I started my home theater addiction pretty early in life. When I was about 11 years old I was
already taking apart electronics (and once in a while even succesfully reassembling them). When
most kids my age were still playing with "boom boxes", I saved my allowance and bought a set of
Technics speakers and a JVC receiver. I later added an Akai turntable, and a JVC cassette deck,
to round out my stereo system. At about this time, network TV had just started broadcasting in
MTS stereo, and I bought a digital tuner with stereo output. I had just listened to the little
crappy 5" speaker that they put in TVs for the last time.
Roll forward to my first year in college, and the Technics speakers weren't cutting it
anymore. So like any good engineering student, I built my
own. Then the JVC receiver got upgraded to a more powerful unit. My original top-loading
CD player (one of the first, bought in 1984) was replaced with a more modern front loading unit. It
was great, it played loud.
After graduating college, my musical tastes matured a little and I started upgrading the system
from quantity to quality. First came the Denon AVR-1000 receiver with Dolby Pro-logic, and then
my Polk RT55i main speakers, which remain in my system to this day. Eventually the 27" GE television
was replaced with a Mitsubishi 48" Rear Projection HDTV. Next
was a full 5.1 surround system powered by an NAD T-752 receiver,
and NAD C-272 2-channel power amplifier. Finally an SVS
12" subwoofer added the low frequency effects needed for movies.
I've never cared for having a dedicated home theater room in a basement, because it's less convenient
to use. So I have done as much as I can to convert our livingroom into a theater room. This included
adding can lighting to the ceiling. It's dimmable in two
zones, the front and the rear of the livingroom, so you can have the lights by the screen off and the
lights where you're sitting up low. It's much easier on the eyes. I also added
a shelf above the stairs which holds the rear center channel speaker
changing the sound system to a full 6.1 system.
Finally, because I wanted to get rid of the "big black box" in our living room, I went to a
106" front projection setup, featuring a
Dalite motorized screen and an
Optoma HD-72 projector. The
eventual plan is to put an aquarium against the front wall, and the screen will drop in front of it while
I also built a Home Theater PC which I use as a DVR. It's main functions are to record
broadcast HDTV programming and play back DVDs. Read about the components I used here.