Why surround sound

Why Surround Sound? If you are one of the many people around the world who hasn't yet switched to surround sound or a home theater system of some sort you may be wondering what the big fuss is all about. Can it really make that much of a difference to watching the television? The answer to that is that unless you have difficulties with your hearing, surround sound can make a marked impact on your overall movie viewing, computer gaming, and music listening experience. There is nothing like being in the center of the action and surround sound puts you in just that spot. You can hear the sounds the victim hears in your favorite crime drama from the same direction from which she hears those same sounds.

You are literally in the middle of the action right along with her. Your heart will beat right along with subwoofer as anticipation builds (courtesy once again of the surround sound system) in your favorite suspense thriller. It's almost indescribably the way in which surround sound enriches the movie watching experience for even the most casual of movie watchers. I will be the first to admit that I'm notorious for knitting or reading while watching television or movies and only looking up when something captures my attention-generally something I heard or a flash on the screen. This means that sound actually makes me pay attention to what is going on in the movies that I am listening to. I have noticed a marked difference in my interest in movies and television shows since adding surround sound to our home theater system. More and more often I am noticing that scarves and such take twice as long to accomplish and I blame it entirely on the superior sound that is part and parcel to our surround sound system. You may not be someone who watches all that much television or even that goes to the movies all that often.

If computer games happen to be your thing then you are going to love what surround sound can do for you. In case you've forgotten that little bit about it placing you in the center of the action, this works wonders in game and provides important hints to you as to what is going on around you. You can hear the bad guys (or merely the other side) as they attempt to sneak up on you and know where they are coming from. You can hear the hoof beats in the distance or hear the fires burning in barrels off to your left. You can hear the starships flying by as if you were right next to them in the middle of it all. It's truly an amazing boost to game reality and to the fun of gaming. For music lovers, you can feel as though you were sitting right in front of the orchestra or on the front row at a concert for your favorite band. If you are playing music that is recorded live you will really enjoy the feeling of being in the middle of the crowd without the smoke and other fumes that might otherwise detract from your good time. Whether your first love is video, movies, games, or music surround sound has a way to make each of those experiences even more enjoyable in the comfort of your home. 561

Compare home theater to movie going

Compare Home Theater to Movie Going Many people shy away from purchasing a home theater for fear of the great costs involved in doing so. I recommend that you put serious pen and paper to those assumptions rather then merely assuming it is too costly for your limited budget. The truth of the matter, when compared with the costs of going out to watch a movie you might find that you will be spending less money in no time by watching movies at home rather than paying for the 'movie going' experience. You might want to pay careful attention to how much money you spend each month going to the theater. Don't forget including any costs involved in hiring sitters, going out to dinner (most people don't do McDonald's before or after going to theaters), concession stand purchases in those figures. Even if you go to the theater once a week as a couple or as family the costs can really add up. If you visit the theater less or have a smaller family those costs might be less but you could also seriously raise those prices by going more often or having a larger family. The important thing to remember when pricing a home theater system is the value it will bring to you and your family. If this will bring the family together at home for a couple of nights a week it is well worth the investment in my opinion. If it will keep the teens in your home and off the streets on the weekend it is worth even more. A home theater is an investment in the enjoyment of your home for everyone involved and many families find that this is a great way to enjoy a night at home. It's also a great way to insure super-Super Bowl parties will be taking place in your home rather than the homes of others (it's a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things). With this in mind you can buy kits for anywhere between $200 and $2,000 (and upwards, but if you are going to spend more than $2,000 I seriously recommend building your own home theater). Box systems are rather easy to find in local and mass-market retailers and are rather simple to install (even for the uninitiated). These systems may not provide the best possible system but for those who have significant budget concerns they are a great place to start and you can get some really great systems if you are willing to seriously shop around and compare the different quality between brands as well as which bells and whistles you require and which you can live without. Once you make the decision to buy a home theater the best thing to do is check out what is available. You should then take complete advantage of the great competition on the market today by searching for the most features for the lowest price. You just might be shocked and amazed at the great bargains that you can find, especially in the months following the big consumer expo show each January. You should combine the home theater and excellent movie experience in your home with a membership to Netflix, Blockbuster, or some other home delivery DVD system and you can have frozen pizza, microwave popcorn, and all the pillows to hide behind you can ask for in the comfort of your home for a fraction of the price of going to the theater once a week. 586

Why buy home theater kits

Why Buy Home Theater Kits? You will find all kinds of homes around the country and around the world. Some are big, some are small, and some are simply average. When you are searching for home theater systems you will find the same thing. This is particularly true of the home theater systems that come as a package deal. While I do not normally endorse these purchases, just as all homes are not alike, neither are all people. This means that what may be best for me and my home theater may not be the best plan of action for you and your home theater. I definitely recommend listening to any home theater you are considering before taking the plunge and purchasing. There are many times in life when you get what you pay for. While most of us live within some degree of budget constraints you will find that most of us have certain things we simply will not go 'cheap' when purchasing. You should keep in mind that there are great ways to get outstanding bargains however, when it comes to purchasing electronics.

One of these ways is by purchasing a home theater kit where all the pieces (generally with the exception of the television) are included. Seeing is believing when it comes to value for most of us. The best way to find a home theater kit that you are going to be confident about purchasing is to take a look at the kit, listen to the speakers (the first 5 to 10 minutes of the movie Top Gun is an excellent test for sound), and take a look at the system to see how you find the interface. It doesn't matter how great a system sounds if you can't figure out how to use it once you've taken it out of the box. You might also want to look into the price of professional installation if you are electronically challenged when it comes to matters of programming and installation. These kits are also often appealing to those who find the prospect of shopping around for the parts and components tedious. While it is difficult for me to accept at times, we were not all born shoppers.

For people such as this, home theater systems that come as a package deal are often life rings tossed out in a sea of shopping among sharks. This convenience for some is worth any price that could be stamped on the box. The good news is that there is enough competition that prices are typically competitive according to quality. Box kit home theater systems are appealing to many consumers for many different reasons. Those who live in small apartments or have very small home theater rooms typically find that it makes no sense to invest in a system that will rattle the walls or have the neighbors complaining. Those with limited budgets find that this is an economic way to get everything at once. People who have little time to invest in researching all the items they will need find it incredibly convenient that they will not need to worry about missing something important such as a receiver during the process.

Still others find that they like knowing up front what the price for the total home theater experience is going to be, at least the electronics component at any rate. It is important to remember that a home theater means different things to different people. Finding the ideal home theater for you may not necessarily equate to the ideal home theater for someone else who has grand visions of a cinema themed room with dark rich colors on the walls and muted lighting effects along with blacked out windows for the ultimate movie viewing experience. Don't get too caught up in the details and remember that it only has to work for you and your needs.

Creating a wonderful home theater is a great way to bring the family together on a regular basis. Buying a pre made home theater kit or system is a great way to begin enjoying the wonderful benefits of a home theater experience while learning the things you like and dislike about your system. This could be a work in progress for many years to come as you learn more about what you do and do not prefer. 724

Wireless speakers offer excellent sound selection

Wireless Speakers Offer Excellent Sound Selection Technology is constantly evolving and introducing new products to an already full line of home theater products. While not the newest kids on the block, wireless speaker technology is also advancing at a rate that prices are no longer out of reach of the average consumer and the value of being able to move your speakers around without going to the work of rewiring is appealing to consumers on an increasingly large scale. I always try to keep in mind when buying new electronics and electronic components that this year's technology will sell at half the price this time next year. For this reason I have a hard time investing in the latest and greatest when it comes to technology and tend to remain exactly one generation behind the curve when buying new products. I like to save money whenever possible and in most cases my like of saving money outweighs my like of having new gadgets and gizmos at the high price they often command. I also have a nasty habit of keeping those products until they are no longer useful at all (I still have my little 13 inch television from my college dorm and I won't tell you how long ago that was). I will keep it until it no longer works. It is currently being used in my television. I only mention this in order to convey the fact that making a sizeable investment in electronics in most cases is an investment that will last for quite some time unless you are one of those people who has to have the latest and greatest new tech toy each and every year. Back to my original point wireless speakers have been emerging technology for a few years now. We've finally developed enough competition that market prices are trending downwards. This makes now the perfect time to look into the option of purchasing wireless speakers for your home theater. They are still a sizeable investment for the average home theater consumer but well worth it in my opinion for the freedom of choice and movement that they provide. This is a great add on if you have an existing home theater in place and are considering an upgrade. I think that many people will find that the options this affords makes it well worth the investment that will be required in order to achieve. I strongly recommend however that you do not simply go online and buy the first set of wireless speakers and receiver that you find. This is a serious gamble, as you have no idea what kind of quality you will receive. The best possible recommendation is to make the rounds of local stores and listen to the various systems that are on the market. Once you've found the one wireless sound system that appeals most to you it is time to go online in order to compare prices. Once you've found the best price online you should then check your local stores and see if they offer a low price gurantee that will match the online price you found. This is a great way to find better deals and save a little money (by not paying shipping charges). You should always keep in mind that there are no absolutes when it comes to creating a home theater. You do not have to follow a specific code, or use certain components or even certain seating. The best thing you can do is to create an atmosphere in which you and your family can best enjoy your television and movie viewing experiences. You should keep the sounds you like in mind when selecting speakers and choose speakers that will provide the fullest amount of sound that you are comfortable with the idea of paying your hard earned money in order to purchase. Seriously, this is your money and your home theater is an investment you should take great care to make the best possible investment for your money. 668

The great installation debate

The Great Installation Debate One huge questions looms in the minds of many who elect to purchase massive home theater systems for their homes: Do I install it myself or pay for installation? This great debate seems to consume consumers the world over and there really is no easy answer as it completely and entirely depends on your own confidence of your abilities and whether or not you will postpone the work for six months or get right to it once you get your home theater-well home. In my house it all depends on who wants the product most and who has the ability to handle an installation. I've learned that when it comes to things such as home theaters my husband is an ace at getting it done right away. On the other hand I lugged my laundry to the laundry mat for 6 weeks while a washing machine and dryer sat in my basement waiting for him to install them. With this in mind, I pay for installation on anything that I want installed quickly and if it doesn't matter too terribly much to me, I'll leave it to him to install on his own timeline. Of course timing isn't the only consideration when it comes to the installation of your home theater equipment. Knowledge is actually a key component. If you break something during the course of installation it may not be covered by the warranty, particularly if it is easy to prove that it was broken and not the result of a factory defect. At the same time you do not wish to get down to the last little bit only to discover that one small part is missing, which may actually require you to take everything out, box it up, and return it to the store. Time is money for many of us and going through the installation process twice is not only frustrating it is expensive (even in terms of the amount of our leisure time it robs us of). There are of course other considerations when it comes to the decision of whether or not to pay the price of professional installation and one of those is the warranty on your home theater system and its components. There are some warranties that are nullified if you do not have your home theater factory or professionally installed. You need to be certain if you are installing your own home theater that your warranty won't be wasted as a result. There are positives to consider when it comes to installing your home theater as well. Number one on that list is the amount of money you will save. Professional installation (anything with professional in front of it for that matter) is quite costly and many consumers neglect to consider that when budgeting for their home theaters. In many cases professional installation can be a real deal breaker when it comes to getting the home theater system that you really want. The second positive when it comes to performing the installation yourself is that you know without a doubt how to take it apart and move the pieces if you ever have the occasion or need to do so (such as a move or the need to repair or replace certain pieces or parts). It is also a good idea to know where everything plugs in and doing the installation yourself will give you a clear indication of that as well. Finally, there is a sense of pride that comes with knowing you did it yourself and you did it well. Being able to accomplish something that not everyone is able or willing to do on their own is impressive and something you should take great pride in doing. Whether you decide to go with professional installation (there is no shame in this decision) or installing your home theater system for yourself I wish you many years of enjoyment with your new home theater. 659

Home theater speaker basics

Home Theater Speaker Basics One of the most essential components of a good home theater is its speakers. You simply cannot achieve that theater atmosphere if you do not have good speakers from which to enjoy the sound that is such a vital part of a good 'movie going' experience. The problem is that most people are easily confused as to which speakers they really need for their home entertainment systems as well as the proper placement of those speakers in order to create a true surround sound. The following are the basic speakers that are required to complete a good home theater: front left and right speakers, a center channel speaker, surround sound speakers, and subwoofers. Center channel speakers are overlooked and left out of many home theaters. I recommend against doing so as these speakers supply a good portion of the soundtrack in many movies as well as add fullness and depth to the dialogue. Surround sound speakers are what provide the background sounds that make the movies seem more real. These are the things that draw viewers into movies and add a little bit of excitement to the process of watching a movie. As such, they are very important to include in your home theater, as they will help match the theater experience. Common options for surround sound speakers include 5.1 channel, 6.1 channel, or 7.1 channel surround. Subwoofers are responsible for the deep bass sound that lines so many movie soundtracks. These sounds are responsible for creating emotion and drama within the soundtrack and are excellent at establishing suspense and other emotions that are an important part in the movie experience. A good set of subwoofers is essential in your home theater speaker package or you will miss out on a good deal of the adrenaline that is created as a result of sound in theaters. While there are many brands from which to choose it is important that you choose speakers that will work well together by creating a similar sound. The best option for this is to purchase all speakers together in one kit by one maker. It may be tempting in order to save funds to mix and match speakers but this will not create the true quality of sound you are hoping to achieve in your home theater. In addition to the many brands of speakers for your home theater you may also find that there are also many different styles of speakers. There are those that sit on bookshelves, satellite speakers, and floor speakers. Floor speakers in most cases provide the best sound. On the downside they also take up the most real estate within your room which can be fairly limiting and make them an unattractive option for many. You even had the added bonus of wireless speakers emerging in quality and capacity. There is no right or wrong when it comes to speakers for your home theater. They will make a huge impact on the overall theater affect of your system but like every other component the speakers are still a matter of taste. Some people prefer watching movies at home because they can control the volume and do not feel the suspense and such as significantly as they do in theaters. For those you may want to lower the volume for your surround speakers or your subwoofers. However, the primary objective is to create a home theater you can enjoy and proper speakers contribute greatly to that enjoyment. 580

Playing the field with home theater systems

Playing the Field with Home Theater Systems If you are in the market for a home theater system chances are you are experiencing some degree of shell shock at all the options that are available in today's market. The fact that there are so many options is both wonderful and horrible at the same time. The sheer amount of competition is working well to drive prices down for consumers. With that in mind, there are still levels of pricing according to the quality of home theater system you are selecting. On the other hand, a vast quantity of selection for many makes narrowing down the proper choice for specific needs difficult at best. There are some things to keep in mind when purchasing a home theater system and the first of those things is to settle on a budget and stick with it. The very process of establishing a budget narrows down your options and you just may be surprised at the quality you can find within various budgets. Even more surprising to many consumers is the fact that you do not have to go with names that you know in order to get excellent quality of sound, picture, and value from your home theater system. I highly recommend that you see each system in action that you are considering before deciding on one. I also highly suggest that you never let price alone be the deciding factor of which home theater system you purchase. If you cannot afford the system you want right now save up for another month or two in order to purchase the system that you honestly feel will be the best value for your money and your home. You will spend many hours, if you are a typical American, enjoying your home theater system, it only makes sense that you are willing to make a serious investment in getting the quality you deserve from your system. If you do not select a system that is good quality you will only end up spending more by replacing it sooner than necessary in the long run. The next best suggestion I can make when you are selecting the proper home theater system for you and your family is to make a list of priorities when it comes to features. If you already have an excellent quality DVD player it makes no sense to pay extra for a home theater that includes a DVD player, particularly if that player would be of inferior quality. Do you need good quality sound or is the sound of marginal importance to you? There are all kinds of places you can cut costs when purchasing a home theater system and most of them are exclusively matters of taste, preference, and priority. Knowing what you want when you begin your search for a home entertainment system is by far the best way to avoid buying a system that is ill suited for your home or your needs. If you have hearing problems and need a set of headphones in order to hear the television as it is, an expensive sound system is wasted money as far as your personal needs. If you are using a sunroom for your home theater or a room that is brightly lit, a projection television would be essentially useless for your needs. You should make every effort not to spend money where money isn't needed and save your big-ticket purchases for items that will mean the most to your system. Another important thing to remember when shopping around and comparing home theaters is that you do not have to make the entire purchase in one fell swoop. It is very possible to purchase one piece at a time in order to get the most for your money and truly enjoy each upgraded component as it adds new value to your existing home theater. Buying one piece at a time also helps you narrow down subsequent purchases by learning what features are needed in addition to the items that you currently possess. The most important piece of advice I can give you is this: the purpose of your home theater system is to keep you entertained so you are the only one it needs to impress. 707

Proper seating key to home theater enjoyment

Proper Seating Key to Home Theater Enjoyment There are a lot of things that go into creating the perfect home theater that many people may never consider when purchasing individual components, pieces, and parts. A good home theater is much more than a place to go and watch television at night; it is a movie and television viewing experience. You need to make sure that you are creating a room that is not merely comfortable for one or two people but for everyone that will be enjoying the opportunity to view movies, films, or television in this room. One way to ensure that everyone will be comfortable and easily able to view the screen and consequently enjoy the experience you will also want to pay close attention to the seating you choose for your home theater. There are many different seating options for the average home theater system. Some of the most popular at the moment is what is considered the 'theater recliner'. In fact, many home theater lovers prefer watching movies at home for the comfort of the seating alone. I do however recommend including options for people to put their feet up (my number one complaint when it comes to going to actual theaters). Most theater recliners allow this option. The theater recliner is appealing to many because it has armrests for each person and a place to hold your drinks. You do not have to set tables in between, the seats can be lined up next to one another and you can enjoy each others company while watching your favorite movie or television show. There is nothing like enjoying the theater atmosphere in the comfort of your home. In addition to the theater recliner, if you want a more retro feel in your home theater or to set up 'bistro' tables you can opt for lounger chairs in your home theater. This is great if you plan to have a lot of pizza night movie experiences or have small children that need a table in order to eat and watch television or movies or even to enjoy other quiet activities while you are enjoying movies and television. It's a great way to bring a nice family feel to your home theater. If the seating types above are anything but appealing to your sensibilities you just might find that there is no place like home for watching movies and nothing more comfortable than a nice big comfy couch. I personally love the comfort of a big soft sofa with warm snuggly blankets, especially in the wintertime for enjoying movies. It's a great way for the kids to pile up together and enjoy serious cuddle time while watching the latest Disney flick or even Saturday morning cartoons. Who wants to invest a small fortune on a home theater that isn't used for everyday viewing at any rate? If you want to make your home theater exceptionally kid friendly you can opt for some funky furniture for your little ones to enjoy. This will keep everyone happy, no one fighting for a favorite seat, and a much more peaceful movie viewing experience all around. If you want to be the coolest parent on the block you can include some extras of this trendy special kid furniture for those times when visitors are present. There are many things involved in building the perfect home theater system for you and your family. Creating the perfect comfortable atmosphere in which to enjoy your theater is a great way to make this room the most often used room in the house and bring the family together each and every night for something other than dinner. If you want to experience even more from your home theater seating be sure to include storage for pillows and blankets close at hand for those nights when a little extra warmth or a pillow to hide behind is just what the situation merits. Have fun trying out the many options for home theater seating and choose the seats that you feel will work best for your family. 679

Home theater projector

Movie-like home theater projectors for entertainment within your reach Going to the movies is a common and most popular recreation especially for young professionals living a very stressful life of running corporate affairs. However, for some who cannot afford to waste the time traveling to and from movie theaters, the answer to this recreational endeavor might be just inside your own living room. Bring home the sight and sound of movie theaters with your very own home theater system. The best home theater set up may indeed include high quality components that may bring forth the entire movie theater experience without having to drive from your house to the movie theater spending time and effort tiding heavy traffic. This modern innovation will grant you the relaxation and experience real life movie theaters provide. Having the basic components such as the big screen and speakers with clear and flicker free images from a high quality DVD may provide the almost real movie theater experience. Home theater experts recommend that before you decide on the final set-up and equipments for your home theater system, the size of the place maybe the first consideration. If you have a small size room for your home theater system, television set may be best placed in the center and three speakers placed on the left, right and center might be enough to provide the surround sound you want in a movie theater. However, if you have a bigger place, a home theater projector might be best to provide the big screen requirement. Home theater projector screen can provide the real-life movie theater experience. It is therefore necessary that if you have a huge room for your home theater system, in combination with your home theater projector and home theater projector screen, adding more speakers around the room could be a neat recommendation. A subwoofer may also help to provide the best surround sound that will enable a movie theater surround sound come in to your living room. There are various designs and models you can choose from for your home theater projector. You may need to understand each of their features before you decide on buying one. It may also be necessary for you to require the services of a home theater designer in order to complete the home theater package that will give you the best entertainment. This will avoid having to spend unreasonably for your home theater system including your home theater projector. Buying unrealistically huge capacity equipments for your home theater is possible especially if you do not know what are the possible choices and their differentiations that your home theater may require. A too huge home theater projector screen and the total set-up of your home theater system should be of great consideration. Your home theater designer may also provide options that may not require a television set for your home theater. How is this so? The reason for this is the technological innovations provided by your computer and home theater projectors. Home theater projectors like InFocus screenplay models maybe used with computers and small room set-up. Home theater projectors are also lightweight and maybe transported easily. For this reason, the use of home theater projectors for business presentations is helpful. Home theater projectors and home theater projector screens may help provide the theater like experience, even for business this set-up may be extremely useful and thus is getting to be popular. Your home and office home theater system setup is an innovation only a few intelligent consumers can avail of. However, I am sure that knowing all these options and the basic television, three speakers and DVD player may be worthy for people who wants a home theater, you may not really need a home theater projector if the room for your home theater system is not very huge. Enjoy theatrical experience right in your living room by intelligently researching your possible option. You may then experience the relaxation movie theaters give without having to tide heavy traffic going to the movie theater.

Selecting the proper television for your home theater

Selecting the Proper Television for your Home Theater While there are many components that make up the average home theater system most people often overlook the importance of their televisions to the overall video and movie watching experience. As with all things in life, bigger, when it comes to televisions for your home theater, is not always better. There are many things that must be considered when selecting the best possible television for your home theater and size is only one of many. Mass retailers show televisions in a manner that suits their purpose, which is a sale. This doesn't mean that their methods for displaying their televisions paints those sets in a proper light for your home viewing experience. Not so long ago, a 20-inch viewing window for your television was considered huge. It was a luxury saved for those who were extremely wealthy. The truth of the matter is that if you do not sit a proper distance from your television the quality of the picture will look horrible if your set is too large. There are good rules of thumb to consider when purchasing a television set for your room, at least where size is concerned. The rule is that you will want no more than 4" of diagonal screen inches on your television for every foot away from the set you will be when watching cable television. The rule goes up to 5 inches per foot for satellite television or DVDs, and 6 inches per foot if you are viewing high definition television. Of course with every rule there are exceptions. For this rule general exceptions would be two story great rooms or cathedral ceilings that might actually call for a larger television and basements or dropped ceilings that might actual be better suited for smaller televisions. You really must consider all of these things when selecting the television that will best suit your needs when it comes to your home theater and your theater set up. Of course there is more than size to consider when it comes to the television you ultimately choose for your home theater and taste as well as space will each play important roles in the television you should choose. One important consideration is price. When you walk into the store and see all the wonderful new televisions that promise endless hours of movie watching bliss at a very hefty price tag to match. You need to be able to weed through without getting distracted by the latest and greatest of bells and whistles in order to find the set that will meet all of your movie watching needs and fall within your budget. For this particular trip I recommend walking in with money in hand (the limit you have set) and that you leave the credit card at home. You should also carefully consider whether or not you will want an extended warranty as that will raise the base price of your television and isn't reflected in the 'sticker' price. If you bring your credit card you will be tempted to overspend rather than sticking with your original budget. Other than price you really need to carefully consider the type of television you'd like to have for your home theater. Keep in mind that you can buy larger versions of older technology for the same price you'd pay for smaller screen sizes when it comes to LCD televisions. You should also consider the size of the television you really need for this portion too. Most of us do not sit more than 12 feet from our televisions, which means you may not need quite as much television as you may have previously thought you would need. The most important thing when choosing a television is to remember that this is an investment that most of us do not make terribly often. For that reason you should expect to drop a considerable chunk of change on this particular investment in your home theater system. 664

Professional installation or sweat equity

Professional Installation or Sweat Equity? One of the biggest debates that arises when purchasing a decent surround sound system or home theater is whether or not to handle the installation yourself. For that question the answer is completely relative to the level of complexity of your system and your understanding of physics and electronics. Many of the box kits on the market today are simple to install and could be done fairly quickly (in the course of a couple of hours or an afternoon) even by rank amateurs such as myself. If you are purchasing a massive home theater or surround sound system that has very rigorous requirements in order to guarantee the type of sound you paid good money to receive it might be in your best interest to make the investment of a professional installation. It is important to remember that home theater kits come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges. The fact that you could easily install a $500-$2,000 kit doesn't mean that a home theater that costs in excess of $20,000 is as simple of a matter to install (though at that price I firmly believe it should be self installing). The point is if you've paid that kind of money for a home theater or surround sound system you want to make sure that you are absolutely getting your money's worth on the listening end. A professional installation is one way to make sure of that. Installation is expensive in some cases as everything that has the word professional in front of it. One thing you can do in order to curtail that cost to some degree is shop around and compare prices, you might find one retailer that is willing to throw in free installation in order to make the sale. If the cost of professional installation makes up the difference between the lowest offer elsewhere go for it, you will have saved money and still managed the professional installation that truly is in your best interest.

Another thing you will want to do is find out whether or not self-installation might nullify any warranties. There are occasions where this is the case and you do not want to risk your warranty on a $20,000 surround sound speaker system in order to save a couple of hundred dollars on installation up front. There is a lot that can be said over the power of saving money, however, there are some risks that simply aren't worth it. For me, this is one of those risks. There is simply too much that could go wrong to operate without a warranty. While there is some degree of satisfaction that goes along with doing things for yourself there are times when the process is nothing more than an exercise in futility.

If you must install yourself (and some of us simply can't resist the urge) then you should take care from the very beginning to closely follow all instructions for installation and operation in order to get the best possible results. The problem is that too many of us never bother reading the instructions until we are stuck and at that point it is sometimes way along in the process to have to start completely over-trust me, I've been there on this one. If you are one of many people around the world who has purchased a box set of surround sound speakers or a home theater kit you should find that the installation process is simple and straightforward and shouldn't require professional expertise in order to accomplish. Consider yourselves lucky in this and get to work. Pretty soon you will be enjoying theater quality sound from your surround sound system whether you are listening to music, movies, or the latest game. Whether you choose professional installation or not I wish you the best of luck building your new surround sound system and many hours of happy listening to whatever is on the deck for today. 660

Proper surround sound setup

Proper Surround Sound Setup If you are in the market for a brand new surround sound system I'm pretty sure you've been a little baffled by all the options, bells, whistles, gadgets, gizmos, and price tags on the market today. Trust me, you are not alone. One of the most baffling things to many potential surround sound system consumers is where on earth should you put all the speakers. I intend to answer that question and a few more over the course of the next few paragraphs and hope that you will read along. The first thing you need to understand is that there are several different types of surround sound systems. The industry standard and most common is the 5.1 channel surround sound system. This set up calls for the use of five speakers plus one subwoofer in addition to the receiver. The five speakers are the front speakers which include a left, right, and center speaker and the left and right surround speakers that are located to the left and right from the rear. You should also have a subwoofer located behind you in order to create the 'bass notes' of sound. The next two types of surround sound systems include the 6.1 channel and 7.1 channel system. The primary differences in these are the addition of one additional speaker for each. You will be glad to know that most receivers will accommodate the 8 total speakers of a 7.1 channel surround sound system but you may want to check in order to be certain you can upgrade if you chose to buy a 5.1 channel system for the time being. The addition of speakers when you upgrade change the layout of the speakers in your home. The more speakers you have, the greater sound you will enjoy, however, the better the quality of your speakers, the better quality your sound will have. In other words don't go with lower quality speakers in the beginning in order to have more speakers, as you will be shooting the quality of sound you can experience in the foot. It is better to buy fewer speakers in the beginning and add to your system over time in order to receive better quality. When it comes to the placement of the additional speakers if you upgrade to a 6.1 channel surround sound system you will move the speakers currently in the left and right rear to the left and right side and place the new speaker in the center back. If you then upgrade to the 7.1 channel surround sound system you will move the speaker that is in the center to the rear left and place the new speaker to the rear right. This allows you to be literally surrounded by the sound in order to maximize your listening experience. Of course this is only a recommendation and it is entirely up to you what will work best within your home and according to your tastes and wants in a surround sound system. Not everyone hears music or sound the same and the experience for each will vary greatly from one person to the next. For this reasons it is also a good idea to be sure you have listened to the system in a store before deciding on one and bringing it home. This is a wise decision regardless. I also recommend taking more than one CD or DVD for the listening process in order to make sure the quality is consistent through different mediums. While the setup of your system is very important to the sound experience it is quite difficult provided you follow the directions (you didn't forget to read those did you?). Whether this is your first home theater or surround sound system or one of many upgrades you've made along the way I'm sure you will agree that the sound is far superior to the two speaker systems of days not that long ago. 658

Basic components for a home theater

Basic Components for a Home Theater Many people never bother looking into purchasing a home theater through sheer fear of the decisions that may need to be made in the process. Many among these aren't even sure of exactly which components are included in a home theater or which ones are needed in order to create an effective and entertaining home theater. For this reason, many people simply do not bother going through the process of looking at their options when it comes to these wonderful systems on the market today much less ever bother actually purchasing one. If you are one of the many who has experienced some degree of confusion when it comes to the individual parts and pieces that are included in a home theater system and what they do, hopefully you will gain a better understanding once you've finished reading. The first thing to understand is that there are varying degrees when it comes to home theaters. The following components are the makings of a very basic home theater that will provide excellent functionality. They are not however inclusive of every possible piece or part that could make up a home theater system. Off to the basics, the first thing you'll need when creating a home theater for your family to enjoy is a television. It might seem a little too obvious to some but I have yet to find a box kit that includes a television-mainly because the choice of screen is for many the most personal aspect of selecting a home theater. There are essentially three choices in today's television market: front projector, rear projector, and plasma. There are variations within each of these and the prices fall anywhere from modest to quite costly. This is the component that most home theater owners spend the most time contemplating and it affects the types of components that will be most effective later on in terms of things such as high definition and other choices you can make. A receiver is another important component. You will probably have a DVD player or recorder of some sort as part of your system; you may have a Tivo and cable box or satellite and will probably have speakers of some sort for your system. The receiver is the box you plug them all into-it receives all of this inputs and correlates it so to speak. This is the ultimate traffic director when it comes to your home theater and I suggest you spend a good portion of your home theater budget making sure that this is a good quality part. Speakers are where your sound will flow. One of the best things to me about a home theater is the ability to experience surround sound very similar to what I experience in theaters while having the ability to put my feet up or snuggle under blankets (which simply can't be achieved in a theater). Speakers come in all shapes and sizes and are also quite personal for some consumers while give and take for others. You can purchase these are part of a kit in order to make the selection process easier. Finally, you have your DVD player or recorder. If high definition is important to you, you now have that option. If your television isn't HD ready or capable, I'd pass and go for an older (less expensive) model of DVD player until something more up-to-date is called for. These items are a great start for any home theater and you can build, expand, and upgrade over time for an even better system. Enjoy! 599

Common home theater mistakes to avoid

Common Home Theater Mistakes to Avoid A home theater is no small investment, particularly if you are going for a good quality home theater. With that in mind there are many mistakes that people make along the way when it comes to their home theaters. What you want to do is learn from the mistakes of others rather than dooming yourself to repeat those that have been made so many times before. Below you will find information on some of the most often made mistakes when it comes to creating a great home theater for you and your family. Windows I'm not talking Microsoft either. One thing that is a killer for your home theater is a room full of windows. At night, every car passing by will prove distracting and during the day little can be enjoyed on your television from the sunlight pouring in. Even normal curtains allow some degree of light into the room, which will provide a distracting glare on you television screen. If you have no windowless rooms in your home you will at the very least want to install some heavy duty blackout drapes or curtains in order to prevent the glare and distraction that windows provide. Cheap Speakers Sound is one of the most important factors in imitating a theater quality movie viewing experience. If you have cheap speakers you will not receive the quality of sound that you will need in order to achieve that experience. The first five or ten minutes of the movie Top Gun provides one of the best sound tests I've ever seen. Grab a copy of the DVD and take it with you to the stores, compare speakers using that DVD and go with the set that provides the best quality of sound. It's a good litmus test and you will be glad you did if you ever listen to a favorite movie on a friends inferior speakers. Poor Installation It makes no sense to invest thousands of dollars in a home theater system only to bring it home and do a poor job of installing it because you didn't want to spring for the extra two hundred dollars for installation. Improper installation of your home theater will result in much less quality than you paid for, which makes a good quality system a complete waste of money. Pay the price now for professional installation if you have any doubts at all about your ability to properly install your system. Not Reading Directions On the other hand if you decide to do your own installation the number one problem is the result of not reading the instructions for not only installation but also the operation of your home theater. We may feel that we are intuitive by nature but sometimes it helps to have a roadmap to follow. Instructions for installation and operating manuals are our road maps and reading them first will not only save a great deal of time but also increase your enjoyment of your home theater. Avoiding these common mistakes can go along way towards helping you get the most possible enjoyment from your home theater. It's amazing how much of a difference little things can make along the way. Good luck with the selection, purchase, and installation of your home theater. I hope you enjoy many wonderful hours of movie, television, and game watching on your new system. 566

Building a home theater on a budget

Building a Home Theater on a Budget Americans tend to spend a lot of time in front of our television sets. Whether we are movie junkies with multiple memberships to Internet movie rental companies or are serious addicts to all things reality on television we are addicted to our entertainment. Since we spend so much time watching our televisions it makes sense that we make a sizeable investment in our home theater in order to get the best possible quality picture and sound from our systems. We do not, however live in a one size fits all world, which has lead to a good deal of healthy competition within the entertainment industry as well as the electronics industry. This is excellent news for consumers that must live within the constraints of their budgets. As competition emerges along with newer technologies we see a downward trend in the prices of existing technology. The real trick however is to be content with last year's technology today and you could actually save thousands on your home theater. If you are even willing to go a step back as far as technology, trust me it isn't evolving all that noticeably fast when it comes to home theaters, you can still get a great home theater on Ebay or even in your local paper that is of excellent quality for a fraction of the cost you would have paid for the system had you purchased it brand new. If you are merely budget conscious or are going through a budget famine you should find that there are some outstanding options available through second hand home theaters. If you are like many (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this) who do not like purchasing used items for whatever reason, the most common being a lack of a warranty, then it makes perfect sense not to consider this particular option. Selecting this option however does not leave you without options by any means. Perhaps my favorite option is to build your own home theater one piece at a time. You might be surprised to find that in the end you have a superior system to most of those you will find on the market today. Life is a series of choices and that process doesn't end at all when you are choosing the right home theater for your home and needs. Unfortunately neither does the fact that we often must live within budget restrictions that we do not appreciate nearly as much as we enjoy the idea of Dolby Digital Surround Sound or Bose speakers. The good news is that if you look and take your time by checking out and comparing your likes and dislikes in many systems you will have become an informed consumer. This is the best gift you can give yourself when shopping around. Compare prices, beg, bargain, and barter. See if stores will match the prices of other stores or throw in freebies in order to compete. You should also remember that unless you have the equipment and skills necessary for the installation of your home theater it is quite likely that you will need to pay for that as well. A retailer that is willing to throw in free installation might be a bargain worth giving a little more thought. In the end, the goal is to get the best possible home theater for your home for the least amount of money possible. By learning about your options you will know when you leave the store whether or not you got a good deal on the home theater you bought. There cannot be enough said about the knowledge you will gain about home theaters through this process or what you will learn about the price of things compared to their value. More importantly you just might learn the real price we often pay simply to go with a name that we know. You can save a great deal of money by taking a chance on emerging companies but do your research fist and learn as much about the company as possible before you give them your hard earned money. 689

Home theater for small spaces

Home Theater for Small Spaces One reason that many people who would love the benefits of a home theater avoid making the investment or even considering their options is because they live in situations that allow very little space with which to place the necessary components of a home theater system. The good news is that compact systems are growing in quality and availability as space around the world becomes more and more limited. As the population grows, the problem of space grows as well. Gone are the days filled with huge plantation style homes around the world as communities are more and more often filled to capacity with apartment buildings, condos, and homes built on compact lots in housing communities. The average family around the world has experience the limitations of space when it comes to things such as floor speakers and bulky home theater systems. The good news is that they days of huge projectors and massive televisions stands have fallen by the wayside to make way for ceiling mounted projectors and rear projector televisions that fit tightly into corners when necessary. We also have the added convenience of wireless speakers that can be mounted on walls or in the ceiling as well as LCD and plasma televisions that can be mounted on the wall rather than taking up precious real estate on our floors. Space might have been a mitigating factor in the past when it comes to the purchase of a home theater but with the creation of many box kits and emerging technology it is no longer a valid excuse not to move forward into this century of electronic convenience and move quality picture and sound in the comfort of your very own home. More and more people are finding that a good home theater is replacing money spent at theaters or sporting events as they can get superior quality views (and the convenience of instant replays) at home. Whether you are one of many around the world who has put off this purchase, which will greatly improve how you view home movie viewing, there are options that are worth considering for your home theater needs when it comes to the limitations of space. Even if you live in an apartment that offers a tiny living area you can still enjoy great quality sound from a small home theater system. These systems in fact work better in small spaces than in rooms that are too large for them. Be sure to discuss your options and what might be best for small spaces when you are listening to different systems and kits in the store. I think the most important thing to keep in mind when using wall or ceiling mounted equipment in your home theater is that you may actually find that you are freeing up more space within your room than would be occupied with your current television (this is especially true if you upgrade to a flat television that is mounted on the wall rather than a bulky rear projector television or a huge entertainment center. The truth is you never really know what is on the market and what will work in your space until you go out there and check out your options. It is much better to go out there and see what is available than rob yourself of the enjoyment a good home theater will bring based on an assumption that very well may not be true for your home or apartment. 583

Comparing prices can bring sweet bargains

Comparing Prices can Bring Sweet Bargains One of the most difficult things for many people to do when walking into an electronics store is more often than not to stay on budget. There are so many bells, whistles, and simply delightful gadgets on the market today that it is hard to go into the store with the intention of spending a certain amount of money and sticking with that intention. This being said it is possible to bargain shop and get the best possible bargain for your money when it comes to purchasing a wonderful home theater system if you are willing to do the required legwork. Seriously there are several steps involved and it often requires multiple trips to multiple stores or multiple phone calls at the very least over the course of about a week in time. The reason for all of this is that it could literally save you hundreds of dollars when it comes to building your home theater or even when buying a prepackaged system and will at the very least have you armed with the necessary knowledge to secure a good price on the system you choose. A good home theater is a sizeable investment and not one that should be taken lightly. While a good system should last several years, you do not really want to spend more money than you have to in order to buy the system if you can avoid it easily. Many people buy these systems on impulse or make the decision to buy one then feel they must make the purchase before they have time to either talk themselves out of it or some other problem comes up, which prevents the little padding in the budget that a home theater will remove. The first step in my grand plan for saving money on a home theater is to check out the local stores. There are a few reasons for this. First of all you have the opportunity to really check out the systems you are considering and compare them with one another in regards to both quality and the features you are seeking. Second, it gives you a chance to see the prices and selection that are available on the local level. Keep a record of the prices on the systems you like and compare them to the prices on the same or similar systems in other stores. You should then go home and log on to the Internet. Comparing prices online can often present some amazing bargains. Once you find the lowest price, make a notation of the website and print off the information including the price. Once you have paper in hand, it's time to do a little more legwork around town. Go to your local stores with the price and see if they are willing to match or beat the price you found online. While more often than not you will find stores that are willing to match but not beat the prices online. However, there are occasions when the store will throw in a nice perk such as a free DVD for your new system or something along the line in addition to matching the price you found online. Simply comparing prices online and finding the lowest possible price can often mean the difference in a system being within your budget allowance or outside of your allowance. At best it can make a home theater within your reach at worst it is quite possible that you will save money over the local store price by shopping online (even if your local stores won't match the price you can often find lower prices online with free shipping). 612

Surround sound speakers

Surround Sound Speakers When you are building a home theater or surround sound system for your home there are many things that must be considered in order to create the best possible system and solution for the space you have in which to create it. We live in a world where floor space and real estate are premiums and we only give them up begrudgingly. It is very true that the best speakers on the market (even today) are generally stand speakers and they occupy a tremendous amount of prime real estate within your media room or home theater. For this reason we are seeing technological emphasis placed on improving speaker design and making them smaller more now than at any other time in the history of speakers. This is good news for you as a consumer since it means that there is both emerging technology in these smaller speakers and that you will see lower price in the race to create the best small speakers on the market. For many consumers this offers a win-win situation that is too tempting to pass when shopping. It is important however that you remember to see, or in this case hear, for yourself the quality of these smaller speakers before you make the rather sizeable investment that a good set of surround sound speakers will require. The good news for those of you are experiencing a little bit of sticker shock over the price tag is that speakers should be the largest investment you make in your total surround sound system by far. They are the most vital components to the overall sound and your entire investment will be wasted in your other equipment if you do not have superior quality speakers in your system. While the number of speakers will increase the quality and depth of the sound and the overall surround experience, good quality is more important than greater numbers, you can always add more speakers to your collection later. I do urge you to purchase the entire set together if possible however, if you can only purchase 6 (remember there's a subwoofer involved as well) rather than 8 at first, then I recommend that you do that rather than going with inferior quality in order to get two more speakers. If you do not purchase your speakers as a complete set you need to make sure that the speakers you purchase later are compatible with the speakers in your surround sound system. In most cases this isn't a problem if you purchase the same brand and style however if there has been a significant passage of time or shift in technology it could prove problematic. A typical set of speakers for a 5.1 channel surround sound system will include two channel speakers (front left and right), one front center channel speaker, two rear channel speakers (rear left and right) and a subwoofer. A 6.1 channel surround sound system adds one more speaker in the center rear and moves the rear left and right speakers of a 5.1 system to the side left and right respectively. A 7.1 channel surround sound system will add an additional rear speaker and have one on each side rather than one in the center. The sound is the most important feature of any surround sound system and there are many things that go into creating the perfect sound. When it comes to home theaters and surround sound systems the only way to know for sure that you will be getting what you want for your space is to listen to the sound. You may find that what sounded like sound nirvana in the sound room doesn't ring so true in your living room. Make sure that the store or website from which you are purchasing has a liberal return policy on components and speakers-especially speakers as they are the most costly components of your surround sound system and the most expensive to replace. 660

Surround sound for the little ones

Surround Sound for the Little Ones If you have a family that loves movies and music the best gift you can give yourself is a second home theater for the little ones. Seriously, how many times has the Sunday game interfered with or been interrupted to the little one's needs to watch Disney's latest and greatest flick? I know these meltdowns occur far too regularly in my household. This is why a second home theater is an excellent idea. Your children learn important lessons and you get to watch television on occasion without tantrums and meltdowns. There are many benefits to you for building a secondary home theater system not the least of which is spare parts should anything ever happen to yours. I know in our home I was worried that I would never see the kids once we built a system for them but the truth is they each have different tastes as well and sometimes prefer what we are watching over what brother and/or sister are watching. We also have the knowledge that our television is still bigger than theirs and there is always that to draw them back into the land of the living rather than holing up in their basement theater hide away. Getting back to the benefits, the kids are learning to take turns even establishing a schedule and sticking to it. They are learning to make responsible choices and even to work together on occasion and compromise in favor of watching all of favorite programs that are close to ending but not quite over. It's great to see them cooperating rather than fighting all the time. It also allows them a place to take their friends when they come over that they are responsible for cleaning up and keeps the mess out of our home theater space (my personal favorite reason for having two home theaters). For even more benefits when it comes to a second home theater in your home is that your children learn very quickly what it means to break something such as the components in their home theater and aren't likely to do so again. It teaches responsibility on a level that most toys that are lost and broken one week after Christmas could never get across. They learn to take care of the equipment, to wipe off the fingerprints, not to throw things at it, and not to pull it off the shelves and leave it on the floor as they do with their other toys. This is something that matters to them and I have been amazed at how well they have taken care of it. Finally, a home theater system is an awesome tool for discipline. The threat of not allowing any one or all of them not to watch their home theater with surround sound or any other television in the household for that matter is a fate worse than death for them most of the time and enough to get them to walk on the straight and narrow. The few times this privilege has been revoked have been quite effective in creating a much more cooperative atmosphere of harmony at home or at school. While there are many who believe that a home theater or surround sound system for the kids is overkill I firmly believe that it is an incredible privilege and responsibility that prepares them to deal with the world outside as they grow older. They are already learning about negotiation, cooperation, and respect. 582

Buying a home theater within your means

Buying a Home Theater Within your Means When planning and purchasing a home theater you may find that in addition to a wide range of choices you are also faced with an extreme and vast array of pricing options for your home theater needs. Whether you are seeking a system that is simply a good means of watching your favorite sporting event on any given Sunday or you are hoping to find a home theater system that will be the envy of the neighborhood there are many systems available within many budget ranges that will accomplish both of those goals if you carefully plan the system you will ultimately purchase. You should establish a budget before going shopping for your home theater system and buy a system that suits both the requirements you wish to have filled and your means with which to pay. The good news is that there are some home theater packages that will suit most budgets; even the tightest and you can always find the one system you like and watch closely to see if it goes on sale. The point is that there really are all kinds of home theater systems on the market and they vary greatly in price, quality, and scope. Be sure you know exactly what you are getting when your purchase a home theater system, especially if you are buying one of the many home theater in a box kits that are on the market today. You may not be getting everything you believe you are getting and it pays to know what you need in regards to what you currently have. Common components you will find in a home theater system kit include the following: a receiver, speakers, and a DVD or DVR. Most kits currently on the market do not include televisions and some kits being advertised as home theater kits are merely boxes of speakers. This is why you need to make sure that you read carefully and know exactly what is included in the 'kit' you are paying for. If you need a new television in order for your home theater to be worth anything to you that might be the starting point for your home theater system upon which you can build later. If you have a decent television that is HD ready then you are prepared to start searching for an excellent HD home theater. If your television isn't HD ready, it would be a waste of money to make the investment in HD equipment at today's inflated prices that will not be of immediate use to you. If HD is important, then you should really begin by purchasing an HD television and not build your home theater until you have that key component in place. On the other hand, if HD isn't important to you at the moment or you would prefer to wait until lower prices prevail, it is a sound decision to go ahead and purchase a home theater that has the best technology you are capable of utilizing at the moment. You can actually get pretty good deals on what is considered yesterday's technology (which can be just that recent in today's electronics market) and for many that is definitely the way to go when buying a home theater system. You can get the best of yesterday's technology for a fraction of the cost of many lower quality items that are on the market today. The biggest thing to remember when comparing features is to know what is important to you in a home theater system and buy with that knowledge. It doesn't make sense to make this sort of investment if you are going to find that you cannot live with the limitations of your technology 6 months from now. For this reason, only you can decide what is and isn't an acceptable price for you to pay for your home theater system as well as what level of technology for which you are willing to settle. 667

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