The great advantage of a home theater system in a small room is the nice feeling of intimacy it offers. The disadvantage is that most suitable loudspeakers don't offer good bass response, depriving you of many of the visceral thrills built into movie soundtracks.
In typical British understatement, product literature for B&W's new subwoofers mentions that "movies in particular can be very demanding of subwoofers and some special effects can test them to the limit."
Do you want your home theater system to have that "sucker punches in your gut" feel you got at your local cinema when T-Rex stomped his way through San Diego? Do you need your pant legs to flap with each bass line, just as they did at the recent Metallica concert? Want to be as emotionally attached to the recorded version of Beethoven's Fifth as when you heard the cellos and timpani pound out that familiar triplet live at the concert hall? Would you like James Earl Jones' voice-over for CNN to sound less like Mickey Mouse and more like, well, Darth Vader? If so, it's time for you to invest in a subwoofer.
Integrated A/V systems may not appeal to home theater elitists, but they have enormous appeal for people with less-than-capacious living quarters---apartments, condominiums, and town houses. That's a category that includes most people in most cities. It's also a market niche traditionally catered to by Bang & Olufsen.
Although front projectors usually get the nod from home theater elitists, rear projection sets are one of the most popular display solutions. Integrating the light source and the screen in a single unit seems to make the most sense for most home theater fans.
Hi, I'm Troy McClure, and you might remember me from such educational films as. . . Sorry couldn't help myself. The Simpsons are on the big screen as I write this, and obviously that's gotten to my head. But seriously folks, the reaction to a recent Blog I wrote on next-gen interactivity brought to my attention that now is a very good time to catch you up on what is going on with Blu-ray Disc interactivity and how the players currently on the market and about to be on the market will (and won't) handle these features.