What makes Home Theater for You

Discussion in 'Displays' started by DavidMullins, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. DavidMullins

    DavidMullins Auditioning

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    I see a wide variety of equipment used by members of Home Theater Forum. What makes the Home Theater experience for you?

    For me, if you don't have front projection then you are just "watching TV". For others, my sound system probably doesn't rate very highly as a Home Theater system. (Kenwood 505 and Harmon Kardon 5.1 speaker set). But, since I'm less concerned about the sound than the picture I don't notice a loss of quality in sound over my local Cineplex. In truth, my picture at home looks much better than the commercial theaters around Nashville (with my Optoma H55 and Bravo D1).

    I guess I'm going for a visual experience over an auditory one. Although I will upgrade each as I am able, the picture comes first. Bigger is better in my world. But its not just about size. Plasmas look nice in the store, but I see them as just hopped up TV monitors no matter how big they have become. Maybe when they hit middle class consumer prices for a six foot widescreen I'll rethink my opinion. But, for me the spray of light from a projector on a screen does something that no direct view or rear projection display can. When I see the movie (DVD) begin from a front projector I get the thrill I had as a kid when we drove an hour to the local single screen movie palace.

    What does it for you?
     
  2. Shane Morales

    Shane Morales Second Unit

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    I'm the opposite. It's all about the sound for me. I didn't start out that way, though. I was initially more interested in the video, but after hearing what real speakers and a sub sound like I went over to the other side. I'd trade my 56" DLP for a 27" TV before I'd downgrade the sound.

    Not that I'd turn my nose up at a front projector, though. No sir...
     
  3. John S

    John S Producer

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    Both audio and video for me.
    I don't really see how FP or not, could make or break it...
    Screen size in general for sure though. As long as the screen size fills the same field of view as when your a theater about 3/4th's the way back in a comercial theater, it definetly gives the same sort of effect.

    I recently upgraded my screen size and to HDTV, it has made a large difference.....


    Some of it, it successfully isolating one's self from the world. I have no real choice but to use my living room. I have very heavy black drapes, I pull across a full wall of windows, my entry way into the dining room, and the hallway to the rest of the house to help with it, and it did help alot as well. I no longer hear activity in other rooms, like somebody going to the bathroom, or the laundry going, ect..ect... during the very soft moments of various movies.

    Now, I do just also watch TV with it too, all Drapes open, reading lights going, cable TV going..ect..ect. I get a lot more visiters these days, for the NFL games, as the word seems to be out about veiwing them on the 60" in HDTV at my house. In that sort of party environment, I am more just watching TV as well, but dang is it good TV.. lol

    On the audio side, you really have to have the same sort of levels running or darn close to them as the comercial theater to really have the theater effect. Mean Subs make all the difference in the world on it for me.

    My 2 cents on the subject....
     
  4. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    I think its a home theater until you get a fptv. Then its just a theater.
     
  5. Don_Goreham

    Don_Goreham Agent

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    There was a recent thread along these lines over at AVS and it got quite heated between the "purists" who say it must be in a self contained room with a FP and those that say as long is the immersion factor is there it doesn't matter where it is.

    I am lucky in that I have a dedicated space for my theater, but it happens to share my computer desk as well. According to some I don't have theater. I disagree. When a DVD starts on my Denon 1600 and feeds the video to my PT-L200u onto a 94" screen and the sound is fed through my Kenwood 507 into my Audax HT speakers and my 12" shiva sub I am in Movie Nirvana.

    For me its the immersion and not the fancy red velvet curtains!

    Later,

    Don
     
  6. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    If your able to watch a movie and the audio/video/movie experience takes you away from the "equipment" then you have a home theatre.
     
  7. Greg.K

    Greg.K Screenwriter

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    When you'd rather see a movie at home than at the local megaplex, you have a home theater.

    When I got my Toshiba 65H83, it finally felt like I had a "home theater". For most movies I'd rather just wait till they come out on DVD to see them now.
     
  8. John S

    John S Producer

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    Great point Creg... I absolutely feel the same way now, after my most recent upgrade to HDTV.
     
  9. mark alan

    mark alan Supporting Actor

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    I used to get annoyed at people who claimed that without a front projection system, you did not have a home theater. then of course I got my front projector. It does make watching movies at home an entirely different experience. Now I guess that I am one of the people that I hated, in that I respectfully feel that you don't have a home theater unless you have a front projector.
     
  10. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    I have a very small space to work with, so I can't get a FP right now. I do envy those who have them, and I love to pore over pictures of HTF members home theater setups with FP,the big screen, etc. But I do have to say, at night, when I turn the lights off and fire up my big screen HDTV, everything in the room disappears but the screen and the wonderful theatrical sound. I can almost imagine a projector over my head projecting the image, because it does look that good and immersive.
    Someday I will get a Front Projector setup, but I do feel that I have a pretty respectable home theater right now. I'd rather watch a film at home on my system than go to the local megaplex with annoying patrons, bad projection, screwed up sound, etc.
     
  11. Jack Shappa

    Jack Shappa Second Unit

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    Every once in a while I go to the "real" movies, and every time I come home thinking "my theatre blows that away". Seems like no matter what theatre I go to, there's always something messed up. So I believe Greg is right, it's not an HT until you prefer it to the commercial theatre...

    Part of the debate at AVS was over the actual use of the words "Home Theatre". It wasn't so much debating wether a dedicated room vs. living room setup is better, but just that you shouldn't use the phrase "home theatre" unless you really have a "theatre". Otherwise its just a media area or whatever. I tend to agree that a dedicated area with at least say an 80" screen, surround sound, light control etc is required for it to really be a "theatre", but that doesn't mean a family room setup is any less enjoyable.

    - Jack
     
  12. John S

    John S Producer

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    I tend to use "HT" more as an abreviation indicating anything with Video and Audio as opposed to music.

    It does seem to me as long as your screen size fills the same amount of your field of view that you get towards the back of the theater, maybe say 3/4ths the way back. The visual impact should be very similar in that respect.

    Here is what it said as the definition of Home Theater on the online dictionary.....

    B 6 Home Theater

    Home theater is the combination of high-quality sound and video reproduction in the home. A home theater can be as simple as a sound system connected to a television or as complex as a video projection system and an elaborate sound system in a dedicated room. The heart of a home theater sound system is the surround decoder. This device recreates the experience of multichannel cinema sound in the home. The decoder separates the audio signals from a broadcast, videotape, or videodisc and sends the audio signals to different speakers placed throughout the room.
     

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