Tech Tuesday / How to Build the Ultimate Home Theater System

By Steve Woodfield

The equation that comprises a great home theater setup is complicated and sometimes confusing. You can boil it all down to two main components: video and audio. If you have the know-how, time and money, it’s possible to venture out to the local electronics store and pick out a hodgepodge of different products, speakers, woofers, DVD and Blu-ray players and a lot more. If that route doesn’t appeal to you, consider buying a Home Theater in a Box System.

Home Theaters in a Box have all the parts and components you need to bring rich sound and breathtaking picture to your home theater. The advantages of home theaters in a box include the convenience of having all the parts in one package and the certainty that each component of your home theater is compatible with its counterparts. Check out our top three products: the Philips Blu-ray Home Theater SystemSamsung Smart Home Theater and the Sony 3D Blu-ray Home Theater System. We also have informative articles on home theaters in a box.

The companies that manufacturer these packages do so with one purpose in mind – to make the home theater experience as seamless as possible. From compatibility and installation to the quality of the sound and picture, home theaters in a box packages give you a high-quality, easy-to-use solution that dramatically improves your home-viewing experience.

Home Theater in a Box: What to Look For

Home theaters in a box universally include speakers. These speakers vary in number, shape, size and connectivity. Some packages contain woofers, others center speakers and others still have tower speakers.

When determining which home theater in a box is right for you, consider how many speakers you need for the room in which your home theater will reside. For smaller rooms, a home theater with five speakers may do just fine; larger rooms may require seven satellite speakers plus a woofer and a wireless rear speaker. It’s all about setup.

While all home theater in a box packages come with speakers, the best ones come with a Blu-ray player manufactured by the same brand as the speakers. This ensures optimization of video and audio, not only for each other, but also for your viewing pleasure.

However, not all manufacturers include a player of any kind of player. These systems require you to hook their central unit to whatever media player you happen to own, (i.e. Blu-ray, DVD, internet-streaming box). This is not necessarily a bad thing because it means you’re not shackled to a specific brand of Blu-ray or DVD player.

TopTenREVIEWS has rated and ranked the best Home Theater in a Box systems available on the market today. Our specialized matrix takes into account several rating criteria. Among these are Video capabilities, Audio performance, Connectivity options, Extra Features and Help & Support.

Video
Does the home theater in a box package you are considering contain an integrated Blu-ray player? If it doesn’t, it’s not a deal breaker. Just make sure that the system is compatible with the Blu-ray or DVD player you have at home. In the event that you still use only DVD, make sure the home theater in a box system you buy properly scales the standard-definition images and sound on DVD to the appropriate size and richness with 1080p upconversion and progressive-scan technologies.

Audio
This section is truly what home theater in a box packages are all about – how rich and dense the audio experience the speakers included can produce. Rating criteria in this category include number of satellite speakers, the inclusion of a sound decoder and what flavors of Dolby Digital sound each package supports.

Connectivity
Your home theater in a box will be useless if you can’t connect it to that fancy new HDTV or projector. Make sure the product you buy has the correct connectivity options to hook up the audio and sound to whatever equipment you may already have in your home.

Extra Features
Every home theater in a box has little things that are unique just to it and nothing else. However, there are some extra features that every good system simply must have, such as a remote control and digital tuner.

Help & Support
Every manufacturer does its best to make sure that your home theater in a box is a simple and easy affair. Unfortunately, there are times when you simply must contact customer support. The best home theater in a box systems are made by companies with reputations for excellent customer service.

Choosing the right home theater in a box package is a tricky proposition because you’re not just buying one product. You’re purchasing multiple speakers with many complicated parts. For our part, we hope this site helps you clear that fog.

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