What’s in Your Home Theater?



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Have you set up a home theater yet? I finally had the opportunity to finish our home theater system that was started when we moved in. It’s a chore to pick the right equipment and set up the right environment. I’m happy with how it turned out, though. I have seven tips here passed along from TJ, to help you set up your own home theater.

  • Get good equipment. It’s not only about what’s there, and what you need now. If you want a good setup, don’t try to cut corners. Get high-quality items.
  • Beware of interference. Interference from other items in your house can be a big issue. You wouldn’t want a computer or a non-shielded speaker near your equipment.
  • Get good cables. Be aware of the amount of shielding around the cable. Cheap cables won’t necessarily conduct electricity well, either. It helps to go for digital cable, as they pick up more frequency than analog cables.
  • Get a set of equipment. While it’s not mandatory, you can connect many sets to use only one remote, which makes things simpler.
  • Plug things into each other. Some pieces of gear may have additional outlets built in. This could not only save you wall outlet space, but keep things neater. It will also allow you to turn everything off and on at once.
  • Get good speakers. The best setup in the world will sound like crap if your speakers are crap. You can always build incrementally, in order to have more money to buy good equipment and speakers.
  • Old things are sometimes superior. Things like tape players and radio units can actually be better quality than some of the newer things. This won’t usually hold true for things like a DVD player, though.

Never take advice from a salesman. They will lie to you, to get you to spend even more money. What other tips do you have when setting up a home theater?

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6 thoughts on “What’s in Your Home Theater?”

  1. I’ve got a Mac Mini, that runs Apple TV take two OS on it (with Perian installed for more compatibility).
    Then I’ve got a Set Top Box (IPTV). Also, I have a 32″ LCD Sony Bravia telly, that they are connected to. I haven’t got any externals speakers for it, though I don’t need them as the telly has great built-in audio.
    That’s my (cheap) setup. I love it.

  2. I’m running a pair of Monitor Audio RS6’s up front, with their matching surround and center channels. Dual SVSound 16-46 PCi subwoofers.

    Pioneer Elite VS-01-THX receiver as a preamp with Parasound HCA 750A and HCA 806 Amplifiers (Bi-amped fronts).

    Media Center PC running HDMI and Coaxial Audio to the receiver (AMD X2 6000+, 4GB ram, ATi HD2900XT).

    Pioneer KURO 50″ Plasma TV tops it all off.

    Needless to say, this was a BIG investment… but the end result is wonderful. I’m just as happy listening to music in 2 channel as I am watching Blu-Ray in 5.1…. The TV is beautiful, there’s no other word for it.

    If Logitech made a harmony remote that interfaced with Media Center in Vista, that would be the icing on the cake.

  3. Well when building your home theater one thing you have to watch out for is home theater systems that have high latency with external digital devices such as an xbox 360 connected via your optical cable

  4. I totally agree with Eric… Not that I understood many of those words, I need my brother for that.

    But this is most definitely a do it yourself job, and it’s truck loads of fun too!

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