Home theater tips
Bring home the action with these tips for a perfect home theater
A trip to the movies, a concert or a sporting event nowadays can be torture. The drive takes time and gasoline. Upon arrival, you pay an admission fee that could fund a kid's college education. You reach for the sky as the robbers at the concession stand take your last dollar. The aroma of popcorn and peanuts scarcely disguises the dark, dank smell of an empty wallet. Tired of the aggravation? Consider the installation of a home theater. Here is a list of home theater tips that may help you decide whether or not now is the time to enjoy a full menu of entertainment choices—complete with zero hassles.
What are some components and accessories of a home theater?
Think about what attracted you to the best theater or concert hall in your town. A home theater replicates the ambiance of a private showing—one held in your living room or in whatever room you choose. A home theater simulates the true-to-life colors enabled by the system and the crystal clarity of the sound emitted by the speakers you choose.
A flat-screen digital, plasma or LCD HD television of at least 40-inches in width is a common size choice but many feel bigger is better. In addition, a projector and screen for showing movies from DVDs may be a part of your system. The basics can be purchased as a set. Accessories can be added at will.
An exciting array of products is available to make home theater wiring a job that's easy and quick. Ideally, home theater wiring will be virtually invisible when properly routed. Most handy homeowners can do a good job. Of course, professional installation is available almost everywhere and some manufacturers of home theater equipment tout wireless features.
• A flat-screen television
• A projector and projector screen
• A DVD player
• An Audio/Visual receiver
• At least five speakers with surround sound capability
• Appropriate furniture such as comfy chairs
• Opaque window curtains to black-out any light
• Room lighting controls such as dimmers
• Power strips for plugging in accessories
• A remote control to manage operations
• One or more headphones for solo listening
• A well stocked snack bar (optional)
Some things to consider before purchasing a home theater system
Plenty of advanced planning is the key to success when it comes to buying a home theater system. How much room do you have? A home theater needs a large television screen that enables lush, panoramic viewing. The wall you choose for mounting the screen should be clear of protrusions such as light fixtures.
Today's home theaters are masterpieces of technology. The components are carefully integrated and all of them rely upon a trustworthy program delivery source such as a satellite or cable system. The main unit controlling the system's components is the audio/visual receiver. Lots of bells and whistles can be added depending on your viewing habits and budget. Go wild and include some tactile transducers—gizmos that rumble the floor during movies with scenes of earthquakes or explosions.
Sensible soundproofing can insulate your theater and also provide warmth
Some form of soundproofing will be needed if the room is in a part of the house occupied by teenagers who will have their music blasting while you are trying to watch your favorite programming. Soundproofing will be an essential if other family members are into running a sewing machine or playing drums. Sheets of rubber padding are useful for soundproofing.
Configurations are limited only by your imagination and budget
Some price examples have been researched. A low-end Dell projector capable of nicely filling a screen that's eight-feet wide cost one user about $900. But the screen itself was practically free—homemade with surplus materials bought at an auction. Various sets of speakers can be had for a bit more than $1000 and include front speakers, middle speakers and subwoofers. Tall, slim speakers save space and can fit next to a wall.
If space is tight, speakers can be mounted near the ceiling. The way they are aimed and their volume is what creates a beautiful sound at the sweet spot—the place where you sit most often. Advanced plans for home theaters often integrate goodies such as CD players, Xbox units and DVDs. Those diversions located in other rooms can be routed into the home theater. Amazing, isn't it? Can you see yourself munching popcorn—in your own home theater? Read about it. Ask questions. Get opinions. Get prices. The future is now—and it could be in your home, soon.