Home Theater Systems in a Box - How to Make An Informed Decision

By: Robert Hickey

With so many options available to choosing a home theater system, it may seem like a next to impossible venture. As you begin your research, you really are wondering where to begin. There are a few points to take into consideration in order to help narrow the research process. First and foremost, consider how much money you are willing to spend and what you would like in an entertainment system. Do you need a new DVD player, or do you want only an amplifier and speaker home theater system? What features do you require? How big is the room where you are setting up your system? If you start to tackle the task knowing the answers to these questions, you'll be better equipped to find a system that you will be proud of.

As you think about how much you are going to spend on a home theater system, have a set budget in mind. Try to consider your payment options before you are in the store so you would have already decided whether you will pay cash or pay by credit. If you are going the credit option, consider if you will be able to afford the long term payments and interest fees. Essentially, figure out how much you want to pay up front or on-going on a monthly basis. This is a good starting point before you even start to compare prices and systems.

Once you have got your finances sorted out, it's a good idea to spend some time comparing home theater systems. The trick is to find a home theater in a box that meets your entertainment requirements at a price that you can afford. One of the most difficult things to do is to stay financially focused on the task at hand. What I mean by that is, if you see the latest and greatest television and it's not in your budget, stay away from it! You'll end up wasting a lot of time and getting frustrated. Keep focused on looking for home theater systems that offer you outstanding sound quality and features that won't break the bank.

Another tip is to talk to friends and family and use the internet to read reviews on home theater systems that fall within your budget. Try to narrow your list down to the top three that you feel could be a good fit. As you shop around, don't be afraid to try to get an idea of how the system sounds. Engage the sales person with questions and see if they can assist with letting you hear the sound system while at the store. In most cases they may have it already hooked up which makes it easy, but if they don't, ask them if they can help you hear it. I've found that most salespeople are more than happy to help, especially if you have narrowed your choices down to a select few systems.

Some of the latest home theaters in a box are equipped with a 7.1-channel receiver/speaker package and depending on the manufacturer include a multitude of features. Some of the more popular ones include XM satellite radio integration and compatibility with a portable music device, like and iPod.

By knowing your budget and doing some research online and offline, you can be sure you will end up with a home theater in a box you will enjoy for years to come.

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