How to Build Your Own Home Theater - Part 1 of 4

This is the first of a 4 part series that will walk you through the process designing and building a home theater. Many people buy a LCD television, such as a 55" or 65" flat screen, add a $200.00 "theater in a box" from Wal-Mart, and call it a home theater. Of course, the couch or lazy Boy is the seating.   This is as basic as it gets. Let's step this up a notch and see how to have a large projection screen (70" or better) and a projector, as the basis for a true home theater.  We will look at what's available to make a comfortable home theater that you will be proud to show off. 

How to Build Your Own Home Theater - Part 2 - The Projector

This is the 2nd of a 4 part series that will walk you through the process designing and building a home theater. Here is a link to Part 1 Your extra room is carpeted, painted and the screen is ready to be hung. What's next? Let's consider the projector. There are many home theater projectors on the market and it would not be practical to discuss all of these in this article. There are some features that you should look for in a projector.

How to Build Your Own Home Theater - Part 3 - The Sound System

This is the 3rd of a 4 part series that will walk you through the process designing and building a home theater. Here is a link to Part 1 and Part 2 Your room is coming together. The screen and projector are hung. Now, you need to consider the sound system. Too many people skimp on their sound system and regret it later, when they have to strain to hear the conversations or miss the depth of an explosion. Buy the best sound system that you can afford.

Home Theater for the Holidays

Once you choose your room, decide between hanging a flat-screen HDTV or a video projection screen and corresponding video projector.  The most popular aspect ratio is 16:9 widescreen.  A projector/screen combo will help provide that authentic movie theater experience and is the recommended solution for a dedicated home theater.  If you plan on watching lots of television in addition to movies, then a HDTV may be the better option, as projector bulbs have limited lifespans and are expensive to replace. Images provided by Audio Impact, San Diego

Soundproofing Your Home Theater - Part One

Don't confuse soundproofing with sound absorption. Sound absorption uses carpet, heavy draperies, closed-cell foam or similar material within a room to curb or absorb reflections, essentially to stop excessive echoes and reverberation. However these materials will do little to prevent the transmission of lower-frequency bass and vibration through the walls and studs and midrange sounds through air leaks to other rooms.

Soundproofing Your Home Theater - Part Two

Part One on home theater soundproofing received an excellent response, including rather vociferous discussion on other sites (and in emails to me), encouraging the use of a substance called "Green Glue" in place of silicone caulk. Further research indicates there is a range of various soundproofing caulks and glues available from a variety of vendors at widely varying prices. To sum up, it's the sealing properties and elasto-viscous nature of these materials that all help, but do-it-yourselfers should be cautious about some extravagant claims made for some of these materials

How to use lighting to increase the value of an HT system

With the addition of some accessory lighting, you can improve the picture quality, see your equipment without turning on annoying room lights and enjoy your system more. In fact, it might look so good you will submit it to the next CEDIA contest and take first place! We've all seen the addition of soft, reflective lighting behind the TV, but why? Beyond the cool effect, is some visual science that says ambient light improves viewing by reducing contrast and eyestrain. Studies show that ambient light helped reduce difficulty in focusing and eye strain. A small amount of soft room lighting, ideally splashed on the wall behind/around the video screen, also goes a long way to improving the picture quality.

Shopping for Your Home Theater Online

The Internet is an incredibly immediate experience; spend a couple hours poking around on key sites and forums and you'll know more than most people do.

Designing an Entertainment Room with Performance & Function

A room designed with Blue Ocean® will satisfy the dark room, purist videophile, as well provides any homeowner with the most versatile and useful entertainment space in the house.

Home Theater Design Part 9 - Adjusting for Peak Performance

Now it's time to head to the fridge for a cold one, kick off those shoes, and see how many decibels you can make from the MI3 sound track before the neighbors come over for an intervention.

Educating the Average Consumer

If the customer truly has a better understanding of technology and of the products available, it can only make the job of people in the industry easier. And don't we all want our work life to be just a little easier?

Home Theater Design - Part 4

Dimmers are essential to create appropriate lighting ambience for a theater environment. There are several types of dimmers that can allow remote control of your lighting, either using an IR remote or a lighting control system.

Have a Home Theater Plan

If you really want to do it well and make the right choices, you're going to need to have a plan and follow that plan as closely as possible to the end.

Home Theater Design - Part 3

The most dramatic change in bass caused by subwoofer placement has to do with the interaction of the subwoofer and the room itself. Because of the relationship between a room's dimensions and the wavelength of sounds, certain frequencies are reinforced and certain frequencies are canceled at different areas within your home theater (or any other room).

What's Robbing Your TV's Best Picture?

To get the most from your home entertainment investment, achieve the best image fidelity from the programs you enjoy, and enhance your viewing comfort, incorporate the SMPTE recommendations into your viewing environment.

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