Home Movie Theatre

It’s a Reality at Home.

Home Theatre’s these days involve a real “Cinema Experience” in your own home and for that reason, high definition equipment of Audio Visual components is compulsory. Blu-Ray and DVD movie disc has definitely exceed the wildest expectations of everyone in the movie making industry, even surpassing the introduction phase of CD, this also shows how quickly Blu-Ray and DVD has taken over VHS sales and rentals in Video stores. Unfortunately, as with any new “High Definition” technology, Blu-Ray and DVD requires a new collection of multi-channel media playback source of equipment.

The “Focal Idea” behind having a home theatre system is to make your motion picture viewing experience at home as close to a “Cinema” experience. For this, you will home-theatreneed large Plasma, LCD, LED TV or a HD Projector with screen for its viewing. It all depends on the size of your room; you should be able to set up a screen that fits the width of your room. The screen can be either frame fitted on the wall or use a motorised drop screen that can be kept away when it is not required.

“Audio-Video Receiver” is the heart of your home theatre system. It is the component to which all the other AV sources of the systems are connected. It is the AV receiver’s job to identify the signal it receives and send it to the correct section of the home theatre system to be processed. This includes sending multi-channel audio signals to the correct speakers in the room. An AV receiver consists of three sections. The first is the AV receiver which is the Tuner (radio stations). The second of the receiver is a preamplifier; this section determines the source of an audio or video signal and directs it to the correct output source. The third section is a built-in multi-channel power amplifier which amplifies audio signals before sending it to the multi-channel speakers in the room.

These days anyone can purchase their own Audio Visual system with a Blu-Ray or DVD player, home theater receiver, five to seven tonally matched speakers and with a subwoofer. Sometimes it is advisable to allow your audio visual requirements and value for money decision making to your Home Theatre consultants. Audio Visual equipment manufacturers offer completely integrated home theater systems designed to take the guesswork out of the home theater equation. A full-size AV component system might be excellent for individuals with dedicated home theater rooms. But what if someone just wants to enjoy the basics of movie with low budget surround sound?

home-theaterThe Options are there for anyone and budget Home theatre systems which are also known as “Home-Theatre-in-a-box” or “all-in-one” as it is known is an integrated home theater package which ” puts together ” a choice of DVD or Blu-Ray player with multi-channel amplifier, these includes a Surround Sound decoder, a Tuner, and other features like color coded speaker wires and connectors, a remote control, a set of five miniature surround sound speakers or more commonly, a small Subwoofer with just Left and Right speakers. This “Home-Theatre-in-a-box” is ideal for a small family room, living room, or move the Blu-Ray and DVD viewing to your bedroom. All you will require to add is a TV set. These budget audio home theatre systems nowadays contain a Blu-Ray or DVD player that also plays CD, so your music playback requirements are met as well. One of the common complaints with home theatre setups is the confusion that comes with the installation, but that’s not really a problem these days because budget home theatre systems are housed in one compact unit, just unpack and connect the colour coded speakers. Even colour-coded cables for the speakers are supplied, making the complete set-up process easy and reliable.

Budget Home Theatre systems generally use miniature “satellite” speakers, and they usually come with a subwoofer. The small size amplifiers and speakers in lower-cost systems mean that you will not be able to obtain surround dynamic satisfaction in a large room. The cheapest Home-theatre-in-a-box (audio only) systems normally cost at about $200/-. They use a single full-range driver in the satellite speakers, instead of a two-way design with a tweeter to provide a cleaner high-end. Also with small subwoofers supplied it cannot recreate the truly earthshaking sound that movie-watchers will expect. Small speaker drivers used in cheap satellite speakers are limited by the amount of low-end they can produce. Similarly, the subwoofer is limited in the amount of high-end it can produce, and you really don’t want the subwoofer to produce much high-end. So, there will be a frequency gap between the lowest frequencies produced by the satellite and the highest produced by the subwoofer. On the other hand, during playback you will notice that “Gap” in the upper bass to lower midrange frequencies. So, you are only getting what you have paid for.

More expensive Home Theatre systems can even provide playback of DVD-Audio and SACD discs, for high-resolution audio its like hearing a first generation live sound. Both of these audio CD formats use higher sampling rates than CD, and they can be presented in surround sound. Recently more titles are being released in these formats, with Jazz and Classic recordings are being remixed in surround sound to bring a new level of entertainment to your home. There is nothing more exciting than setting in to listen to “Staging Sound Effects” with a thrilling 5.1-channel surround mix.

When using a good “Surround Sound Home Theatre” system, sound effects can revolve around you, flying over your head, shoulder, sneaking around the left and right corner and wrapping you up in the movie. “Surround Sound Music Discs” can put you right in the middle of the orchestra or right on stage of your favourite Pop band. However, putting together an entire home theater system on your own can be confusing if you do not know how and what to expect and it can land up to be expensive.

The majority of affordable Surround Sound is in a 5.1 format, which consists of five main channels of speakers, (Right and Left channels, Centre channel and rear Right and rear Left channels). The “.ONE” refers to a single subwoofer channel.

How to make a decision on the best home theater system for your requirements? There are things to look out for like quality amplifier (RMS) power ratings (more power watts the better) and latest Blu-Ray disc compatibility are always good indicators. Check your DVD player for its up scaling capabilities. This will ensure that the DVD is able to player and render images so that they can be viewed on a high definition television and projection screen. You will need at least two HDMI inputs that is High Definition Multimedia Interface ports. Initially, you have to make a decision on which features are essential for you. There is no advantage in paying for features that you will never use. Although pre-assembled home theatre systems are widely available, many people still prefer to select components of their choice. This provides an individual with more quality options rather than being restricted to a single brand name. On the other hand (budget wise) it could be better to purchase an entire speaker system only manufactured by one particular brand. By this way, the speaker’s frequencies are already calibrated to synchronise with each other. Superior speaker systems are also designed in such a way that each speaker will focus on sounds belonging to a particular required frequency on playback.

Note: HD TV’s or HD Projectors are a must for quality Home Theatre.

Domestic Home theatre systems can extend to five, six or seven speakers and generally it includes a subwoofer which is necessary for a full range multi-channel surround sound. Decoders are integrated, so these systems can handle Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Digital, and DTS playback, in a variety of other combinations. Double-check the system you are about to purchase, make sure it can handle the playback format of your choice.

High-end Home Theater systems take 5.1 a few steps further, by furnishing with high current amplifiers, speakers and options for 6.1 or 7.1 formats, such as Dolby Digital EX or DTS-ES. Bear in mind that home theatre systems advertise a Blu-Ray or DVD player instead of a CD player, but every Blu-Ray or DVD player can also play CD’s. So your music playback option is still available.

Generally home theatre systems have built-in digital signal processing in an effort to make the system sound enhanced for certain people. There are choice of reverb programs that enhance the sound with names like cinema, concert hall, disco and stadium; generally these gimmicky programs in reality just mask the tonal quality of the speakers. In spite of this, Equalization controls like Bass boost and Treble adjustments can assist you to modify your sound if required. Preset equalization patterns are often labelled according to the style of music (Rock, Blues, Pop, Jazz, and Classical) they should enhance according to your choice of music, but use them if it is suitable for your room. It all depends on the Acoustics of your room.

If you are willing to spend a little more money, then you will get a better-quality system, but you will enjoy watching movies and live concerts using higher-end systems with equalization, sound processing, using two or three way front speakers, and a subwoofer. So when spending a bit more from your budget you will get more powerful quality amplifiers, and superior sounding speakers. Plus Dolby digital EX or DTS-ES. Slightly more costly systems can even provide playback of DVD-Audio and SACD discs, for high-resolution audio like you have never heard before. Both of these formats use higher sampling rates than CD, and can be presented in Dolby Digital surround sound. Recently, more titles are being released slowly in these formats, especially with Jazz and Classic recordings which are being remixed, to bring a new level of entertainment to your home for your music enjoyment.

An added bonus in a home theatre system is a DVD recorder with a hard drive. This is the modern equivalent of the VCR. You can use the DVD recorder to record video straight from the set-top-box onto your DVD hard drive.

As for Subwoofers, the correct subwoofer for your home will depend on the home theatre room size. You should listen to all the subwoofers available at your available store before you can decide on which one is correct for your home theatre requirements. The low effects quick response energy will tell you.

Use of “Surge Protector” is also known as a spike guard. A sudden Fluctuation can be a problem and quality surge protector is equipped to deal with AC voltage, while the home theatre system is in use. It also performs the exceptional task of serious protection to your Audio Visual equipments when there is a sudden surge or power failure. It minimises the chances of your AV system being burnt out. If you have an expensive Home Theatre system and you want to protect them from being destroyed. Then, a surge protector will be beneficial.

The beauty of creating your own home theatre system is that no two systems are exactly alike. Besides being the entertainment centre of your home, a customised home theatre system also reflects the personality of the individuals in the house. This is what they are known, a “Taylor made Home Theatre system”.

Like the many millions in the world. If “Home Theatre” enjoyment is going to be the most important entertainment deal in your family room then it will be worth it to invest more of your hard-earned money into your “Home Theatre” room by improving the Acoustics of the room. This is the best convenient way to bring all the audio quality and excitement of Hollywood’s Movies and popular Live Concert’s entertainment to your family in your own home. So, today’s “Home Theatre” implies a genuineCinema Experience at your private home. Enjoy it while you can.

Alphonso Soosay

Home Theatre Consultant


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