In this article, we will tell you how to select a home theater system. There are three major types of home theater systems. There are the prepackaged systems, also referred to as home theater in a box. There are the customized systems, or a piecemealed system, where we’re selecting everything independently. And then lastly, we’ve got the hybrid systems, which is just that, a combination of the two.
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To get you started, we first want to go over what a theater consists of. We’ve got the five surround speakers which give us our effects. A subwoofer which is going to produce those earth-shattering crashes and explosions. Then, we need a receiver to power all of those speakers. And lastly, we will need some source devices, like a DVD player, maybe a Blu-ray player, satellite box, or your cable.
Now, the first system that we mentioned were those home theater in a box system or prepackaged systems. Typically, what it includes are five surround speakers, a subwoofer, and a receiver that has the am/fm tuner built in. A lot of times it will have a DVD player or a Blu-ray player built-in. And that head unit isn’t that much bigger than a typical DVD player, so it saves you a lot of space. Add to that, home theater in a box model is convenient and very simple. Simple to set up and convenient because, again, it’s all in one box.
Second are the piecemeal systems or customized systems. It’s called the customized system because you’re able to customize it to your specific needs.
What that means is maybe you’ll buy your speakers, in-ceiling speakers, tower speakers, or satellite speakers. Then you’ll pick a subwoofer, receiver and source devices, like your Blu-ray player independently.
The advantage is that you have more flexibility with regards to what you can plug into these systems, because of the number of inputs that we have on them so we could plug all those devices in. Whereas on the prepackaged systems, we’re usually limited to two to three inputs, which gives you a lot more ability to grow.
Lastly, we want to talk about that hybrid system that we mentioned, and that’s where typically we have some prepackaged system as far as the speakers are concerned. Then you will pick a receiver and source devices, like a DVD player or a Blu-ray player.
The big advantage to this is that we’ll save a little bit of money, first of all, with these prepackaged speakers versus piecing them all together. We’ll have the same sort of flexibility with the receiver because we can pick one that has a larger number of inputs. With this, we can also change out some of these speakers down the road if we wanted big tower speakers.
With any of those systems, there may still be some wiring that you’ll need. With a lot of the home theater in a box system, they do give you some speaker wire to set everything up.
You may also need a few HDMI cables or some of the other specialty interconnects.