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Home Theater Blues


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#1 of 8 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted September 01 2013 - 06:44 AM

Back when the Infocus 4895 was the hottest thing on the scene, I stumbled across this forum and was instantly hooked on the idea of a home theater. Since then I have owned 3 theaters and the family had many years of enjoyment from them. The kids had sleepover parties, many Halo battles won, etc… However, now my theater sits with outdated, with worn out equipment and probably doesn’t get used even once per month. These are the reasons why:

 

The two “sweet spot” recliners are worn out and need replacing. The Yamaha receiver is still 5:1 and does not even have HDMI. The projector is 720 and the bulb should be brighter. The SVS is still kicking strong though. Now I could invest in new equipment and upgrade the theater, but that brings up the next issue.

 

There is not a good way to rent movies. While I have a small collection of about 100+ DVDs, we don’t usually watch movies more than one or two times, so we don’t want to invest in a bluray collection. We live out in the country where the nearest town is 20 minutes away and there is only a Family Video store there. Because of the distance, we don’t go into town every day, so returning a movie the next day doesn’t happen - adding up late return fees. The Blockbuster with no late fees closed a few years back.

 

Next we have tried Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming. However due to a 3m internet connection, we only can get SD videos in stereo. There is not enough bandwidth for HD streaming with surround. Also the selection is very limited and usually outdated. We cannot get cable out here. We have cancelled Dish due to the cost, lack of programming, too many commercials (especially the pop up ones during the show), and the media just pushing their own political agenda.

 

Lastly, it seems like Hollywood never really recovered from the recession. I remember a time when there was not enough free time in a week to watch all the movies we wanted. Now I still have trouble finding one that looks interesting.

 

 So the theater sits empty not being used. The posters have slid out of position in their frames. There are cobwebs on the projector and who knows what that sticky stuff in the cup holders is. :unsure: The kids are grown and have moved out and I cannot justify the cost to upgrade due to lack of movie options. So my thoughts have turned to dismantling the theater and using the room for other purposes. :huh: Before I do anything that drastic, anyone got any ideas?



#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Type A

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Posted September 01 2013 - 10:41 AM

Sounds every bit as tragic as one owning a really really nice classic vehicle and only taking it out for auto shows a couple of times a year.

 

 

Lets be honest;  if youre not a movie buff, you dont watch TV and youre not a gamer  there really is no point to even owning a 27" tube TV, letalone a home theater.  I would sell off your existing equipment and turn the theater into a sewing room, so to speak.  Home theater is way too expensive and takes too much energy and effort to go unused.  

 

 

That being said I kinda agree on your views that movies arent really what they used to be but then, to be honest,  the last blu ray Netflix mailed me was the 1941 classic The Great Dictator with Charlie Chaplin.  Great flick that I am seriously considering adding to my modest blu ray collection after returning the rental to Netflix.   I also somewhat agree with your views of cable/sat TV programming, finding something on can be a crap shoot for sure.   But then I think about how my wife and I are impatiently awaiting season 4 of the Walking Dead, how South Park is very relevant and is still some of the finest humor of our generation (Im 41 years old btw), the DVR is probably recording Family Guy as we speak and I still love watching the old M*A*S*H episodes aired daily on the Hallmark Channel.  I also spend vast amounts of time on the Science Channel, TLC, History, Military, just to name a few.  Hollywood isnt what it used to be and neither is cable TV, Ill agree,  but then I dont see it as a total loss either.  I get the impression you do.  Alas we still manage to find lots of content, there are good movies and TV programming still being produced even today but we still have classic stuff constantly in circulation in our theater.     


JVC DLA-RS60U3D & DaLite High Power 106"
Paradigm Studio V.5 20 (5) & ADP590 (2)  
Hsu VTF-2 MK3 (2) & MBM-12 MK2 (2)

Yamaha RX-A3010 & Emotiva XPA5
Oppo BDP93 & Darbee DVP 5000

*My Home Theater Photo Journal*

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted September 01 2013 - 01:34 PM

I don't think that cable is a "total loss" but with 2 kids in college it is definately not as high on the priority list as it used to be. We have been enjoying older movies and TV series as you do, but they work just fine on the 52" TV in the livingroom. I suggested to the better half about selling off the equipment, and she was shocked at the idea. "Lets go watch a movie tonight" she replied. So I asked her what do you want to watch? She says "I don't know"



#4 of 8 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted September 01 2013 - 02:00 PM

You could redo your theatre for under $1500.

 

There is a review(on here) for the more than decent BenQ 1070.

If your devices are all HDMI, you can pick up a new(er) AVR for under $300.

 

IF you are handy with fabric, you can always recover your seats. Or call somebody in. Re-upholstering is not that difficult.



#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Type A

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Posted September 01 2013 - 05:01 PM

Well then that kinda changes things a little, would you agree? I mean, I would have been puzzled but her reply. It sounded like, the way you described it, that all interest had been lost but the better half's response doesnt support that. Do you think investing in upgrades might rekindle the love?
JVC DLA-RS60U3D & DaLite High Power 106"
Paradigm Studio V.5 20 (5) & ADP590 (2)  
Hsu VTF-2 MK3 (2) & MBM-12 MK2 (2)

Yamaha RX-A3010 & Emotiva XPA5
Oppo BDP93 & Darbee DVP 5000

*My Home Theater Photo Journal*

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted September 02 2013 - 04:02 AM

Why not use the snail-mail version of Netflix?



#7 of 8 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted September 02 2013 - 05:53 AM

That BenQ would definately be an worthy upgrade. However we ae still looking for a good HD source. From the equipment point of view, she doesn't think there is anything wrong with our current system. But then again, she enjoys watching movies on a 2" x 2" cellphone. I can still enjoy the theater, but the picture is too dark.

 

We used to love the Netflix system. We had 3 snail mail videos at a time, which was good for always having something to watch in the house. Typically the most recent releases were not available though. Then we would always trade them in at the Blockbuster store for a new release on our weekly trip into town. And then return the new release by snail mail with out worring about any late fees. Most of our collection came from their used 3 for $10 bins. It was definately the "ticket". But as you know BB ran into financial troubles and the store in town closed. We dropped Netflix and started with the Dish movies on demand for instant HD movies. Being as we no longer have Dish, it might be worth giving snail mail Netflix another shot.



#8 of 8 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted September 02 2013 - 11:49 AM

You might look into Hughesnet Gen4 internet.

 

Higher speeds and more capacity than before. And it is only $100/month.(for the top package)






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