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.