A1HomeTheater, Home Theater, Movie Theater, Theater

A1 Hometheaters

a1hometheater So you're in the market for a new home theater system? Perhaps you want to upgrade your old energy-hogging television to a brand new flat-panel HDTV. Maybe you want to incorporate surround-sound into your home movie watching experience. Some will brag that their personal theaters can blow away the experience from an actual movie theater--and rightfully so.

Setting Up a Home Theater

A great home theater needn't break the bank. You can go all out and spend over a hundred grand on an elaborate theater. (You've seen those fabulous theaters, complete with popcorn machines, ticket booths, and enormous, sumptuous recliners.) To be sure, implementing those elements can truly add to the movie-watching experience, but you can also start by building out and enjoying a theater that costs a minimal amount.

So what will you need? You can start by choosing either a flat-panel tv or a movie projector, depending on your preference. You may get a larger picture from a projector, but of course you will also need to accomodate that picture. You can do that with either a pull-down screen, that you can purchase through some of the links we have listed on this site. Prices for screens currently range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Or you can be creative and use other material. If your wall surface is smooth, you can even paint a section of your wall a bright white and acheive an outstanding picture. If you choose this route, we recommend Sherwin Williams Luminous White Flat paint. Many do-it-yourselfers have reported great results using this method.

a1hometheater screen A second method for creating a custom screen relatively inexpensively is to stretch blackout fabric (or another fabric) over a wooden frame. The screen pictured here was created by the author of this website and her husband. We simply purchased the fabric from an online store Carl's Place  and followed the instructions listed on the website. Great results! *Note, the extra postage for having the fabric shipped in a roll was most likely worth it to avoid any creases and wrinkles from folding.*




Projectors

There have been some tremendous advances in projector technology in the last several years, and the prices for that technology have dropped tremendously, as well. Projectors costing up to $10,000 ten to fifteen years ago have been replaced by ones with much clearer pictures and many cost under a thousand dollars. When shopping for a projector, some features to consider are what size of picture the projector throws and how far away the projector needs to be from the screen. There are "short-throw" projectors that require less distance than others.

Televisions

Unbelievable advances have been made recently in the techology used in make televisions. The new flat panel televisions are incredibly lightweight, clear, and bright. In addition to plasma televisons, there are also LCDs and LEDs. LCD televisions tend to be brighter than plasmas, but not necessarily as clear. Plasma panels are sometimes harder to see in a brightly lit room, while LCDs may not be able to create deep blacks, leading to a look that may seem less sharp. However, the newest type of TVs are known as LED TVs. LEDs are actually LCD TVs that use LEDs to illuminate the either the entire back of the display or the perimeter. This allows for a great picture, with increased contrast, an extremely thin profile, and decreased energy usage. However, LEDs, as some of the newest technology, also tend to be more expensive than the others So, if you're looking for a great deal, plasma and LCD models might be exactly what you're looking for.

Some more prominent television manufacturers include Sony, LG, Samsung, Vizio, Sharp, Toshiba, Pioneer, Sanyo, Panasonic, and Hitachi.

Surround Sound

Simply speaking, surround sound uses a range of techniques to increase the audio sources to make the listener feel like he is really experiencing what's on the screen. A multichannel sound application surrounds the speaker with several speakers. Here is a list of items needed along with some excellent sources:

- Receivers: JVC, Denon, Kenwood, Pioneer, Yamaha, Sony and Onkyo.
- Speakers and Subwoofers (bass management): Klipsch, Atlantic Technology, MTX