If you’re a fan of film and cinema, you’ll no doubt either have – or wish you had – a decent home set-up that allows you to get the most out of your movies. But with technology developing so fast in the large in cinemas, how close are we really to a stay-at-home solution that mirrors the theatrical experience?
Size does matter
While it may not compare to standard cinema screens or the gargantuan 18.8 metre by 26.3 metre IMAX in Manchester, Samsung is the current record holder for the largest commercially available 3D-capable TV on the market. Measuring 75 inches from corner to corner, this imposing black monolith would need a pretty big living room to house it. But this isn’t all the Samsung D9500 has to offer, with an internal software system that renders 2D broadcasts into that all important third dimension.
A resolution solution
As theatres across the UK upgrade their projection technology with the likes of Sony’s incredible 4K system, which offers the highest picture quality possible, 1920 x 1080 pixel high definition televisions have almost become the standard for most homes.
In May 2011, however, Sharp unveiled its latest ‘Ultra High Definition’ panel – capable of a screen resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels. While it isn’t expected to hit the mainstream market until 2022, it certainly seems like soon ‘full HD’ won’t quite mean the same thing.
Sounding out the competition
There are a whole raft of Dolby Digital, 5.1, 7.1, SDDS and DTS-enabled sound systems you can have in your home nowadays and it really only comes down to how much you are willing to spend. Of course, a home cinema kit that rivals something you would hear in the cinema isn’t going to come cheap, but it’s important to remember that, unless you are a Premiership footballer, you’re probably not going to have the same kind of space to fill.
At the end of the day, audio quality can be very subjective… so there’s no reason why you can’t have theatre quality in the comfort of your own home.
Universal release dates
One of the biggest obstacles there seems to be around having a home experience that rivals what is available in theatres is content. It seems like Hollywood will never truly be able to have a universal format release for its films, as the knock-on effect for cinemas large and small could be fatal. Just last year, film news websites were reporting that certain chains were threatening to boycott Disney’s Alice in Wonderland after its DVD and Blu-ray release was brought forward.
There’s been talk of universal releases that allow people to pay a premium to download films the day they come out in cinemas, but this has yet to materialise. Fingers crossed for this one – but don’t hold your breath.