home cinemas in such a short space of time.

The TCD high render channel count update eliminates the guesswork when it comes to placing all the required loudspeakers accurately in a room in a way that is relative to the listening area, while eliminating equipment combinations that simply won't work.

When making any design or equipment changes in a TCD design (projector placement, seating configurations, seating distance from screen/walls), the user must click the blue 'calculate speaker placement' button after each modification in order to automatically update the speaker placement design.

“Designing high channel count cinemas for optimal results is something few people have much experience doing,” said Jon Herron, High End Audio, Director of Sales, Americas, Trinnov Audio. “Even within the high-end cinema community, most systems have been stuck at around 11 channels, plus subwoofers. Many designers are not entirely comfortable with the naming conventions, much less the use of all the ‘new’ speaker locations available to them, nor which ones are the most important when deciding to increase the channel count beyond 11.1. This fact is not helped by the fact that Dolby, Auro, and DTS all use different nomenclature for their ‘extra’ speakers. TCD incorporates industry standards and Trinnov’s own experience in designing these high channel count cinemas into its design algorithms. It's quite remarkable.”

Click here for more details on TCD's high render channel count functionality.

Q: How do subscribers manage or change card payments?

Your credit card payments are collected through Shopify, our online store. If you created a Shopify account during your first order with TCD, then login to access your ‘Manage Subscriptions page’. If you need to create one, let us know and we will re-send your Shopify account activation email. You can then login to your Shopify account to manage payment card details and view your billing and order history.

Q: How can I get in touch if I experience any issues or need guidance?

We are committed to making this design tool an industry game-changer, and our dedicated team are on hand to answer all of your questions and to help with any issues. Contact us and we will return your emails within 24 hours, not forgetting that this is a global design tool and there are time differences.

Q: What training is available?

Please visit our how to use page under 'about' for a series of informative and in-depth tutorial videos. This page will soon be updated with a series of videos addressing each part of the design process.

TCD holds monthly webinar training sessions; keep an eye on our training page and social media pages for future dates and times.

Q: What does the future hold for TCD?

TCD is headed up by one of the UK's most experienced home cinema designers, and as such the software is constantly being updated with new features to benefit residential cinema installers. TCD is a web-based design tool and all future updates are part of the subscription process; there are no 'new versions' – you will always be using the newest version and updates will happen automatically. Keep an eye on our social media, newsletters and blog page for all update announcements

Q: Can you export a list (csv or similar) of connections for adding to cable schedule?

TCD designs export into D-Tools; you can open this export in Visio and it shows you the I/O of all equipment you have selected in your TCD design, allowing you to calculate the cabling schedule.

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