Along with web-based mobile apps and content streaming, the category of home theater is a crucial part of today’s smartphone-centric home entertainment. As a result, it is becoming more accessible, programmable and more cool. This will be a good year for movie aficionados.
Some people like to have two or more flat-panel TVs on the same wall, others choose a flat-panel TV that is covered by a larger front-projection screen, and some even go a bit further and install screens on different walls. The trend of having multiple screens in one room is in full swing. With so many video choices, some people just do not want to take chances.
Lampless LED and video projectors
Many aficionados will not settle for less than a video projector and the screen as big as a side of a barn. Only this way can they have a true home theater experience. For a projector capable of producing a 70” – 200” image, a darkened room is essential. Although top-shelf projectors offer impressive reproduction quality, lampless LED technology goes one step further. Apart from throwing a clear, sharp image, they are much more durable and more energy-efficient than regular ones.
3D TVs and Blu Ray
Making a long way from paper red-and-blue movie glasses from the 80s, 3D technology is becoming the latest must-have video treat. Popularized by the big-screen megahit Avatar, 3D capable TVs and Blu-Ray DVD players are becoming the mainstay of the industry. On the other hand, movie studios and gaming producers are fueling consumers’ appetite for 3D content. Discovery, ESPN and Directv already broadcast TV channels in 3D.
Another trend that is gaining in popularity is a hybrid approach to a theater room. Instead of dedicating an entire room to movie watching and gaming, you can add traditional furniture like sofas and armchairs, creating a living room-theater hybrid. Family homes usually cannot spare one room for one purpose only, and this way more family members can enjoy the system installed. Still, a dual-purpose room has different purposes than a dedicated home theater. Apple TVs and Roku players surely have more use in family rooms than a LED projector would.
The multiple screen trend would be nothing more than a fad without smartphones and tablets used to control the volume and change channels. Yet, mobile devices are also becoming secondary viewing screens. As a result of huge impact of social media on everyday lives, people want to have the ability to tweet, share and update statuses while they are watching a movie or their favorite TV show. Another category of watchers who can benefit from this are sport fans. Companies like Panasonic have already added social networking features for Facebook and Twitter to their smart TVs.
Instead of installing in-wall speakers, many home video enthusiasts choose floor-standing or bookshelf systems. Instead of trying to hide the equipment, the newest trend puts good audio and visual experience in focus. Proven 5.1 or 7.1 speaker setups that AV Clarity installs optimize the audio performance and bring you closer to action. Once purchased solely for their attractive looks, today’s soundbar speakers are approaching the quality of full-range speakers, and they can still be integrated into your home décor.
More for less
Surprisingly, the price of home theater systems has dropped, while their features and performances are constantly improving. Companies like Epson, Mitsubishi and JVC now offer solid 3D projectors for half the price of comparable projectors from two years ago.
One streak that runs through all home theater features of today is accessibility. Affordable high-definition large screen TVs and audio sets paired with mobile platforms and Internet streaming make the road to big-screen home experience easier than ever.