the 1970’s a multi-channel reproduction system was adopted for
film. People were accustomed to hearing high quality surround sound
in movie theaters and when a similar sound system was combined with
home TV’s, it was natural to call the new system home theater or
home cinema. At the same time the name home entertainment center
heart of the home cinema is a large screen TV set as a monitor. The
minimum screen size is 75 centimeters with projector displays being
in common use. High quality multi-channel sound, normally Dolby
Surround and sometimes THX, is included in the system. In many cases
external powerful amplifiers and external HiFi speakers are used.
Besides the TV broadcasters, HiFi video cassette recorders and
sometimes Laser disk players are included to the home cinema as
program sources. A typical home theater system with video and audio
program sources is presented in the figure.
market penetration of large systems is, however, relatively small.
Normally home theaters are physically quite large making it
difficult to fit them into a typical living room or any room in a
home. Unsatisfactory positioning of the set may also lead to a
degraded listening experience. There is an other difficulty. Loud
two channel systems are already one reason for many social conflicts
in families. In a home cinema there are three or more speakers.
Apart from the price, these social reasons may, in many cases, be
the ultimate reason why people will not buy a home theater system.
However, smaller systems have been sold in relatively large
quantities. Also home cinema equipment sets typically have been
built up gradually, component by component.