Monday, December 30, 2013

The Tablet Holder

With New Years just around the corner, you may wish to upgrade your home theater to take advantage of the many exciting options available to enhance your entertainment experience.  Among the many accessories which can help you do this, is the universal tablet holder.  This outstanding feature attaches easily to any accessory POD, allowing you to connect a tablet to your chair for individual browsing, or a full-blown hookup to your TV screen for a virtually endless array of viewing options.  Why be limited by a tiny tablet or laptop screen, when you can tap into the power of the large screen and state-of-the-art sound system that you have so painstakingly assembled for your home theater?


There's no denying that the internet has opened up an entire universe of entertainment possibility, which goes far beyond basic cable or DVD options.  Youtube alone has become a virtual video library of quirky and unusual entertainment choices, from live music clips to news blooper compilations, stupid pet trick videos and much, much more.  It's easy to get lost for hours browsing from clip to clip, all available at your viewing whim.  Internet streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime have also become extremely popular as of late, especially now that they have begun offering commercial-free original programming.  In an interesting new twist, some shows have begun offering entire seasons in bulk, leading to the phenomenon of viewers watching hours of episodes back-to-back. Beware: some of these programs, like House Of Cards and Orange Is The New Black, are highly critically acclaimed and enormously addicting.  Of course, many movies are also available to stream.  



The internet has also become a paradise for "gamers", those who lose themselves in the increasingly elaborate and sophisticated worlds of video game fantasy.  This entertainment option has come a long way since Pac-Man or Super Mario, now offering characters, plotlines, and beguiling visual backdrops that are more akin to user-participation movies than games.  There are plenty of game sites out there catering to the booming industry, which feature everything from variations on classic puzzles and board games, to far more elaborate fare.  Most sites also allow you to play with other users worldwide, in one-on-one or group matchups.  Once again, you may find a dramatic difference between playing these games on a limited, small tablet or laptop screen, and being able to see them in the context of your home theater setup.  



There are so many more options available with a tablet hookup--everything from sharing slide photo presentations of your latest family vacation, to posting your latest obsessions on Pinterest.  But how does all this endless fun begin?  There are two primary ways of hooking a tablet to your TV screen.  The first step involves getting the adjustable tablet holder which attaches easily to your seat's armrest.  There are then two ways to go from here: you can use your home wi-fi to connect the tablet to your screen, or you can use a cable to connect to the HDMI (High Definitiion MultiMedia Interface) ports on your tablet and TV.  For the fastest connections, a cable is preferable.  Once hooked in, the only problem from that point on will be figuring out just what to do, among the thousands of available choices.  One thing is for sure--you will never, ever be at a loss for entertainment, no matter what your mood or what guests you may have.

At 4seating.com, we have the largest selection of in-stock and ready-to-ship home theater seating and home theater furniture available! We offer theater seating and design solutions for both the casual and professional home theater enthusiast.  We also have a complete line of custom home theater decor available.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holiday Films For The Ages

It's the holidays, which means its time to show off your home theater for many a gathering with friends and family for some holiday fun.  What to watch?  The question is more difficult than it may appear, as some movies will be overly-familiar to audiences, while other cult classics are barely known.  What follows is a mini-guide to the best holiday films, past and present; the kind of audience who will be watching should inform what you choose to regale them with.  

A Christmas Carol (1938): The original film adaptation of this Dickens classic is still the best, and while its production may appear antiquated, it manages to deliver where it counts even after all these decades.  The black and white imagery even gives it a ghostly, hallowed quality, much like that other holiday staple "It's A Wonderful Life".  This is an instance where the story and message is so timeless, that even jaded children raised on their XBox and iPhone will pause to find out what all the fuss is over (and if they won't, there's a modern 2009 adaptation for them, too).  Besides, the holidays are about tradition, and a viewing of the original "Christmas Carol" has been part of that tradition for so long, why stop now?



Toy Story (1995): one of the first and best Pixar films became an almost instant holiday classic that spawned several hugely successful sequels and a gigantic marketing franchise.  This film is perfect for those with smaller children, and does not seem to age with the passing of time.   Pixar also used then state-of-the-art technology to enhance the picture and sound, meaning that it will still look good on today's uber-smart screens.  But beyond all that, it has what is at the core of every successful holiday film: a heartwarming, uplifting story with many memorable characters, that is syrupy (but who doesn't succumb to feel-good vibes during the holiday season?) and yet somehow avoids being overly-trite.  

It's A Wonderful Life (1946): This still gets this blogger's vote as the greatest holiday film ever made.  The storyline is as classic as any classic novel, and the performances are extraordinarily powerful in presence and scope; it's as if Santa himself sprinkled a kind of otherworldly magic all over the celluloid.  The film hit the holiday bullseye so well that it became an overplayed staple of the season--but if you haven't seen it in a while, give it another chance, especially with a chance to see it in all of its glory in a deluxe home theater setup.



How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000): this film did big at the box office while earning mixed reviews, but audiences have since had their say in making this a growing holiday tradition in the years since.  Jim Carrey delivers a typically aggressive, manic performance that transforms the flavor of the original animated version (a classic in its own right).  Seeing the popular response to this film, its critics have since changed their tune, and now the film appears on many "best holiday film" lists such as this one.  



The Apartment (1960): looking for a lost holiday classic?  Billy Wilder's contemporary comedy "The Apartment" won the academy award for best picture in the year of it's release, and holds up surprisingly well today.  Shirley MacLaine certainly never topped her performance opposite Jack Lemmon, as their onscreen romance goes through several twists and turns throughout the film's length.  This is a mature mix of comedy and drama that was made for older viewers looking for something with a bit more depth, although older children have actually been known to enjoy it as well (never be put off by showing them a B&W film, assuming a child will reject it on principle--sometimes they will, but you might be surprised).  


At 4seating.com, we have the largest selection of in-stock and ready-to-ship home theater seating and home theater furniture available! We offer theater seating and design solutions for both the casual and professional home theater enthusiast.  We also have a complete line of custom home theater decor available.