There are several components in a home theater and I would like to take the opportunity to help you as a sort of buyers guide to pick out what may be important and what will help you make the best decision on what you need to buy and when.
Television – This will be your biggest expense probably in the buying of a home theater. The important thing to look at is your budget of course and what kind of room that you are planning to put the home theater in. Remember that if you have a 50 or 60 inch big screen television then you will want to make sure that you are at least 12 feet away from the screen. The best way to figure out if you are going to buy a 27 inch television or a 36 inch or a 50 or 60 inch or even if your are going to buy a projector is to measure the farthest distance possible in your room that will be a home theater room. Go three feet from one wall to two feet from the opposite wall and see how much distance there is. If you were going to use a spare bedroom for a home theater you can probably get away with a 36 inch TV but a large basement may be great with a projector.
Receiver – Your receiver is going to give you both radio and the option for a listening to compact disks as well as watching DVDs and do not forget that you will be watching regular television through your surround sound speakers, this may happen now or in three years but your receiver is going to last many years and you have to look forward to how your will want to use this receiver in the future. At minimum nowadays you will want to have a minimum of 7.1 Dolby surround sound which gives you seven speakers which is the seven in the number and a subwoofer, which is the .1 in the number and also you need to have support for DTS. The latest receivers are also coming with support for XM radio in case you want surround sound for your radio, with subscription of course.
Speakers – This is a really big cost often. Years ago I bought a box of JBL speakers. It was 500 dollars and included a subwoofer a center channel speaker and four small satellite speakers. I was happy then but over the years I have really found limitations with this setup and I would like to explain why. My center channel does not reproduce voices as well as I would like, the front speakers do not put out any mid range sounds and the idea is that the speakers can put out high tones and my subwoofer would put out low tones. The other two parts of the system were the rear speakers which are just for background sounds and I am happy with them and the subwoofer which I am also happy with.
Compact Disk and DVD player – Happily the price of this has come down now and you can get lots of features and connection options really cheap. The most important thing to make sure of is that the DVD player has component video connections so that you can make the most of the picture coming out to your TV and also to me it is important that it supports DivX which is the format of TV shows and movies that you can download from the internet.
Lastly is the purchase process. Give yourself a budget and shop around at different stores for a couple of weeks and visit as many stores as you can. I think it best to buy everything from one store that you trust the salesman best. I have had a hard time for years with stereo stores and I have always made sure to play dumb when I talk to a salesman and see how much he lies. You will learn all of the important factors really quickly and be able to tell the bright from the bull. And that is why you want to really shop around. If you walk into the store that you decide is best in the end with 2000 dollars you will walk out with a system that you are happy with for years to come.
Bill Nadraszky is a Home Theater enthusiast and runs several websites. For more home theater information information you can visit home theater News at http://home-theater.calputer.com
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