Home Theater Systems

Let's start by stating that setting up a Home Theater system is entirely affordable. In fact, you can have a “Home Theater” setup by simply having a TV set, a pair of stereo speakers, and a hi-fi stereo VCR.

However, the Home Theater systems and solutions that we are going to explore consist of something a little more elaborate and frankly, they seldom come all in one box --they come in several boxes and believe it or not you can put together an excellent quality Home Theater system for under $1500 US (not including the TV or projection system)

A great example of the quality of Home Theater you can have for under $1,500 is the Axiom Epic Master

A Home Theater System needs a series of loudspeakers to deliver the movie like experience and a complete set of HT Loudspeakers to achieve this goal can be had for under $1500. We also need a Dolby Digital/dts A/V receiver and we can get an adequate one starting around $300 and finally...... we need a DVD player and we can get one for under $200 that will do a fine job.

Achieving the goal of duplicating the surround sound envelopment and integration of picture, drama, and sound that you experience in a commercial Dolby Surround movie theater, only on a smaller scale may sound ambitious, but surprisingly, even a basic home theater system can deliver remarkably enhanced playback of DVD movies, concerts, rental videotapes, and even TV shows like “X-files” that are recorded and broadcast in Dolby Surround.

A Home Theater System that is capable of achieving the Movie Theater in your Home performance criteria consists of:

A number of loudspeakers that include:

1) A pair of Front left and right speakers on either side of the TV.
2) A center-channel speaker on top (or beneath) the TV set to anchor the actors dialogue at the TV screen no matter where you sit.
3) A pair of Smaller Surround speakers on either side of your couch that carry all the effects and ambient sound of a movie or TV show—street noises, planes flying, jungle sounds, the noise of rain, thunder, or crickets, distant explosions or rumbles of tanks, and all the myriad of other sounds that make up a complicated movie soundtrack, including, of course, the movie score, the music and rock songs that underscore the action on screen.
4) Most good quality Home Theater systems have a
Subwoofer, typically a square black box that produces ultra-deep bass sounds—rumbles, storms, deep musical bass and the like. If you’ve kept count, that’s a total of six speakers, including the subwoofer, and it comprises “5.1-channel” sound (the .1 is the subwoofer bass channel). But all the speakers needn’t be big. Because the subwoofer carries much of the low bass energy, the other “satellite” speakers can be compact and visually unobtrusive, no larger than a hardcover book.

A Dolby Digital Surround Sound Audio/Video Receiver contains all the circuitry to “decode” the DVD or videotape movie soundtrack and effects, plus five built-in amplifiers for each of the five loudspeaker channels (the subwoofer always has its own dedicated built-in amplifier).

A DVD Player (You can use a Hi-Fi stereo VCR, but it will only deliver analog Dolby Surround, not 5.1-channel Dolby Digital.)

That’s it – a complete surround sound home theater system. Dim the lights, micro the popcorn. Let the show begin!

Click here for a custom Home Theater consultation with Alan Lofft

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