Tag Archives: home-theater

Seeking Home Theater Advice

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Kevin called in the other night and wanted advice on setting up a home theater. The friend of his who is trying to set things up is wondering if an Xbox 360 is sufficient as a starting point. He also already owns a 1080p television. Have you ever set up a home theater? What was your experience like?

As far as Blu-Ray players out on the marketplace, for my money it was the PS3. It has fantastic quality. Of all the players out there, I realized I wanted it to be able to do more than one thing. That’s why the PS3 made a fantastic option for me. I don’t own many games for it, but at least I have the ability to use it in that capacity at any point in time.

You could get a regular old component and perhaps spend less money. I think that overall, though, you would be happier using something like the PS3.

One place where people tend to skimp when setting up a home theater is with audio. Amazing video doesn’t do you much good if you have crap sound coming out of cheap speakers. Do your research and save money – but you also will need to spend money to have something good. You want to have crisp, clear sound.

Find the balance within your budget for good audio and good video. Together, these will make for a good experience.

I know that everyone out there has one thing they feel you need to have in that environment. Everyone has their own tips and ideas. Hopefully, the community will chip in and give their best advice.

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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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