Identifying your Home Theater Needs

If you are in the market for a home theater system, chances are that you have a pretty good idea of the individual components you will need in order to make your system complete. Most people find questions when it comes to specific information about the individual pieces and parts of the system. However, in an effort to educate all about home theater systems, this will be a brief break down of components that one might expect to purchase during the course of building a premium home theater system. Keep in mind that everyone will have their own specific needs and preferences and you may have some perfectly acceptable components already. This of course, will save you money on the overall purchase if you choose to keep the pieces you currently own.

First of all, there are all kinds of ‘home theater in a box’ kits on the market today. These kits are already put together in order to help you get the home theater you desire in one fell swoop. While you can get perfectly good home theater systems in this manner, I honestly believe you will get better value for your money by building your own system one component at a time. If you are impatient in a hurry or simply do not wish to spend the time researching your options then the home theater systems that are sold on the market may be a good idea for you. [Read more…]

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.

What kind of Home Theater Quality Do You Need?

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.

What Kind of Television Do You Need?

televisionsIf 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.

Box Kit Home Theaters

We live in a world where convenience is increasingly growing in demand. For this reason many home theater buyers expect convenience when it comes to the purchase and set up of their home theater systems. It goes without saying that there are all kinds of consumers in the world and even in matters of convenience supply and demand have not emerged to create a one size fits all society. We all want similar things in many ways yet we still want autonomy and selections from which to choose.

The demands of a society that likes the ease of buying prepackaged goods have reached such a point however that packages are common place in everything from prepackaged dinners to prepackaged home theater systems. On one level these types of prepackaged theater systems provide a great deal of convenience to consumers. Among those benefits is the ability to know the cost of the entire system up front. This is actually a small benefit when compared to some of the other benefits that consumers who purchase these systems experience.


Consumers who purchase these pre packaged home theater systems know when they buy the system that every part will work in conjunction with the other parts in the system. There are no proprietary issues to worry about, the components have been created and designed with the intent of not only working well together but also of complementing each other in the process. All pieces work together for maximum quality and efficiency-for the price.


Most of these boxed systems will cost less than purchasing similar individual components. For many this alone is enough of a reason to purchase a box kit. This is actually in addition to the convenience of knowing the price for the entire package ahead of time. There is a wide variety of parts and components on the market and you can find many pieces in each price range, it is often confusing when comparing prices because it is often difficult to understand details of quality simply by comparing boxes.


When it comes to the prepackaged box kits, you can actually see and hear them in action as a part of the hole. This means that you know how the system will sound when working together rather than hearing a hodgepodge of pieces and components while remaining unsure of how they really work individually. There is a lot to be said about the ability to try something before you buy it. Prepackaged home theater systems allow consumers to do just that.


This for many is probably the biggest reason to go with the prepackaged kit rather than a huge system of individual component-ease of installation. Most, if not all, of the prepackaged kits are very simple to install, which eliminates the need for professional installation and takes a great deal of hassle out of the installation process.

The prepackaged systems are not however, the type of systems you will want to purchase if you intend to build a better system over time as they are not easily upgradeable and most true enthusiasts are often disappointed with the quality of the speakers and sounds that come with these systems. However if you have limited space and limited funds, these systems are often a great place to start when it comes to a home theater. You can always pass it on to your children if you decide to upgrade later.

Comparing Home Theater Prices Can Get Bargains

compare home theater pricesCompare home theater prices is critical when  you are in the market for a new home theater. 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 compare home theater prices 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 to compare home theater prices 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. [Read more…]

Sony HDTV Tutorials

sony.jpgTwo types of HD broadcast.
There are two principal types of HD broadcast: 720p and 1080i. 720p broadcasts transmit a 1280 x 720 pixel frame 60 times per second. 1080i broadcasts transmit a larger 1920 x 1080 frame at up to 30 times per second. Fortunately, all HD televisions can receive and display both types of HD broadcasts as well as Standard Definition.

HD projection TV.
Until recently, many projection TVs used three cathode-ray tubes (CRTs). Today’s models achieve higher performance and longer life by filtering white light using ultra-small microdisplay panels. These include Sony’s SXRD and 3LCD Grand WEGA systems, plus competing LCoS and DLP systems. Microdisplay televisions tend to be far lighter and sleeker than CRT-based projection TV.

HD flat panel TV.
While conventional CRT televisions are boxy and heavy, today’s flat panel LCD TVs can literally hang on a wall. And Sony’s BRAVIA LCD TVs are masterpieces of technology that look really good on a wall.

DVI, the Digital Visual Interface carries pristine component digital video. HDMI goes one better by adding multi-channel digital audio. Simple adapters convert DVI to HDMI. But you’ll still need separate cables for audio.

Viewing distance.
Viewing distances are not the same for high definition and standard definition. In the store, try to compare sets at the distance you will view from at home to find the right screen size for you. Ideally, the center of your TV screen should be at eye level. For the typical person in a typical couch, this is about 45 inches (114 cm) off the floor. That’s why it’s smart to buy the TV manufacturer’s stand, which usually positions the screen center at about this height.

Progressive, interlaced and scaling.
Progressive scanning (720p and 1080p) transmits all the horizontal scanning lines at the same time. Interlace scanning (1080i) transmits each picture as two fields, each of which includes alternating horizontal scanning lines. 1080p is considered the “holy grail” of HD. To accommodate 1080, 720 and 480-line sources, modern televisions routinely use “scalers.” These circuits convert all inputs to progressive at the screen’s native pixel count.

Featured in Sony Grand WEGA™ 3LCD television, Sony’s 3LCD chips deliver extremely accurate color reproduction, gorgeous gradation of deep blacks, and high resolution at surprisingly affordable prices. Some DLP viewers may notice color break up and not see color all the time. 3LCD delivers color to the screen at the same time without artifacts for natural color realism. The result is a bright, detailed and vivid picture.

[Read more…]

What does that term mean?

Picture this, you go out looking at home theater components and just as you feel like you have a good handle on the kind of speakers that you want to buy you walk into a store and the salesman tells you that the speakers that you are looking at are not any good and he starts throwing jargon at you that you do not understand but sounds real enough.

Don’t go believing all of these salesman. One of the best methods for getting a buyer to buy what you are selling is to confuse the buyer and bring forward a problem and then offer a solution to that problem. The best way to avoid this is to know what the terminology is at least at some level. Here are a couple of sources that should really help you out as you read product reviews and meet with people in stores.

Home Theater Magazine Glossary

Home Theater HiFi Speakers

Remember that as you go out looking at products that it is best to shop around and have fun with the experience as you go out learning and buying your components for your new home theater.