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Creating the cinema experience at home is cheaper that you probably think

Written by ShawanSen | Published: March 8, 2009 4:34:34 pm

Creating the cinema experience at home is cheaper that you probably think
If you find yourself up against the ‘house full’ sign at the movie hall counter far too often,it’s probably time to bring home the movie. It doesn’t take much to recreate the cinema hall experience at home—a hi-tech,hi-quality home theatre comes for less than Rs 11,000. Without compromising on acoustics,companies like Philips and Sony are making theatres for most homes. There are new entrants like Kolkata-based AVI,whose ‘La Scalla di AVI Audioscapes’ series focuses on the unique picture panel sound system with extra emphasis on home décor. And there is Bose,which is just concentrating on giving consumers the true “jewel” listening experience. But this plethora of players and products,in fact,makes it difficult to make the right choice. Here’s an overview that might make your job easier.

Rs 10,000 to Rs 16,000

HTS 3011/98
Tagged at Rs 10,990—the lowest that Philips offers—this 200W system comes with six compact speakers and fits small rooms. With a built-in Dolby Digital and Pro Logic II decoder,it gives a perfect surround sound experience and a natural sense of ambience and dynamic realism. It is also DivX certified,which means you can enjoy DivX encoded videos. Unique to this model is the Karoke Scoring,which will add a dash of fun to your Karoke experience,even judging your performance. It plays all media formats—MP3,WMA or JPEG as well as any disc. Price: Rs 10,990

HTS 3156/98
This compact digital system comes with a USB direct feature. With a power output of 300W,it produces a DTS multi-channel surround sound. An added feature is the MP3 line-in,which uses the Plug and Play technology,and allows direct playback of music files through the home theatre system. It also comes with two floor-standing speakers. Price: Rs 14,990

The system has five speakers and a sub-woofer giving a total power output of 400W. The USP of this model is the Progressive Scan,which ensures superior video images compared to the traditional interlaced method. It also uses the Precision Cinema Progressive technology,used for displaying moving images. Reducing flickering and jagged edges,the system ensures smooth viewing. Price: Rs 11,990

This 850W powerhouse has an HDMI output,which is fully compatible with PCs,displays and other devices incorporating the Digital Visual Interface. Bravia Sync allows your entertainment system to come alive at the push of a single button and synchronises itself with the other devices attached to it. Sony also has its Digital Cinema Auto Calibration technology which eliminates the hassle of measuring your room before installation. You can put the speakers wherever you like. Both Sony models come with noise-canceling S-Master Digital Amplifiers. Price: Rs 15,990

Avi India
3.1 channel La Scalla di Avi Audioscapes
The company calls it “sound that is music to your eyes”. But there is no path-breaking technology here,it just focuses on the basics to give hi-fi sound while adding to the décor. The system is sure to generate some curiosity as the sound source is hidden behind picture panels—handcrafted pieces of embroidery,oil paintings or water colours. The cost of the system varies according to the quality of the artwork and not the sound. Wooden Framed-Embroidery: Rs 16,000; Wooden Framed-Water Colour: Rs 15,000; Canvas Framed-Oil painting: Rs 15,000; Frameless-Oil painting: Rs 16,000

Rs 17,000 to Rs 40,000

HTS 3565/98
This 1,000W system produces powerful surround sound and high definition pictures with four compact speakers and two sub-woofers. The HDMI 1080p feature delivers images that are crystal clear. With this,movies in standard definition can now be enjoyed in true high definition resolution. It also comes with Double Bass. The Clear Voice feature ensures far more audible vocals and the Full Sound feature creates a CD listening experience to MP3.
Price: Rs 17,990

HTS 3568/98
With almost all the features like that of HTS 3565/98,this digital system also comes with four tower speakers. Price: Rs 22,990

Common to both the models is the S-Air technology,which is a wireless audio solution for multi-room listening without set-up requirements like IP addresses. Wireless audio can be transmitted from the main system in the living room to multiple rooms throughout the home—up to 164 feet. Both the models also come with a Dialogue Enhancer,Night Mode and a digital media port.

This model features two surround speakers,two front speakers and one centre speaker of 143W each. The subwoofer has a total RMS or rather power output of 285 W. It also comes with USB connectivity. Price: Rs 18,990

This model too comes with the same features with just four tower speakers as an addition. Despite the introduction of the tower speakers,the sound quality does not change substantially. With the same power output,there is little reason to pay extra and get the same feel. Price: Rs 29,990

Avi India
5.1 channel La Scalla di Avi Audioscapes
Here too,the company has almost the same thing to offer with the variations in the component system and the layout of the speakers. This comes with five speakers and a subwoofer. The cost of the system also varies accordingly: Wooden Framed-Embroidery: Rs 39,000; Wooden Framed-Water Colour:
Rs 37,000; Canvas Framed-Oil painting: Rs 39,000; Frameless-Oil painting: Rs 40,000

Rs 50,000 to Rs 2,60,000

The Soundbar is the most elegant model in the entire Philips range with integrated speakers,amplifiers and DVD player.
The company has put a lot of effort to recreate the “cinema experience”. Added emphasis has been given on its design,so much so the subwoofer has a glass finish,which makes it more of a side table in your living room. They have also done away with the unwieldy speakers. It is a single unit which gives a 5.1 surround sound experience.

It comes with the Ambisound technology,which produces an embracing multi-channel surround sound from fewer speakers. It also does away with the constraints of sitting position,room shape or size and comes with a docking station,which lets you play movies,music and photos from your iPod. The unique Faroudja DCDi has also been added which alleviates jagged edges that appear when standard interlaced video is viewed,especially in the case of moving images. Rs 59,990

Lifestyle 48 home entertainment system
Have the money,then go for the ultimate audio experience. There is nothing to challenge the precision attained by the King of the audio market. It costs a bomb,but is worth every penny. The hidden beauty of the system lies in the technology. The system features the award-winning Jewel Cube speaker,which is just 4.5” high. They are the smallest but they are the most powerful speakers available in the entire home theatre series. The ADAPTiQ feature analyses the dimensions of the room and adjusts the sound performance of the system. It also allows you to choose five preferred listening spots and automatically makes the necessary adjustments. The system has also done away with the hassle of managing an entire CD collection. It enables you to store 340 hours of music with the help of uMusic intelligent playback system. It also listens to your music and learns your preferences and then makes the selection based on what you like. The magic does not end here,the Bose Link feature enables you to listen to the quality sound in as many as 14 additional rooms as well as the outdoors. It also enables you to access two different audio streams from the same Lifestyle system. Price: Rs 2,58,638
The Lifestyle series comes with four other variants with little variations like music storage,uMusic and the kind of speakers.

3.2.1 system
The 3.2.1 GSX DVD home
entertainment system is the epitome of simplicity. It comes with two visible speakers and an Acoustimass module,which delivers much of the home theatre experience that other systems use five speakers to create. There is no need for rear speakers and wires running to the back of your room—so no more drilling required. It can also digitally store up to 200 hours of your favourite CDs. The system comes with Gemstone speakers,which you could very well call the “sister” of the Jewel Cube speakers. Price: Rs 1,03,388
This series comes with three variants with similar kind of variations like that of the Lifestyle series. The lowest model is available at Rs 63,263.

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