Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Some Great Year End Lists – What A Year It Was!

It’s the end of another year and the web is full of some excellent ‘Best of’ and ‘Worst of’ lists that we
thought might be worth compiling here for our readers.  The year was significant for the movie and theater industry in many ways.

For one, it was the highest domestic grossing box office year in history – a significant achievement.  The number one movie in gross revenue earned a cool $1.2B - don't worry, we aren't going to spoil it - and the number 2 movie was animated.  Can you guess what that might have been?  All of the top 5 grossing movies were part of franchises or a series which speaks to the power of characters that we know and love.  In fact, the top grossing movie this year is part of a franchise that is close to toppling the biggest grossing franchise of all time - Harry Potter.  This is sure to happen with their next release.  Super heroes were once again a big factor in the top 10 rankings. Do you think you know who the three were?  The most surprising ranking was the highest earning actor - we did not see that one at all but it's well deserved.  He is a local to South FL and just an overall damn nice guy! There were also many low points like the loss of Paul Walker tragically near the end of the year. 

Here they are in no specific order:

·         Highest Grossing Films of 2013 
·         Most Pirated TV Shows 
·         TV Guide’s Top 60 Series of All Time 
·         15 Highest Grossing Foreign Movies of 2013 
·         Top 10 Money Making Stars of 2013 
·         Most Pirated Films of 2013 
·         Top Grossing Actors of 2013 
·         Highest Paid TV Actors of 2013 
·         Top 100 Movies of 2013 
·         25 Best Movies of 2013 
·         The 10 Worst Movies of 2013 
·         Stars of Films We Lost in 2013 
·         Best and Worst Movie Moments of the Year 
·         Best TV Shows of 2013 

That’s a wrap!  Thank you for all your support in 2013 and we look forward to a fantastic new year ahead!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Are ‘Second Screen’ Devices Becoming Top Dog in the Living Room?

Dog Holding Smartphone and Tablet
Image from Shutterstock.com
These days, more and more people getting their news, entertainment and game fixes off their mobile devices. This has given rise to the term ‘Second Screen’, with the smaller mobile device becoming a companion to the ‘first screen’ or home TV set. Not only do smartphones allow TV shows and movies to be taken out of the living room and enjoyed on the go, they also offer a way for people to get extra content about the shows that they are watching. Want to look up a map of Middle Earth while watching Fellowship of the Ring? No problem! Want to get the recipe for the soufflĂ© featured on your favorite cooking show? Easy. You can even search local stores for the best prices on ingredients. Streaming Media magazine first reported on this phenomenon in 2011, and it has grown ever since.

Now it looks like the second screen may be overtaking the first screen in popularity. A recent article on TechCrunch noted that 50% of online entertainment giant Hulu’s viewers are using their mobile devices exclusively. This number is a sharp rise from previous years, and it does not take into account those who watch on desktop computers. The interesting thing is much of this mobile viewing is taking place in the living room with the TV turned off or completely absent.

iPad Holder from Palliser Home Theater Seating
Image from TheaterSeatStore.com
With mobile devices getting less expensive and cable TV costs going up, it looks like more and more people will “cut the cord” and enjoy their content on the go. What does this mean for us? At TheaterSeatStore.com, we also recognize this trend and now offer removable tray tables and specialized tablet holders on many of our home theater seat models. This allows the mobile user to enjoy all of the comfort and convenience of home theater seating while offering easy access to their mobile device of choice. Whether they prefer to watch the small screen, or search for more information while watching their favorite movie on a 105” 4K TV and Dolby surround sound system.

Friday, December 6, 2013

3 Reasons to Use a Sound Bar for Your Home Theater

 Sound bars have become a popular speaker choice for many home theaters simply because of their size. They are a great compromise between a large surround-sound system and the tinny speakers on your TV set. Below are some reasons why you may want to try one of these new devices in your own home theater space.

Walk into any electronic store or browse home theater websites on the Internet, and you are sure to see sound bars. These long and thin boxes are often paired with a subwoofer and designed to mount underneath your flat panel TV. While many sound bars claim to deliver surround sound, they cannot compete with a full 6-speaker surround sound system. Despite this limitation, there are some reasons why you might choose a sound bar over multiple speakers in your home theater. Here are three reasons that we feel are the best.

3. Limited Space – Many home theaters end up being wedged into whatever space is available. Often times this space is compact, not offering much room for a full surround sound setup. In a case like this, a sound bar may make better sense as it may not be possible to put rear speakers behind the couch or home theater seats. Also, a smaller room may enhance the faux surround sound feature mentioned on many sound bars.

2. Easy to Use – For the most part, sound bars are not complex pieces of equipment. Many models don’t even come with a separate remote, opting to have the TV remote programmed to control it. Some sound bars plug into your TV via HDMI or optical audio cables. A few higher-end models even offer a built-in switchbox to let you choose between your game console, cable box, Blu-ray player or other components. Once a sound bar is properly set up, it will usually work as an extension of the TV, so you do not need a second remote to control it.

1. Budget – A good surround sound setup can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands and even millions of dollars. A good sound bar often costs much less starting at $199 or so. This price discrepancy is often enough to get more people to buy sound bars and raise their popularity. If you do not care about true surround sound, but don’t want to listen to your TV’s small and tinny speakers, a sound bar might just be the thing that you are looking for.

For more information on choosing the right sound bar, check out this review on CNET.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Coming Soon! Black Friday Deals to Rock Your Home Theater

2013 TSS Black Friday Sale Banner Ad
2013 Black Friday Sale for TheaterSeatStore.com
As the start of the holiday shopping season looms ever closer, we look forward to its official start on Black Friday with a mixture of anticipation and dread. Anticipation for the great door-buster deals to be had and dread at getting up at 3am, fighting in traffic and standing in line. Actually, 3am is a bit of a late start anymore as some retail outlets want to start Black Friday a day early on Thanksgiving (much to the chagrin of their employees).

With that in mind, we at TheaterSeatStore.com offer an alternative. Shop on our website, check off your gift list, and then call us at (888) 602-7328 to take advantage of unprecedented home theater savings. We offer four great Black Friday Deals that you can take advantage of from the comfort of your couch:

50% off Power Recline on Lane Home Theater Seats – Power recline lets you recline back to the perfect comfort angle at the touch of a button, and now you can add it to any Lane home theater recliner for half the normal price. This adds a lot of luxury and convenience for very little price.

10 Percent Off Octane Performance seating at Theater Seat Store
Image from www.theaterseatstore.com
10% Discount and FREE Extended warranty on all Octane SeatsOctane Performance Seating is our newest brand that encompasses all of the great things about luxury home theater seating. Leather upholstery, tall seat backs and chaise style footrests work with a bevy of other features to take your movie or sports watching to another level. Now you can get the Turbo XL700 and the Bolt XS400 at a 10% discount with an Extended Warranty added free of charge!

Free Upgrades on Palliser Home TheaterPalliser home theater seats are a hot commodity right now, and can go toe to toe with high-end home theater seating without the huge price tag. For Black Friday we are adding FREE White Glove Delivery to any Palliser order over $2,000 or FREE Extended Warranty to orders over $2,500.

6% Off Everything Else – If you are not in the market for any of the above brands, you can still accessories like room packages. This is perfect for rounding out your perfect home theater and saving a little money at the same time. You can get this savings on the website by entering coupon code BLACKTSS during checkout.
Lane End Zone 222 Home Theater recliners
Lane End Zone 222 Home Theater Seats
enjoy a 6% discount on almost any other item on TheaterSeatStore.com. This discount is good for everything from home theater seating to TV stands and

Our Black Friday Sale is only around from now until December 2nd, so the sooner you get your shopping list fulfilled the sooner you can sit back in a brand new leather home theater recliner and watch the frustrated masses from your window.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Introducing Octane Seating for a High Performance Home Theater Experience

Theater Seat Store has always been the go-to place for luxury home theater seating, but now they shift into overdrive as they unveil their signature line of home theater recliners. Octane Seating takes all of the style and power of your favorite muscle car and puts it in a home theater package that is as comfortable as it is stylish. The Octane line has two models for now, with more to come. Both of these recliners feature automotive inspired seating and power recline with extra features such as hidden storage, tray tables, tall seat backs and sleek yet durable leather based upholstery.

Octane Turbo XL-700 home theater seats
Image from www.theaterseatstore.com

Turbo XL-700 – This Home theater seat has all the bells and whistles of a European Supercar without the crazy high price tag. A 44 inch seat back features segmented padding and an angled head rest for the pinnacle of comfort. Press a button, and the optional power recline pulls you back into a state of comfy bliss. Built-in lumbar support, high density furniture foam and buttery soft bonded leather supports you from head to toe in the lap of luxury. Hidden storage spaces in the arms conceal removable tray tables and tablet holders to hold your favorite snacks and tablet. Browse the Internet to monitor your fantasy football team while you watch the big game! With superior quality craftsmanship, the Turbo XL-700 is designed to keep you comfy for many years, and like a classic car retain its good looks.
Octane Bolt XS-400 home theater seating
Image from www.theaterseatstore.com

Bolt XS-400 – The unique split-back design of the Bolt XS-400 is designed to support your lumbar region for hours of movie watching pleasure. Extra padding in the headrest supports your head and neck, while a chaise-style footrest cradles your legs and feet. This gives you the ideal blend of comfort from head to toe. Optional power recline is built on an automotive seat motor that is designed to last for many years. The Bolt’s arms are thinner than most models, making it an ideal choice for small spaces or to add more seats per row. The arms widen at the top to hold full size cupholders for your favorite beverage. Like the Turbo, the Bolt is available in manual or power recline models covered with bonded or premium leather upholstery.

The Octane Seating brand is sure to be the go-to seat choice for many a home theater enthusiast.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

5 Reasons to Score a Touchdown with Palliser Home Theater Seating

Row of 3 Palliser Bullet home theater seats
Image from www.theaterseatstore.com

As the football season gets underway and we all have our fantasy football rosters ready, an important question begins to rear its head. What is the best home theater seating for the game room or man cave? Many of the leading furniture manufacturers offer their own lines of home theater seating with their own unique features, but  Palliser Furniture in particular seems to dominate the home theater industry. Below are 5 great reasons to consider Palliser for your home seating needs, and with plenty of time before the Super Bowl you can settle in, read this article and weigh your decision. Please let us know in the comments section whether you agree or disagree with any of our points:

5. Palliser is an Established North American CompanyPalliser was founded in 1944 in Winnipeg by Russain-Canadian immigrant Albert DeFehr. DeFehr’s company started in his basement and quickly moved to a nearby chicken coop. Now Palliser has giant factories and distribution centers in Canada, Mexico and the US. They also have some facilities overseas that serve to supply raw materials to the North American factories.

4. Fine Materials and Craftsmanship – As reported by SofasAndSectionals.com, all Palliser furniture pieces start with a kiln-dried hardwood frame. The wood is dried in giant kilns to remove moisture and increase its strength. This allows you to enjoy the look and feel of your Palliser furniture for many years. Dense foam cushions rest on a bed of sinuous steel springs that are made from 8 gauge steel. Some Palliser products utilize an elastic webbing system that is similar to that found in the seats of luxury class automobiles like Porsche and BMW.

3. Large Selection – According to Palliser’s website, they offer a catalog of 85 leather and over 200 fabric upholsteries in a variety of colors, textures and patterns. With so many choices available you can find the perfect upholstery color and type to enhance your entertainment space. If you contact a Sales Expert at TheaterSeatStore.com, you can even request free upholstery swatches to help you make your final decision.

2. Innovative Style and Features – Much of Palliser’s home theater seating follows a contemporary design that is popular with today’s home theaters, but select models do have design elements to conform to specialized designs. The 41450 Auxiliary line features button back seating that is reminiscent of classic furniture, while other products like the 41451 Digital is styled closer to luxury automobile seating. Innovative features in Palliser furniture include lighted cupholders and base rails, hidden storage, power recline and chaise style footrests, among other enhancements. These features give you the comfort and support that you need to enjoy long movie marathons.

1. Buy Palliser Now and Save  – TheaterSeatStore.com is currently running a sale on all Palliser products. Order $2,000 dollars of Palliser Furniture and receive a free extended warranty that lasts beyond the standard manufacturer’s warranty. If you purchase more than $2,500, you will get free White Glove Delivery! This special delivery upgrade has the delivery personnel bring you new Palliser furniture into your home, assemble it and take away the packaging trash.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

COMING SOON: HDMI 2.0 Delivers 4 Times the Bandwidth

HDMI Cable Head Closeup
Image from Wikimedia.org
These days, it is impossible to enjoy HD television without the help of HDMI cables. These little beauties are the 8-lane highways of video communication that enable us to enjoy full hi-def video. Now, with 4K television on the horizon, the HDMI standard is also getting an upgrade.

Say hello to HDMI 2.0. This new standard for audio/video cables delivers 4 times the bandwidth of HDMI 1.4, which is the current standard. While current HDMI technology can deliver a frame rate of 3,820 x 2160 pixels at 30fps, the new standard will deliver the same resolution at rates up to 60 fps. This allows plenty of bandwidth for full 4K or UltraHD TV. Another great feature of HDMI 2.0 is the ability to stream two separate signals at once. This allows one person to watch their favorite show while another plays their favorite XBOX or Playstation 4 game.

The best part of HDMI 2.0? Current HDMI cables are fully compatible! There is no need to throw away your old cables for new ones. Much like USB on your computer, HDMI 2.0 is fully backward compatible, so it will work with your old home theater gear. This doesn’t mean that your old Blu-ray player will now broadcast at 4K resolution however you will be able to use that old player with your shiny new 4K TV (at least until you can get a 4K video player)!

Friday, August 16, 2013

DIY Roundup: 10 Links and More to Help You Build Your Home Theater

Whether you are looking to build your first home theater or makeover an existing space, it’s tough to figure out where to start. Much like an artist staring at a blank canvas, you need some inspiration to help you make the leap from empty basement or den to fully functional home theater. We have collected some links from this blog and our website to help you get going on a home theater of your very own:
  1. Building Your Very Own Home Theater – Where to Start?
  2. DIY Home theater Video from Lane Furniture
  3. Ancient Tips to design Your Home Theater – Feng Shui Ideas
  4. “Theater-in-a-Box” Packages
  5. How To Install a Home Theater System
  6. DIY Home Theater Design
  7. How To Measure for Home Theater Seating
  8. Designing Your Perfect Home Theater
  9. Setting Up Home Theater Acoustics
  10. Entertainment on Any Budget – Economical Home Entertainment
Red and Gold Home Theater Room
Image from shutterstock.com
These articles are a great starting point, but when you are in the thick of building your home theater, it helps to have a community of like-minded enthusiasts to answer questions, offer encouragement and share their own projects. To help you on that front, here are three of the top forums used by the home theater community:
  1. AVS Forum
  2. Home Theater Forum
  3. Audioholics Forum
With these links (and the rest of the Internet) at your fingertips, you have no excuse not to get out there and start building the home theater room that you have been dreaming of. Of course, when the time comes, you’ll want to invest in the perfect seating to cap off your home theater space.

Friday, August 2, 2013

3 Reasons that the Google Chromecast Might be the Next Big Thing for TV

Google Chromecast Dongle
Image from Google.com
Much to-do has been made over Google’s big new innovation to hit the home theater market. Well, not physically big as it is the size of a thumb drive!) Some people say that it isn’t ready for prime time yet while others trumpet its innovations and ease of use. This little gadget is the Google Chromecast, and it packs a big punch into a little package.

After looking at what others have said about the Chromecast, it is our opinion that this little dongle is a great buy. Here are 3 major reasons that influenced our decisions:

3. Features vs. Price – As of this writing, the Chromecast only streams three content sources: Netflix, You Tube and Google Chrome. Bigger set-top boxes like the Apple TV and Roku have hundreds of channels. The thing that caught our attention was the channels that Chromecast offers now. Netflix is the largest streaming television service out there, and having access to the huge content library of YouTube as well as your own stash of videos pretty much covers almost everything else. Plus, with a $35 dollar price tag, Chromecast gives you plenty of bang for the buck.

2. Ease of Use – Instead of coming with a remote, the Google Chromecast links to an app through your smartphone, tablet or computer. This allows you to control the TV with your mobile device. Reviews that we researched online give this feature a glowing review. Plus it works with Android and iOS operating systems as well as Windows 8.1 and the latest MAC OS. One reviewer even switched between his Android and iPhone without any problems.

1. Open Source Development – Instead of relying on a proprietary system or expensive development kit, the Chromecast is an open source device with all of its code, specs and secrets on the web for all to see. This opens the door to any developer who wants to create an app for the Chromecast. It may not have many channels now, but rest assured that the Chromecast will quickly build its channels and features to catch up to its bigger set-top box brothers.

Friday, July 19, 2013

8K Digital Technology Breathes New Life Into Classic Films

Blue File Folder Holding Film Reels
image from www.istockphoto.com
After looking closer at the future of television and 4K resolution, we were shocked to discover that 8K resolution is already a thing! While 4K tv’s can display near-film quality images at 3840 x 2160 pixels, or 4 times more than current 1080i high definition, it turns out that 8K technology is able to create an image at a jaw-dropping 7680 x 4320 pixels. This image is 16 times the resolution of 1080i. While the technology of 8K is not expected to reach the home theater market until 2020 or later, the technology is being used for a surprising purpose: restoring and remastering classic film prints.

Warner Home Video is already using the technology to bring many of their classic movies to Blu-ray DVD. Even though many of the original camera negatives of these films are stored in climate controlled vaults, they still show some degradation over the years. Original dyes and developing processes of the time were not foolproof, so many negatives experience loss of color and other signs of aging. With 8K technology, each frame of film is scanned into an 8K image. This image can then be color corrected, cleaned up or modified to better showcase the picture as it was meant to be seen.

Classic Warner Brothers movies that have gone through the 8K process and are now available on Blu-ray include Wizard of Oz, Ben-Hur, Gone with the Wind and North by Northwest to name a few. More titles from Warner Brothers and other classic studios are being restored with the 8K process even as we speak. Even on a current HD TV, the remastered films display vibrant colors, deep blacks and a crisp audio track that has been scrubbed to remove old pops and hiss.

The only drawback? Many of these films were shot at a 4:3 aspect ratio, so black bars were added for wide screen viewing. Despite that, you will be sure that the classic movie on your silver screen is sure to look as good as it did when it first came out in theaters.

Friday, July 12, 2013

4 Reasons that 3D TV is on Life Support

Retro TV with 3D Glasses and IV Drip
images from shutterstock.com
For the last couple of years, media outlets and TV manufacturers alike have been heralding 3D as the next new thing in television. Most of the televisions manufactured today have a 3d processor built into them, and with the addition of a $100 pair of 3D glasses, they deliver eye-popping 3D with select movies and TV channels. Unfortunately, performance in the marketplace has been much slower than anticipated. Some manufacturers, like ESPN and the BBC are even suspending development of their 3D programming for now.

We’ve spoke of 3D TV before when it was seen as the next big thing. What caused the sudden cold reception? Here are some reasons from experts in the industry:

4. Not Enough Content – Aside from a select number of movies and some dedicated TV channels, the amount of 3D content vs. non-3D is pathetically small. Many movies and TV shows just do not lend themselves to a 3D makeover (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas springs to mind). As for TV shows, the only dedicated 3D channel out there is Hong Kong-based Sky, which has announced that they are sticking with the 3D format.

3. The Benefits are Confusing – Customers as a whole have been reluctant to embrace 3D TV in their homes. Many people are confused as to how the process works, thinking that every channel is going to be 3D. Others balk at the high cost of glasses needed to watch 3D content ($100 per viewer can add up for large families). Others wondered if they would even be able to watch 2D shows on their 3D TV. IMO too much hype was given to the fact that people could watch 3D in their homes and not enough was used to explain how the new technology works.

2. People Were Underwhelmed – Everyone thought that the transition from big screen to living room screen would be seamless. The truth is that people were unimpressed with 3D even in the big theaters. Alyssa Ousler of InvestorPlace.com interviewed theatergoers and discovered that people felt like the 3D effect was not worth the higher prices. This sentiment seems to have transferred to home theater gear designed for 3D.

1. People Watch TV Differently – When people go to the movies, they usually sit and watch the show without doing more than munching on snacks. At home people watch TV much differently. Many people do other things like read, check their smartphones or surf the Internet. Others exercise or do housework while the TV is on. Our family even used to eat dinner while watching the tube. Think of how much harder these activities would be with a pair of 3D glasses on.

In spite of this downturn, it does not look like 3D is going away completely. 3D TV technology has already been incorporated into thousands of TV’s and could still be added in the future.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Our Verdict: 5 Reasons to Keep both Cable and Internet TV – Part 3 of 3

Hand with Gavel
Image from istockphoto.com
It may seem like a no-brainer, but after looking at the arguments for Cable vs. Internet TV it makes sense to have both as part of your home theater system. We at Theater Seat Store couldn’t agree more! Here are 5 arguments for having both Cable and Internet TV make up part of your entertainment system:

5. If you have a Cable TV Package, you also have Internet TV – Since most Cable TV packages include high-speed Internet, you already have access to every online TV source available.

4. One of Your Home Theater Components may support popular streaming services – Virtually all TV’s made in the last 15 years already support direct cable TV connections. Many of the newest TV’s also accept popular Internet TV sources like Netflix and Hulu. Also, the current generation of gaming consoles (XBOX 360, PS3 and Wii/Wii U) all support these services as do many models of Blu-ray players. You might even have a dedicated home theater PC that can also stream video and act as a DVR.

3. Huge corporations are pouring money into both Cable and Internet TV – Large fortune 500 companies like Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Direct TV are constantly developing new and better services to compete with Internet TV. Likewise big players like Apple, Google and Intel are spending huge amounts of capital on Internet TV. With so much development on both sides of the fence, having both gives you access to all the major entertainment innovations.

2. Having both Cable and Internet TV gives you the latest entertainment – With Netflix starting to create their own series (House of Cards) and cable-only channels like AMC offering the highest rated shows (Mad Men, The walking Dead to name two). Having both gives you acces to the latest and greatest entertainment as it airs. Cable also has the advantage of giving you live covereage of major events like The Super Bowl.

1. Having both Cable and Internet TV is not much more expensive than having one – Cable packages that include TV and Internet are not much more expensive than having one of them alone. Often, the difference can be as little as $5 a month. With such a small difference it makes sense to have both Cable and Internet TV on your home theater system.

Friday, June 21, 2013

5 Reasons to Stick with Your Cable Plan over Internet-only TV – Part 2 of 3

Hand holds cable tv remote in front of screen
Image from istockphoto.com
Last week, we gave you 5 compelling reasons to ditch your cable plan for streaming TV. For one thing, you can’t just pick up an axe and cut the coax cord as your Internet most likely comes from the same source. In the interests of fairness (and the fact that there are many opinions on this subject), we present 5 reasons to keep your cable plan as part of your home theater experience.

5. There are no significant savings for internet-only service – Most cable companies offer a bundle package to provide your Internet, Cable TV and phone. In most cases, dropping Cable TV from your cable plan will only translate to savings of $5 or less a month.

4. Cable companies are manipulating their content providers – It does not seem fair, but many cable companies offer extra money and other perks to content providers that promise not to license to Internet TV companies. If this doesn’t work the same companies can threaten to drop the content provider’s programming if it refuses to play ball.

3. Cable TV is often the only place to see new episodes of popular shows – Some popular shows like Mad Men and The Walking Dead are only available on Cable TV. Streaming providers often carry older episodes of these shows for those who don’t mind waiting for their favorite show fix.

2. Internet TV does not carry live events – Major TV events like the Academy Awards, Super Bowl and live news coverage can only be seen on broadcast or Cable TV. Internet TV users can watch YouTube clips of these events as they are posted, but often the quality is not the same.  

1. With the rise of Internet TV Cable will be forced to innovate – As Internet TV gets more popular, cable TV will be forced to revamp their programming and fees in order to compete. This will likely translate into better programming, more innovation and lower cable bills as time goes on.

Friday, June 14, 2013

5 Reasons to Cut Cable for Internet TV – Part 1 of 3

hand with remote reaches out of laptop screen
Image from istockphoto.com
You have just finished building the perfect home theater. The home theater recliners are in place, the ideal projector / screen combo is installed and all of your components are wired up. One question remains before you sit back and pick up the remote: Should you stick with cable TV or “cut the cord” and opt for only Internet TV? Below we present 5 good arguments for cutting the cord, and next week we will present 5 more arguments for sticking with your current cable plan.

5. Most TV shows available on Cable TV are also available online – Often, streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime offer new TV episodes a week or less after they originally air.

4. Cable TV prices keep going up – After the six month promotional period, cable TV prices can increase to 2 or 3 times their original monthly price. A $49.99 promotional bundle of TV, phone and Internet can quickly grow to $200 a month or more. In contrast much of Internet TV is free or costs a small monthly fee.

3. Internet TV can be streamed from a variety of devices – Whether you choose to watch your favorite movie or TV show on your tablet, laptop, TV or other device, Internet TV can accommodate you. Also, many game consoles, set-top boxes and even Smart Televisions can access popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.

2. Both cable and internet TV is available in HD – Switching to internet-only TV does not mean that you have to suffer through non-HD quality programming. Both cable TV and Internet TV channels offer full HD resolution.

1. Internet TV is the wave of the future – Large companies like Apple, Intel and Google are investing large amounts of money to refine and improve Internet TV. As more and more enhancements are made, the better and more accessible Internet-only TV becomes.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Put the Max into Your Home Theater with a 2 Million Dollar IMAX System

IMAX Private Theater Concept Art
Image from www.imaxprivatetheatre.com

When it comes to building a home theater, the sky is definitely the limit. While most people are content to sink 10 – 20,000 dollars into their home system, top of the line home theaters can get up to the millions of dollars. The price tag is usually influenced by three things: The size of your home theater space, the shape of the home theater room layout and the quality of your equipment. The pinnacle of these requirements comes in the IMAX Private Theater which can be yours for a cool 2 million dollars.

IMAX Private Theater Cutaway View
Image from www.imaxprivatetheatre.com
Room Size and Geometry: The smallest IMAX screen available is 21 feet, which requires a room space of at least 15.5 feet high, 36.5 feet long and 26.5 feet wide. This massive space is not only to contain the screen, but to allow adequate space and geometry for the sound system and room acoustics to work together perfectly. IMAX even offers to work closely with your architect and interior designer to ensure that the home theater room offers the best size and sound.

IMAX Twin 4K Projectors
Image from www.imaxprivatetheatre.com
Equipment Quality: The IMAX projection system for the home theater market is truly the best in the business. It is comprised of twin 4K projectors that face each other. The images that they project bounce off an intricate mirror system and on to your screen. The projection room requires a separate sound booth to prevent projector noise and heat from ruining an otherwise perfect movie night. Soundproofing in the room itself also makes sure that no outside noise gets into the theater while no sound gets out annoying your neighbors.
More technical information about the IMAX Private Theater can be found in this article from DSI Entertainment.

Of course, this setup does not include the first-run content that you will surely want to enjoy in your new theater. A couple of options are available once your IMAX theater is up and running:

Commercial Grade Digital Projector
Image from dsientertainment.com
Bel-Air Circuit: If you happen to be a high level Hollywood player (a-list director, producer or talent), you can join the members-only “Bel-Air Circuit”. (Although talks are underway to expand membership to those who can afford it). Membership in this exclusive group allows you to get first-run movies directly from the studios on the same day that their films open. Studios send out the movies free of charge, though the projection equipment needed is the same arclight projector used by commercial theaters.

Prima Cinema Server
Image from www.primacinema.com/
Prima Cinema: The Prima Cinema server is a device that allows you to download first-run movies on a pay-per view basis. This system works with standard home theater equipment so you do not need to invest in commercial gear. The cost is expensive ($35,000 for the server plus $500 per movie per view), but still far less than commercial equipment. Also, Prima Cinema is currently in talks with IMAX to package their product with the IMAX Private Theater.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Take the Fun Outside: Building Your Own Outdoor Home Theater

Woman at Outdoor Cinema Before Showtime
Image from istockphoto.com
Now that summer is here, many of us are looking at our outdoor decks and thinking “movie night”. While it is easy enough to take your laptop or tablet outside to watch a flick, nothing beats the experience of a full-size outdoor theater. There is something nostalgic about sitting under the stars and watching a movie with family and friends. For older people, it brings back memories of drive-in theaters with window mounted speakers. For others, it may be a whole new experience that creates whole new memories. Either way, nothing beats sitting outside with your favorite drink and some freshly grilled BBQ while watching a great movie on the big screen.

Setting up your own home theater is not as expensive as it sounds. The idea is to watch a movie outside, not try to replicate the 5.1 surround sound of your inside home theater. Drive in theaters were nowhere near IMAX quality anyway. A decent outdoor venue can be created with a homemade screen, consumer level projector and receiver, standard stereo speakers and a laptop/Blu-Ray player/game console or set-top box. A simple setup like this is also desirable in case you need to take everything inside if Mother Nature decides to crash the party.

Sound: For the outdoors, a simple 2-channel stereo setup is ideal for two reasons. The first is ambient outdoor noise. There is no way to completely shut out ambient outdoor noise without walls and insulation. The second reason is that you do not want to annoy your neighbors and people the next block over with ground-shaking bass. Teenagers with oversized car stereos already have a lock on that.

This brings up a good point. Always invite your neighbors to your outdoor screenings. This lets them know about your planned event even if they can’t attend.

Picture: Unless you have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on your home theater setup, you will need to wait until it is dark before showtime. When you set up your screen, make sure that outside light pollution like a neighbor’s porch light or street lamp does not interfere with the picture. Even a full moon can detract from the picture’s quality. A screen can be as simple as an ironed bed sheet strung up on a wall, or a sophisticated inflatable screen like the Airscreen Airtight. Any consumer-grade projector will work fine as long as it is set up properly. Many projector set-up guides exist online to help you find the perfect projection angle. Likewise, the Web has numerous tutorials on building your own screen for indoor or outdoor use.