Home Theaters Explained

Going to the movie theater used to be the go-to social event, for family night or date night, the only place to find subtitled art house gems or B-movie chillers. Somewhere along the way, cable expanded, theaters dwindled or became more expensive, and people’s lives got busier—so busy, in fact, that they preferred to watch their entertainment on a portable two-inch screen. But then came the rise (or return) of 3-D films, and they grew more spectacular, enough to make theaters install new screens, update their technology. Then more films embraced IMAX technology, and directors followed by producing films meant to be watched on as large a screen as possible. But once the films left the theater, how could that experience be recreated at home?

Why choose a home theater?

Aside from wanting to watch spectacular filmmaking on a large screen, if you’ve lately had a disappointing experience at your local Cineplex, you don’t have to stretch your imagination to answer this one. Theaters are expensive to keep up, staff don’t always keep the theaters (or restrooms) clean, and the food is more than not overpriced and stale. Add to that the modern movie-goer, at least in America—and their phones. You know that familiar glow from the seats when someone checks a score or text or Snapchat, or the buzz in the pocket…and those aren’t even the worst offenders. But imagine seeing any movie you wanted at any time with all the benefits of a large screen and exceptional sound. Before, this was only an option for the elite, who not only had the money to install a fancy theater system but the space to do so.

There is no one type of home theater

Sometimes when people think of home theaters, they imagine the fantasy version, either a celebrity screening room or ultimate man cave or high-end theme room.

But the truth is that now anyone can have a home theater system that goes beyond the basic TV/Cable (or satellite) hookups. Technological advancements have made the large projector and screen combination with built-in speakers just one fraction of the available options. Really, any TV room can become the next home theater.

Where to start?

Generally, you’ll know right off the bat if you want a deluxe fantasy package or man cave, or if you just want the highest possible quality sound and picture for your home. Do you want the 3D experience? Do you want the sound (or special effects) to reverberate in your seat? What about a surround sound setup?

The sound is the easiest way to replicate the movie going experience. From small Bose or other brand units to much larger installations, surround sound makes you feel like you are part of the film itself.

Then you have to decide if you want to opt for a stellar TV unit, or if you want to up the experience and get a projector. The details are much sharper with projectors than they are with television screens.

The most basic kits come with at least a 27-inch screen and four speakers, equipment for splitting the surround sound signal, and a DVD/Blue Ray player capable of broadcasting surround sound. The DIY upgrades increase from there.

Then you’ll have to decide if you want a device such as Apple TV (recommended even if your TV comes with apps), or one of the more elite systems such as PRIMA Cinema, Kaleidescape, or Runco. These are high-end projectors and movie-playing devices that stream current theater offerings in your home.

Whatever you choose, you want to make sure you optimize the space you have and design according to how many viewers you may have at any given time. Your policy on cell phones and talking is entirely up to you. Besides, giant evil bunnies are best viewed on a giant screen.

There are many different packages that Modern Home Systems offers, so come into our store, visit us at http://ModernHomeSystems.com, or give us a call at (858) 554-0404 for more information—or if you’re ready to design your basic home theater or fantasy screening room.

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