What defines a home theatre?

The term “home theatre” is loosely thrown around. I walked by an electronics boutique and I could see little boxes everywhere that said “home theatre system” on them. But what are they really, and what defines a home theatre?

I guess if you have surround sound, a DVD player, and a monitor to watch the movie you have yourself a home theatre. The audio could be the key element. Without multi channel audio you just have stereo, and movie theatres very rarely have only stereo.

What about projection TVs? Can the projected image define home theatre? That would mean all those people with large screens at home just have home entertainment systems, or for short, TV rooms.

The seating, the quality of the image, popcorn maker,…maybe these are just additives that are not really necessary in a home theatre. The term is about as open ended as the term “art”.

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