The goal of a Home Theater is to create a cinema quality experience in the comfort of your own home. Doing it requires more than just a big screen TV and some speakers. There are two main parts of Home Theater: sound and picture. The sound is actually the most important part because it creates the most important effect — the feeling that you’re actually in the environment on the screen.

The picture part of your Home Theater begins with a high quality video source like Blu-ray player, digital satellite, or HDTV decoder. Both sound and pictures from these sources are far superior to DVD Players The standard for Home Theater surround sound is Dolby Digital®, DTS and THX It’s far superior to its predecessor, DTS. It delivers clearer dialog and a more realistic sense of atmosphere. It’s sometimes referred to as 5.1 or 7.1 because there are 5 or 7 full range channels of sound plus another channel dedicated to low frequency effects, called LFE. Producing high quality surround sound requires a DTS processor (often incorporated in an A/V receiver or preamplifier), 5 or 7 speakers and a sub-woofer, plus amplification for the speakers. The processor decodes the surround sound information from the Blu-ray movie, HD Cable Box or satellite broadcast.

The left, center, and right front speakers reproduce the on-screen action: dialog, music, and sound effects like left to right motion. The left and right rear speakers create the 3D effect — the illusion of space. They’re essential to recreating front to back motion effects like jet aircraft fly-over’s. And finally, a sub woofer (sometimes more than one) is used to reproduce the LFE: the very low sounds of explosions or earthquakes. The placement of the speakers in your room is very important to the over-all effect. So is the character of your floors, walls and ceiling (hard surfaces reflect sound, soft surfaces absorb it).

Creating the film-like images for Home Theater requires screen sizes from 60″ to 125” or more. LCD & LED TVs, and video projectors can all be used, but quality varies greatly among different models. The best pictures are created through a combination of high resolution, accurate geometry, and proper color, contrast, and brightness settings. Having your set professionally setup is worth the money.

Home Theater systems often have many pieces of equipment which must be controlled. Adding a programmable remote control to simplify operation is an investment that will pay off immediately in convenience and ease-of-use Automated lighting and window coverings complete the home theater experience. It’s easy to incorporate control of these ‘atmosphere’ elements with your system controller.