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Home Theater Hacks

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Home theaters are hot. Not many of us have quite the bankroll for some of the setups illustrated in a recent issue of Wired magazine, including one which involved the construction of a “mini movie palace” (complete with leather movie theater seats, padded walls, and more). As described, the $600,000 project included “constructing a room within a room.”

The home theater features plywood walls insulated from any abutting walls. The floor is “insulated” with springs underneath. And the ceiling is shielded from the tiled (“clickity-clack”) kitchen above with insulation devices embedded between the two levels. Result? A completely silent movie palace.”

I don’t have quite that much to spend on my home theater system, but I still like the idea of creating something like the “movie theater experience” at home (without the annoying people who like to talk loudly behind you and then get offended when you point out how rude they are). The challenge is the dizzying array of products that is difficult to decipher without the type of assistance provided by a consultant who will charge you 600 large to build a mini movie palace in your basement. Brett McLaughlin’s Home Theater Hacks is designed with precisely that purpose in mind: in the format of O’Reilly’s “Hacks” series he offers 100 “tips and tools” to help the rest of us find reliable information on getting the best system the budget will allow.

From purchase to installation, the book covers the home theater concept from a number of angles. Whether it is simple tips on equipment or cabinets (along with advice like “avoid glass like the plague” in purchasing cabinetry), planning room decor (even on the cheap, it’s possible to set up a “theater” that looks good), or methods to get the most out of the equipment you’ve purchased, the book covers it all. It’s a handy guide for those who are shopping (or planning) their own “home theater experience.”

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About Bill Wallo