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Home Theater Accessories

You’ve got the room all planned out. You’ve got the speakers and the receivers. You’ve even got some really great home theater recliners. But are you really going to use that old television as your main screen in your new home theatre? And do you really want to remember which remote control is for which machine? It’s time you got yourself some home theater accessories.

All the Fixings
There are many different bits of home theater equipment that you may need to get yourself the best home theater out there. While most people think of the big-ticket items, like a nice new television or a home theater projector (more on these later), there are various other little tidbits you need to complete your home theater.

If you have purchased a home theater speaker system, most likely all of the cables and wires you need will be in that package. However, if you have decided to go the individual route and have purchased one or two home theater speakers separately, then you may not find any wires in that home theater speaker package. So be prepared to add speaker wires to your shopping list. But, if you’re not big on wires in the first place, then you may want to take a look at some Sony home theater speakers. Some of their home theater in a box systems offer home theater wireless speakers.

When the time comes to do your home theater speaker placement, don’t find yourself unequipped. Buy speaker mounts in advance so you can put those speakers exactly in the right spot. Even home theater satellite speakers will give you better sound if they are mounted to the perfect spot instead of just being placed in any old location.

Other equipment you will want to have on hand when you go to install your home theater system include:

  • Audio cable (for things like home theater subwoofers)
  • Video cable
  • Wall mounts (an alternative to cabinets for your home theater equipment)

The Big Picture
Home theater screens are an important feature of the home theater. Just which kind you should get depends on your budget, the amount of space you have available, what kind of picture you want and the overall feel you want to convey in the room. For the true theater experience, consider purchasing a front-projector.

Home theater projectors often offer the best value per inch of screen, so if you were planning on buying a big screen television, you may want to think about buying a front-projection system instead. Essentially a projector, this two-piece system consists of a projector and a screen. While older front projectors were heavy and cumbersome machines that required professional installation, today’s models are relatively light and easy to transport, not to mention set-up. They use LCD (liquid crystal display) or DLP (digital light processing) along with digital technology to give you an exceptional picture. Although you can use a wall as your screen, buying a proper screen will give you a much smoother image. And don’t worry, there are lots of choices when it comes to screen size and style (freestanding, wall mounted or retractable? Manual or motorized retraction?), so there is bound to be something that will fit your room and budget.

Because these projectors are so small, you can easily set it up on a coffee table or a bookshelf, which is perfect if you only plan to use it occasionally. If you plan to use the projector more regularly, then just buy a ceiling mount where it can stay out of everyone’s way. Other benefits of projectors include the fact that, since there is no glass on the screen, there is no glare either. You can also hook-up your video game consoles for a larger-than-life playing experience.

On the down side, front projectors are just that and nothing more. They do not have any speakers or built in TV tuners. But they can display signals from a satellite receiver, a cable box or an HDTV or VCR’s TV tuner. Besides, if you were planning on buying a home theater speaker system, does it really make a difference if you hook them up to a front-projector instead of a television?

The Conventional Source
Many people still prefer going with the tried and true television set for their home theater system. But even within this category, you have many choices. Regular tube, Big Screen, Plasma or LCD screen? HDTV capabilities? Wide screen? Flat screen? How many inches? The possibilities are endless.

Although the technology behind it may be old, today’s tube TVs offer a much better image quality than they did just a few years ago. Thanks in large part to the simple technology as well as the popularity of plasma televisions, tube TV prices are lower now than ever before. And that means there’s sure to be something in your budget. These televisions have screens up to 36 inches.

If you’re look for something very slim that can be mounted right onto your wall like a screen, then you’ll probably want to go with an LCD or Plasma screen TV. Considered to be top-of-the-line televisions, their exceptional picture quality accounts for their quick rise in popularity. LCD screens are available up to 46 inches, while Plasma screens go up to 61 inches in size.

It wasn’t too long ago that big screen TVs were considered to be the ultimate in home theater electronics. Ranging in screen size from 42 inches to 70 inches, these televisions are often referred to as rear-projection TVs. Unfortunately, while this TV delivers a great picture when you are sitting directly in front of it, anyone sitting off to the side will see a noticeably dimmer image.

No matter what type of television you decide to buy, remember: size does matter when it comes to home theater televisions. So get the biggest TV your budget, room and home theater seating arrangement will allow.

Safety and Simplification
Now that you have all this equipment, you’ll want to protect it. For relatively little money, you can buy a power bar, which will help to keep your equipment safe from power surges and lightning strikes. Some will even help to guard against electromagnetic and radio frequency interferences. Not to mention the fact that the extra electrical outlets often come in very handy. If you live in an area that is especially prone to blackouts, you may want to consider getting a back-up power supply for your home theater. Just a few extra minutes of power can be enough to help you shut off all your home theater equipment without it getting damaged.

Once everything is installed, you may find yourself with more remote controls than you know what to do with! One easy way of solving this problem is by getting a multi-functional remote control. Just imagine, one remote that can turn on your VCR and DVD player, your television, control your satellite or cable and start a CD on your stereo. Thankfully, these remotes are no longer just a dream due to innovations like the Home Theater Master remote control and other remotes like it. Although these universal remotes can be expensive, they are often worth it for the simplicity they bring back to your life.

Speaking of remotes, consider installing lights in your home theater that can be used with a remote control or at the very least a dimmer. Being able to adjust the lighting in any room is always useful - especially in a home theater. The perfect lighting will help complete any home theater.


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