Home Theater Considerations

There is nothing more relaxing than enjoying a good movie over the weekend. With the advent of home theater systems people prefer to watch their favorite movies within the comforts of their home.

The development of DVD player technology and Dolby digital surround sound systems has enabled movie aficionados to recreate the magic of watching movies in a theater in their own home. Installing a home theater system however is an activity which requires in-depth planning.

A theater in your home for your Home Theater

A Home Theater Installation is needed to enhance the experience of watching a movie with great sound effects and superior picture quality. The first thing to look out for is the location. A separate room to house your home theater system would be the best option. You could convert a spare room into your home theater or if not possible create space for the system in the living room itself.

Plan for best quality sound effects and image

The main aspect while installing a home theater system is the correct positioning of the flat screen TV and speakers. For a mid sized room, the TV screen can be installed on the wall facing away from windows. For best sound effects, prefer surround sound installation with the main speakers can be placed adjacent to the screen while the auxiliary speakers can be placed along the walls adjacent to the viewers.

The wires and cables can be concealed by running them through the walls or behind wall furnishing. Wireless surround sound speakers are quite popular as you can mount them anywhere in the room without having to bother about wires trailing along the walls or not being long enough.

Create the ambiance for your Home Theater

A point to be noted, the best home theater systems would look and sound mediocre if not installed in harmony with the surroundings. An overly lit room or one with a number of windows is not conducive for picture clarity. Lights that can be dimmed and windows with dark curtains would ensure that a theatre like ambiance is created.

Some aspects to be considered are

  • • Sound effects
  • • Audience location
  • • Height, distance and angle of viewing
  • • Design of the room

A home theater setup includes a flat screen TV, up to 8 speakers and other audio and video components that can take up a large amount of space. Wall units, mobile cabinets or racks are ideal to house the various components. Wall mounts look neat though would involve activities like drilling, taking measurements and concealing the cables in moldings or conduits.

Power arrangements for your Home Theater

The home theater system would need adequate power outlets with a dedicated power line to sustain the increased load. If it’s not possible to run a separate line from the circuit breaker a power strip and surge protectors would suffice to shield the system from power outages and fluctuations.

A separate socket with backup for components like the cable box and DVR would ensure that the system does not get switched off in case of a power outage. The feature is especially important if you like to record your favorite TV show or sports events. Also remember to mark each cable with the component name to which it is to be connected to avoid confusion.

Viewing distance for your Home Theater

The optimum viewing distance would depend on the size of the TV screen. For most flat screen TVs for home theater with a diagonal screen size of about 27 inches, the seating arrangement should be at a distance of 10 feet (about 3.1 meters) from the screen. You can select from a variety of Plasma, LCD or LED TV screens for your home theater. The image quality is similar for most flat screen TVs though the prices would vary according to the brand chosen and extra features availed.

Katie Browns writes for Nextday Techs, an on-site technical service firm offering expert technical solutions for home and office use. For more information about home theater installation services visit our website at http://www.nextdaytechs.com

Playing the Field with Home Theater Systems

If you are in the market for a home theater system chances are you are experiencing some degree of shell shock at all the options that are available in today’s market. The fact that there are so many options is both wonderful and horrible at the same time. The sheer amount of competition is working well to drive prices down for consumers. With that in mind, there are still levels of pricing according to the quality of home theater system you are selecting. On the other hand, a vast quantity of selection for many makes narrowing down the proper choice for specific needs difficult at best.

There are some things to keep in mind when purchasing a home theater system and the first of those things is to settle on a budget and stick with it. The very process of establishing a budget narrows down your options and you just may be surprised at the quality you can find within various budgets. Even more surprising to many consumers is the fact that you do not have to go with names that you know in order to get excellent quality of sound, picture, and value from your home theater system. [Read more…]

Building a Home Theater on a Budget

budget home theaterAmericans tend to spend a lot of time in front of our television sets so a budget home theater is a great thing to have. Whether we are movie junkies with multiple memberships to Internet movie rental companies or are serious addicts to all things reality on television we are addicted to our entertainment. Since we spend so much time watching our televisions it makes sense that we make a sizeable investment in our home theater in order to get the best possible quality picture and sound from our systems.

We do not, however live in a one size fits all world, which has lead to a good deal of healthy competition within the entertainment industry as well as the electronics industry. This is excellent news for consumers that must live within the constraints of their budget home theater. As competition emerges along with newer technologies we see a downward trend in the prices of existing technology. The real trick however is to be content with last year’s technology today and you could actually save thousands on your home theater. [Read more…]

The Great Installation Debate

One huge questions looms in the minds of many who purchase massive home theater systems for their homes is home theater installation : Do I install it myself or pay for installation? This great home theater installation debate seems to consume consumers the world over and there really is no easy answer as it completely and entirely depends on your own confidence of your abilities and whether or not you will postpone the work for six months or get right to it once you get your home theater-well home.

home theater installation

In my house it all depends on who wants the product most and who has the ability to handle an installation. I’ve learned that when it comes to things such as home theaters my husband is an ace at getting it done right away. On the other hand I lugged my laundry to the laundry mat for 6 weeks while a washing machine and dryer sat in my basement waiting for him to install them. With this in mind, I pay for installation on anything that I want installed quickly and if it doesn’t matter too terribly much to me, I’ll leave it to him to install on his own timeline.

Of course timing isn’t the only consideration when it comes to the home theater installation. Knowledge is actually a key component. If you break something during the course of installation it may not be covered by the warranty, particularly if it is easy to prove that it was broken and not the result of a factory defect. At the same time you do not wish to get down to the last little bit only to discover that one small part is missing, which may actually require you to take everything out, box it up, and return it to the store. Time is money for many of us and going through the installation process twice is not only frustrating it is expensive (even in terms of the amount of our leisure time it robs us of).

home theater installation

There are of course other considerations when it comes to the decision of whether or not to pay the price of professional home theater installation and one of those is the warranty on your home theater system and its components. There are some warranties that are nullified if you do not have your home theater factory or professionally installed. You need to be certain if you are installing your own home theater that your warranty won’t be wasted as a result.

There are positives to consider when it comes to installing your home theater as well. Number one on that list is the amount of money you will save. Professional home theater installation (anything with professional in front of it for that matter) is quite costly and many consumers neglect to consider that when budgeting for their home theaters. In many cases professional installation can be a real deal breaker when it comes to getting the home theater system that you really want.

The second positive when it comes to performing the installation yourself is that you know without a doubt how to take it apart and move the pieces if you ever have the occasion or need to do so (such as a move or the need to repair or replace certain pieces or parts). It is also a good idea to know where everything plugs in and doing the installation yourself will give you a clear indication of that as well.

Finally, there is a sense of pride that comes with knowing you did the home theater installation yourself and you did it well. Being able to accomplish something that not everyone is able or willing to do on their own is impressive and something you should take great pride in doing. Whether you decide to go with professional installation (there is no shame in this decision) or home theater installation for yourself I wish you many years of enjoyment with your new home theater.

Home Theater for Small Spaces

small home theaterOne reason that many people who would love the benefits of a home theater avoid making the investment or even considering their options is because they live in situations that allow only a small home theater with which to place the necessary components of a home theater system.

The good news is that compact systems or small home theater are growing in quality and availability as space around the world becomes more and more limited. As the population grows, the problem of space grows as well. Gone are the days filled with huge plantation style homes around the world as communities are more and more often filled to capacity with apartment buildings, condos, and homes built on compact lots in housing communities.

Small Home Theater for Small Spaces

The average family around the world has experience the limitations of space when it comes to things such as floor speakers and bulky home theater systems. The good news is that they days of huge projectors and massive televisions stands have fallen by the wayside to make way for ceiling mounted projectors and rear projector televisions that fit tightly into corners when necessary. This makes a small home theater the best option. We also have the added convenience of wireless speakers that can be mounted on walls or in the ceiling as well as LCD and plasma televisions that can be mounted on the wall rather than taking up precious real estate on our floors. [Read more…]

Biggest Home Theater Buying Mistake

I have had several home theater systems over the years before building my current home dream theater, and I have known many people with home theater systems as well.  Advances in technology have greatly increased the quality of the home theater experience.  We know have very thin flat screen television, gone are the date of the cathode ray tubes and rear projection big screens are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Most recently high definition has made an incredible impact and will soon become the new standard definition, as blu-ray discs will replace DVDs.  But with all these improvements in picture quality, there is a persistent weakness in home theater systems.  The sound.  Invariably home theaters will have a great picture, big vibrant and detailed, but paired with a mediocre sound system.  This comes from the misconception that a great movie watching experience comes solely from your screen.  Nothing is farther from the truth.

A great picture will give you the illusion that you are looking through a window frame into what the director envisioned for the film.  Having a equally good sound system will take you through the window and put you right in the middle of the film. You can be transported into the middle of a jungle, where you hear a howler monkey off in the distance on your right, footsteps behind you.  Suddenly someone in the front of your search party has stepped on a mine, and you feel the impact of the chest-pounding explosion throughout your body.  Out of nowhere gunfire comes out the jungle brush to your left, you flinch and feel compelled to take cover… [Read more…]

Choosing the best Plasma TV

As we all know plasma TVs are great and are an essential part of your home theater. It used to be that plasmas would get that burn in that looks so bad and the screens themselves would lose their brightness quite quickly but now those old limitations are gone.

Choosing a TV can be a challenging outing for many people and one the requires proper decision making. LCD TV’s are popular among many, but in order to take your TV watching to the next level plasma would be a preference that may make your eyes pop out with excitement. With the great amount of plasma TV’s available getting an idea of how much TV you can afford is important.

Bigger Is Not Inevitably Always Better With different sizes and features evaluate what your needs are and decide what’s the best fit. Consider the size of the plasma television that you decide on what have an impact on your overall investment. From an affordability standpoint plasma units that are less than 42 inches are usually cheaper. For a plasma TV monitor expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to somewhere around $5,000 depending on the model. You can look to cough up a higher price for a TV plasma unit that is more prominent than 42 inches in size.

Rich Color and Audio Will Make You Happy
Having settled on the make including the size you now can focus on the exciting aspects of owning a plasma TV, which is how it looks. Each plasma television will have it’s own features and this will ultimately influence your choice. Features will include the amount of color saturation which determines how it looks. Well placed blocks of solid black add to depth, coupled with rich color in plasma televisions. This combination enhances the viewing enjoyment. Plasma TV’s have other features as well. To give better true to life color and depth to you favorite tv programs, plasma monitors use gas cells to provide the color. High definition broadcasts will have a smoother and crisper look to your picture image.

Ports in the Back are Crucial
While selecting the highest quality plasma that your money can buy, make sure you investigate whether or not the unit comes with accessory terminals usually located at the rear of the TV. Terminals in the back will let you include other electronic items like stereos, X-Box’s, Video Players and other accessory items. Picture in picture allows you to watch two shows at the same time. In some models its a mini screen in others it could be adjustable up to half and half.

Evaluating these different items will give you the foundation that you need in order to make a wise decision on a plasma TV monitor for your family viewing. Having a working knowledge of the main elements and feature of plasma sets will give you the ability to wade through all of the choices. Without a doubt you’ll be ready to choose a model and feel good about your decsion when selecting a plasma TV.

If you want really improve your knowledge Review Plasma Televisions visit http://www.bigtimewebproducts.com/plasmatv a popular website that focuses on Cheap Plasma TV, Plasma TV Ratings and provides valuable information on getting a Plasma Tv Cheap.

Now that you know more about your choices in plasma TVs it is time to go out and look at all the choices that the local stores offer and see what is new. I can keep you up to date with these changes but the salesman at the stores will try to do that as well. Remember to know what you are buying before laying out that credit card.

Home Theater Receivers – Whats new

There is more to improving or completing your home theater than just going to the local best buy an d getting a new receiver. Look at the following features before plunging in.

Your home theater receiver is the brain of your operation. Without the receiver, nothing else would matter. The receiver is the receptacle for all of the information that is brought into the home via satellite, cable, or antenna. Receivers do everything from the basics of being the channel hub to being the audio/video receiver for your television and the FM receiver for a stereo, as well as the “circuit hub” for everything that is involved in your system. Some of the more upscale and modern models include ports for connecting your XM radio or Ipod. With all of the bells and whistles available on these receivers, it is important to know what you want in a receiver before you ever start looking. When you do start your search, make sure that you do your homework and get all of the accessories you want as well as a good price on your new theater system.

Any receiver can handle a basic two channel stereo playback, but a good model will be equipped with Dolby Digital and or DTS surround sound processing. Both of these formats use five audio channels plus a special low frequency bass to present a more theater like feel and sound quality. Many DVDs are equipped to utilize these features of the modern home theater system. Many of the upper model receivers are equipped with Dolby Digital EX that will allow a greater filtration and presentation of the movie’s background noise and create a more realistic theater viewing.

The most common type of receiver -5.1-channel models- decode the audio information contained in Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks and route them to front left and right, center, and surround speakers in your system via their five built-in amplifier channels. (The .1, or low frequency effects, channel in a movie soundtrack gets directed to a powered subwoofer with its own on-board amplifier.) Along with all of the attributes of the 5.1, the 6.1 include an additional amp channel that drives another surround speaker when watching a DVD equipped with Dolby Digital EX, creating the more realistic feel.

7.1-channel receivers are basically the same as 6.1-channel models, but they include yet another amp channel to drive a second back surround speaker. In this case, the audio information going to both back speakers is identical; it’s just distributed between the two back speakers to create an even more expansive rear sound field. The specifications for the new HD DVD and Blu-ray disc formats allow for soundtracks with up to 7.1 discrete audio channels. So while a 7.1-channel receiver might seem like overkill, right now it’s a more future-proof option than 5.1 and 6.1 models.

Since the receiver is the brain of your home theater, you want to try to get the most bang for your buck when purchasing a system. You may think now that you do not need all of the amenities involved, but in six months, you may wish you had all of the sound quality of that model you saw that was only $30 more. If you are interested, you may want to even get a model that allows you to change rooms within your system so you can switch to a different set of speakers that you have set up in your dining room or on the back patio.

Buying a top of the line receiver with all of the possible accessories is the easiest way to go, but there are negatives to this idea. If you are unfamiliar with a product and its accessories or the correct usage of either of them, you could end up damaging your new investment. It is best to do your homework and make sure that the product you are getting is the correct receiver for your needs and desires.

http://www.YourHomeTheaterSystem.com brings you real information on how to easily and affordably setup your very own home theater system just like the rich and famous. There’s nothing to buy, just real information for real people. Be sure to check out our home theater projector pages.

Best Buy survey of home Theater issues

Here is some interesting information although it is in a press release from Best Buy so it has their own marketing spin on it. It seems that Best Buy feels that ease of installation is one of the big factors wehn it comes to buying a home theater although I think that this is probably not as true as most people worry about this only a few minutes before they make their purchase.

Hoem theater installation is really only a one time event, unless you move a lot, and either can be done by yourself or of course you can get a professional in to do this critical step. There is a cost and if you can justify the cost of installation then that is best overall. I myself have always done my own installations although there is really not too much to it in my eyes.

Women’s influence on consumer electronics purchases is quickly growing, and according to a December 2006 Best Buy Omnitel Survey, their interest goes well beyond aesthetics. In fact, when it comes to the technical aspects of setting up a home theater, women have even stronger feelings than men. For instance, 74 percent of women list sound quality as a very important aspect to consider while only 54 percent of men feel the same.

Women are clearly paying attention to the details of technology today and are taking an active role in the selection and performance of their home theater system. More women than men feel sound quality, ease of use, price, and installation services are “very important.”

Very Important Women Men
Sound Quality 74% 54%
Ease of Use 67% 45%
Price 69% 50%
Installation Services Available 38% 23%

“Deciding on an HDTV is an emotional purchase – we’ve heard from many couples that it can be as complex a decision as deciding on a car or even a house,” said Mike Vitelli, senior vice president of consumer electronics at Best Buy. “Best Buy understands our customers want their HD done right. That’s why we offer consultation, products and installation services to give our customers a home theater experience that fits their unique needs.”

If they can’t agree who gets control of the remote (38 percent of respondents say they are somewhat or very likely to argue with their significant other over the remote control), at least men and women agree that picture quality is the most important aspect of selecting a new HDTV. Eighty percent of men and women surveyed ranked picture quality as being very important in their HDTV buying decision.

While the technical side of the home theater is important, the survey found that both men and women agree that size does indeed matter. The majority (57%) of flat-panel TV owners surveyed agree that bigger is better when it comes to flat-panel TVs. Aesthetics matter as well. Both men and women flat-panel TV owners agree that they even like their flat-panel TVs when they’re turned off (52%).

[Read more…]

How to choose a home theater reciever

Here is another introductory article on home theaters from Kevin Hunt of the Hartford Courant. It is a good read if you are new to home theaters but may be a bit of a rehash for you experienced guys. The really nice thing is that the writer of this article goes on to setup some rules for choosing a home theater and then actually applies them to the Panasonic SA-XR57.

Surround sound starts with an audio-video receiver. Consider the number of channels, how much power you need and how to hook things up.


It’s not a crime to own an HDTV without a surround system, but don’t wait until lobbyists push through legislation.

Let’s keep it an unwritten law: It takes a big-screen television and surround sound to make a home theater.

Surround sound starts with an audio-video receiver. Here are a few things to consider when buying your first:

1. How many channels? A basic home theater has 5.1 channels, which translates to five speakers — left, center and right in the front and left and right behind the listener — and a subwoofer. The subwoofer plays only the lowest frequencies, producing the rumbling special effects of movie soundtracks, so gets only fractional credit (the .1 in 5.1) in a surround system. Think of it as the vice president of your surround system.

[Read more…]