No Right Answer: Home Theater vs Movie Theater

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Home Theater vs Movie Theater

Can the smell of popcorn and the bright lights of the theater experience still hold a candle to the instant streaming intimate home experience?

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Ahh, The Escapist.... why do you keep giving us so many mixed messages about piracy?

"Hey, you can pirate this thing! But we don't condone piracy so we won't link it to you.... *psst* but you should totally google this thing you were completely unaware of previous to this post."

TitanAura:
Ahh, The Escapist.... why do you keep giving us so many mixed messages about piracy?

No, not really.


So, what the NRA crew say in their video is a separate entity of what we can discuss on the forums.

OT: Home theater. If you want to have a communal experience, then invite some of the community into your home.

The piracy gag at the end was clearly meant flippantly. I mean, I assume.

Talking to strangers in the lobby? Yeah, if I did that, people would think I'm weird. More weird than usual that is. Because, well, we are extremely reserved in Sweden... Talking to strangers...yeah, that wont happen.

anonymity88:
The piracy gag at the end was clearly meant flippantly. I mean, I assume.

Correct. Flippant joke meant as a stinger/acknowledgement of a point some people would make about home movies.

Honest and boring truth: I don't pirate.

Kyle's points were pretty flimsy this week. Though credit where it's due, I don't think I could have done better were I in his position.

I'm just not a fan of theaters. It's an annoying practice we do because of being social creatures. When dissected it really doesn't hold up. Granted, I have friends who love to go to the movies, and I go with them on occasion. But the experience I look forward to is being with them, not being with them at the movies. One of them is a cinema snob fan. He is a firm believer of the cinema experience and can even enjoy it by himself. The seats, the popcorn and candy bar in his lap, his girlfriend with him (or not). The sound, the big screen, the opening credits. It's part of experience, or so he keeps telling me.

I don't care for it, and I don't really care for film in general either. Oh I have my movies that I enjoy, and I will be going to see Avengers and Star Wars when they come out. But that's as far as it goes for me. I'm a casual, a neophyte. On top of that I'm an entitled millennial who increasingly is able to get what I want when I want it. Why would I have it any other way. See, to me it's like upgrading something, only to be periodically asked to downgrade because social reasons. I can watch something in the comfort of my own domicile, with my preferred settings, with total control of the experience. I can pause for the bathroom, I can rewind, blah blah.

Yahtzee said it best in an extra punctuation article

Fuck cinemas. I'm an entitled Generation Y prick and my willingness to partake in any form of mass market entertainment decreases significantly the further away I am expected to move from my couch. If you're also asking me to share space with a roomful of noisy strangers, and earn my way to the entertainment I want through several trailers and advertisements for local Indian restaurants, then enjoy being completely ignored.

Comedian Doug Stanhope has a great line: "If marriage didn't exist, would you invent it?" And I find it's a useful question to apply to a great many other things. If the cinema system didn't exist, would you invent it? If films had been invented yesterday, do you think anyone would be saying "Hey, I think no one should be allowed to see this brave new concept of non-interactive entertainment until it's been blasted at full volume to roomfuls of simps for about a month." Surely, if the films were truly good, we'd let them stand up for themselves, and not give a toss whether people wanted to see them streamed or bought from a DVD shop first.

I realize the experience can be fun. I've been there when it was, but those moments were vastly outnumbered by moments where it really, really wasn't.

Globdamn pirates winning everything... Have they learn NOTHING from the fourth third movie?!

Anyway, unless you have the dough to simulate (not recreate[1]) the movie theater experience as well as, maybe, a somewhat lack of empathy for the latest blockbuster releases[2], then there would be no difference to watching a movie in the theater and to watching a movie at home outside of how many "strangers"-based strangers[3] you're willing to tolerate while watching a movie you choose[4] to pay for... For me, there are only a few movies that I would rather see at home because I would probably laugh so loud that it would, more or less, drown out the voices of the characters on screen for someone who probably did not find it as funny as I did... Also, after a particular incident at a certain movie theater near me, I refuse to go to the movie theater by myself unless I feel that the movie's that good not to miss out on during its movie theater run...

Overall, once Chris mentioned "streaming", I tuned out harder than Russell Crowe in Les Misérables... Sorry, but I'm still not on board with that and I'm, supposedly, the target demographic for that shit in the first place...

[1] Because I'm thinking more in terms of quality and not quantity...
[2] Because all other releases could probably be streamed before and/or during "Oscar Season", maybe...
[3] I'm referring to strangers you see for the first and, probably, last time and not the strangers you see every day at your place of residence, I guess...
[4] Or, at least, are legally allowed...

But what about going to the theater when there's no one else around? The whole place to yourself? That's the ticket right there.

Chris Pranger:

anonymity88:
The piracy gag at the end was clearly meant flippantly. I mean, I assume.

Correct. Flippant joke meant as a stinger/acknowledgement of a point some people would make about home movies.

Honest and boring truth: I don't pirate.

Still that got a good laugh out of me. You guys continue to be my favorite content on the Escapist aside from Yahtzee :)

I'm leaning towards Home Theater as there are movies below PG-13 I haven't seen. Due to the noise usually caused by children. Even in some cases PG-13 movies aren't immune to that as I have had movies ruined for me by mentally handicapped individuals who also don't know better.

As for cell phones with screens theaters really need bouncers or something to get rid of people who won't turn them off during the movie.

I still like going to the movie theater as its one of the closest thing I have to human interaction. But any of the above just kind of ruins it for me.

The right answer. Home theater, with or without friends.

I mean, if you have a home theater. There is the entry point. I am "privileged" enough to have a pretty nice home theater. It's not high end by any means, but combined with not having to sit in a theater, deal with people in a theater, pay for a theater, or.. well unless I was 16 again I really couldn't think of any reason I would want to go to a theater. Dating late 20's it's more impressive that you aren't living at home, or on the street, rather than where you can take someone for overpriced popcorn. Dinner + home theater is the way to go, just make sure your couch doesn't suck.

zombiejoe:
But what about going to the theater when there's no one else around? The whole place to yourself? That's the ticket right there.

Yep.

Also, I NEVER go to the theater to watch anything that needs me to be 100% on. I'd never watch The Sunset Limited in a theater for example. Talkies, thrillers and certainly not dramas. The odds of someone fucking up my experience is too great, and thats when I'm living somewhere where 10 people in the theater is more or less the norm...

I'm not paying that much 16$ (which is how much movies are where I live) to have my experience fucked up. If I'm watching anything in the theater its gonna be something that is loud enough to drown out any morons around. Like a marvel movie. Or Avatar. Or Jurassic Park. Or something in that vein.

Also, the streaming option fails for me for the same reason. There are too many things that could go wrong. The speed messes up for a second, the hardware, whatever. There is nothing as jarring to me as a movie suddenly going low res for a few seconds because the speed hit a bump.

I NEVER stream movies unless its for background noise or something.

My home theater is for movies with half a brain. My local theater is for popcorn flicks.

RatGouf:
-snip-
As for cell phones with screens theaters really need bouncers or something to get rid of people who won't turn them off during the movie.
-snip-

YES PLEASE. It is so unbelievably rude to text during a movie. There are WAY too many people addicted to their phone nowadays. They dont even have to be 14 year olds. I have a few friends that constantly check snapchat or text while we're on a restaurant or similar. I find it exceptionally rude. They're simply saying that the current company is not interesting enough. RUDE. I've started calling it out though, in a rather loud manner. It pisses me off to no end. The same in theaters. I will call people out on it, loudly. Until they stop.

Naa I with Kyle with this one wholeheartedly!

I too find that going to the cinema is a solid reason to go out ever (it's why I always meet up with my mates for in the city althought we can just hang out in general without the film) and my living room is not to the standard of having the full blown experience that a cinema provide (shut up with your puny sensitive ears, it suppose to be loud and in surround)!

Even then, I was raised to watched a film in one sitting however I am very distracted when watching a film indoor and alone since at the cinema, I got no computer to check my message or a site update on nor am I a douche to used my phone during the film!

Heck I am even the oppersite to Christ statement about making the time to go to the cinema to watch a film as I always make time to go to the cinema (with my mate) while I give myself no time to watch a film most of the time. Heck I still got to rewatched Guardian of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie since I bought the DVDs!

Ishal:

Chris Pranger:

anonymity88:
The piracy gag at the end was clearly meant flippantly. I mean, I assume.

Correct. Flippant joke meant as a stinger/acknowledgement of a point some people would make about home movies.

Honest and boring truth: I don't pirate.

Still that got a good laugh out of me. You guys continue to be my favorite content on the Escapist aside from Yahtzee :)

I think we're fast becoming the ONLY content on The Escapist aside from Yahtzee. ;)

I much prefer the home theater. I see the occasional blockbuster to get together with friends or just because I can't wait, but I much prefer the home theater even with friends--because sometimes you just want to be able to pause or go back to dissect something you may have missed.

Sub-debate based on the win... For home theater, which is better: The immediacy of streaming or the bonus features of disc?

Chris Pranger:

Ishal:

Chris Pranger:
Correct. Flippant joke meant as a stinger/acknowledgement of a point some people would make about home movies.

Honest and boring truth: I don't pirate.

Still that got a good laugh out of me. You guys continue to be my favorite content on the Escapist aside from Yahtzee :)

I think we're fast becoming the ONLY content on The Escapist aside from Yahtzee. ;)

Chris. Chris. My day. You've. You've made it. Hahahahahahaipeed

Can home theater do the Hobbit movies in HFR?

Guess I'll still go to the movies, at least every once in a while.

Also, streaming is an awful point. The visual quality is so terrible, even in "HD".

So, that's like 9 points for home theater vs 1 for movie theater?
Because Kyle never mentioned the ultimate selling point: movie theater get's it waaaaaaaay earlier than -legal- home theater!

Plus, you have to admit IMAX looks damn good. But so does my 4K 3D tv. ( € 579! very affordable nowadays!)

Chris Pranger:

Ishal:

Chris Pranger:
Correct. Flippant joke meant as a stinger/acknowledgement of a point some people would make about home movies.

Honest and boring truth: I don't pirate.

Still that got a good laugh out of me. You guys continue to be my favorite content on the Escapist aside from Yahtzee :)

I think we're fast becoming the ONLY content on The Escapist aside from Yahtzee. ;)

What about MovieBob? Dude has 2 video series, 3 columns, and wrote I don't know how many regular news articles. But Jim left a great big hole to fill.

zombiejoe:
But what about going to the theater when there's no one else around? The whole place to yourself? That's the ticket right there.

Picture (haha, pun) this: 1996; Independence Day debuts in theaters! I want to see The Quest (because I was a huge van Damme fan). The Quest debuts that day in theater Y. But, the national debut of ID4 is that day in the COMPETING theater X...

Outcome; me and my aunt are the ONLY people in the entire 200 seat room. In total theater Y had SIX clients all evenening that time (4 200 seat rooms, 1 smaller)... Yes, I *did* put my legs over the seats in front. And it was *amazing*!!! (Theater X was sold out all day and night for a long time)

BTW; sometimes the sound is waaaaay too fucking loud (and generally way too loud) to be bearable.
And... who the eff would talk to complete strangers in the lobby?! Not in *my* culture, anyway! ;)

Yozozo:
Can home theater do the Hobbit movies in HFR?

Guess I'll still go to the movies, at least every once in a while.

Also, streaming is an awful point. The visual quality is so terrible, even in "HD".

Really? That completely depends on ISP, country and time of day, amongst other things!
Here in NL there is huge competition between ISP's (I can pick like a DOZEN or more), and they all deliver great service.
YouTube videos (in 1080P and/or 4K) on my 4K smart TV looks AMAZING! Absolutelty flawless. So the technology is really there, no problemo!

Also, I have been streaming video files from my PC to my TV via my PS3 since 2008, and that has always worked flawless!

zombiejoe:
But what about going to the theater when there's no one else around? The whole place to yourself? That's the ticket right there.

Indeed, I love and prefer the theater, but Chris making the argument of "experiencing things together" is horrible. People are the single worst aspect of going to the movies. Fuck "experiencing things as a collective", what nonsense.

Seriously, going to the movies for social engagement in the lobby? Really?

I really, really enjoy watching films at theatres, BUT, it's far from being the be all, end all experience.

I can attest to the fact that there's always going to be technical problems at the theaters, no matter how "bleeding edge technology" they've gotten, they're still being run by human beings who can definitely screw up at some point.

I'd go with home theater, because I can watch whatever I goddamn please, as many times I please, with the volume I want to hear the movie and most importantly, wherever I goddamn please, be it on my PC or my living room in FHD, both streamed or on BluRay. I'm not one for snacks for watching films (!), but they're a nice bonus too, I can spend 1/4 than what I normally would for buying freaking popcorn at the theaters.

Kenjitsuka:

Yozozo:
Can home theater do the Hobbit movies in HFR?

Guess I'll still go to the movies, at least every once in a while.

Also, streaming is an awful point. The visual quality is so terrible, even in "HD".

Really? That completely depends on ISP, country and time of day, amongst other things!
Here in NL there is huge competition between ISP's (I can pick like a DOZEN or more), and they all deliver great service.
YouTube videos (in 1080P and/or 4K) on my 4K smart TV looks AMAZING! Absolutelty flawless. So the technology is really there, no problemo!

Also, I have been streaming video files from my PC to my TV via my PS3 since 2008, and that has always worked flawless!

I used to be able to, but then my ISP decided to throttle down netflix across the board. Has nothing to do with the technology I have, or even the several additional megabits download speed I can get from other services but NOT the one with the most content on it. And that's assuming they even have access to the HD content to begin with.

Internet in the US, you are lucky to have *any* competition with your ISP at all.

Gave up on theaters about 5 years ago. Why pay all that money when you cant even guarantee the crowd isnt crap? Rather wait till dvd, buy some beer and takeaway and enjoy it on my own. Atleast movies are released on dvd/bluray quite quickly now, when i was younger it took forever to be released on Video.

I'm on the side of Home Theaters. Seeing a movie in the theater just isn't worth the expense esp. when you're still getting bombarded by advertising.

I'm leaning more toward home theater sort of experiences. The only times in recent years I've gone to the movies is for stuff that I really, really, really, REALLY wanted to see right this second. (The Hobbit movies, Guardians of the Galaxy... the waste of a free ticket that was World War Z.) And theaters can offer great experiences. You've got a bigger screen than you could ever have, a better sound system, and if you go at the right time, a nice and spacey theater.

Of course, the problem comes in when you throw other people into the equation. Is a bigger screen and better sound worth evil theaters that jack the prices on food way up or dealing with a couple of pricks who can't comprehend that people can actually hear you talk during the movie? No. As a matter of fact, even the good experiences I've had in theaters were not without their drawbacks. After coming out of the theater after having seen The Desolation of Smaug, some jag-offs came flying through the parking lot and almost ran us over. Then they proceeded to get out of their car across the parking lot and act like they wanted a fight.

Point is, yeah, people suck and ruin everything. This includes before, during, and after the movie. That's three chances for human beings to do what they do best and take a big steaming dump on your day.

Better safe than sorry and just stay home and rewatch the Lord of the Rings extended cuts for the seventh time this week.

What about the fact that many movie studios judge the success of a movie based on its success at the box office and not on how many DVD/BluRay's were sold? If everyone stops going to the theater and waits for the home release, studios will stop making the big budget movies. Then the comic book/sci-fi/fantasy movies will all look like most of those god awful Syfy moves that keep getting churned out.

Pretty sure "I can pirate it" disqualifies you from the debate outright, giving the win to Kyle on a technicality.

Unless, of course, you're willing to admit you could break into the theater and run movies for yourself and your friends, thus doing away with all the problems listed with regard to dealing with other people at the theater.

People talk to eachother in movie theater lobbies? Maybe in the first few days of a very particular fandom movie... but in general if you strike up a conversation with people in movie theaters they will look at you funny and walk away. This is different if you go to film festivals, but a normal commercial somethingplex theater doesn't really seem like the place.

What do movie theaters do that I can't do better at home?
- IMAX HFR 3D cuminpants-o-vision.
- Comfortable seats for more than 4-5 people.
- Really REALLY big screen.
- See a movie before the DVD/Blu-Ray/Stream release (or leak).

What can I do at home that I can't do in a movie theater?
- Take a bathroom break.
- Get some more ice for my drink.
- Drink strong liquor or smoke (weed).
- Fair prices for all consumptions, including the movie itself.
- Adjust the volume.
- Not be bothered by other peoples' rude behavior.
- Hang around in shabby clothing/PJ's/bathrobe.
- Put my feet up.
- Gratuitous farting.
- Turn off the thing without bothering other people and/or throwing away a good chunk of money.

In short, I would only go to a theater for "big moment" movies that I absolutely HAVE TO see in the 3D HFR style (The Hobbits, 300's and Avengers of this world) and even then I wouldn't shell out for something like Iron Man 3. I saw 12 years a slave in a theater and found that seeing it there had zero added benefit to watching it at home. It was a good movie (maybe not as good as the hype) but I still felt I overpaid for the whole thing (parking, drinks and snacks, entry fee etc.). The feeling of paying too much for what you're buying is even worse if you don't like the movie.

Home Theater a BILLION to ZERO for one thing only, at home there are no teenagers with cell phones, nuff said

Chris, don't forget the ability to modify the video as desired. For example, you not only control the volume but can add subtitles if desired. You can even pause three hour movies for a pee break and can rewind to see something you missed or something you just want to see again. The level of control is unparalleled.

Kyle, while I certainly agree that movies are a way to get out of the house, please remember that we also have new home theater technologies that give you the presence of leaving the house. Have you tried one of the newer Oculus Rift's theater viewer? It's insane that such a product is planning on being released for less than $400 and would give you the feeling of sitting in a large theater even if you're just in a chair in your closet. While I wouldn't necessarily recommend getting the dev kits for this it should still be noted that we aren't talking millionaire's palaces.

What's more is that I do have friends who buy a projector for their living room instead of a TV. Think about it, you can either get a fancy $1,000 TV that's measured in inches or a projector/screen that's still HD but measured in feet. I've seen it done in small living rooms relatively easily. A modern projector setup isn't that different from the cost of a decent flat screen anymore. I've considered throwing one in my home in a spare room we have but have decided not to because our TV works fine, not because of cost. My family isn't even a 6 figure income, let alone 7 or 8 figured incomes.

I gotta go with Chris, people are just too obnoxious to deal with when it comes to the money the companies expect you to shell out.

You can't even ask people to tone it down without them being nasty or in some cases trying to start a fight, and the teenaged employees aren't paid enough to care or deal with big assholes. There always seems to be a screaming kid at a new movie now too.

Not only that, AMC theaters are encouraging idiots to take selfies in the theaters with suggested hash tags.

It's just not worth it anymore unless you can go to the theaters at a time during work and school hours.

Attercap:
I much prefer the home theater. I see the occasional blockbuster to get together with friends or just because I can't wait, but I much prefer the home theater even with friends--because sometimes you just want to be able to pause or go back to dissect something you may have missed.

Sub-debate based on the win... For home theater, which is better: The immediacy of streaming or the bonus features of disc?

Was this about preference? I got the impression that the argument was that movie theaters are obsolete. The pro-theater guy no doubt loves his home theater. I prefer mine.

But the theater is certainly not dead. They exist to get out of the house and feel like you are taking part in an event. I especially love seening a comedy and when others in the audience laugh at the same points I do, it reinforces my own amusement.

Course, I laughed my butt off at "The Interview" at home. I still love that theater experience.

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