A home theater system is a sound and video setup installed in a home primarily for the purpose of viewing movies or television shows. Display devices, like a projector or flat-screen TV, and speakers are the main parts of a home theater system.
For surround sound, speakers are placed in all four corners of the room, as well as on shelves or walls above, behind, to the left and right of the television. A home theater system can also be called a home cinema system.
If you are planning to buy a home theater system, it is important that you understand what each component does. This article will explain these components and their importance.
Television or Video Projector
The television or video projector is the monitor of your home theater system. It provides a viewable image of the content you wish to consume on your home theater system. You will need to decide between a television, a video projector, or sometimes both.
Televisions offer convenience as they are not only common, but they also take up less space than most projectors and are easier to install. The only thing that makes projectors better than TVs is that they have big screens that can completely immerse viewers in their home entertainment experience.
If you are going with a TV, then you have three options: LCD, LED, or plasma. All these TVs use liquid crystals to produce images, but there are slight differences in how they operate.
LED TVs are an upgrade from LCD TVs because they use light emitting diodes instead of fluorescent backlighting. LEDs make colors appear brighter and more vivid than conventional LCDs.
Plasma TVs have a reputation for having better pictures than LCDs, and they tend to be cheaper than LED-backlit sets when comparing similar sizes. However, plasma technology is starting to lose ground as LEDs become more affordable.
If you want a huge image that fills your entire field of vision, then go with a video projector instead of a TV.
You can buy movies and shows on Blu-ray discs or DVDs, or use digital files stored on devices such as media streamers or PCs. You can also download movies directly from services such as iTunes and Amazon Video.
The receiver is one of the most important components of a home theater system. It connects all of your devices and acts as the hub for your system. Your receiver needs to have enough audio inputs to support all of your devices, including Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, Apple TV, cable or satellite boxes and other devices.
Most receivers will also have multiple HDMI inputs and outputs for high-definition video signals. You may want to choose a receiver that supports 4K video so you will be able to use it with future technology.
The AV receiver decodes surround sound signals and routes them to their respective speakers. It also takes stereo and multichannel signals from non-surround sources like streaming music services or CD players and processes them into surround sound so they can be played through all of the speakers in your system.
Player (Blu-ray Player, DVD Player, etc.)
The player is responsible for reading and reproducing the sound and video files stored on discs. All players can read DVDs. Blu-ray players can also read and play back both DVD and Blu-ray discs.
There are also universal disc players that can read Blu-ray, DVD, SACD, HDCD, CD, and MP3 discs. Also, a Blu-ray player may have an Ethernet port so you can get online content.
An amplifier provides power for all of your speakers, and in some cases, even your subwoofer. There are many different types of amplifiers, and each will have a slightly different sound signature. As long as you find one that has enough power for your speakers, you can start with it and swap it out later if you find something else that suits your taste better.
You’ll need at least five speakers for a home theater setup, but if you can afford it, seven speakers make a huge difference in the experience. A TV’s built-in speakers just can’t match the sound quality and depth that multiple speakers provide. All home theater speaker systems should include:
Center Channel Speakers
These are critical because they deliver dialogue and other important sounds. Depending on the size of your room and budget, you might want to consider a center channel speaker with two or three subwoofers, which can really help with clarity of sound.
Front Left/Right Speakers
These speakers sit on either side of your TV and are responsible for delivering most of the music, as well as more details about what’s happening in the center channel.
These speakers sit behind your seating area and create a sense of immersion by delivering sounds from all around your room, such as crowd noise or birds chirping in a forest scene.
Subwoofers deliver low-frequency sounds, such as explosions or thunder, which can’t be reproduced by other speakers because they require more power than regular speakers can handle without breaking.
There are also other types of speaker setups you can use with your home theater system, such as Dolby Atmos or DTS:X.
Also Read: How to Connect Speakers to TV
The soundbar delivers high-quality sound and can be placed under or above the television to match your particular setup. In addition, soundbars also come with a subwoofer that usually needs to be placed nearby. Wireless subwoofers, on the other hand, allow for more flexibility in setting up the soundbars.
Soundbars are an easy way to get great sound from a television, but if you’re serious about movie watching, it may be worth investing in a surround sound system. In these systems, there are a lot of speakers. This gives the sound more depth and richness than a soundbar, which can’t do.
A surge protector is a recommended addition to your home theater system. A surge protector safeguards your electronics from spikes in voltage. These voltage spikes can occur during sudden changes in weather, such as lightning storms or thunderstorms.
Without a surge protector, these voltage spikes can damage the delicate electronics of your home theater system. A good surge protector will keep your home theater system’s parts safe from voltage surges.
Connection Cables and Speaker Wire
The exact configuration of these components can vary depending on the type of home theater you want to build. You may want to include a set top box, a video game console, or other devices, depending on your preferences and needs.
The most important part of building a great home theater system is ensuring that you have all the necessary connection cables and speaker wire. Without these components, your system simply won’t work.
Most people will need HDMI cables to connect their devices to their televisions, along with an HDMI switch if they have more than one device to connect at once.
Standard RCA cables are also common in home theater systems, particularly if you’re using an older device that doesn’t support HDMI.
There are many other types of cables available as well — coaxial cables are commonly used to connect your cable television or satellite box to your television, while optical cables are typically used to connect Blu-ray players to your television.
Speaker wire is also essential to a home theater system. If you’re using a speaker setup that requires a subwoofer, you’ll need speaker wire to connect the subwoofer to your speaker system.
Remote Control Methods
Another important aspect of setting up your home theater system is choosing the correct remote method for your system. Most people prefer using an infrared remote control because it works from nearly anywhere in the room, but if you want to avoid having wires near your TV or other components, then consider using an RF remote instead.