home theater

Home theater means a lot of different things to different people. It could be anything from a television with a hi-fi VCR to a widescreen HDTV plasma screen with TIVO, DVD, Satellite, plus audio through your home audio system running Dolby Digital through interior wall speakers.

The first questions you need to ask yourself are threshold issues that should dictate the project’s course. First, how much money can you spend? It’s important especially when finances are a concern to contemplate cost before you’ve begun looking. Otherwise, it’ll be too easy to have salespeople show you something you can’t afford and have you decide to accept a credit situation unnecessarily.

And second, you then need to contemplate what’s needed to meet your particular requirements of a home theater. If you are like most people, you’ll have a television, an audio receiver of some kind attached to Dolby speakers through which you run all sounds including the TV sound, a DVD player, and possibly a VCR.

Fewer consumers than ever own VCRs anymore. In fact, DVD sales now surpass video sales. With the advent of DVD recorders, it appears the VCR’s days are numbered especially as DVD recorder prices continue to drop.

The Federal Government expects that a switch-over to HDTV will be complete within the next several years. Prices on HDTV compatible sets will continue falling throughout the next several years — you may spend $2,000 on a set now that only will cost $1,000 a year from now. Unfortunately that is the nature of the beast in consumer electronics. Nonetheless, given the likelihood that the next TV you purchase will give you years of viewing pleasure, HDTV really is the only way to go on any TV purchased for long term use.

Another item that is quickly becoming part of the conventional landscape in consumer electronics is the digital video recorder this is the technology used by companies like Tivo that allow you to interact with your television like never before. Further connecting the computer and television, you can use an internet connection to tell your Tivo unit what to record and when from any computer. The Tivo allows you to record live television as it immediately saves what you’re watching in the recorder’s hard drive. Miss the last field goal? Not a problem as this technology allows you to rewind in most cases up to 30 minutes of the channel you’re on. Some newer Tivos and the service as offered by DirecTV permit recording of two different programs at once as the device essentially contains two separate hard drives.

Finally, your home theater should fit your surroundings. If you live in a small studio apartment, of course, you’re not going to fill it with a 65 inch plasma screen (or maybe you would). The same goes for audio. The sound should fit the space. Subwoofers that pack a punch are great for watching movies, sure, but unnecessary for most small spaces. Your surroundings themselves should be comfortable this is where you will go to relax so it should be a space suited to your personality.

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