We love our projector-based home theater.
If you want to go really big like we did, you just can't beat the look and feel of a movie projected onto a screen. But this is BIG... and you need a BIG room to pull it off.
If you missed it, please go to Home Theater Guide to get the basics and hear our practical advice first.
Then c'mon back here for the details of how we created a very cool Home Theater... in our barn.
These are the Players:
The BenQ Projector below is today's equivalent to the one we bought 4 years ago for about $700. We are perfectly happy with it, it throws a great picture and does 3D well.
* Today, however, 4K is the rage. You might want to consider buying a 4K projector. Just be warned, though; they are very expensive (like about $1,500!)
This great little Blu-ray/3D DVD Disc Player has done a great job for us for years now.
Now, you can get really fancy and impress your friends with a motorized projector screen (rolls down at the touch of a button), but we figured that was unnecessary and just more potential for mechanical failure.
Huge 118 inch diagonal Projector screen– much bigger than affordable TVs.
I bought this tabletop popcorn popper then built a little wheeled wooden red cart for it; voila! Just like in the movies!
The smell of popcorn really adds to the home theater experience... takes you right back!
Warning: There are several different types of 3D glasses or goggles available. They must be matched to your projector type. Make sure to check for compatibility before buying.
Avatar (3D + DVD + Blu-ray)
This is the Granddaddy of all 3D movies. The one that made me fall in love with 3D. The standard by which to compare others. If you only see one 3D movie in your lifetime, let it be Avatar. Incidentally, it is the biggest worldwide box-office smash of all time.
Life of Pi (Blu-ray 3D)
Enchanting tale of an Indian boy trapped for 227 days at sea in a lifeboat with a starving Bengal tiger. Director Ang Lee did a superb job in his delicate and beautiful use of 3D.
Gravity (3D + Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in this outer space thriller; 3D pulls you to the edge of your seat for a grand adventure.
The epic classic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet is totally "immersive" in 3D.
Star Wars: "The Force Awakens" 3D
Awesome space adventure carries superbly in 3D.
Hugo (3D + DVD + Blu-ray + Digital)
Martin Scorsese directed this? Yep, and in his hands, 3D becomes an art. The story and the technology behind it will take your breath away.
Dial M for Murder (1954) (3D + Blu-ray)
Believe it or not, Alfred Hitchcock actually dabbled in 3D the year I was born! (1954). Watch this thriller starring Ray Milland, Grace Kelly and Robert Cummings the way Hitch intended it to be seen.