What are some trends in home theater systems?

What are some trends in home theater systems?

The 6.1 and 7.1 formats are the big trends now, which are totally over kill. Until the new DD and DTS formats come out, the only true format that has more discrete speakers than 5.1 is DTS-ES Discrete. DD-EX is merely 5.1+, the plus just meaning they added more speakers but you gain nothing because they are just matrixed from the rears. There also is THX NEO 7.1, which again, matrixes the sound from the rears. A properly calibrated 5.1 system is more than enough unless you have a really big room, like theater size. Otherwise, it is just overkill and more money that has to be spent on speakers.

The other trend, for the hardcore home theater is a projector and dedicated room. To more mimic the theater experience.

Other than that, HD-DVD just hit the market and Blu-ray will be out later this summer. This will bring movies into the now in HD formats. As a stop gap, up-scaling DVD players have really become affordable, with some great quality ones in the $200 or so range.

HDMI is the input of the future, DVI is on its way out. We may be forced to use HDMI for all future formats due to its ability for copy protection, DRM forced down our throats. For now, studioes signed a pack that for 4 years they will not use the ICT flag in the ACSS standard for HD-DVD and Blu-ray that would prevent users from using component cables to get the output of these HD movies in HD.

Logitech with the Harmony line of remotes and Philips with their Pronto line of remotes has finally made some leaps in the remote realm. With fully programmable remotes, programmed with your computer so you don't spend hours upon hours making your learning remote, learn all your other remotes. You can just download pre-coded remote codes and away you go. Though, the Philips Pronto is even more programmable, or should I say customizable. Giving you the ability to control the look at feel of its touch screen.

Many companies are releasing network aware devices, such as the Roku PhotoBridge and SoundBridge. These devices allow you to connect to your network, or the internet and stream audio, video and pictures to your home theater system. This also includes the use of HTPC (Home Theater PC) which also includes the use of Windows Media Center and the Xbox/Xbox 360 as a media extender.


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