I’ve always considered myself somewhat of a home theater enthusiast. When I was in high school, I convinced my parents to take the plunge and get a 61″ rear-projection TV. It was a Pioneer with a 16:10.7 aspect ratio, which was somewhat of a harbinger of things to come in a pre-DVD and pre-HDTV era, when most people were annoyed by those "black bars" that were all too rare at the time. I got a Laserdisc player around 1995, a high-end Pioneer model that I still have, and still use (albeit on increasingly infrequent occasions). When the DVD format first started to get popular, I built a PC to fit into my entertainment center and play movies on my TV. I still to this day think that this very well might have been the first Home Theater PC (its first iteration was completed sometime in 1999, as any visitors to my first apartment in Champaign can attest).
Since moving out of my parents’ house, though, I’ve never been able to duplicate the big-screen experience, mostly due to financial concerns. To say that it has been a life-long dream of mine to have a truly legitimate home theater setup of my own is not much of an exaggeration. And now, I finally do: This past weekend, I got a 60″ LCD rear-projection HDTV, the Sony KDF-60WF655:
I feel like I’m finally a real man.
Having taken the plunge into the world of HDTV, it is now time to figure out how I want to go about getting an HD signal. While DVDs look absolutely phenomenal on the new TV, standard-definition broadcasts (especially on the sometimes-pixely DirecTV) leave something to be desired when viewed on a monitor this large. My current plan is a two-pronged one: purchase a new HD TiVo (specifically, the heralded HR10-250), and purchase an HDTV off-air antenna. I haven’t looked forward to spending money this much in a long time.