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.