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Catching The Home Theater Illness


By David Bott, 10/24/12

Founder, AVS Forum


So there you are, the proud new owner of your newly built Home Theater. The room came out like you wanted, you have all the extras, and things are just right -- you can settle down now. Humm…Nope! Let me tell you something here. You are NEVER done with your Home Theater. In fact, you just may be ill.


You read me right: you're really not done. And it's more than likely that you will never be. Sure, you may be watching movies and enjoying your new theater, but you see, you will just never seem to stop looking for that little extra item that will push your theater to the next level. It may be a new piece of gear, or even something as small as a Blu-ray case stand you can place a case on that reads “Now Playing.” Take it from someone who knows and has been there: this is not the end of your home theater dream. Heck, I am still there, doing the same thing you will be doing years from now: looking…tweaking…wanting. It’s like you've caught some sort of mental illness. It just seems to stay with you, and you are now a carrier. But I personally like this illness, for it is something I really do not care if I spread. In fact…I want to spread it. I would like others to have both the fun and enjoyment I receive when I use my theater.



You know how it starts, this illness of yours. It just all seems to happen so fast. You are somewhere: a store, a friend’s place, or even a workplace, and you see this wonderful setup. It can be something that is as small as a 42” flat panel with a great audio system. You just seem to get drawn in by some big audio/video vacuum. You find yourself saying, “Boy, this would be great in our home.” You soon find yourself asking lots of questions and surfing the Internet for more information on products and items for a theater. You’ll maybe start small; you’ll add surround sound to your current family room. But then you think…Why stop there? Heck, we could use a bigger flat panel. Naw…you want that new DLP projector you saw when surfing the net for more info. But that requires a screen. No problem, you think. You can just move this wall here, and build this out there, and BAM! You’re really hooked. That’s it…you will never be able to stop this madness. (Really, I have tried.)


Before you know it, you have a totally dedicated system for your pleasure. (Ok, for your family’s pleasure also.) I am sorry to say, though, it is not just confined to your home, no siree. You have now moved on to an entirely new level. Yes, you are now officially known as "That Audio/Video Guy.” The doctor, if you will. The one person among all your friends who has the A/V answers. Because after all, you did it.


Now don’t tell me this hasn’t happened to you. You go over to your best bud’s home for an evening out only to find yourself telling him how he can improve his system. (Hey, he's the one who asked.) So then you start telling him: well, you can add this and just move that, and here, let me give you the name of a guy. The next thing you know, your friend is running wires to put in his first 5.1 surround sound system. What!?!? You just did it! You just spread this catchy virus we call Home Theater. What’s worse is when you have a group of friends over to your place, and you magically go from being that mentally ill guy they all talk about (you know they call you crazy behind your back) to being “the doctor.” As soon as they see your wonderful new room, they now think that you know everything about Home Theater. Now they’re calling you and asking you for advice about updating their system. Of course, being the good doctor you are (though mentally ill), you suggest they stop by AVSForum.com for the real scoop on Home Theater. After all, AVS is the place where you received your education (i.e. illness).


So the next time someone walks into your home theater and exclaims, “You’re Nuts!” just look right back at them with a smile (in your best psycho way) and say, “Why, yes I am.” Just remember, that is major complement.

Comments (37)

I just told my father yesterday that I just installed eight 15" subs in my theater room. He was why do need that many your crazy. I replied cuz I can
Yep, I've got the bug and it ain't going away. It's funny that this article came up, because I'm in the process of selling off a bunch of stuff so I can upgrade my fronts. My friends and wife tell me it sounds just fine, but I know it can sound significantly better. Unfortunately, perfection in home theater reminds me of a logarithmic curve - you can get a little closer, but you will never, ever get there. I am realistic, though, and am aiming for that sweet spot where a small investment will still yield a substantial gain.
I not only have audio/video upgradeitis, but my other primary hobby of firearms/target shooting is just as bad. I've got 5 AR-15's, 3 that I've built myself and the other two heavily modified (that's why they're called "Barbie dolls for men"), in addition to many, MANY other firearms, all of which need a new trigger here, a new optic there, etc. Just when I think I've reached nirvana in either hobby, a new tweak leads to other newer tweaks to bring out the best in the first new tweak. It is a sickness, but I love it!
I didn't finish my theater that long ago, so I'm in the early onset symptoms of this disease.

I thought it was only me. Good to know I'm not alone.

Who do we get to host the telethon?
This is timely.
Last night when my wife got home from dinner out with the girls; she asked what I had done for the evening. I responded that I finished installing and testing a streaming BR player in the HT room, then I spent some time cleaning-up wiring in the EQ closet. All she said was: your sick will this ever be finished? I just grinned......
Get married to someone who doesn't like to spend money, buy a fairly expensive house with high property taxes, and have a kid. Speaking from experience, that'll (mostly) get rid of it.
I think I just realized we are all part of a large "Bott-net" experiement run by AVS Forum and AV Science Sales. The only thing is...I think I like it!

By the way, my three children love "Daddy's Play Room"

My eldest son (now 22) said to me that one thing that he'll always remember was when we put the current side and rear speakers into our system. Not only did he enjoy helping me but every time that we watched a movie he was reminded of the time that we did it together.
funny thing is that my bug started with gaming headphones and then very quickly switched to audiophile headphones. My friends in town that i play xbox with all have gaming headphones or music headphones that i either sold them or told them to get. When they're gaming in all their glory, they see me get on and say "Hey, It's Doc!" My gamertag is DoCtA CoSm0s. I have been on a home theater/stereo system bug lately. Guess who else picked this bug up shortly after me? All of my friends lol. They all get mad when i go to the speaker shops without them. Makes up big for the times when they didn't invite me to go fishing lol.
A buddy of mine has always had "upgradeitis" and I have always attributed it to some major insecurities he has. Just an observation...

When will we be satisfied with practical? To each his own I guess...
I thought I was done too until I read about the Darbee and LED lighting.
And isn't it nice that we have a whole industry that spends billions of dollars getting new products into the market that the "Home Theater Addict" has to have.

David, you are 100% correct . . . it isn't a hobby . . . it's an illness.
My current theater build is in progress but i am already saving for my next build in a few years!
I'm in the same boat. Expense after expense after expense. After having a 5.1 setup for over 15 years; and little knowledge of the quality that's on the market, I jumped into the 7.1 world and pushed myself to the more audiophile levels. From so much research and tweaking, I'm now installing three seperate dedicated 20 amp outlets. One for my 12 amp battery back-up surge protector, one for my 9.2 channel amp and one for my 1500 watt subwoofer. It's amazing how something so simple could end-up so complicated and twice the expense of a basic surround system. 15 years ago I spent around $10k for a system including installation, A/V and Projection T.V. Now I'm doing all the installation myself and I've already hit the $20k barrier and it's still climbing and I haven't even purchased any A/V gear yet. This damn addiction is going to put me in the poor house. And when it's all done, I'll be in search of better performing equipment. And forget about the tweaking, that never seems to stop. When you have everything just perfect, a little voice inside you says to tweak it again and you can add just a little more quality to your tweaking. It never seems to end. I'm better off overdosing on Cocaine than pouring all my money into building and improving on my never ending theatre system advancments.
And on another note, "Yes, I'm am addicted like all you other addicts out there". The more reviews and research I do, the more I want to better my system. But the worst of it all is this AVS Forums. With all the great advice I get from all the great subscirbers and all the great reviews on all the gear that's on the market whether it just hits the market today or if it's older gear, AVS is to blame for adding more stress in my life and never being satisfied with what I have purchased. Thanks AVS for introducing me to insanity. Keep up the good work.
Right on the money David. ANd I'm partially blaming you and Alan ! And AVS Forum....

Now if they only had Home Theater Anonymous. Oh, what's the point - there is no cure !
"...you will just never seem to stop looking for that little extra item that will push your theater to the next level. It may be a new piece of gear, or even something as small as a Blu-ray case stand you can place a case on that reads “Now Playing.”

LOL - I've actually been seriously looking for one of those stands and can't find them anywhere anymore - anyone know a good source for a "Now Showing" Blu-ray stand I can still purchase?? I remember seeing one a couple years ago that was even lighted with LED's...
You missed the part about the need for more than 1 projector and the ever present need to upgrade to the next years model . . . Scotty, I need more resolution! Aye, Captain.
LOL I still remember that one time I didcovered AVSForums and I told my wife: "I found this really cool online site for Home Theater Addicts!" Another junkie here!
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