Millions enjoy the sheer escapism of a good movie. You can go to the moon, engage in a Roman war, cheer for your favorite superhero, and get the girl without ever leaving your seat. In recent years, Hollywood has seen a decline in theater revenue and ticket sales; however, DVD sales are through the roof. DVD sales are a multi-billion-dollar-a-year business. With advances in television technology, many can enjoy the theater experience without leaving their homes. And many go to great lengths to make their homes feel just like a theater.
Walking into your local electronics store and just looking at the sea of flat screen, crystal clear pictures staring back gives you a giddy, happy feeling that just makes you want to take everything home at once. (Ok, well that’s how I feel). However, when you are a movie buff, you’re not necessarily a technology buff and trying to figure out which TV will give you the best quality for the least amount of money can be an intimidating experience.
I’ve found that any TV will give you a picture, but the purpose is to get the TV that will give you the best picture for your movie enjoyment. You want to feel like you are in the center of the action.
The three best types of display devices for the true buff are LCD, Plasma, and Projectors. Lucky for you all of these options offer HD widescreen. No true movie fan would settle for a standard-size screen when there is a widescreen available. A 16:9 widescreen ratio preserves the cinematic integrity of the picture.
Additionally, recent technology has discovered a way to make DVD players upconvert standard DVD images to near HD quality. This is great for those with hundreds of DVDs that might lose some picture quality on an HD set. Most companies are starting to implement this feature into their DVD players, but it makes the DVD player more expensive.
These are the Pros and Cons of your television options; I’ll leave it to you to figure out which is best for your home theater.
When Plasma televisions were first introduced they quickly took the TV world by storm. For several years they were the industry’s leading advanced modern television, especially in the extraordinary large screen size category.
Pros: Plasma TVs are nothing to scuff at. They are great if their sole purpose is to watch movies in a very dark home theater. They provide excellent picture quality, and wide viewing angles and are quickly coming down in price. With a Plasma television, you usually get more screen size for your dollar. Plasmas are great for those looking for a screen larger than 42 inches. They still hold the market and quality for especially large, large screens. Currently, Plasmas offer a “truer black,” which makes for excellent color. With Plasmas the darker the room the better the picture.
Cons: The largest complaint most have with Plasma screens is the potential for image burn-in. However, many manufacturers have gone to great lengths to minimize this issue. With Plasmas the darker the room the better, since each pixel on the screen is lit individually Plasma TVs may have more glare in well-lit rooms.
LCD televisions are quickly growing in popularity and are expected to eventually become the new standard in television technology. They are great multi-functional TVs that usually perform well no matter what they are most used for.
Pros: LCD TVs are my personal favorite. They are ultra-thin and can be wall-mounted. You get a crystal clear picture, less glare, better resolution, and better visibility in well-lit rooms compared to Plasmas. Additionally, there is no fear of burn; although, with movies nothing on the screen stays still long enough to burn. LCDs also consume less power and have a slightly longer shelf life.
Cons: LCDs are the most expensive televisions on the market. Some older LCD models may not have great visibility from the sides and most affordable models top out at about 40 to 42 inches.
Projectors are a whole different ball game. Projectors traditionally throw an image onto a wall or screen, much like in a real movie theater. However, there are many different types of technologies used in the projectors themselves including LCD and DLP.
Pros: With a projector, you can watch a movie just as if you were sitting in a theater. Projectors are much smaller than most televisions, which enables them to be portable, and you can have a picture as big as your wall will allow. Seriously, your image can be floor-to-ceiling if you want it to. The only thing limiting you is the roof. Modern projectors include HD technology and include all the traditional inputs to hook up your favorite DVD player or video game console.
Cons: These are really only designed for special circumstances. Most people do not double their projector as a family television set. Ultimately, your picture is really only as good as the surface the image is projected onto. Additionally, a really good projector with all the bells and whistles can cost almost as much as a Plasma or LCD TV.
I’m sorry I can’t just point you to a specific TV and say, “Here, this is the absolute best TV on the market for movie lovers, buy this one.” But it really comes down to what is best for your situation, taking into account your needs, expenses, and the limits you are willing to go to create your ultimate home theater experience.