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Home Theater System Buying Guide

Sep 10, 2008
In order to get a true cinematic experience while watching your favorite movies at home, not only will you need great video, you'll also need great audio. When deciding on whether or not to get a home theater system, remember that audio is half the movie experience. Having a great sound system while watching a movie will wrap you up in the movie and will allow you to feel as if you are there.

Unfortunately, getting the right home theater system can be a bit confusing at times, especially when you try to build the perfect sound system yourself. Our product specialists usually recommend all-in-one home theater systems to our customers, which take all the confusion out of the equation. When you buy an all-in-one home theater system, all of your speakers will be "voice matched" so one will not offset the other and instead they work together giving you a better overall audio experience.

Below you will find a few things that our product specialists recommend our customers to consider before making a purchasing decision when buying home theater systems.

Power: Depending on the size of the room, and the amount of power you want, you should consider the output of the speakers and the subwoofer to determine the total output (this is usually available in the product specifications). Generally the higher the amount of watts, the more power the system will give you.

DVD Player: If the home theater system is coming with a DVD player, see the DVD Player Buying Guide to see if it fits your needs.

Channels: It is important that you decide upon how many speakers you want in your home theater system. The standard for most surround sound systems is 5.1. The five in 5.1 represents five satellite speakers, and the .1 represents the subwoofer. In addition to the standard 5.1 home theater systems, there is 2.1, 6.1, and even 7.1.

Amplifiers: If you want your movies to sound even better, consider a home theater system with a built-in or integrated amplifier. This will make the sound even more clear and crisp than an ordinary home theater system would.

Size: Consider the size of the home theater system when you are purchasing. Make sure that the speakers fit in the areas that you desire. Most home theater systems have wall-mountable speakers, which can save a lot of table space by allowing you to put the speakers up on a wall instead of having to set it on a table.

Design: Another thing that may be of importance to you, but not necessarily for the quality of the home theater system is the design. If you have a great system but can't stand the appearance of it in your living room, than you probably won't be too happy with it. Though the design of a home theater system is one of the most basic things to look for, many can overlook it because they are often overwhelmed with the product's specifications. Don't let this happen to you.

Definitions:

Watts: A measure of power consumed or dissipated by an electrical component.
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