Home Theaters: Popular Choice for Entertainment at Home

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Nowadays its common to see families settle down in plush reclining theater chairs to watch a movie in their home theater, featuring big screen television (up to 120-inch screen). These days, home theaters are the family rooms, and money can buy you all the amenities, including surround sound, subwoofers and popcorn makers.

Home Theater

Sales of extra-large televisions have multiplied in recent years. And even though most Home theater systems are often installed with dad in mind, they usually turn out to be a great way for families to spend time together. Few years back, soundbars and streaming boxes were niche devices but today they clock huge sales. And while none of this equipment is cheap, neither is going to the movies, which might explain why some families are investing in home theaters.


Watching Movies in Theaters is Becoming Expensive

It would cost an average family around $30 in tickets for the four of them to go to a Friday or Saturday night movie. Add in a large popcorn, four large soft drinks and a large box of candy, and you’re looking at an additional $35 or more. If the family went once a month, they would spend about a $900 a year.

And if you look at that figure again, I’m sure your mind would start thinking. Spend few years saving to transform a big spare room (such as the basement room) into a mini-cinema. That’s what explains the popularity of home theaters today.

So here’s a simplified guide on Home theaters, its basics, how to set it up and do all the wiring, and reviews of the popular products.

Who Needs a Home Theater?

Does every family need a home theater? Not really! Besides, it can be a financial stretch for most families – you need at least a medium-sized TV, a basic DVD player and some cheap speakers.

However, if you have the money, and wish to have a better entertainment experience at home, a home theater is certainly a desirable (and even practical) acquisition.

Here are some of the things you may use it for.

  • Watching enthralling movies with superior visuals and sounds, Play documentaries – nature films (see the Bengal tiger in all its majesty)
  • Provide music for parties
  • Watch Sports (it looks spectacular – the greenery, the audience)
  • Play video games (much more fun for the family)
  • With the popularity of SCART switch boxes, number of different gadgets & machines that can be hooked up to a home entertainment system is growing by the day.

The Perfect Party

Planning a party at home? Your home theater can play a vital role in entertaining your guests.

You can hook it to a stereo system, your home computer (or both), you can connect your MP3 player to it (just play the playlist, no need to change CDs). Listen to music, watch sports together (football, soccer, tennis, golf), play video games, or watch your favorite movies on the big screen.

At the end of the party, all you need to do is switch off all the gadgets.

Home Theater that Spans Multiple Rooms

It is now possible to have a home theater system run different entertainment programs in different rooms, making for the perfect entertainment package.

You can run different movies in different rooms, a movie in one room and music in another, and all sorts of combinations.

However, such a setup is going to cost more. And the more components you have, the more connections you will have to manage. But as long as you are on top of this, there may be no limit to the entertainment you can provide at a party.

But as these systems become more commonplace, the price will eventually become more reasonable.

Home Theater for the Music Fan

Its now possible to have a home theater play you favorite music that you can hear in any room of your house.
Once you have the speakers hooked up in different rooms of your house, you can listen to music, played in the clearest stereo sound possible, and this soundtrack can be controlled from any room which has a computer that is connected to the system.

Once you have the proper setup in place, you could listen to a pumping soundtrack in your home gym, have a singalong playlist for the kitchen, and something relaxing for the dining room.

Certain systems are now even controllable from a cell phone, so that you can set everything up on your way home from work. Now that’s really cool, especially for music aficionados!

Worthwhile Investment for the Budding Filmmaker

A home theater is a must for any budding filmmaker. Just checkout YouTube and you will know how people are making films (and even making money) using their cell phones, webcams and other low-powered equipment.

With a home theater, it is possible to critically watch your own creations so that you can edit them further if required. Budding directors/producers can make something more involved and innovative, and this is definitely a good thing for the world of film.

Putting together a Home Theater – Making The Connection

Buying a home theater is the first step, but you need to also think about its arrangement, in order to get the best out of it. For example, elevation is important (when it comes to placing the television) as it emphasizes the screen. Similarly, even speakers need to be correctly placed for the maximum effect.

Also read: Home Theater Components: Audio & Video

You should ensure the arrangements in each room is perfect, and even the connection cables used are of good quality, in order to enjoy your home theater to the fullest.

Also read: Where to Place the Various Components of a Home Theater
Also read: Home Theater Installation & Wiring

Putting together a home theater is in a way similar to playing with Lego bricks. You start with some bits and pieces, add them together, and later add more to them.

If you are prepared to spend enough money you can put together a home theater that works equally well for movies, music, sports and video games. But it will certainly require a lot of equipment, which will not come cheap.

The best thing about owning a home theater is you don’t have to buy all the components together. If you’re on a limited budget, you can always build it phase-wise (bit by bit.) A full-fledged home theater will ideally need a DVD player and also a TV of significant size. The next thing will be to upgrade the speakers.

You can always do additional things like:

  1. Connect your laptop computer to the system, and play videos, presentations or play music at parties.
  2. You may connect a games console, a telecommunications system, or whatever gadget you wish.

Plug and Play or Mix and Match?
If you want a better overall experience without wanting to get into the nitty-gritty’s, buying a home theater kit in a box is a good option. It will play movies, music and other add-ons.

Also read: Home Theater in a Box Systems

If, however, you want something that conforms to your tastes perfectly, you need to research more and put things together yourself.

Also read: Home Theater / AV Receivers

Types of Televisions for Your Home theater

The television sits at the center of any home theater, and takes the major chunk of the budget allocated for any home theater setup. Over they years, several types of televisions have come into the market, although only a few have survived now.

With developments in surround-sound technology, larger sized televisions, it is now possible to capture lot more details in any film. You can pick out differences in light, the look in the actor’s eyes and the changes in their breathing – all things that adds to the overall experience while watching a movie.

You can read here to understand the various types of televisions (including projectors) available for home theaters.

Projectors for Home theaters

Those who have bigger rooms can also opt for projectors to be part of their home theater setup. Many are already using projectors in offices as well (less distracting).

However, for entertainment purposes, do consider buying a projector if you have sufficient space. you can read more about projectors for your home theater here.

Gaming & Home Theater

Gaming is gradually moving from a separate room to the living room, and slowly becoming a part of the home theater setup in most homes.

In case you’re an avid gamer, here’s why it makes sense to integrate your gaming system into your home theater setup.

Also read: Guide to Selecting the Best Home Theater Seating

Examples of Families that transformed their spare room into their private mini-cinema.
Here’s what one family had done.

Their basement theater had an Epson overhead projector, seven speakers surrounding the space and two subwoofers to handle the low rumbling sounds that make you feel like you’re in the middle of the action. The walls were covered in sectioned drapes and have sconces that look like they came from an actual theater. A secret door in the wall next to big screen opens to reveal a small room full of speakers and equipment. An overhead projector hangs over a couch in the middle of the room. The leather lounge chairs had drink holders, and the second row is built on a platform, creating stadium-seating style. The room outside the theater had a stocked movie candy drawer and a popcorn machine that looks like an old-fashioned cart. The walls are covered with framed movie posters from blockbuster movies.

It took three installers with three large vans full of equipment two days to wire the house and set up the screens, projectors, consoles and speakers, he says. The cost: $60,000 for the basement theater. The family has another $10,000 invested in wiring and equipment for the rest of the house.

You can always have another large flat-screen TV in another room to checkout how your favorite sports team is doing, while the family is watching movies.

And does it cost a bomb? Well, about $30,000, and most big families do find it worth the money.

Another reason that parents & grandparents invest this kind of money is because they want a cool house where their grown-up kids and their friends can hang out; it gives them peace of mind knowing where their kids are.

Price ranges for home theaters can vary. Most families do it in the $10,000 to $50,000 range, but some folks go above and below that, too. It’s very family-oriented. They can come together and watch a movie or sporting event, and it does add value to your home.

Several local businesses that sell home theater systems, now show pictures on their websites of rooms outfitted like cinemas. However, most clients usually just want a big-screen TV with killer surround sound systems built into the walls.

It’s also very discreet now. We can hide the equipment so you operate the remote control through walls. A lot of people have little kids, and they don’t want fingers in the equipment, so we have to give them bells and whistles without you seeing it.

Everything can be controlled remotely by an iPad. And a DVR on every TV can record different shows at the same time then play each of those shows on any screen in the home. The same goes for music.

You can download any song in the world and play it in any room in the house. You can have John Mayer playing on the TV up here and a classic rock concert going in the basement.

You can watch concerts, music shows and a lot of movies. You can get them now within a couple of months after they’re in theaters. For most families, it beats going to the movies. You can have our own popcorn and go to the bathroom. The sound of helicopters will come from one speaker and bullets from another. It sounds like they’re flying past your ears. At night when it’s all dark and the TVs are on and it’s rumbling, it’s an awesome experience.

Checkout our large selection of offerings to find the perfect center-piece for your television / home theater!

Source: columbian.com…

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