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What Are the Best Tips for How to Compare Home Theater Systems?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Images By: Elenathewise, Ludmilafoto, Intel Free Press
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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For anyone wishing to compare home theater systems, it is typically a good idea to utilize a few basic points for comparison. This usually requires that someone has a fairly solid understanding of what is available from different systems and then uses that information to see which one would be best. Such considerations should include the type of audio provided by these systems, sizes of different television sets, and the overall quality of the television. Someone trying to compare home theater systems should also consider using professional reviews to compare systems.

One of the first steps someone should take to compare home theater systems is to learn and understand the various terms used in describing them. These terms often refer to audio quality or setup and the size and quality of the televisions. This may require some research, but it is well worth the effort and allows someone to make an informed decision.

In regard to audio, people should understand the different ways speakers can be configured and different levels of quality. One of the first things a person should look at is the number of speakers. Many systems are referred to as 2.1 or 5.1 surround sound; the first number in this designation indicates the number of satellite speakers, while the “.1” indicates the presence of a dedicated bass speaker. Wattage values should also be considered, as this impacts power usage and the quality and volume of the signal coming from these speakers.

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While not all home theater systems come with a television, for those that do, the quality and size of the TV should be considered. For high definition televisions (HDTVs), the measurement of the screen is taken diagonally across the screen. It is often best to compare not only the size of the screen, but also the picture resolution and quality, which is provided as a number such as “1080p,” as well as the screen refresh rate, which should be fairly high.

Once someone understands these aspects of televisions and audio systems, it can be easier to compare home theater systems. This can often be done by simply looking at different systems and writing down information about them, though it can be easier to use sites that host reviews of systems. Individual reviews can be used and compared against each other, and some sites even provide comparisons and rate different systems together to give readers a direct comparison. In evaluating these reviews and systems, however, people should also consider the prices to ensure these comparisons are created fairly and appropriately.

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