A home theater system is your golden ticket to a movie experience in the comfort of your own home. The addition of an A/V receiver, subwoofer, and satellite speakers gives it a distinct advantage over the speakers in your TV. A home theater system is a great investment, but it may be difficult to choose the best model, brand, and features. This manual is meant to serve as a starting point for anyone thinking about purchasing a home theater system.
Home theater parts and equipment
An audio/video receiver (or simply “receiver”) processes, amplifies, and transmits audio from the source material to your speakers in a home theater setup. Every receiver has its own decoder for the many audio formats that may be fed into it, and they can all be converted to surround sound.
Coaxial and optical cables for your audio sources, S-video and component video cables for your video playback, and HDMI cables for toggling audio-video should all have their own dedicated ports on your receiver.
A large screen TV may be the centerpiece of your home theater setup, providing a projected-like image and cutting-edge TV features.
Protect your television from becoming obsolete by including cutting-edge technologies like Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED; enables better power efficiency, physical flexibility, sharper contrasts, and faster refresh rates than LED), Quantum Dot LED (QD-LED; offers a wider color range than OLEDs), and High Dynamic Range (HDR) (HDR – facilitates more natural- and real-looking content).
projector and a screen
A projector and screen (instead of a television) are your finest options if you want to turn your living room into a spectacular cinematic retreat.
Search for projectors with a lumen rating of 1500 or higher.
The distance between the projector and the screen or wall will dictate the model you choose. In a tiny home theater, a short throw projector is a godsend since it allows the screen to be placed less than a meter away from the audience.
Amplification, speakers, and bass woofers
The subwoofer is responsible for the low-frequency sound that creates the “bass effect,” while the main speakers focus on a wider frequency range. Any true audiophile will tell you that the quality of the sound can make or break a movie viewing. Be sure to carefully consider your needs, budget, and the size of the space while making your selection.
A recording device and media player
Blu-ray and DVD players, together with TVs that are compatible with them, provide access to a wealth of media available both online and on disc.
Ultra HD, 3D-ready, and smart players provide a wide range of features and capabilities that are ideal for the future of media consumption.
If the bulk of your material comes from direct broadcast satellite, PVRs incorporated into the system will allow you to watch what you want, when you want it. Installing a network-enabled storage drive is the best option for those who have accumulated a sizable collection of digital movies and want to make them accessible from any of their connected devices or home theater setup.