Movie theaters are one gateway to our imaginations, as it is an escape for adventure, comedy, drama, and action that we would not experience in life. Along with the film we enjoy the experience of a large screen, surround sound, and snacks. Unfortunately, that experience is often accompanied with lines, high prices, travel, and a fellow patron talking through the movie.

The optimal movie experience may now occur at home, removing the drawbacks and providing the convenience of watching a favorite film whenever we like.The major component of a home theater system is the screen. With all the options in televisions today it may be an overwhelming proposition, but by knowing our needs it becomes an easier process. Remember to consider:
• Screen size
• Television category (LCD, Plasma, Big Screen Projection, Projection)
• Digital requirements
• High Definition (HD)
On February 17, 2009, all programming will be broadcast in digital format rather than analog, so check the television to ensure it receives a digital transmission.

Two formats of movies are currently available: DVD and Blu-Ray. DVD is traditional format for movies, presenting media in a digital format. Blu-Ray is the new format that also presents media in a digital format. The primary difference between the two formats is traditional DVD players use a red laser to read data on the disc while Blu-Ray uses a blue laser. Without dissecting the details, blue laser has a smaller wavelength allowing more precision in its ability to read data on the disc, presenting clearer pictures and sound. One advantage of Blu-Ray is its ability to play DVD format discs, but your DVD play will not play Blu-Ray discs without a converter. The other main advantage of Blu-Ray is its clarity when broadcasting on an HD television.

Surround sound enhances any broadcast by placing you in the middle of the action. The two common configurations of surround sound designations are 5.1 channel surround and 7.1 channel surround. For example, 5.1 channel surround sound uses five channels to broadcast sound and one Low Frequency Effects channel, otherwise known as sub-bass. In many configurations each channel uses one speaker, so a 5.1 channel surround would have five speakers and a bass speaker. 5.1 surround sound is extremely common, but the advent of Blu-Ray discs has increased the use of 7.1 surround sound. The key to surround sound, whether using five, seven, or ten channels, is placing speakers around the room as intended to create the surround environment. Follow your manufacturer’s recommendations to establish a baseline for speaker location.

Keeping these factors in mind one would coordinate a highly capable home theater systems with an HD television, Blu-Ray disc player, and 7.1 surround sound. More and more choices are available that allow for economic options to outfitting this equipment.