Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Changing Face of Home Theater Equipment

Home theaters used to mean tons of components, a central receiver and a virtual army of remotes, but times – as they do – have changed. The economic crunch coupled with consumers getting tired of having to change to a new format every few years – remember VHS tapes and laser discs? – have changed the home theater landscape forever, offering the home theater buff more choices than ever before.

Multi-Use Platforms
Thanks to multi-purpose gaming consoles, it’s no longer necessary to have a different machine for each activity. Sony’s PlayStation3 and the Microsoft Xbox 360 play blu-ray and DVDs, while they – along with Nintendo’s Wii – also allow users to watch streaming videos. Having one console to play games, watch movies and TV shows, listen to music and play games is a boon to people with smaller homes and shrinking paychecks.

Streaming Videos
According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, increasing numbers of people are using the Internet capabilities of their gaming platforms to stream TV shows and movies via ESPN,  Hulu Plus, Major League Baseball Network, Netflix and YouTube on their TVs, rather than on their much-smaller computer monitors. Paying by subscription rather than purchasing physical copies means access to a much larger film library than ever before.
A wider array of choices with fewer components means that a custom home theater is within reach of almost every budget.

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