There’s always one house on the block that’s known as party central. Chances are it’s not just Linda’s great guacamole dip. Wander from the kitchen into the living room, and you’re likely to find a serious home theatre system complete with the latest in technology. With so much high-quality programming on TV these days, “the tube” has become a gathering place for entertainment and relaxation. If you’re looking to turn your living room into a powerhouse for sports and movies, here are the components you need to get started.
Television: Gone are the days of the 27-inch colour TV. Every major electronics manufacturer sells incredibly high definition televisions that will knock you out of your socks. This TV’s come with pretty high price tags, so if you’re in the market, consider purchasing from one of the lesser known brands. The quality is often near as good, and you’ll save some green. You’ll also have to do some research into the different kinds of HDTV’s. The two major technologies are LCD and Plasma. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Programming: You’ll definitely want to provide something to appeal to everyone in your family, as well as all your friends from the neighbourhood. And you’ll want to ensure you are making the most of that new HDTV. For the most variety in high definition programming, satellite TV is the best option. While cable companies do offer HD channels, the leading provider of satellite TV offers more than 130 channels in high definition. So when you are into sports, movies, family programming or educational content, you can get it all in crystal-clear HD with a satellite TV package.
Sound: Remember that High Fidelity system you were so proud of in the 70s? The single receiver / two speaker setup has been upgraded to Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. By the time you read this article, even 5.1 may be antiquated, as 7.1 is rapidly making its way into homes across the country. Both operate on the same concept (the 7.1 configuration just has a couple more speakers). It’s kind of strange to think about, but the sound is actually three-dimensional. An entertainment system that lacks a solid sound setup blasts audio at you from one direction. In contrast, if you have a great surround sound system, you’ll feel immersed in the action. Imagine being in a football stadium during a play game; the noise is all around you, instead of coming just from the field.
DVR: If you’re busy with work and play, you’ll probably benefit from this technology more than any other. With a DVR (digital video recorder), you can record programs and watch them later whenever you want. Think of this as a VCR on steroids. The boxes offered today have storage capacities that tip the scales at more than 100 gigabytes. That kind of size is necessary if you’re looking to record in high definition. With the ability to easily save all the great programming available on satellite or cable TV these days, you’ll be glued to the couch for days, which brings us to our next point.
Decent Furniture: This is perhaps the most overlooked aspect of a great living room. You could spend so much time in the electronics store buying the previously mentioned items that you might forget to buy a couple of comfy leather couches to fit all your long-lost friends. Options range from simple fabric couches to fancy stadium seating. Just do not forget to budget these items in before you get giddy with the tech purchases!
Get ready to change your life with a great entertainment system. By the time you’re finished setting up, you’ll find long-lost acquaintances wandering in from the street.