DVD & Home Theater Gear Discuss DVD and Home Theater Equipment.
View Poll Results: Is going to the theater really better?
It's always better than movies at home
14
16.67%
I'll only go for big movies like Lord of the Rings
41
48.81%
My HT's pretty nice and I'd rather stay home
21
25.00%
My HT cost more than my car and I never go out
8
9.52%
Voters: 84. You may not vote on this poll

Home theater vs. going to the cinema

Old 01-17-02, 10:49 AM
  #1  
Gomez
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Home theater vs. going to the cinema

Just wanted to get a pulse of how folks think their HT setups compare to going to the movies. My thoughts are obviously based on my personal home theater setup.

For me the image quality and sound are better than in most theaters (now that I have tweaked the heck out of my Panny and re-positioned my rear surrounds as suggested by the Dolby website). However, the screen just doesn't fill as much of my field of view compared to the theater and the experience is not quite as immersive.

Sure, I turn the lights off and there are no visual distractions but nothing really compares to sitting in the front 1/3 of a nice THX-certified theater smack dab in the middle seat. (Next to a stinky fat guy playing elbow war, with a sticky floor, during a long film and you have to pee halfway through, you're trying to balance the nacho tray in your lap, your nice car is parked outside 10" next to Sanford and Son's delivery truck, the kid in front asks his parents to explain every plot twist, kids in the lobby are flashing gang signs and you paid enough money in 2 tickets and 2 Cokes to buy the DVD at full retail price)

Maybe I will experiment with sitting in a chair closer to the TV to see how that feels but I will have to move a really heavy marble coffee table.

Anyway, enough rambling - I still prefer my HT to going to the movies: can pause the film, can set sound levels however I want, picture usually better, sound usually better, can eat/drink/smoke whenever I want. I just wish I had a larger screen. Maybe I will look into a FPTV setup one of these days and build a dedicated HT room.

What do y'all think?
 
Old 01-17-02, 11:24 AM
  #2  
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Most of my theater going experiences are negative. I was fortunate to find a good theater for my two viewing of Lord of the Rings.

Given the atmosphere at the theater, some peoples obsession with eating and drinking, late starting trailers and later starting movies, commercials and charity drives, poorly setup sound systems, poorly setup projectors, sticky floors, uncomfortable chairs and rude people, I generally stay home!

Until the Movie industry acts like it wants my business they will get little of it at the theater and I will watch on DSS or DVD when there is a film I like.
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Old 01-17-02, 11:59 AM
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MIXED FEELINGS

I will typically watch a movie first when it comes out in the theatre, and if I really like it I will buy it on DVD once it is available.

My system is decent, nothing spectacular like a lot of ones I have witnessed. http://www.geocities.com/jinhopark/photopagespiral.html

I have concentrated more on the audio side than the video side of things. But as far as the sound system goes it's hard to match my home system, since I will of course always sit in the sweet spot.

The pluses for me when I go to the theatre:

1. Large screen. Especially in IMAX theatres.
2. Being away from home, away from kids/telemarketers calling/etc...
3. Energy of the audience. I like to hear crowds of laughter at appropriate points in the movie.

Being that I live in a large metro area, Chicago, there are many fantastic mega-plexes in my area.
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Old 01-17-02, 12:54 PM
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Re: MIXED FEELINGS

Originally posted by jinhopark
My system is decent, nothing spectacular like a lot of ones I have witnessed. http://www.geocities.com/jinhopark/photopagespiral.html

I have concentrated more on the audio side than the video side of things. But as far as the sound system goes it's hard to match my home system, since I will of course always sit in the sweet spot.
Nice system, but that exposed mess of wire spaghetti would drive me crazy!
 
Old 01-17-02, 01:30 PM
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CRAZY!

Nice system, but that exposed mess of wire spaghetti would drive me crazy!
Yes it drives my wife, family, friends, and myself (at times) crazy also. I just change out equipment so much that every time I put it together nicely I end up ripping it apart again. Plus just the amount of equipment makes it difficult to keep it neat.

Wires are the necessary evil of electronics... When we build a house we will of course incorporate a home theatre, and I will have it custom built into the wall with access to the rear some how.

I had a budget of $20k for my home theatre so I spent $12k on electronics, $5k on speakers, and $3k on WIRES.

My next upgrade will be $10k on the HDTV video... I figure $7k on the LCD projector/ceiling mount/enclosure, $2k on the Da-Lite screen, $1k on the DVD/SACD/DVD-A player with necessary cables.
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Old 01-17-02, 06:13 PM
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I usually only go to the movies for the "big event" films lately. Of course it is nice to go out with the girlfriend from time to time just to get out of the house for a change of pace.

It is just getting so expensive nowadays with the 6 dollar popcorn and five dollar sodas, that the price does not justify the payoff many times. I have been disappointed too many times, so now I would rather just buy the DVD when it comes out and end up saving some money.

J
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Old 01-17-02, 06:54 PM
  #7  
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The problem we have with going to the theatre is that many people there act like they are in their living room: talking, using their #[email protected]$ cell phones, jumping up and down from their seats and being rude morons.

We have a nice HT and only go to the theatre for big films that just beg to be seen on the big screen. We also go to the local art houses to support smaller films.

Last edited by nekobus; 01-17-02 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 01-17-02, 11:08 PM
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Nothing will replace "going out to the movies" I've got an entry level system. But even if I had a shnazzy set-up seeing a movie in a theatre with a large audience can't be replicated at home.

I'll never forget the incredible silence right before the Normandy Beach Landing in SPR. I'll never forget waiting until the credits rolled for Moulin Rouge on opening weekend and many of us applauding after the lights came on. These are moments that has become part of the movie for me.

Also, going out to dinner with friends before and meeting for drinks after is more fun and makes the experience more like a real event.

Movie going is a communal experience many times positive and sometimes not. But it serves this basic need to experience something "live" with perfect strangers (like a baseball game) and experiencing it together. Isn't that part of the reason why so many of us will continue to come here to DVDtalk and share our common experiences regardless of our setups?

Last edited by Ian11; 01-17-02 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 01-18-02, 03:51 AM
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Since I have a (relatively) small 27" TV at home, and basic satellite speakers, I think the moviegoing experience can't be beat right now. You usually get decent sound and a HUGE all-encompassing screen. That, and you get to see nice previews.
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Old 01-21-02, 09:46 AM
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i used to like going to the theater.

this will sound horrible but, just like inner city schools are falling apart, so are Philadelphia movie theathers.

there is a population of movie goers who seem to view the movie theater as a social setting, not much unlike a bar or club. in fact some places are so bad that the owners do not reinvest into the theater, often the film will stop - i have seen the film melt when it got stuck in the projector. 2 years ago, someone in the booth accidentally switched the movie sound for the FM radio and we got to hear some unrelated music. although, usually, i complain to the manager about such things and get free coupons for another movie, but it still sucks.

the solution? i must watch movies in the suburbs (white flight), which are 20 minutes farther away and cost twice as much... but sometimes it is worth it!
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Old 01-21-02, 03:44 PM
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Suburbs...

i must watch movies in the suburbs (white flight), which are 20 minutes farther away and cost twice as much... but sometimes it is worth it!
I live in the suburbs and it isn't much better out here either. Ever since they tore down the subsidized housing in the city of Chicago the ghetto is no longer contained and is spread amongst the Suburbs. So now everyone is making the quick move back into the city.

What is it called when the white flight moves back into the city???

That's interesting that in Philly the suburbs cost more than the city, in Chicago the suburbs are like $.50 cheaper than the city.
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Old 01-21-02, 04:56 PM
  #12  
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Originally posted by criptik28
Since I have a (relatively) small 27" TV at home, and basic satellite speakers, I think the moviegoing experience can't be beat right now. You usually get decent sound and a HUGE all-encompassing screen. That, and you get to see nice previews.
I have a 25" tv and a home theater in a box 5.1 setup, and I'd still rather watch at home except for big event movies like LOTR and SW.

At the theater, I usually get a crappy sound system and screen full of holes or has a bad print projected on it.
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Old 01-23-02, 02:05 PM
  #13  
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Wile I agree for the most part that there are CERTAIN movies that must be seen in the theaters, going to the movies where i'm at costs more that buying the DVD. If you have a decent setup, IMHO, I would rather watch it at home.
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Old 01-24-02, 09:57 AM
  #14  
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I have a great local movie theatre. Most of the screens have stadium seating. It is only a couple of years old, so everything is nice.

However, I would not go to a crappy movie theatre - the ones with the damaged screens and well-past-their-prime chairs. I was once in a theatre that had rope loops hanging down the front of the screen!

I got my home system (61 inch, Dolby 5.1 sound system) so that I could see movies on DVD that you can't see anymore in the theatres. I insist on seeing movies in the OAR, so cable is not an option.

My strategy is, if the movie will benefit from a big screen and is a good movie, I see it in the theatre. Otherwise, I'll wait for it to come out on DVD.
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Old 01-24-02, 11:08 AM
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There's only one decent theater in my area, and it's about 35 minutes from home, so I only go out for big events. Many of which has still been disapointing in the last couple years. But I am glad I made the effort for LOTR.
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Old 01-24-02, 01:25 PM
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Wow. I must be blessed, or go to really good theatres. I haven't had a bad experience at the movies since 1999, and that was only because the film I wanted to see was only playing at sub-par theatres.

Generally, I'd rather see the movie at the movies. While I have a decent set up (better than some, worse than others) with a 55" television that is a good size for my living room -- it's just not the same. I love the audience interaction with the movie, the "oohs" and "ahhhs" and the feeling of a whole theatre feeling release or fear or anticipation at the same time. You can't replicate that at home.
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Old 01-25-02, 03:02 AM
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had a budget of $20k for my home theatre so I spent $12k on electronics, $5k on speakers, and $3k on WIRES

how did you get your wife to agree on that?!!?!?!!
please tell me your rich, because if your not she must make you pay every day for buying all of that.
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Old 01-25-02, 08:41 AM
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Not rich...

how did you get your wife to agree on that?!!?!?!!
My wife and I certainly are not rich, but we are far from poor. I bought most of that gear PRIOR to us getting married, and then I got her hooked into the whole world of AUDIO & VIDEO and now she is kind of a nut too. Still not as crazy as I am, but we at least have share a hobby now.

I am trying to get her into Harley's (we have 2) so hopefully I get a riding partner soon... Although if she doesn't take to the whole motorcycling thing there is another (my son is just over 1 year now so I'll have to wait 15 more years)!!!

If I can just convince her into buying that Sony LCD projector I would be in VIDEO heaven!!!
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Old 01-25-02, 01:07 PM
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I'll always prefer going to the movies. I got to matinees, and the crowds are usually small and polite, and it only costs $4.50. IMO even the best of hometheaters can't compare to seeing a movie on a huge screen in a nice theater with a great sound system.
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Old 01-25-02, 01:26 PM
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Because of my HT, my movie-going days have been significantly reduced. Not just because I have invested so much $ in my system, but that it looks and sounds better! I still go to the theater for movies I really want to see, but not nearly as much as I used to.
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Old 01-26-02, 05:19 PM
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Chicago had great radio too.

I used to live in the Chicago area and I saw the first Alien movie at one of the two screens at the Woodfield Mall. I swear, Ridley Scott counted on the black areas on the sides of the screen to heighten the suspense. That just won't happen at home despite all of the bell$ and whistles.

Chicago had some nice second run theaters too, at least in the late 70s and 80s, before I moved. There is much to be said in favor of the live experience. The first scene of Star Wars, which was a pivotal scene, begs for a seat in the middle of a real wide screen, where you can let your eyes relax.

I miss the hot dog stands too.
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Old 01-26-02, 10:36 PM
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Originally posted by jasonr114
i used to like going to the theater.

this will sound horrible but, just like inner city schools are falling apart, so are Philadelphia movie theathers.
The Ritzes, although a nice 45-minute drive from me, are worth going to. The United Artists theatres out by Penn's Landing aren't awful, or at least weren't the last time I was there, coming back from buying Blair Witch Project tickets (the movie had opened the day before and the Ritz had tickets sold out through the middle of the following week).
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Old 01-27-02, 12:02 AM
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I might go to the theatre once per year. I took my grand-daughter to see Harry Potter. My husband and I can't remember the time before that, but we think it was to see Analyze This while on vacation.

We aren't rich, we are blue collar. I'm no longer working, but we managed to do a dedicated system. We have a Sony VPL-W400Q, Yamaha RX-V995 amplifier, Pioneer Dv-434 DVD player, a 110 inch screen, a Klipsch surround system with a 15 inch subwoofer, did the walls and ceiling in cedar plank and found hotel carpeting for the floor. The equipment is stacked on top a small black refridgerator stocked with beverages and half the back wall is covered with shelves filled with movies.

We just upgraded the front speakers and center channel this year and hope to upgrade the projector next year. My husband would also like to switch to a stationary micropore screen. I need heavier drapes (red velvet would be nice) for complete light blocking and would like to add fancy double doors to the entrance.

I have no reason to go out to the movies. I have never enjoyed the crouds, talking, looking over peoples heads, or fighting the traffic.

I appreciate the forums. They help me shop, widen my movie watching habits, and give me a chance to ask for help when I need it.
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Old 01-28-02, 12:51 AM
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Don't get my wrong, I like the theater. Seing movies like Episode 1, and The Matrix on a giant screen and really powerful sound system is awesome.

But these days, I usually wait for movies to get to DVD (which is REALLY quick now, it seems) and watch them at home.

1. No objections to bringing your own food/drink
2. Take a pee whenever you want
3. Adjust volume to your liking
4. More comfortable

So unless it's a huge movie (Star Wars Episode 2, LOTR, the sequels to The Matrix, etc...) I pretty much stay home for movies.
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Old 01-28-02, 05:41 AM
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WOW

all of you people are high rollers compared to me, while some of you have 20K for spending, i only had 1k to scrape up around the house!!!! but then again im 19 (hehe.) its not the best, but damn its pretty good for me. i have all JBL speakers, northridge series, harman kardon reciever, 15' sub pb series, a broken vcr. sony dvd player, NO CABLE box how do u think my HT is compared to u guys?? am i in the park? or more like still getting in the car from home??
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