As stated in its name, a home theater system is a theater-like entertainment system for your home. It is a combination of several entertainment devices such as television, speakers, HMDI converters, and other AV devices. It can be as advanced as a renovated home space designed like a commercial movie house. Using technical terms, what is home theater system?
Technically, the phrase home theater refers to any setup of audio and video equipment inside the home that tries to provide a movie theater-like experience.
However, many homeowners feel intimidated about the use of the phrase. They conceptualize home theater as expensive, high-end equipment including cables all over the area. However, that’s not always the case – the truth is that you can customize your own home theater depending on your budget.
If you have enough money for home theater, you can build a complex home theater system. You can buy expensive AV devices such as a high-resolution large screen LED TV or a projector, a Blu-ray disc player, a media server, satellite connections, amplifiers or in-wall speakers, and two subwoofers that provides a rumbling effect. You can also choose the most comfortable seat where you can position yourself while watching a movie or singing karaoke.
For limited budget, you can build a practical, simple home entertainment system. Yes, you can actually set up your own home theater system with your existing AV devices. It does not require huge amounts of money or advanced devices.
You can set up a 32 to 55-inch television attached to a DVD player with a stereo speaker and subwoofer. However, high definition TV does not cost that much nowadays. Even video projectors and Blu-ray disc players are already becoming affordable depending on the brand.
Another alternative that can be added to home theater system is video streaming. Many “smart” LED TVs today have this capacity. But if your existing TV does not have this feature, you can purchase an affordable add-on media streamer, which can enable you to stream movies, music, television shows, and other internet content.
In general, whatever kind of entertainment system you have as long as it gives the entertainment alternatives you want, it is a home theater system. You can have it in small apartments, condo units, offices, dorm rooms, or any place. The alternatives are available depending on your choice.
Displays for home theater systems are usually envisioned as large screens and projection system or a high resolution large flat screen television. These are the typically chosen displays for home theater systems.
The combination of a large white screen and a video projector is typical in home theater systems. It is best suitable for a dedicated home theater because you can control its lighting. However, there are now video projectors that feature high brightness control and light rejecting factors.
The companies that manufacture high-end video projectors are Digital Projection International, Barco, and SIM2. Their projectors cost as much as $20,000 and offer excellent viewing experience. For budget-friendly, quality projectors, you can opt to buy brands like Sony, Epson, JVC, and Optoma.
Projection screens, on the other hand, can vary depending on type: pull up/ down, fixed frame, or motorized. The standard size is 16:9, which is great for high def TVs and many movies. The 2.35:1 screen size is great for CinemaScope movies. Projection screen brands like Stewart Filmscreen, DNP, Elite Screens, Da-Lite, and Screen Innovations are the top brands on the market today.
Another device that creates a theater-like system in a home theater system is the combination of speakers. In a typical home, the simple surround sound speaker system has 5.1 channels. The 7 channel speaker system offers even more surround sound, and the most advanced system is the 3D audio used in Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
Just like the projectors and projection screens, speaker systems come in different brands and prices. The expensive, high-quality brands of speaker systems are Atlantic Technology, Polk Audio, Sonance, and Speaker Craft.
What is home theater system is subjective to the combination of AV system that entertains you. As long as it plays videos of your choice with good sound quality, it is already a home theater system. Many people just feel intimidated about this phrase because they think of sophisticated combinations of high-end AV systems.