December 31, 2012 by Grant Clauser
We may vote for a new leader of the free world every four years, but many people will go five years or more to upgrade their home theater system. Do you know how much can change in five years? Almost everything.
OK, we’re not suggesting you overhaul all your premium gear at once. After all, it still works well, but a few small upgrades here and there can freshen up the whole system and make it fun to explore new content or rediscover old favorites. Home theater enthusiasts know that a system is never done—it’s always a work in progress. Here are five suggested upgrades that will bring the shine back to an older audio/video system.
1. Light-optimizing screen
Do you like to do it with the lights on? There’s no reason why you can’t. In fact, you should invite the neighbors over to join you. OK, we’re talking about watching movies in your home theater here, and while you’re current system may necessitate putting all the lights down to get the best picture, current screen technologies make a dark room a thing of the past. Several screen manufactures produce screens that selectively reject light that isn’t coming from the projector, while maximizing the light that is. This means that you can have lights on all over the room, but the picture on your screen will be nearly as bright as a flat panel TV.
A Black Diamond Zero Edge G2 screen.
The first, and probably most well-known light rejection screen for home theater is the Black Diamond from Screen Innovations (read a review of the Black Diamond Zero Edge here). Other companies, including Stewart Filmscreen and Elite Screens also offer angular reflective screen technology.
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.
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