With the Holiday season approaching, we put down our thoughts on what we used this past year that was useful or fun in our home theaters. Lots of these aren’t things we have reviewed, but things we want in our home theater for ourselves, or things we want to own and test.
We are currently working on an update to our $2,000 Home Theater Guide that is coming this week, but today we created the $5,000 Home Theater Guide. Putting this together really showed how good of a system you can get for this much today. You can have a reference quality display and a high-end audio system that will put most theaters to shame. There are really no sacrifices to be made here, and it’s a system that any of our reviewers could run for all of the gear we use.
In our first part of this series, we covered our room design and some of the issues we would have to overcome. We also painted the walls to be more ideal for a home theater environment and decided to install some wall shelving to hold media and equipment. This installment we are going to focus on installing that wall shelving and how it works out and then the selection of gear for the room. Continue Reading →
This summer we bought a house, which meant goodbye to the days of renting. With the housing market here being crazy, we were often forced to move to a new house as the owner would decide to cash in on the market and sell. I had gotten lucky with the past two houses we rented as both offered me large 12’x25’ basement rooms for a home theater. Despite the rather large headaches of getting gear into a basement, where narrow staircases can prevent large TVs from easily making the trip, they worked well for my work and personal enjoyment. Continue Reading →
The UltraHD Premium TV standard was announced at the 2016 CES Show, but what does that mean? After years of pushing 4K and UltraHD at consumers, is UltraHD Premium yet another standard? If you’ve already bought an UltraHD TV, is it an UltraHD Premium TV or is this something that is already making your TV outdated? In many ways UltraHD Premium is what we’ve been waiting for once you understand what it is. Continue Reading →
At Reference Home Theater we don’t do year end awards. We’d rather focus on the things we loved over the past year without being forced into categories. This year we saw TVs that were great, but no projectors that made us say wow. We also used gear that we didn’t review but still was something we would recommend. So the products that stood out to us this year. Continue Reading →
At Reference Home Theater we don’t do end-of-year awards. We think they’re frankly silly and often useless. There isn’t often a single “Best” product for a category, but instead a best solution for a problem. We also don’t pretend that we tried every single TV on the market this year, or every single speaker, so why give out an award we aren’t sure of? It also leads to awards being given out in categories where only a couple of products were reviewed that year. Also just because a product came out last year doesn’t mean the new product is better, so why award it just for being new?
However, we have done enough hands-on time to be able to recommend products from this year that we would buy. Almost all of these have been reviewed by us, for Reference Home Theater or other publications we write for, but sometimes we also rely on experts that we know and trust. If we don’t cover a category, it is because we don’t know it well enough to be able to recommend anything there, but we are certain another site like The Wirecutter can.