The Custom Installer: Your Home Theater's Newest Addition Page 2

When my friend Dan had his first child, he built a home theater in his garage. At first, I thought, "Poor bastard! Can't even watch a movie in his own home." But now I realize that Dan was brilliant. Don't want to wake the kids? Out to the garage. Want to watch something that's not "child friendly"? The garage it is. My wife has already told me that "reference volume level" will be a thing of the past. Since our house doesn't have any kind of dedicated media space, maybe the garage is my manifest destiny.

Actually, wireless headphones might be a better option. With Dolby Headphone, I can enjoy "virtual" surround sound without disturbing anyone - and without being interrupted by someone who, say, might be crying or yelling at me to change a diaper.

There's a photo of me as an infant sitting on the floor surrounded by my dad's records - playing with them. (That might explain why music disappeared from the house when I was growing up.) That picture has led me to see hard-disk servers in a whole new light. Not only do they let me access all of my music, but they keep those shiny, vulnerable CDs out of sight.

Fortunately, babies don't arrive instantly mobile, so new parents have time to prepare for the oncoming Matrix-like battle of baby versus machine. And technology can actually help. For one, we plan to get a video camera so we can monitor baby on TVs throughout the house. And, since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 2 not watch any TV at all, we plan to curtail our viewing time when the baby is awake - but that doesn't mean I can't use my high-def DVR cable box. Oh, DVR, I thought I loved you before! But with you saving Lost and Survivor for me until baby's fast asleep - how can I ever repay you?

Of course, it's not all gloom and doom. I can't wait to introduce her to some of my favorite movies, like anything from Pixar and (the original) Willy Wonka. And how should I approach Star Wars? Episodes I-VI, or the original trilogy order? Ah, parenting. There are no easy decisions.

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