5 Signs That You’ve Become a True Home Theater Enthusiast

By on April 15, 2013

So you’ve finally ponied up the money for that big, flat screen HDTV, invested in a surround sound speaker system, and amassed a solid collection of Blu-rays on your shelf — but at what point do you go from being a casual home theater owner to a full-blown, unashamedly proud audiovisual geek? You see, true home theater enthusiasm is about more than just the gear. It’s about an entire frame of mind, complete with a few key quirks, habits, and obsessions. If you’re unsure whether or not you fit the bill, here’s a handy list of 5 major signs that you should look out for.

1. You Have a “Sweet Spot”

Home Theater Enthusiast Sweet Spot

Once thought to be only a myth, this term refers to the specific seat in your home theater room where the speakers perfectly align and the TV is perfectly centered. This miraculous spot gives the lucky individual who inhabits it the absolute best listening and viewing position, enhancing the full surround sound experience while eliminating any potential off-angle flaws in your HD display.

If you have one of these sweet spots, and find yourself racing over to seize it like a rabid animal claiming its territory whenever company comes over — then you’re already well on your way to true A/V obsession! Note to girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, and husbands: if your significant other is willing to give up their sweet spot for you, then it really is true love.

2. You Measured Angles

Home Theater Enthusiast Angles

Going along with sign #1, properly setting up a home theater system requires a great level of precision when it comes to speaker placement. Various guidelines call for exact angles, heights, and distances between the speakers and primary listening position, which necessitates tools that go far beyond mere “eye-balling” it.

Basically, if you used any kind of chart, diagram, ruler, protractor, complicated algorithm, mounted laser beam, specially programmed robot, or ancient mystical incantation to help perfectly align your audio equipment, then I think it’s safe to say that you’re a real enthusiast… and possibly a super villain. Now God help anyone who accidentally bumps into something.

3. Light Has Become Your Enemy

Home Theater enthusiast light

It turns out that vampires aren’t the only creatures with a natural aversion to sunlight. In order to mimic the true theater experience, the best way to watch movies is in a completely dark environment. Not only does the lack of light help to immerse the audience in the film, but many TVs are prone to troublesome glare that can make daytime watching a nightmare.

To alleviate this problem, true home theater enthusiasts will go to any lengths to help cut down the light. From installing black-out drapes to enacting diabolical plots to permanently snuff out the sun, there is no real right or wrong strategy as long as it gets the job done. After all, an eternal globe-spanning ice age is but a small price to pay for the perfect movie watching environment. Those with the space and cash can even invest in a dedicated light-proof home theater area, creating the only situation where it’s socially acceptable to trap your guests in a dark, windowless room.

4. You’ve Invested in ISF Calibration

Home Theater enthusiast ISF calibration

If those initials don’t mean anything to you, then you haven’t quite crossed the barrier into true home theater passion. The Imaging Science Foundation has developed a standardized system to properly calibrate video displays, ensuring the most accurate picture possible through the use of specifically designed test patterns and equipment. Without proper ISF calibration, many home theater owners can gradually grow suspicious of their displays, leading to paranoia and insecurity.

While manufacturer settings often feature high contrast, exaggerated sharpness, and impossibly vibrant colors, all that flash is really nothing more than an eye-straining lie! And since you’ve already bought and committed to your TV, who exactly is your display trying to doll itself up for with that “Vivid” setting anyway?! The first step toward any long lasting relationship is always trust, and until one can fully trust their TV’s picture settings, you might as well be strangers. Real home theater lovers realize this, and choose to alleviate any concerns through ISF calibration. It’s the only way to rest easy at night.

5. You Have Movie Watching Rules… and Consequences

Home Theater enthusiast movie rules

Taking the home theater experience to the final level requires employing the same rules that any actual professional theater chain would — namely no talking or texting during the show. While the casual movie watcher might enjoy a laid back discussion during a film, for the A/V enthusiast, silence and full attention are non-negotiable stipulations.

Some might even go so far as to monitor their home audience like an amateur usher, escorting guests out who don’t follow the rules. In other words, you talk or text during the film — no movie for you!

So, there you have it. If you fit all of the criteria above, congratulations and welcome to the club! You are now officially a home theater enthusiast. If you haven’t experienced all five signs yet, then just give it some time, I’m sure you’ll come around. We’ll be waiting…

About Steven Cohen

In addition to writing for The CheckOut, I'm a Blu-ray reviewer for High-Def Digest, a short filmmaker, and a proud purveyor of rambling words. My experimental short film, Broken Records, premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival and is now viewable online.

One Comment

  1. Robert S

    April 25, 2013 at 8:16 am

    A good article that clearly highlights some of the signs for us HT enthusiasts. I would say that #4 should also include those who have invested in a home theater setup disc.

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