Sunday, August 29, 2010

Romantic Movies That’ll Make You Laugh

Romance is serious business. Or is it?

Which do you think your husband would choose if put to the test:

a.) Watch the beautiful tearjerker movie, The Notebook
b.) Do anything that doesn’t involve watching The Notebook

My answer is easy. My husband would opt for a root canal rather than sitting through a movie like The Notebook or Terms of Endearment. Now don’t get me wrong. That doesn’t mean he’s not romantic. The man loves deeper than I could describe. He’s simply not a fan of traditional ‘romance movies’.

Our date nights usually involve Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Owen Wilson, or Jim Carrey. Those men don’t know this, but they’re a huge part of what makes our marriage such a joy. The fact that our date nights consist of a fun movie instead of a forced moment means that my husband is happy and relaxed – two very good things for romance.

Are you looking for a lighthearted fun romantic movie that both you and your husband will enjoy? Here are some of our favorites.

The Princess Bride (1987)
“Is this a kissing book?” The Princess Bride is the story of a woman who is being forced to marry a cold, evil prince, while her true love tries to stop the wedding.

I don’t know how many times I tried to get my husband to watch this movie until finally I just put the movie in, clicked ‘play’, and hid the remote. It’s now one of his favorite movies. He likes it because of the comedy and the fighting. I love it because it’s just a joy to watch.

The Best Time To Go To The Movie

Here’s the thing…you can actually enhance your moving-going experience by the time you chose to go. Consider these movie situations:

Kid’s Movies: If you are trying to take a small child to a kid’s movie it may be best to go on a Saturday afternoon. While the reasoning may be self-evident to you it dawned on me one evening when I was trying to take my four year old to the latest Pixar flick. You see, 4-year olds are rather antsy and talkative (especially mine) and when you take them to a kid’s movie where there are predominantly adults in the audience – well the analogy of water and oil is good one.

I don’t wish to spoil someone else’s movie experience but I want my child to have a good time without me constantly having to correct him through a movie. Thus, I have discovered that it is a far better thing to take a small child to the theater on Saturday afternoon. During this time the theater is full of other small children babbling and fidgeting. And the rest of the audience is far more comfortable (and tolerant) with the children in this developmental stage. Conversely, if you are an adult who wants to see a kids movie with a minimum of youthful distractions go to the movie any time but Saturday afternoon – weekday evenings are best.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Home Theater for Small Spaces

One reason that many people who would love the benefits of a home theater avoid making the investment or even considering their options is because they live in situations that allow very little space with which to place the necessary components of a home theater system. The good news is that compact systems are growing in quality and availability as space around the world becomes more and more limited. As the population grows, the problem of space grows as well. Gone are the days filled with huge plantation style homes around the world as communities are more and more often filled to capacity with apartment buildings, condos, and homes built on compact lots in housing communities.

The average family around the world has experience the limitations of space when it comes to things such as floor speakers and bulky home theater systems. The good news is that they days of huge projectors and massive televisions stands have fallen by the wayside to make way for ceiling mounted projectors and rear projector televisions that fit tightly into corners when necessary. We also have the added convenience of wireless speakers that can be mounted on walls or in the ceiling as well as LCD and plasma televisions that can be mounted on the wall rather than taking up precious real estate on our floors.

Space might have been a mitigating factor in the past when it comes to the purchase of a home theater but with the creation of many box kits and emerging technology it is no longer a valid excuse not to move forward into this century of electronic convenience and move quality picture and sound in the comfort of your very own home. More and more people are finding that a good home theater is replacing money spent at theaters or sporting events as they can get superior quality views (and the convenience of instant replays) at home.

Proper Lighting Makes Home Theater Systems

The best possible location for the average home theater would be a basement room that allows very little or no natural sunlight to sneak into the room. There are so many things you can do in a basement that simply intensify the theater experience of your average home theater. From actual stadium or theater seating to rope lights that line the side of the walls (where it meets the floor) for low ambient lighting that will not distract from the screen or cause any unnecessary glare. Out of the many things you can choose to enhance your home theater, lighting might actually be one of the most important as well as the most often overlooked.

If you are fortunate enough to have a basement, this is an ideal location for a home theater but don't despair if you live in a climate that isn't exactly conducive to home basements. Even in the sunshine basement there are steps you can take in order to prevent too much light from affecting your home theater experience. Some good ideas with which to start would be to purchase black out curtains that prevent sunlight from creeping into your room. This looks much better than the old fashioned quick fix of placing aluminum foil over your windows for sure.

Even within your room if you've taken the time to make sure natural light isn't creeping in you may find that poorly placed lighting adversely affects your viewing pleasure. When installing your home theater system you need to pay careful attention to both natural and artificial light at different times of day in order to see how they affect your ability to see the television (this is particularly important if you have a projection television) as well as in order to see if there is any glare on your television screen from light peeking through your curtains or from lamps and overhead lighting within the room.

Recessed lighting is a good option for most home theater rooms as is rope lighting as I mentioned above. If you have this type of lighting you can see well enough to move around without interrupting what is taking place on your television screen. Additionally, low lighting in the room makes the actual television become the focal point of the room whenever it is on and the overhead lights are down.

If you are creating a home theater themed room you might find some of the interesting film era wall sconces of great interest. These sconces prefer low levels of light that are unlikely to interfere greatly with what is happening on your television screen. You can find all kinds of wonderful sconces in a wide variety of themes. It makes sense that with home theater lighting playing such a pivotal role in the overall enjoyment of the home theater experience that many businesses are being created simply to fill this need within the lighting industry.

What do you think Internet or Televison?

Internet TV is a boom for a movie lovers arguably one of the hottest new technologies in communications. More people are turing to web to watch a movie. That pretty sounds cool, right? Well its ture now you can enjoy all your television shows on internet. it is interesting to think about how the Internet facilitates a distributed and collaborative environment for media production.

A handful of operators already offer service with largely home-grown systems, but many eyes are glued to the screen.In few coming years internet television is definitely going to be a big part of our future television consumption and its definitely going to make a big difference in our our life as no one knows wht is going to happen.

Internet Television is able to ride on existing lowest common denominator infrastructure including broadband, ADSL, wi-fi, cable, satellite doesn't require new infrastructure to work or provide value to users.

Internet television allows you access to many new products and also broader range of programming that we have been accustomed to retail video world and dramatically more control, as to when and where and how users can access that video/tv programming.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Create your Personal Home Theater

We often spend a great deal of time contemplating the various components of our home theater systems but rarely give much thought to how the d├ęcor of the room affects our ability to enjoy our home theaters and movies without the added distraction of the walls in the room or other decorating features. In order to get some great ideas, go to the experts when it comes to designing the best possible viewing experiences. Take a night out at the movies and check out the way the room is decorated before the movie begins and pay attention during the movie to the things that distract you most.

Theaters make a lot of money by creating an experience more than for the simple showing of movies. The first thing you will probably notice is that most theaters do not allow outside light into the room. As a matter of fact, most theaters have very little in the way of artificial light either. You may spot some wall sconces and some running lights (that can be brightened or dimmed) along the sides but rarely will you notice any overhead lighting turned on even before the movies play. For this reason, basements or interior rooms with no windows are the best choices when it comes to selecting the location for your home theater. If that isn't available be sure to try to find blackout curtains or drapes for your windows in order to keep the most possible sunlight out.

Compare Home Theater to Movie Going

Many people shy away from purchasing a home theater for fear of the great costs involved in doing so. I recommend that you put serious pen and paper to those assumptions rather then merely assuming it is too costly for your limited budget. The truth of the matter, when compared with the costs of going out to watch a movie you might find that you will be spending less money in no time by watching movies at home rather than paying for the 'movie going' experience.

You might want to pay careful attention to how much money you spend each month going to the theater. Don't forget including any costs involved in hiring sitters, going out to dinner (most people don't do McDonald's before or after going to theaters), concession stand purchases in those figures. Even if you go to the theater once a week as a couple or as family the costs can really add up. If you visit the theater less or have a smaller family those costs might be less but you could also seriously raise those prices by going more often or having a larger family.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Identifying your Home Theater Needs

If you are in the market for a home theater system, chances are that you have a pretty good idea of the individual components you will need in order to make your system complete. Most people find questions when it comes to specific information about the individual pieces and parts of the system. However, in an effort to educate all about home theater systems, this will be a brief break down of components that one might expect to purchase during the course of building a premium home theater system. Keep in mind that everyone will have their own specific needs and preferences and you may have some perfectly acceptable components already. This of course, will save you money on the overall purchase if you choose to keep the pieces you currently own.

First of all, there are all kinds of 'home theater in a box' kits on the market today. These kits are already put together in order to help you get the home theater you desire in one fell swoop. While you can get perfectly good home theater systems in this manner, I honestly believe you will get better value for your money by building your own system one component at a time. If you are impatient in a hurry or simply do not wish to spend the time researching your options then the home theater systems that are sold on the market may be a good idea for you.

Now that we've gotten past that, you should notice that some people consider the actual television to be a part of the home theater system. You can go many routes when selecting a television that will work with your home theater needs. It is entirely up to you what kind of television you select. I do however recommend that you seriously consider the lighting in any given room before choosing your television. Projection televisions do not do well in rooms with a great deal of light. Otherwise, go with what works within your budget and the overall look you prefer for your home theater viewing.

Common Television Types for Home Theaters

When selecting components for your home theater you will come to a point in time when you must decide on which type and size of television you will need for the best possible viewing experience. There are many types of televisions on the market today and technology is constantly evolving and emerging in order to bring newer, bigger, and better televisions to a market that one would think is already saturated.

The good news is that the very nature of this market makes yesterdays cutting edge technology today's bargain of the day. The very brevity of new technology in the electronics industry works in favor of consumers by driving prices down rather quickly. Nothing is entirely out of reach for the average consumer for too terribly long. For this reason you can afford to be fairly selective when choosing components for your home theater. This selectiveness just so happens to extend to televisions sets as well.

There are basically three types of television sets burning up the home theater market today. Those types of televisions include the following: plasma, rear project, or front projection television. Each of these have distinct advantages and disadvantages when it comes to home theater.

Plasma Televisions

These televisions often provide the best quality when it comes to picture. Their designs make them ideal for watching movies that are formatted for wide screen viewing and they have a much larger viewing area than traditional televisions and they also come in a wide variety of sizes in order to adapt to many types of home theater needs. The single largest problem with these types of televisions is the price, which can be quite prohibitive, particularly as you consider the larger sized televisions.

Media Center Driven Home Theaters

Today's personal computers are being called upon to do more diverse tasks than at any other point in history. In fact, the use of personal computers as an integral part of a home theater is becoming more and more commonplace as technology progresses. There are even operating systems designed upon the idea of a personal computer being used as an all around media center rather than merely functioning as a personal computer.

As a result, I see the growth in this treatment and use of computers growing in popularity as well as possibility in the future. With more and more people incorporating their computer use into various aspects of work and play it only makes sense that we now bring them one step further in their entertainment functions and capabilities. The technology however isn't entirely new, what is new is the growing number of people putting this technology to use on a regular, if not daily basis.

Media Center personal computers are computers that essentially act in the capacity that a receiver would normally act. They accept the information and send it where it should go. These PCs allow you to listen to music through the speakers on the computer or through those that are part of your home stereo system as well as DVDs, mp3s, etc. You can also use these systems in order to watch television programs on your computer monitor rather than a television set. This means you can also use your computer hard drive in order to store digital recordings of your favorite television show. In addition to these great features, you can also create slideshows with your digital photographs.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Building a Great Home Theater

Building a Great Home Theater

It could be very easy to spend tens of thousands of dollars building the ultimate home theater experience for you and your family and if you use your home theater on a regular basis and have the money to spare you might find well worth the investment. However, you can also build a fantastic home theater for significantly less money if you are willing to put a great deal of effort into finding the right parts for the right price for your system. Everything comes down to matters of preference and available funds when building any sort of home theater.

The truth of the matter is that most of us cannot afford to spend more than ten thousand dollars creating the home theater of our dreams. Many of us must seriously budget well in order to spend a couple thousand dollars on our home theaters. The good news is that for a few thousand dollars you can create a truly phenomenal home theater if you do your homework and invest your money wisely in components for your home theater system.

My first recommendation when building a good quality home theater is to buy one piece at a time rather than building it all at once. This allows you to constantly upgrade your system without breaking the budget all at once. It also allows you the time to save up for better quality pieces within your system rather than attempting to make an all or nothing purchase. One thing to remember when purchasing pieces individually is to make sure that they are all compatible (this is especially important with speakers, which I recommend purchasing together as a set whenever possible).

The television is the first thing you should purchase when building your home theater as almost everything in your home theater will center around your television. High definition televisions are becoming more and more common and provide superior quality to many other televisions you will find on the market. If you have the means with which to purchase this sort of television I highly recommend that you do so. Once you have your television you can begin purchasing other components in order to complete your system.

The next component I recommend is a receiver or amplifier. This is the piece that brings all other components together. Without a decent receiver it is virtually impossible to have a decent home theater. The receiver acts as a sort of conductor for the sound and picture of your home theater. This is a piece of equipment that should not be skimped on when it comes to quality, as you will completely miss an important part of the 'theater' experience without it.

Next are the speakers. Speakers are also very important to the 'theater' experience of your home theater. The speakers are what provide that 'movie quality' sound that is so important to most enthusiasts and what will make your system the envy of the neighborhood. I highly recommend purchasing speakers as a set in order to insure compatibility.

Finally, the DVD player or recorder rounds out the system. It is up to you and your preferences whether or not you wish to invest in a high dollar (at the moment) high definition DVD player. If you have HD television and plan to purchase HD disks for your movies then this is the way to go. Otherwise it is a complete waste of money in my opinion until the rest of your system rises to meet the technology. The good thing about purchasing one component at a time is that you can constantly work towards upgrading your system to meet rising technology.



Decorating your Home Theater on a Budget

If you are fortunate enough to be building a room in your home that is dedicated to the purpose of watching movies or as a home theater it only makes sense that you would like to decorate the room in a manner that is completely befitting of its purpose. There are amazing options available within this growing market of decorating and generally, there are prices that are designed to match. The good news is that while art often imitates life, there is no reason that we can't imitate some of the great art we see in the movies or on televisions shows in our homes-at a fraction of the cost.

First of all, a really good home theater is an investment, particularly those that are generally used in private rooms. With that being said you will want to decorate your room in a manner that will not distract from your movie watching experience. There are many ways you can do this and many of them come at rather hefty costs for the average consumer. You do not have to purchase special lighting at $500 a pop when you can go to your local lighting or home improvement store and find excellent wall sconces that will be perfect for your home theater at a fraction of the cost for which you will find them at specialty stores catering to those building home theaters. For more low lighting options you can use inexpensive strings of rope lighting or even Christmas tree lights in order to provide some light without risking a glare on the screen.

Proper Seating Key to Home Theater Enjoyment

There are a lot of things that go into creating the perfect home theater that many people may never consider when purchasing individual components, pieces, and parts. A good home theater is much more than a place to go and watch television at night; it is a movie and television viewing experience. You need to make sure that you are creating a room that is not merely comfortable for one or two people but for everyone that will be enjoying the opportunity to view movies, films, or television in this room.

One way to ensure that everyone will be comfortable and easily able to view the screen and consequently enjoy the experience you will also want to pay close attention to the seating you choose for your home theater. There are many different seating options for the average home theater system. Some of the most popular at the moment is what is considered the 'theater recliner'. In fact, many home theater lovers prefer watching movies at home for the comfort of the seating alone. I do however recommend including options for people to put their feet up (my number one complaint when it comes to going to actual theaters). Most theater recliners allow this option.

The theater recliner is appealing to many because it has armrests for each person and a place to hold your drinks. You do not have to set tables in between, the seats can be lined up next to one another and you can enjoy each others company while watching your favorite movie or television show. There is nothing like enjoying the theater atmosphere in the comfort of your home.

In addition to the theater recliner, if you want a more retro feel in your home theater or to set up 'bistro' tables you can opt for lounger chairs in your home theater. This is great if you plan to have a lot of pizza night movie experiences or have small children that need a table in order to eat and watch television or movies or even to enjoy other quiet activities while you are enjoying movies and television. It's a great way to bring a nice family feel to your home theater.