To recreate the immersive experience provided by movie theaters in their own homes, shoppers must select the right home theater systems for their needs. The ideal diagonal screen size, for instance, should not exceed half the distance between viewer and screen, according to PCWorld.
Essential Guide for Choosing the Best Home Theater Systems
Components – A typical home theater system includes a wide-screen display, a digital playback device and a multichannel receiver connected to multiple speakers. Blu-ray players offer high-definition playback for more detailed images than standard DVD players.
Size – For the most immersive experience, shoppers can purchase a digital projector and a receiver that supports seven or more channels of audio. Smaller viewing environments, however, can make do with less. PCWorld notes that cash-strapped shoppers or those in small rooms can start with just two or three speakers and add others later.
Other Considerations – Shoppers should note which inputs and outputs their home video systems include. High-definition video reproduction usually requires an HDMI or analog video interface. Shoppers should also ensure that the receiver sends 50 to 100 watts to each speaker channel and offers multiple surround-sound modes, according to CNET.
Guide Steps for Choosing the Best Home Theater Systems
Select a Television – Choose your television based on its size. A television with a large screen size will help you create the feeling of being at a cinema. Consider one with a viewing size of at least 32 inches. Think about the size of your room. To determine the size of television to buy, measure the distance between your sitting area and where your television will be placed. Divide this number by 3 to arrive at a minimum television size and multiply it by 1.5 to get the maximum television size. For instance, a viewing distance of 48 inches requires a television between 19 inches and 32 inches.
Choose a television based on form. Flat televisions take up less space and can be mounted. However, if space is not an issue, rear-projection televisions are less expensive. Consider picture quality. Although plasma televisions are more affordable, LCD televisions show pictures at higher resolutions.
Choose a Media Player – Select a high definition media player based on studio support. Paramount and Warner support both Blu-ray and HD DVD but other studios are selective. Disney, Fox, Lions Gate and Sony Pictures support Blu-ray while Studio Canal, Western and Universal prefer HD DVD.
Choose media products based on your gaming system. Recent gaming systems are can be used as media players in a home theater system. Microsoft Xbox systems can be used as HD DVD players while Sony PlayStation 3 can be used as Blu-ray players. Consider other options. TiVo is a flexible media player that allows users record live shows and download videos off the Internet. Your laptop, or iPod dock, can also be used as a media player.
Choose a media player based on longevity. Blu-ray and HD DVD technologies are battling for dominance. It is likely that one will lose and fade into extinction. Consider an up converting DVD player. It does not rely on the Blu-ray or HD DVD technologies. The machine will analyze the video signals and then fill in the gaps to achieve a higher resolution.
Compare AV receivers – Consider price when selecting an AV receiver. High-end receivers may have all the features but they cost more. Less expensive AV receivers perform the essential functions but do not have as much power. Mid-range receivers have more features than entry-level versions but are more affordable than high-end receivers.Use the size of your room to determine the amount of power your AV receiver should have. If your room is big, your AV receiver will need a lot of power to fill it. Small rooms need less power.
Select AV receivers based on the sensitivity of your speakers. The sensitivity of a speaker determines its ability to produce a certain volume. Speakers with low sensitivity need AV receivers with a lot of power, while speakers with high sensitivity require less power. Choose an AV receiver with a total harmonic distortion (THD) level below 0.1 percent. This makes the audio signals sound smooth.
Choose a Speaker System – Find out how much power the speaker can handle. This capacity is measured in RMS and Peak Watts. RMS wattage measures how much power a speaker can take continuously while Peak wattage measures the maximum power a speaker can handle for brief bursts of sound. Check for frequency response. Frequency response is a speaker’s ability to reproduce the frequencies in a range at any volume level. Frequency is measured in Hertz (Hz).
Check for the rate of impedance. Speakers with a higher rate of impedance, such as 8 ohm, require less power from the AV receiver. Speakers with less impedance are more require more work from the AV receiver. Impedance is measured in Ohms. Check the speaker’s voltage sensitivity. Voltage sensitivity measures how loud a speaker will be at a given voltage. This is measured in decibels (db) per 2.83 volt.
There are several things to consider when picking home theater systems. Price is usually the most important consideration but other important factors are the size of the room, the quality of the picture and the quality of the sound. If the components of a home theater system have been carefully selected, users can have an experience similar to being at a cinema. While selecting the various components of a home theater system, it is important to remember that bigger is not always better and the most expensive item is not always the best.
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