The Beginnings of a Home Theater (Part 1)

Written by Tyson Schettig. Posted in Featured, Home Entertainment

Published on May 20, 2022 with No Comments


Fancy chairs.  Foundation rattling subs.  Rump shakers in your theater chair.  All are great, but you don’t have to start there.

In 1984, at the CES show in Las Vegas, I heard one of CerwinVega‘s first attempts at bringing Sensurround from the movie theater to the home user. The demo they were playing was a scene from The Empire Strikes Back, the AT-AT battle on Hoth.  Now, I’d have seen Empire over 30 times by then, watching it on a Sony 26” console TV…that had a 3” full range speaker.  Going from a 3” crappy paper dome speaker that was mono only, to CerwinVega’s best full range loudspeakers and subs was mind altering.

Getting back to the real world had me hooking up our system so we could get TV and videotaped-movies playing through our amp and speaker system.  Still mono, but so much better than the 3” speaker in the TV.  Eventually, we got a Stereo VCR and the home theater race was on.  Got my first surround processor in 1986 and for the first time I was able to watch Back to the Future in surround.

These days, your modern flat panels have an audio out option.  Usually it’s an optical out, but some do have RCA or Coaxial.  Hook this up to your amp or receiver, turn off the speaker in your TV, and just listen to the difference. This is where you start.  Forget the fancy stuff, just get used to the increased bass and dynamics that an amp and a set of 2 or 3 way speakers can bring you.

In Part 2, I will outline some basic surround items to get you to the next phase.

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About Tyson Schettig

Been around computers and gaming machines since the Commodore VIC-20. C-128? Check. SX-64? Check. Amiga 500? Check. When CBM started its downward spiral I moved on the PC world and Windows.

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