Getting That Perfect Holiday Gift: A Home Theater

Getting That Perfect Holiday Gift: A Home Theater


Home Theater

Home theaters have graced the mansions and executive homes along Rodeo Drive as well as residences in some of the tony neighborhoods of New York; Washington, DC; Las Vegas and elsewhere for quite some time now. Even before home theater technology was brought to the masses, news of some jetsetter’s custom designed in-home theater was splashed on society pages or featured on an early evening entertainment show. Bowling lanes, saunas, and ice rinks were some of the other creature comforts of these uber-rich, but it is home theater systems that have have made the transition into the homes of the middle class.

Home Remodeling Done Right

This holiday season, why not view “Its A Wonderful Life” or “The Christmas Carol” on your own home theater system? Prices have never been lower and the quality never better. Please read on to learn how you can turn one room in your house into a dedicated home theater living space that you can be proud of.

You may not have to do any structural changes to your home to accommodate a home theater. Some homeowners, however, will take an existing den or television room and push out the walls in order to maximize space. Why not make use of your home to provide all the comforts that you and your guests will appreciate?

Home Theater Basics

Other than having a room with four walls, a ceiling and a floor, the electronic equipment for your room should consist of a television set of at least 27 inches diagonally and four speakers. You’ll want to have the proper equipment to create a surround-sound effect by separating the signals to each speaker. In-the-box systems, which contain everything you need to get your system up and running are a popular way to expand your entertainment options.

Prices range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars depending on the sophistication and quality of the system. Please keep in mind that in-the-box systems, while good, may not measure up to your requirements. Some systems are geared more toward providing audio entertainment while others do not include adequate auxiliary inputs to hook up VCRs, game players, DVDs and more.

Choosing Better Equipment

Many home theater users get by with a standard rear-projection television as their “movie screen” while others insist on a front-projection arrangement that works very similarly to the way movies are viewed at the theater. With the latter, you’ll need a dark room but not a whole lot of space. The disadvantage is that a front-projection unit does not come with a television tuner — you’ll only be able to use if for movie watching.

Rear-projection televisions remain popular because of their low cost and the availability of wide screens. Older units may have a limited viewing angle which can still be all right for a handful of people to watch but unpleasant in a room with a crowd present.

Very popular today are flat panel televisions which can be hung on a wall and are perfect for tight living spacings. Both plasma and LCD flat panels provide superior picture quality, but be prepared to pay a premium price for either type. Still, when room is limited and a high picture quality is desired, a flat panel television could be the best choice.

How Big A Project Should You Go With?

Just how much you want to invest in a home theater room is up to you. Beyond the home theater basics and equipment selected, some homeowners choose to upgrade their rooms by adding acoustical updates ( noise barriers, sound shapers, isolation clips, etc.); choosing custom wall units; including cinema loungers; wet bars; you name it. Of course, there are now contractors who specialize in this type of home remodeling project and interior decorators who can add a special touch to your room.

Home theater systems have come a long way and people’s desire to improve their living space continues unabated. A home entertainment room can provide continual satisfaction and even add value to your home should you decide to eventually sell it.


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Categories: Home Improvement

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".