Welcome to... Practical Home Theater Guide

Practical Home Theater Guide
explains it all

No more driving to the crowded movie theater...
true cinematic experience within the comfort of your home is a reality!

Are you in the market for a new HDTV or AV receiver? Would you like to have a true understanding of the latest TV specs without the hype that often the latest technology? Do you know what it takes to enjoy the best 3D TV experience?

Would you like to know how to go about designing a home theater within the limitations of your budget, or how to select the best projection screen for your needs? Are you confused by the different audio formats? Help is here!

Practical Home Theater Guide is set to serve as a comprehensive guide to home theater—from the art and science of home theater design, to home theater systems installation and product reviews; all articles are complemented by easy-to-follow information and practical installation tips.


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Home theater systems can do a remarkable job towards achieving a great cinematic experience in the home.

It is all about an intermix effect brought together by the TV or projection screen, the home theater sound, and the overall room decor. These all play a key role in the cinematic experience.

Through the information published on Practical Home Theater Guide, we show you that it is all a question of selecting the appropriate gear and of following the necessary implementation principles for a correct home theater setup.

It is not true the bigger an HDTV is, the better, or that you will enjoy better sound by pumping more power into your sub-woofer! Just follow through the articles appearing on Practical Home Theater Guide to discover more.

Website Objective

We hope that Practical Home Theater Guide will serve as a comprehensive reference source with easy-to-follow information on all aspects of home theater. Our aim is to help you achieve through your own home theater system that same magical experience we enjoy at movie theaters. We are therefore presenting a series of informative articles and setup guides that discuss the various aspects of home theater.

Practical Home Theater Guide covers various sections targeting specific areas of interest:

- HDTVs installation guides

- Product reviews

- Home theater video projectors

- Projector screens

- Multi-channel sound systems

- AV receivers and wireless speakers

- Home theater calibration and setup discs

- Power supplies and equipment protection

- Digital and satellite TV systems

 ... and more.

Each section includes the relevant home theater guides that discuss in detail the respective design criteria, setup constraints, equipment selection, and overall equipment integration. Related home theater system reviews are also included, while links to manufacturers' sites and major online suppliers are provided whenever possible.

Home Theater Design: We are also featuring an interesting series of Home Theater Design guides that takes a full 360o approach to the subject, starting with the basics in design concept, to final implementation.

Topics covered include: basic home theater room planning budget constraints and available space, room acoustics, lighting, room decor, home theater seating, screen size, equipment and speaker placement, home theater wiring, etc.

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Please feel free to use the site Contact Form to post in your comments, suggestions or queries. You can also leave your comment in the Facebook Comments Box at the end of this page.

We hope that you will enjoy and profit from the articles appearing on Practical Home Theater Guide.

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Practical Home Theater Guide Site Map
Website Index - Main Site Categories

HDTV Guides: Plasma, CCFL & LED LCD TVs, OLED, and CRT

Plasma Television Guide
If you want a videophile-grade picture for less, the Plasma TV is surely your way!

LCD TV Guide
Discussing LCD HDTV sets - both CCFL and LED - starting with the basics of LCD TV technology to flat panel TV installation.

The OLED TV GuideOLED TV Guide
OLED TV sets are turning out to be among the biggest attractions in the latest electronics shows. This is no surprise; they deliver the best TV picture irrespective of display technology but… Discover more in this OLED technology guide.

Miscellaneous HDTV Guides

Digital TV
A series of guides covering digital television - from converter boxes to DTV antennas.

Comprehensive online guide to Digital Satellite TV
Digital satellite TV is delivering entertainment to millions in the USA; it represents a great choice to complement your home theater and a great source for HD broadcast content.

We experienced 3D in movie theaters; now 3D has come to the home thanks to the latest 3D HDTVs but... It takes more than just a 3D TV to enjoy the best 3D viewing experience; more in this series of 3D TV guides.

Achieved Articles

CRT TV Guide:
The days for the CRT TV are over but there are still millions of CRT TVs in US households. This comes to no surprise as CRT TVs are relatively robust and offer excellent picture especially with respect to LCD TVs.

Flat-Panel TV Reviews: LCD, LED and Plasma HDTVs

LCD TV Reviews:
Covering some of the best LCD HDTVs—from expensive LED LCD TVs to affordable LCD televisions in the so-called 'value category', often incorrectly referred to as cheap LCD TVs!

Plasma TV Reviews - discovering the best plasma televisions!
A series of plasma HDTV reviews covering some of the best yet affordable plasma television sets available on the market.

Best HDTV Roundup
Helping you pick the best HDTVs irrespective of brand or display technology.

Projection Systems: Guides and Product Reviews

Projection TV Guide
Complete guide to front and rear projection television systems.

Video Projector Reviews
Projector reviews designed to help you discover the best business and home theater projectors.

Rear Projection TV Reviews
A selection of Rear Projection TV reviews covering major top-selling systems for home theater use.

Home Theater Screens
Usually the last to be considered; many even choose the cheapest available, but this is a BIG mistake...

Archived Articles

DIY Projection TV Guide
There was a time when video projectors were super expensive and many tried to experiment with DIY setups to produce a big TV image on a wall. This is no longer so but it is still fun producing a real life-size TV image for just a few bucks! DIY projection TV can make this a reality but...

Home Theater Audio: Multi-Channel Sound

Guide to Home Theater Sound
Covering Dolby and DTS surround sound formats, THX certification, DVD-A, DualDiscs, and SACDs. In the process, we also discuss speakers and AV receivers as detailed below:

Home Theater Speakers:
Covering multi-channel audio speaker requirements, speaker buying tips, speaker placement, and speaker specs.

Home Theater Receivers:
Issues discussed include features to look for, 5.1 vs. 7.1 AV receivers, amplifier specs, and amplifier power. We also review some of the best mid-range AV receivers.

Home Theater Cables: AV Interconnects and HDCP

Home Theater Cables: Guide to AV Connectors and Speaker Wire
Do not underrate the importance of quality home theater cables; the quality of your AV connectors and speaker wire will impact system performance. Read here to discover more.

HDCP: A Guide to the most debated Digital Content Protection
Discover what HDCP is all about, why it impacts HDTV viewing, and how it works. Is there an alternative to noncompliant HDTV devices - what about the use of HDCP strippers?

Home Theater Guides: Home Theater Design, AV Racks, and System Setup

Towards a Successful Home Theater Design
A correct home theater design is crucial for an immersive movie experience. Discover more in this series of home theater guides.

Home Theater Setup DVDs
Calibration discs can help you get the best out of your system without calling a professional. Discover how setup DVD discs can come in handy during equipment setup.

Guide to Audio Video Equipment Racks
AV Racks come in all shapes and sizes, and helps you keep your gear organized and safe, essential for long-term trouble-free operation. But AV racks represent more than a storage space for your system components...

Home Theater Pictures Gallery

A collection of Home Theater Pictures submitted by Practical Home Theater Guide visitors, to help you discover what others have done to build their home theater masterpiece.

Movie Posters - a great way to re-live your favorite movie magic!
Movie posters can help recreate the magic of the movie theater in the home. Learn more about the fascinating world of movie pictures, poster sizes, poster books, and poster light boxes.

Wireless Home Theater: Headphones, Speakers & Media Players

Guide to Wireless Headphones

Ever told to turn it down? Wireless headphones may be a solution - especially when combined with Dolby Headphone technology.

Wireless Home Theater: A Buying Guide to Wireless Speakers Systems
Wireless speakers offer greater flexibility when in-wall wiring is not an option. This wireless speakers guide should help you identify the best solution for your needs.

Wireless Media Players
Are you ready to expand your wireless networking from a simple home-office to a fully integrated wireless home entertainment system? Today's wireless media players make this easily achievable.

Home Theater Books and Magazines

Home Theater Magazines and Books - Reviews and Suggestions

Grab a few magazines and home theater books, and you are on your way to avoid costly mistakes when planning a home theater or making a purchase.

Free Electronics Catalogs
Now you can get some of the best Electronics Catalogs covering top electronic gadgets and home theater gear, free of charge. More info here.

Power Protection Solutions

Power Protection in the Home Theater

There is more to power protection than protecting your gear. The problem is that power protection does not come cheap; at the same time, a correctly implemented protection system represents the most effective insurance for your gear. In this series of articles on power protection, we discuss the use of power line conditioners, surge suppressors, and AC regenerators as part of a power protection system in AV applications. We also investigate the possible use of the cheaper computer UPS as part of a home theater power protection solution on a budget.

Useful Links

Home Theater Resource Directory
A selection of home theater guides and informative articles from specialized home theater sites, with links to related web resources.

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Latest Additions and Updates:

More new content on Practical Home Theater Guide

2013 LCD TV Reviews Update
LCD TV Reviews:

Choosing an LCD TV from the myriad of models available can make the whole selection process challenging — to say the least — even frustrating.

Help is here! We are presenting a series of LCD TV Reviews and product guides covering some of the best LED LCD TVs presently available from major TV brands.

LCD TV Motion Blur Explained LCD Motion Blur Explained

LED/LCD TV specs seem to imply that the ability of a display panel to reduce motion blur is not so much a function of the pixel response time inasmuch as of the display panel refresh rate. The implication is that a higher panel refresh rate yields less motion blur. But...

To what extent a faster refresh rates reduce motion blur, and is LCD response time related to the panel refresh rate?

Home Theater Design Made Easy! Home Theater Design Roundup

Home theater design is definitely complicated science — hence the need for the detailed guides under our home theater design section.

Yet there are a few simple things to consider that can transform your home theater experience from ordinary to extraordinary.

4K Resolution Explained In-home 4K Resolution Explained

2013 has brought more 4K TVs from a few major TV makers than we ever expected, and these at even smaller sizes then we ever thought would make technical sense. What's more, this new 4K TV hardware is very expensive; a typical 65-inch 4K Ultra HD TV with a mid-range feature set, sells for $7,000!

But... Is a 4K TV really worth the expensive price? What is 4K technology? What are the implications to customers - is it worth jumping onto the 4K resolution bandwagon?

OLED TV Technology Guide OLED TV Technology Guide

The OLED TV has finally made it to the consumer market... it is exceptionally thin, light, truly ecofriendly, and yes... it is the TV with the best picture!

But it is also the TV with the most expensive price; and even if money is no problem, you have only two OLED TVs models to choose from - both of which come with a curved 55" screen - the LG 55EM9800 and Samsung's KN55S9C.

Read here to discover more on OLED display technology and available OLED TVs.

Is a Plasma Television still worth considering as a big screen TV option?
Plasma TV Reviews - 2013 Roundup

Plasma TVs may be at the end of the line, but the latest 2013 plasma TVs have definitely made it to the very top when it comes to picture performance.

We review the latest plasma TVs from Panasonic, Samsung and LG to see what is on offer for those who really care about picture performance.

Best Home Video Projectors: BenQ W1070 vs. Acer H6510BDBest Home Video Projectors
BenQ W1070 vs. Acer H6510BD

Both the BenQ W1070 and the Acer H6510BD represent great budget-class 1080p 3D home video projectors; they support similar features and picture performance, but there are also a few important differences, so... Which is better?

Sound Bar Speakers Buying Guide Sound Bar Buying Guide: Inform yourself before you buy!

Sound bars represent a popular, affordable, easy option to enjoying better TV sound. But they have quite a few limitations as well. The issue is...

What should you look at when considering the sound bar speaker option?

Read here to discover more.

Review: Roku 3 Streaming Player Roku 3: The Ultimate Streaming Player from Roku

A 'fully loaded' wireless streaming player that serves more content than any other; it is also super fast, comes with an excellent user interface, can serve as a gaming console, and the remote control includes a headphones jack for private listening - really cool! It is the perfect streaming player... well not exactly!

Review: SoundCast Wireless Systems SoundCast Wireless Systems for surround and subwoofer applications

Want to do away with trailing speaker cables for the rear/back surround channel speakers and also your powered subwoofer?
SoundCast has the answer!

Wireless HDMI Technology Guide Wireless HDMI: A technology guide to available wireless HDMI solutions

Do you want to wall mount a TV but passing cables is not an option? Wireless HDMI can do it!

Read here to discover the pros and cons of the different technologies and identify the best wireless HDMI systems presently available on the market.

Sonos Music System Review The Sonos Music System for Multi-room audio streaming

Sonos offers an excellent range of wireless music components for easy multiroom audio. However... the Sonos system does not come cheap and has its limitations. Does this mean the Sonos asking price is too high?

Best Video Projector Reviews: Covering the best projectors for home entertainment
Best Video Projector Reviews: Covering the best projectors for home entertainment

If you want to go big, there is no better way than to invest in a video protector. Today's affordable projectors are capable of superb 2D and 3D picture quality. Here are our best picks...

Must Read Guides

Popular articles appearing on
Practical Home Theater Guide

TV Viewing Distance

Speaker Placement Guide

TV Contrast Ratio Explained

Headphones Buying Guide

LCD Response Time

'FREE" Downloadable Home Theater Guides

Enjoy a Great TV Picture in five simple steps