Posted on November 12, 2013 By Art Feierman
While the image on the screen is the key, don’t skimp too much on the audio. Typically a $499 “Home Theater in a Box” may provide decent sound, and play loud enough, but, boy is it great to have some really good sound. (I’m an old audiophile, and my system is ridiculous, but boy does it make for amazing sound.) Room size and speaker placement come into play in your selection. You don’t have to spend a ton of money – a nice $300 – $500 AV receiver can handle your source switching for the projector (cable/satellite box, Blu-ray/DVD player, computer, even a game machine like the PS3). Then pick out a good set of 5.1 (or 7.1) set of speakers/subwoofer. If you are planning a major room changeover, you may well want to have your speakers “in-wall” instead of free standing.
I get so many emails about, “do I really need to get a Blu-ray player” Personally, I always recommend it. The difference betweens standard DVD and Blu-Ray of the same movie is often startling. It’s not just the higher resolution and therefore significantly sharper image, but also the production qualities. Almost all Blu-Ray discs have been remastered to deliver a superior picture in terms of color fidelity, dynamics, and everything else. The best source material on standard DVD – such as Lord of the Rings, barely comes close to the most average Blu-ray disc. With players to be found for under $200, go for it. Or, as most people do, buy a Sony PS3 and have a great Blu-Ray player, and a top of the line game machine. The final word – get a Blu-ray player.
Enough. It is not my goal to intimidate you. You will do what you can to get the best viewing experience. If you can’t do everything – that’s fine – even I can’t, and this is how I make my living. Still, even a pretty basic setup, with compromises, is, basically jaw-dropping!
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