5 Easy Ways to Transform Your TV into a Home Theater Experience

According to a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics last year, working Americans spend more than half of their daily leisure time (2.7 hours a day) watching television.

Today, television is much more than a source for current events and weather forecasts. With the recent popularity of reality television, many people find themselves watching TV to escape from their own reality and simply relax.

After a long and exhausting day of work, you deserve to retreat to a comfortable entertainment area, equipped with the proper electronics you’ll need to complete your home theater.

With this in mind, I have created a list of the top five easy ways to transform your TV into a home theater experience.

Surround sound

Price range: $70$430

Just because television has been around since the late 1870s doesn’t mean your viewing and audio experience should be prehistoric.

If your current television can receive a signal without the use of a converter box, chances are you own a high-definition television (HDTV).

HDTVs receive digital broadcast signals that have significantly higher resolution levels than traditional tube televisions.  Through the use of a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) cord, HDTV users can receive up to eight channels of uncompressed Dolby Digital audio.  Yet, the slim design of HDTVs limits the speaker size in the television, compromising the way you hear and experience the Dolby Digital audio.

The best way to unleash the full capabilities of the audio in your HDTV is to add a surround sound unit to your television.

Introductory surround sound units can be obtained for a very reasonable price.  The three main components in a surround system are the receiver, subwoofer and speakers.

For movie viewing, there are three types of surround sound systems that will upgrade your current audio to theater-level precision.

These surround sound units include the following:

  • 5.1 channel movie format surround sound system
  • 6.1 channel extended surround format system
  • 7.1 channel surround sound system

The first number in a surround sound unit refers to the number of speakers, and the second number refers to the number of subwoofers.  For example, a 5.1 channel surround sound unit has five speakers and one subwoofer.

By strategically placing the speakers in your surround sound unit around your preferred entertainment area, you can be assured that the Dolby Digital audio will authenticate your home theater experience.


Price range: $200­$350

Believe it or not, the awesome picture you view on your HDTV can become even better with an HDTV calibration.

Calibrating your HDTV will elevate your resolution level and make sure that your TV’s picture is the best it can possibly be.  The next time you visit an electronics retail store such as Best Buy, ask the salesman to show you the difference between a regular HDTV and one that has been calibrated.

The difference between the picture on the standard factory settings and a calibrated HDTV is truly unbelievable.  If you can afford to get your television calibrated, I strongly suggest the upgrade.  The difference will surely add to your home theater experience.

Blu-ray player

Price range $69$250

HDTVs are so technologically advanced, no cable providers currently broadcast in 1080p.  As of now, the only way an HDTV owner can unlock the full resolution power of their television is through the use of a Blu-ray player.

While many brands currently make Blu-ray players, I personally use the Sony PlayStation 3 for its Blu-ray capabilities.  Also, the PS3 is a great receiver to stream HD movies from Netflix.

In short, owning an HDTV without owning a Blu-ray player is like owning a videogame system without owning a television.

LED light dimmers

Price range $9$47

Adding a light dimmer to your movie room may be the cheapest and easiest upgrade you can make.  A light dimmer can help you control the glare on your plasma HDTV or set the mood for a romantic movie date.

Including electrician installation cost, you can make this home theater upgrade for less than $50.

Popcorn maker

Price range $17­$49

No home theater can be considered complete without a popcorn maker.  Popcorn is to movies what turkey is to Thanksgiving.  Since the Great Depression, popcorn has been the snack of choice for theaters nationwide because it’s cheap to purchase and cheap to make.  Adding a popcorn maker to your entertainment area will complete your home theater experience.

Using some of the tips listed above, you can transform your TV area into a home theater experience without emptying your pockets.  If you gradually make one of these upgrades whenever your finances permit, you can have an amazing home theater in no time!


Original Article can be found at: Quicken Loans Blog

Posted by:  Carlson Mortgage – a Saint Louis mortgage broker.  Our Home Loan Experts can be reached at (314) 329-7314 seven days a week. Let us be your source for some of the lowest interest rates in St. Louis on conventional, FHA, Veterans (VA), USDA, and HARP 1.0 and 2.0 loans. We have 7 years of experience providing mortgage services that are tailored individually to your unique needs and to your financial situation. We speak English, Spanish and Russian. Call us today!

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