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Home theater gear is a booming business

This is an article written by Jayne O’Donnell, USA Today

Home theater gear is a booming business

By Jayne O’Donnell, USA TODAY

Stores are selling more big-screen TVs and projectors for movies and games, creating a boom in sales of home theater furniture, a surprising bright spot for the hard-hit furniture business.

Revenue from sales of projectors for movies and games is expected to increase from $406 million last year to $421 million in 2011, says the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Berkline, which makes home theater recliners, saw double-digit growth last year after 15 years of making the $600-$1,100 chairs.

And home theater-related retailers are bracing for a post-holiday, pre-Super Bowl bump. The Super Bowl is the “top driver” of HDTV sales, and sales of home theater-related furniture go “hand in hand,” CEA spokeswoman Megan Pollock says.

CEO Rob Burch says Berkline often sees a sales increase this month. He attributes that in part to the Super Bowl and those updating furniture in the rooms that will house new TVs, projectors and gaming equipment that they received for the holidays.

La-Z-Boy, which doesn’t break out sales by product, says the home theater trend has led to demand for sectional sofas with chaise lounge seating, power recline functions and cup holders.

Where it started

The trend’s roots extend to 2009, when the TV market did “shockingly well,” thanks in part to great holiday deals, says CEA chief economist Shawn DuBravac. As with TVs, the prices of projectors are dropping, down from an average of $1,401 in 2009 to $972 last year, CEA says.

The global market for home theater technologies and services is expected to grow from $1.9 billion in 2006 to $2.9 billion in 2013, a compound annual growth rate of 6.9%, according to, an industry research company.

Home theater products include sound systems, display systems, players, media storage devices and theater-in-a-box systems, which are seeing the fastest sales increases, says a Global Industry Analysts study.

Some of the uptick in home theater furniture is a response to all the upgraded TVs people bought in 2009. Now they want better furniture for watching. DuBravac says it’s also due to the increase in empty nesters with room to spare and doting parents who want to keep their teenagers at home. “If you have the best hangout, then you’re the house everyone will want to go to,” he says.

Some also say it’s a response to high movie ticket and concession prices. Last year was the worst year for movie ticket sales since 1996, says a new study by

Cathleen McCloskey of Blauvelt, N.Y., is considering upgrading from a 42-inch television to a 60-inch one “to be able to enjoy football and baseball and movies in more of a theater-like setting.” She says she hates going to the movies anymore. “The people are rude, talking and munching during the movie, the parking is crazy and the snacks are expensive and not healthy,” says McCloskey, 46.

Burch says the argument for more theater-like chairs includes optional trays for popcorn and candy, lighted cup holders and technology that vibrates your seat so that you “feel” gunshots or thunder from the movie.

Going all out

Jeff Berens of Royal Oak, Mich., says he priced sectional sofas and found he could get six Berkline seats for about the same price. Besides, he says, “A bunch of adults sitting elbow to elbow on a couch is not the most comfortable thing.” The home audio and video engineer also built a lighted “riser” to elevate the second row of seats so everyone can see the screen in his new home theater.

Anne Morrissy, 31, of Chicago used to think home theaters were a “completely frivolous indulgence that the very wealthy put in their homes to show off just how wealthy they are.” But that changed after she went to see This Is It at the movie theater three times last winter because she liked the feeling of “standing on stage” with Michael Jackson.

“I have since become a little obsessed with, if not actually having a home theater of my own, at least dating someone who does,” Morrissy says.

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Home Theater Design We Love: July 2017

5 Home Theater Designs We Love

This month, we have rounded up our top 5 themed home theater designs! These home theaters all follow unique designs. Some are based on movies, but others are born out of sheer creativity and imagination. Get some inspiration for your dream home theater with these incredible designs and head over to to start designing today!


Drive-In Movie Themed Home Theater
This home theater is found in a villa in Orlando, Florida. The home theater is designed to look like an old school drive-in theater. It is complete with faux grass and trees, as well as a starry-night accent wall. The fencing along the walls makes the theater goers feel as though they are really enclosed in a drive-in theater. Converted retro cars pose as comfy seating with camp blankets and pillows. Props such as folding chairs, picnic baskets and bulb string lights complete the look.


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Pirates of the Caribbean
Know a Pirates of the Caribbean fan? They’ll love this $2.5 million Pirates themed home theater in Florida! This home theater truly feels like you are on a pirate ship, minus the sea sickness. Ship walls enclose the theater with window views displaying a beautiful evening at sea scene. Wood panels cover the floor and walls. A true ship wouldn’t be complete without a captain’s lookout! You can find one in this theater at the top of the seating rows. Sails drape across the top, from side to side. It even has an external ticket booth, completely in theme.


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Egyptian Tomb
This home theater is designed to look like an Egyptian tomb. The remarkable detail on the wall mimics ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Details like a Pharaoh’s head, statues and mellow lighting enhance the theme. The couch offers a comfortable place for everyone, much like Seatcraft’s Cuddle Seat.


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Star Wars
Think you’re a diehard Star Wars fan? Think again. This particular fan just took his home to a whole new level with the Jedi-themed theater. This home theater was designed by Doug Chiang, the lead designer from the first two Star Wars prequels. This ensured all parts of the room would be as close to identical to the real deal as possible. There’s even a lobby leading into the home theater with raised floors to mimic the Death Star’s gangplanks. The mirrors on the floor give the illusion that the hallways go on indefinitely. This home theater is any Star Wars fan’s dream!
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Star Trek
More of a Star Trek fan? There’s a home theater for that, too! This $1.5 million home theater took 4 years to design and build. The theater is designed to be the bridge of the USS Enterprise, a spaceship featured on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” This theater has 11 custom chairs and eight recline flat to beds. The doors to the theater are replicas of the Turbolift doors from the show. If you stand on the circular “transporter” the doors open with the signature “woosh” sound. Outside the main theater room you will find a lobby with bar seating and a TV, so you won’t miss a moment of the movie when you step out to grab a snack. If that isn’t enough, owner Marc Bell also has over $1 million in Star Trek memorabilia.


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If you’re ready to start designing your new home theater, consider starting with a theme and deciding on a few key focal points for the room! Items such as seating, projector and screen, surround sound, carpeting, etc. are a great place to start! Next, complete the rest of the room with accessories, curtains, risers, poster frames, and more! Be creative and original! A specialty home theaters create a fully immersive cinema experience. Discover the newest options in home theater seating and decor at
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The Best Universal Remotes on the Market in 2017

Our top 5 universal remotes

TV, Xbox, surround sound, and lighting are only a few of the essential items in your new man cave that you’re constantly turning on/off with each in-home theater experience. Looking for a hassle-free way to manage multiple devices without using six different remotes? Save time (and patience) by investing in a universal remote.

Turn on the simplicity in your home theater, apartment, or workspace with the help of one small device. The main purpose of a universal remote is to easily maneuver and control different consumer devices such as TVs, DVD players, cell phones, etc. Since everything these days revolves around advancements in technology, a reliable universal remote has the capability to make life at home or in the office much easier.

Logitech Harmony Elite
The Logitech Harmony Elite is top of the line when it comes to universal remotes. Complete with impressive reviews on Amazon, this remote can control over 270,000 entertainment and smart device brands. You can virtually control everything in your home with one finger. Want to dim the lights and close the blinds while laying in bed? There’s a button for that.

The sleek design and touchscreen features are favored compared to bulky traditional universal remotes. Lose your remote in the dark abyss of your sofa or chair? Have no fear! The Logitech Harmony Elite is accessible on an app through your smartphone! Or check out Seatcraft Home Theater Recliner Seats equipped with compartments to store your universal remote. Get the Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control, Hub, and App on Amazon for $267.13.

Logitech Harmony Companion

If you want to save a little more coin, this universal remote is a close second to the Harmony Elite. The Logitech Harmony Companion works with as many devices as the Harmony Elite for almost half the price. The Harmony Companion is remarkably lightweight and although it doesn’t have a fancy touchscreen, it has organized, streamlined buttons. You can purchase this remote on Amazon for $146.98.

The Harmony Companion also comes with a separate hub to ensure every command is being received even if you’re not in the line-of-sight.

Philips SRP5018/27 8-In-1 Universal Remote Control

The Philips SRP5018/27 is a very reliable universal remote for a bargain price of $21.99 on Amazon! Not only can it combine eight remotes into one, it’s also perfect for streaming devices such as Roku, Apple TV, etc.

This Universal remote is perfect for people who desire simple and easy usage. The product has very high reviews online, with most of them mentioning how they love the easy set-up!


Logitech Harmony 350

If you still want a top notch brand for a reasonable price, the all-inclusive Logitech Harmony 350 is way the go. This remote makes connecting to all kinds of devices so efficient. Supporting over 5,000 brands and 225,000 devices, the Harmony 350 is the simpler of the two Logitech remotes mentioned above. Unlike the two Logitech remotes above, the Harmony 350 does not include the hub, but still functions flawlessly.

Syncing is now easier than ever by connecting it to your computer to download all of the commands. This remote is also available on Amazon for the low price of $37.99.


Since everything nowadays is ‘smart,’ why not have your cell phone connected to your universal remote? Well, that’s exactly what Touchsquid is! It’s an app that converts your Android smartphone into a universal remote. The downfall is not everyone has a cell phone with an IR blaster built-in like the Samsung galaxy S5 (which is what you need for the Touchsquid App).

For those of you who do have a phone with IR, there are two different softwares you can download. The $9.49 Home version allows you to control 6 devices from your android phone, which is almost as many as a universal remote. The second software is the $28.99 Pro Version that lets you control up to 15 devices from your smartphone.

Users of Touchsquid have pointed out the app’s quick loading times and easy-to-use layout.

Have a few must-haves when it comes to movie accessories? From wine glass caddies to LED reading lights, we’ve got you covered at – including all of the latest Seatcraft products!

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Top Movies To Watch for Independence Day

Our Top Independence Day Movies

The sound of BBQ ribs sizzling on the grill, fireworks being set off, and the warm summer evenings can only mean one thing – It’s Independence Day weekend! And what better way to get in the spirit than to release your inner American and patriotic pride with a list of our top ten Independence Day films. From inspirational action cinema such as Captain America to All-American classics like Yankee Doodle Dandy, this list could keep you inside all weekend long! Why? Because America, everyone. Because America.

10. Miracle


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Is enjoying the retelling of our boys beating the pants off a Russian juggernaut wrong? If so, we don’t want to be right. Based on a true story, Miracle encompasses everything you need to prepare for a patriotic Independence Day. In 1980, USA hockey coach, Herb Brooks, united a group of college students and turned them into some of the least likely Olympic champions in history. Warning: Viewers of the movie Miracle may experience overwhelming pride for the United States.

9. Rocky IV


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If you’re not a big fan of hockey, here’s another iconic sports film that easily makes our Top Ten list. After the top Soviet boxer killed Apollo Creed in a cut- throat match, Rocky Balboa decides to take on the challenge to defeat the USSR and avenge his best friend, Apollo Creed.

8. The Sandlot


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Who doesn’t love this comical, light-hearted film about a bunch of neighborhood boys playing baseball and taking on adventures? The new kid in town, Scotty Smalls, makes a rookie mistake when he accidentally hits a ball signed by the one and only Babe Ruth over the fence of the so-called Beast. This film will bring you back to the carefree, curious days of your childhood. The Sandlot is a great movie to sit down and watch with the entire family this weekend.

7. Top Gun


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The famous Tom Cruise movie, Top Gun, will have you sky-high as you ride along with the pilots of The Top Gun Naval Fighter Pilots School. One pilot in particular, Maverick (Tom Cruise), stands out as he shows off to win the affection of his attractive flight instructor. His confidence and talent make this arguably one of Tom Cruise’s greatest movies. And besides, who doesn’t love an action movie with fighter jets?

6. The Patriot


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This film will have you on the edge of your seat as you learn why this movie got the name, The Patriot. Benjamin Martin, a peaceful plantation owner and former war hero, wishes to stay uninvolved in the American Revolution unfolding around him. His wishes quickly turn on him when his son enlists without his permission and when his home and family are threatened by the war. The Patriot will inspire you to hold your head up high and your loved ones close

5. Captain America


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In the midst of World War II, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, begins his assault on Hydra and the Nazis. Fans of the Marvel Comic aren’t let down with this movie that stands out among a crowded field of great Marvel movies. If you’re watching this with your kids, be prepared to buy them a red, white, and blue shield afterwards!

4. Yankee Doodle Dandy


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Yankee Doodle Dandy is patriotism overload- this film is perfect if you’re in the mood for a good old American musical. In 1942, George M. Cohan was called to the white house to receive an award from the president of the United States. While talking to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Cohan has a series of flashbacks from his childhood.

3. Apollo 13


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Another popular Tom Hanks movie, Apollo 13 tells the story of a space mission that goes terribly wrong when something unexpected happens. Three astronauts deal with the unthinkable after an oxygen tank explodes during the mission. If you’re into dramatic science based films, this Ron Howard movie will leave you on the edge of your seat. Keep an eye out for the technically accurate effects, courtesy of NASA’s input!

2. Born on the Fourth of July


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During his service in the Vietnam war, character Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) gets into an accident that leaves him permanently paralyzed. After returning to a world of understanding, he then pursues political justice through human rights activism to restore his faith in his country. Reviewers enjoyed the powerful message behind Born on the Fourth of July more than other Oliver Stone films.

1. Independence Day


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Was there any doubt that this would be the top movie to watch on our Fourth of July weekends? In case you’ve never seen it, Independence Day is an intense Science Fiction film starring Will Smith. Humankind is put to the ultimate test while getting an unexpected visit from extraterrestrial beings. The fate of the world is in the hands of a group of unlikely heroes. With excellent actors and mind blowing effects, this film easily makes it to the top of our list. Make the experience even better with Seatcraft Home Theater Chairs powered by SoundShaker to enhance the audio effects of the film.

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Home Theater Designs We Love

7 Home Theater Designs We Love

You’re finally ready to get that home theater all set up and the anticipation is continuing to build! The idea of having a fully immersive cinema experience right in the comfort of your home is enough to make anyone quiver with excitement! There’s just one main question that is eating away at you: Where do I even start?!

With the options literally being endless, take into consideration both the technical and financial aspects of building a home theater. What’s most important to you? The seats vibrating during various parts of the movie to make it truly come to life? Or maybe it’s the candy and popcorn bar you’ve been dreaming of for months? Whether or not you have the specifics figured out, it’s best to start with design. Here are a few home theater designs we love:

Mimic Real Life Theater Designs


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Play copycat and adapt the big screen to your personal home theater! Invest in track lighting, wall accents, and the perfect projection screen to showcase your next big cinema showing. Looking to kick it up a notch? Seek out movie poster frames and manifest your own walk of stars!

Go Big Or Go Home


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Take inspiration from the real movie theater and spring for the bigtime – you won’t regret it! In this home theater, the TV is the main centerpiece that pulls the entire home theater set-up together. The big screen captures your attention, radiating your gaze from the inside out. The muted color palette emphasizes the screen beautifully with bonus points for the pop of color paintings on the back wall!

Take It Outdoors


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Think outside the box and bring the great outdoors indoors! Create the perfect staycation spot right inside your home with a stargazing option built into the ceiling. Accent the space with warm colors and cozy pillows to create the ultimate, relaxing ambiance.

Lighting Is Essential


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Lighting can make or break your new man cave or home theater! Remember, it’s all about creating an established experience to limit distractions. Keep in mind that suspended or hanging fixtures and lamps could cause uneven lighting or reflections on the screen. If it’s in your budget, go for dimmable and remote-controlled lights. For a bolder look, try adding LED lights to frame the screen and fiber optic lighting strips around the floor or baseboards.

It’s All About the Seating


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Building a home theater around the comfort of the seating is a great place to begin. An in-home theater viewing experience is amazingly enhanced with an organized seating scheme. Choose a seating style and design that fits your needs and desires for the space. If you’re going for the traditional cinema theme with stadium seating and dramatic curtains, then plan to search for theater seating that is traditional as well. However, if your home theater is a smaller affair and more of a media room, skip the dramatic experience and consider more traditional seating such a wrap around sofas complemented with 1-2 arm chairs.

Preserve Space, Prioritize Shelving



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You don’t need a four-story mansion to incorporate a great movie room! Even a small space can be transformed – all with the help of good shelving and storage! It can be a challenge to navigate cramped quarters, making utilization of every available inch more important than ever. Minimize clutter and avoid furniture that refuses to conform to corners. Ditch the bulky TV and accompanying stand for a mounted TV and counter space that doubles as a shelf to accommodate your gaming systems and extra storage.

Don’t Miss the Game


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Watch all the games all at once in this man cave built for every sports fanatic! Complete with a bar, pool table, and football field carpet, this man cave gives every home theater a run for its money. Every in-home theater should be catered around your desires and needs for a personal getaway. Make it as unique as you!

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How to Get Rid of Cable Clutter

6 Tips to Reduce Cable Clutter

Chances are if you have a TV (and a pulse), you have an astronomical number of cables to go with it. Include a gaming console and/or sound system, and the number of cables may double or even triple! Feel like you’ve weaved a web of cables? Here are some quick, easy tricks to declutter and get organized:

Cable Ties

● Cable ties are the fastest way to clean up cable clutter. Rather than having 15 separate cords hanging from your TV, these ties combine multiple cables into a few larger groups. Consider opting for velcro instead of the traditional single-use plastic. They’re a little pricier, but are worth it in the long run as they can be reused. If those are too pricey, try using zip-ties or pipe cleaners.
● This method requires you to go through the cables you currently have. In this process, you might find some unused cables you can give the boot!
● If you want to go the extra mile, consider replacing your current cables with color-coded ones. Have a red bundle for video-related cables, a blue bundle for audio-related cables and so on.
● This trick will also allow you to shorten your cables. Most cables come in different size increments. Purchasing the smallest possible reduces clutter, but doesn’t allow for very much wiggle room if you need to move your TV or use it for something else. Pick longer cable lengths, and then coil the excess cable. Use a cable tie to secure the loops.


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Label Your Cables

● Labeling your cables will prevent any confusion later on. Some cable ties even come with little labels that you can write on for an extra level of organization. If you have the space, get specific. “HDMI” won’t help you in the long run, but “Samsung TV HDMI” sure could help down the line.

Mount It

● Mounting the TV on the wall is an easy way to reclaim space. With the TV on the wall instead of a media table, you free up space to tidy up the boxes and cords that rested on or within the table.
● For a wall-mounted TV, consider drilling holes in the wall to organize those pesky cables. Simply tuck the cables out-of-sight without worrying about them dangling down the wall from the TV. If you live in a rental or are otherwise unable to drill holes in the wall, you can purchase a cord cover at most home improvement stores. These adhere to the wall over your cords and can be painted to match the wall color. Need a cheap alternative? Use a shower curtain rod for similar results.

Use Cord Clips

● Cord clips are similar to cord ties– they both hold cables together. However, cord clips attach to a wall or table to hold cables up, rather than just tied together. Try attaching cord clips to the backside of tables to avoiding sagging cable. It’s best to place them 12 inches apart and to hang skinnier cords across these clips to prevent cables touching the floor.


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Use What You Have

● Still feeling inclined to let those cables drag on the floor? Embrace it! Adjust your baseboards. Many baseboards can be altered to allow for space for cable to be threaded behind them.
● Disconnect rarely used items. Only use that Wii twice a year when you have your younger cousins over? Pack it away and connect it when you need it.
● Large binder clips can also be used in a pinch for the same purpose as cord clips. Put a screw with a small washer through one of the handles of the clip and screw it into the table or wall. Then do the same as you would with the cord clips, and thread your cords through.


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● Place extra cables in decorative boxes. Sometimes, the best trick is to hide your clutter in plain sight! This can also work for things like routers or gaming consoles. Just check to make sure your remotes still work properly while the router or gaming console is in the box.
● If the box method doesn’t work for your bigger items, use it for your power strip. Simply cut holes in the side and thread the cables through.
● When in doubt, cover up the cables!
● Use an over-the-door shoe rack to keep extra cables in storage. Dedicate one pocket for each cable or cable type. Alternatively, use a box with empty paper towel rolls standing straight up inside. Put bundles of cables inside and pack the box away. No more giant and tangled ball of cables in your garage!

Cleaning up your cables can seem like a daunting chore. However, breaking it up into smaller tasks will make it more manageable in the long run. Happy decluttering!