Every home theater is a perpetual work-in-progress. No matter how much time or money you spend making the perfect movie (or TV, or videogame) den, there’s always some new piece of equipment to buy or some other improvement to make. What have you recently added to your theater room?
M. Enois Duarte
Other than upgrading my home theater to Dolby Atmos with the Denon AVR-X5200W and four B&W CCM683 ceiling speakers, I recently finished building a pair of Stereo Integrity 18″ subwoofers. Although complete, they still need to be painted, but I’m waiting for the weather to warm up a bit. I wrote a little about my experience building these monsters last week, but here’s a sneak peek at what they look like so far.
Gosh, I’m afraid to say anything, for fear that I’ll jinx something and my projector lamp will burn out or something. Though I’ve considered a few upgrades over the last year (specifically Dolby Atmos), I haven’t made any home theater purchases since I got a Darbee Darblet last spring. That was totally worth it, by the way. I’m already thinking about 4K projectors when they reach my income bracket, but I’m pretty sure a sound system upgrade will be the next thing I tackle.
Chris Boylan (Big Picture Big Sound)
A lot of the stuff I get in is on loan from the manufacturers, but I did buy myself a projector, the Panasonic PT-AE8000U, when the price came down recently. It’s 1080p and does 3D, but the reason I like it so much is that it can transform from 16:9 to 2.35:1 automatically, without an anamorphic lens. It can detect the black bars of incoming content and adjust its zoom accordingly to fill a 2.35:1 screen where appropriate. This makes it an excellent projector for fixed height multi-aspect-ratio screens.
For now, it’s sitting on a custom hanging shelf I made from leftover chandelier parts and an amplifier stand (it’s sturdier than it sounds). When we finally get around to the home theater makeover, I’ll either put it on a custom rear shelf or will do a more permanent ceiling mount.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
As far as gear goes, my home theater is unlikely to change until Ultra HD Blu-ray is more of a thing. The current plan is to wait until the second generation of players are available and for 4K OLED prices to come tumbling down to Earth. Watch me impulsively raid my bank account the minute this new format launches, though.
While the hardware side of my home theater has remained the same since buying a Pioneer VSX-1123 receiver at the tail-end of 2013, pretty much everything around it has been upended! Marvel at my new rug, couch, ottoman and end tables! There’s also a sideboard on a nearby wall where I store my current-gen videogames and accessories.
While my DTS:X 2015 demo disc is primed for a new AVR later this year (I’ve loved the demonstrations thus far), my most recent home theater purchase is a bit more visual. I was pretty happy with my current video card options right up until the game ‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘ came out. After a few hours of play, I just couldn’t get it out of my mind that the game could run better (much better even) with the right card. I made a trip to Micro Center for a new NVIDIA 9 series. That was last week.
This week, I need to dial up a pair of new bookshelf speakers. With low wattage in mind (2 x 25W), I want something that will make it worth getting out the Hi-Fi.
With the purchase of our first home going through right now, my wife and I have been making little purchases for the dedicated theater room that I’ve been dreaming about. I’m still completely satisfied with my technical set-up (although I’m eagerly awaiting an all-around upgrade), so these little purchases have been cool decor pieces. The most recent would be some ‘Interstellar‘ posters and frames. I’m a fan of rotating the decor theme, but I’m certain that we’ll christen the area with my ‘Interstellar’ goodies – the three-part framed IMAX exclusive poster set, my Endurance shoulder patch, all three unique versions of the Blu-ray, the collector’s edition two-disc soundtrack with a light-up Morse code star chart box, and my four to-be-framed and backlit IMAX film cells. I can’t wait to sign the papers with the bank!
Chris Chiarella (Sound & Vision)
For the first time in a while, I just recently updated my reference system to include a pair of Definitive Technology BP-8060ST floor-standing bipolar SuperTower loudspeakers and matching CS-8060HD center channel. Sonically, my home theater is shiny and new again, the fullness and clarity are astounding, and since all three have built-in powered subwoofers, there’s more than enough low end to go around. (Kudos to my bro for helping me set it all up.) In fact, the experience has been so enjoyable, I find myself pulling out favorite go-to discs (‘Iron Man 3‘!) just to hear what they sound like with these new mains and center. So far, nothing but awesomeness.
As I mentioned in our poll the other day, I’ve finally upgraded my front left and right speakers to a new (to me) pair of towers.
I’m still fixated on the Cambridge Soundworks brand, even though the company no longer even makes home theater speakers anymore. These T205s were some of the last high-end speakers Soundworks made before reducing its focus exclusively to portable audio. For the last few months, I’ve been scouring my local Craigslist waiting for a pair to show up for sale, without success. Fortunately, with the help of our reader Justin, I managed to score a pair from a former employee for an incredible deal.
Installing these means that I also had to rotate my other speakers. My former front mains have now taken over as my Surround channels. The old Surrounds are now my Back Surrounds. And my old Back Surrounds have moved up to take over the Front Height positions in my Dolby Atmos system.
Tell us in the Comments about recent changes you’ve made to your home theater.