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What is the Home Theater Experience?

by November 25, 2008


You’re at the edge of your seat while Indy is exploring an unknown cave loaded with mystery and danger when suddenly your spine rattles from the thunderous bass of a nearby boulder rolling down the walkway heading directly towards you. You’re holding onto the armrest for dear life as you maneuver around the catacombs, just barely dodging the poisonous spears to the left and right of you. You find the hidden treasure and rescue the girl just in the nick of time. As the credits role, you slowly come back to reality and exit the theater in awe and disbelief. For a brief moment in time, you were transported away from your daily routine looking though the eyes of a hero and helping him brave through his challenges.

Creating the illusion of being immersed into a film is no small miracle that the producer of a blockbuster film like Indiana Jones pulls off with careful planning and coordinating with sound engineers, music producers, and special effects teams. From the mastering to the transfer to DVD or Blu-ray, the content you bring home is designed to give you that “movie theater” experience you’ve grown accustomed to at the local Cineplex’s. The advantage of course is to enjoy this experience in the creature comforts of your own home at your leisure. You can avoid the high ticket and snack prices, the annoyingly loud teenagers or screaming kids, and pause for bathroom breaks at will. Best of all, with the proper know how, you can design a home theater system that will rival even the best local Cineplex’s and transport you into the film - the ultimate goal of a home theater system.

Following this 5 step procedure will enable you to build your dream home theater system:

  • Audioholics Showcase RoomDecide on the room – a dedicated movie room is the best choice, but if you have to use a dual purpose room, try to select one that has four walls and not open to the rest of the house. Open rooms are usually bad for bass and not so ideal for surround envelopment..
  • If you absolutely must use an open room, in-wall and in-ceiling speakers can be your friends. Careful placement of your surround channels will ensure you still get surround envelopment. In-ceiling speakers make a great alternative to no speakers for surround back channels but we always recommend the front three speakers (aka. LCR’s) be placed as closely to ear height as possible. Adding a second subwoofer to smooth out the bass response may be the key to ensuring all your seats are good listening seats. The room is the most critical component in a home theater system. Treat it as such. Make sure you can dim the lights and block out sunlight for day viewing as well

  • Define your budget – don’t aspire for Champaign on beer budget. Decide what you can spend and if need be, assemble your system in phases starting with your Display, A/V receiver and front speakers. Then as money rolls in, purchase a subwoofer, surrounds and center channel to complete your system.

  • Select the right equipment – research the gear by reading professional reviews and getting involved in a forum community to help you decide what equipment is right for you. Buy smart, as price doesn’t always dictate quality. Check out our Buying Guidelines as a good reference. We tend to update these quarterly.

  • Get it properly installed - follow professional advice on how to correctly install your equipment. Speaker placement in even more critical than your product selection. Connecting and configuring the gear can be overwhelming. Consult a professional when needed. Read our Set-up tips section and get involved in our discussion forums.

  • Get it properly calibrated – over 90% of consumer homes that I visit don’t have their home theaters calibrated. Most don’t even have the surround speakers hooked up! Proper calibration can make a good system sound great. Poorly calibrated systems, no matter how good the gear is, will almost never sound good. The same is true for video. Don’t run out and buy that $4k Plasma only to leave it in torch mode when you get it home.

Mace WinduFollowing this guideline and doing your research on Audioholics.com is a guaranteed receipt for the makings of a superb home theater system that will put the power of a Jedi life saber in your finger tips and transport you and your family to a galaxy far far away. Don’t just mundanely purchase the equipment, create that home theater experience in your own home.

Why go to the movie theater, when you can bring the theater to you?

Don't forget to visit the Audioholics Ecommerce Store to check out the wide selection of A/V products on sale that they are authorized to carry.  Happy Holidays!


About the author:
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Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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