Published at Friday, February 15th, 2019 - 10:51:40 AM. Dream Home. By Alek Pulalo.
Your Dream Home Theater System - How to Choose the Right Components : Going out to the movies is becoming a very expensive activity. Not only have ticket prices gone up in the last few years, it seems that drinks, popcorn and candy have all had price increases. Couple this with the drop in prices on high end electronics and recent advances such as Blu-ray, and it is no wonder that ticket sales and continuously been dropping off as more and more people are opting to set up Home Theaters. Todays dream home theater consists of three things. First a television or projector, a 5.1 or 7.1 sound system and media playing device, normally a DVD player but more recently Blu-Ray players. This is a simplification of the home theater setup, there are a multitude of options and decisions to make in creating your dream home theater. This article will help you grasp a simple of understanding of the major components Television or Projector - There are plenty of options here. When considering a television, you must decide on whether you want a plasma screen, and LCD, DLP, or rear projection television. CRT or Cathode Ray Tube televisions are almost obsolete in todays home theater systems. Each of the aforementioned types has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you want a screen with great flexibility in placement, high quality picture and the price is not a major factor - then a plasma screen is your best option. If space is not a major factor and price is, you can find great prices on high quality rear projection television sets. In either case you need to purchase a high definition television, they are almost standard in larger screen televisions today. High definition is defined by a pixel count of 720 dot per inch (DPI) or higher. In order to take advantage of Blu-Ray quality, your TV should have a pixel count of 1080 dpi. Among 1080dpi sets you have a choice between 1080i and 1080p. The i stands for interlaced, and the p stands for progressive scan. These terms refer to how and how often the pixels on the screen are refreshed. 1080p televisions provide a higher quality picture, and will of course cost extra. The extra cost is well worth the cost in my opinion. The most recent advance in high definition televisions is 120 Hz sets, these new sets are supposed to better handle motion, especially in regards to watching sports. Whether its worth the extra cost is up to you to see for yourself. I imagine that given a couple of years 120 Hz will become the standard. At a minimum, I would recommend a 1080p television for your dream home theater. Sound System - This is potentially the most complex portion of your dream home theater setup. I say potentially because you can purchase a high quality home theater in a box and end up with a respectable sound system for your home theater with minimal fuss, or if you want to extract the maximum quality sound out of your system and are willing to pay what it takes; then building your own system from quality components is definitely the way to go. HTIBs or Home Theaters in Box are sometimes maligned by audiophiles as not being serious home theater sound systems, but a little research will show you that in recent years these pre-packaged systems now have components worthy of being part of a dream home theater system. If you want to build your own system the options and decisions youll be faced with are numerous. But the homework and research is well worth the final reward. Having a high quality picture certainly makes watching a film more enjoyable, but a great sound system takes you out of the confines of your living room and puts you in the middle of action. An audiophile quality sound system can whisk you away to the deep jungles of the Amazon, or put you in passenger seat of a heart pounding car chase through the streets of Los Angeles. A high-powered subwoofer will provide that heart thumping, seat shaking experience with each crash or explosion. Many will skimp on the sound system at the expense of a high quality picture, but they are truly missing half the experience of a dream home theater. Media Player - Normally this is a DVD player or more recently Blu-Ray players. When buying a DVD player, you should choose one with a video signal upconversion to 1080p. Ask your salesperson if the player uses Faroudja Video Processing, this is considered the best upconverting technology. Most Blu-Ray players will upconvert DVDs. If you are willing to pay between $200-$500, then a Blu-Ray player is definitely worth considering. The format war between HDTV a Blu-Ray is over, so a Blu-Ray is a safe bet. Blu-Ray is also capable of providing highest quality lossless audio (True-HD or DTA-HD Master Audio), allowing your dream home theater sound system to really shine. Eventually Blu-Ray will become the standard home video standard, but the good news is that they will play all your old DVDs as well. But if you are like me, once youve gotten used to Blu-Ray quality, its hard to go back plain old DVDs. This is just a quick overview of the major components. There are several other things to consider when building your dream home theater, such as cabling, speaker wire gauge, dipole /bipolar speakers vs. direct radiating just for starters. My recommendation is that if you research and make a well thought out decisions on the major components mentioned here, then many of the choices on the ancillary equipment and parts will begin to fall into place, and creating your dream home theater will be that much easier.
Owner Builders - The 5 Huge Mistakes They Make When Constructing Their Dream Home! : There are more people than ever before who are making the very wise decision to build their Dream Home! From nice little bungalows nestled on inner city in-fill lots to huge 8,000 square foot mini mansions located on acreage waterfront home sites, the opportunities are endless for todays savvy Owner Builder. However with the numerous examples of beautiful homes that will produce countless memories for their proud owners there are just as many cases of the Owner Builder project gone awry! The beautifully conceived Tudor style home that never reached completion, the Mediterranean stucco home that never left the architects drawing board and the 4 story town home that went way over budget and took over a year and a half to complete! My goal is not to discourage you from building the home of your dreams but instead I hope to educate you on the 5 most common mistakes that have plagued Owner Builders! If carefully heeded, your Custom Dream Home project will go off without a hitch and provide your family, friends and loved ones with numerous years of enjoyment! Here are the 5 Mistakes you should avoid when you construct your Dream Home! #1 - Do not over-build for the community or area. It is important that you build a home that is comparable to the majority of the homes in neighborhood and/or area. If the average home in the area is 4,500 sq. ft., then I suggest you build no more than 500-1000 sq. ft. larger than the average home in that area. In most cases, I suggest that you never build a home smaller than the average home as that could prove to be a challenge if you ever decide to sell. #2 - They design a home that is too unique that doesnt have mass appeal!I am sure you can remember driving through a neighborhood and you saw a home that simply stuck out like a sore-thumb! I believe in being different however when it comes to designing my Dream Home I dont want a home so unique that it causes me to lose money. Really unique homes that are not comparable to the surrounding homes in an area are hard to value and in many cases the owners are never able to recoup their original investment. #3 - Choosing the wrong builder!Your choice of builder in many cases is the single most important decision in the whole process of constructing your Dream Home! It is important that you exercise caution and that you thoroughly interview at least 3-4 different builders before making a decision. You should also visit the on-going projects of the builders to see the projects they are presently working on. The time you spend planning with and interviewing builders will prove to be the single most critical aspect of your Custom Dream Home project #4 - Trying to save money by performing work on the home themselves!Unless you work full-time in the construction industry I strongly recommend that you pay experienced trades to perform all of the work on your Dream Home. Sweat equity generally takes longer than expected while the potential savings are never as substantial as anticipated and they generally add unnecessary stress and anxiety to a process that already has too many variables to be managed. It has been proven that time spent planning and managing your project is 3 times more valuable than time spent actually working on your Custom Dream Home! #5 - Not securing Construction Loan Financing first before doing anything else in the planning process!I saved this for last with the hopes that it will stick with you when you forget any of the other mistakes! By securing your financing first, you now make it easier to design and plan your project because you know exactly how much money you have to spend. This becomes extremely important when you sit down to design your home so that you dont design a home that goes over your budget. The other benefit to securing your financing first is it provides you with a strategic advantage when you negotiate with builders because they understand you are 100% qualified and are ready to begin construction once you decide on a builder! Hopefully you will write these down and keep them close and review these mistakes as you begin the planning of your Custom Dream Home. Using these tips will save you time, prevent stress and help you produce a top-quality Dream Home that your family will enjoy for years to come!
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