Idea Central:
Use a Home Theater Intro DVD to Introduce the WOW Factor

Have you thought about creating a home theater intro DVD?

I'll admit -- I had not even given thought to building a home theater intro DVD (home theater demo DVD is used interchangeably, as well) to showcase my home theater until a friend of mine I was visiting had his "grand opening" for his newly built home theater. We had just finished making some popcorn in his monstrosity of a popcorn machine and was sitting down to get ready to watch Ghost Rider (I know, not the best movie, but there was a good reason for choosing that one). The lights are dim, we're munching away, and my friends and I thought he was loading the movie -- but we were astonished to see a themed intro grace his big screen instead! It was definitely over-the-top, but isn't that what a home theater should be all about anyways? I can't do justice to the impression this made among me and my friends -- it instantly was a conversation piece for the next few minutes before we started the movie. I'm sitting there thinking...."I've got to have one of those!" At that point I felt the need to tell him I was disappointed he didn't have his ticket booth (free to us, of course) up and running.

Countdown to Movie

Do you believe in that whole "you never have a second chance to make a first impression" thing? Well...maybe. Are you one that will take whatever measure is necessary to bring every aspect of a movie theater to your home? I know I am. Incorporating a home theater intro DVD is a very creative, yet overlooked element of the home theater design concept for many enthusiasts. If your objective is to mimic as many or all aspects of a movie theater as possible, you really need to make you one of these! After all, it is conventional piece of any movie goers experience.

So....Are you ready to replicate the movie theater experience by offering a prelude to the main feature? If so, I personally don't think creating a custom, personalized home theater intro is out of anyone's reach. While you can buy off-the-shelf versions (with some level of customization) in the home theater market, you can save yourself a chunk of change by putting one together yourself. Several widely available software applications (some of which are available on the net for free) can be used to extract audio/video segments right off the DVD's you own. Programs such as DVDShrink and DVDFab Platinum can be used to pull off clips such as THX, Dolby Digital, and DTS and compile them into a playable preview disc (I will try to update this article at a future date to include instructions for how to do this). If you really want to go the extra mile on your own, you could purchase a DVD authoring software to create your own clips to compliment things like trailers and supported sound formats for your theater, among other things.

Below are a list of commonly used items that would be great to add to a custom home theater intro DVD.

  • Count-down to Feature Presentation ( get the picture)
  • Concession stand trailer (don't forget to advertise your exorbitant prices!)
  • Movie theater etiquette announcement (trash, cell phones, etc.)
  • Movie trivia questions
  • Sound format trailer (Dolby Digital, DTS, THX)
  • Movie previews (pick your favorite movies!)

If you want to go an even easier route, I've seen some of these available on the net that home theater etailers and other enthusiasts have put together to share with others -- for free. So with a little searching, you might be able to find something to use for your home theater.

As a last alternative, but the obviously more expensive route, you can purchase these on the web. Most offer a little customization, such as incorporating the name of your home theater in the introduction. Below are a few reputable sites that offer home theater demo DVD's for sale. You can expect to pay in the neighborhood of $100-$150 for a movie intro DVD from an Internet retailer.

Do you have any experience in building custom home theater intro DVD's? We'd like to hear about your experience, whether that's how to compile the demo or what ideas you have for creating the best home theater intro DVD.

Home Theater Intro DVD → Home Theater Idea Central