Home Theater Systems 2
Home Theater Systems 2
Home cinema, also called home theater, seeks to reproduce cinema quality video and audio in the home.
Technically, a home cinema could be as basic as a simple arrangement of a television, DVD, and a set of speakers. It is therefore difficult to specify exactly what distinguishes a "home cinema" from a "television and stereo". Most people in the consumer electronics industry would agree that a "home theater" is really the integration of a relatively high-quality video output with surround sound.
Today, "home cinema" implies a real "cinema experience" and therefore a higher quality set of components than the average television provides. A typical home theater includes the following parts:
- Input Devices: One or more audio/video sources. High quality formats such as HD DVD or Blu-ray are preferred, though they often include a VHS player or Video Game Systems. Some home theatres now include a home theater PC to act as a library for video and music content.
- Processing Devices: Input devices are processed by either a standalone AV receiver or a Preamplifier and Sound Processor for complex surround sound formats. The user selects the input at this point before it is forwarded to the output.
- Audio Output: Systems consist of at least 2 speakers, but can have up to 11 with additional subwoofer.
- Video Output: A large HDTV display. Options include Liquid crystal display television (LCD), video projector, plasma TV, rear-projection TV, or a traditional CRT TV.
- Atmosphere: Comfortable seating and organization to improve the cinema feel. Higher end home theaters commonly also have sound insulation to prevent noise from escaping the room, and a specialized wall treatment to balance the sound within the room.
Dedicated home theaters
Built-in shelves provide a place for movie decor, DVDs, and equipment. Note the component stack on the right, where the audio receiver, DVD player, secondary monitor, and video game system are located.
The same projection screen as at top, without image.
Some home cinema enthusiasts go so far as to build a dedicated room in the home for the theater. These more advanced installations often include sophisticated acoustic design elements, including "room-in-a-room" construction that isolates sound and provides the potential for a nearly ideal listening environment. These installations are often designated as "screening rooms" to differentiate from simpler installations. This idea can go as far as completely recreating an actual cinema, with a projector enclosed in a projection booth, specialized furniture, a piano or theatre organ, curtains in front of the projection screen, movie posters, or a popcorn or snack machine. More commonly, real dedicated home theatres pursue this to a lesser degree. Presently the days of the $100,000.00+ home theater is being usurped, by the rapid advances in digital audio & video technologies, which has spurned a rapid drop in prices. This in turn has brought the true digital home theater experience, to the doorsteps of the do it your selfer, often for less than what you would expect to pay for a low budget economy car. Current consumer level A/V equipment can meet and often exceed in performance what you would expect to experience at a modern commercial theater.
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