What Are the Different Types of Home Theater Components?

G. Wiesen

A number of different home theater components can be required for an audio and video setup to function properly. These devices are required for people to have an audio and video experience in their own homes and often begin with a television. Various media devices are also common home theater components that can include players of different types of media discs and video game consoles. The audio portion of a setup can require various pieces of hardware, including a receiver, which is the heart of the audio setup, and numerous speakers including one for bass.

Most home theater systems make use of separate surround sound systems.
Most home theater systems make use of separate surround sound systems.

Home theater components needed for a good setup include a television, usually a large, high quality display. As technology improves, the best television for an optimal viewing experience can change quite a bit, though it is typically some type of High Definition Television (HDTV). Various improvements have been developed, even for different HDTVs, including the creation of new technology for three-dimensional (3D) television viewing and increased color capabilities.

A home theater might have a television, receiver, and speakers.
A home theater might have a television, receiver, and speakers.

Media devices and players are also important home theater components, since they are the devices that send a signal to the television. This can include a signal receiver, such as a cable or satellite box that sends a television broadcast to the display device. There are also a number of media players that read different types of physical media. Over the years, these pieces of hardware have played many different types of media, including Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs) and Blu-ray® discs, with new technology likely to be introduced in the future. Video game consoles are also frequently used as home theater components, playing games and other types of entertainment media.

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A large projection screen and speaker system are two of the most important components of a home theater.
A large projection screen and speaker system are two of the most important components of a home theater.

The audio aspect of an entertainment system also requires a number of home theater components. A receiver, for example, is one of the most important elements of a setup and is used as the central device in an audio system. This can receive signals from radio broadcasts and other devices, and then send that signal out to the various speakers connected to it. Even audio signals from a television and other home theater components go through the receiver.

Thick speaker cables may help ensure a good, clean sound.
Thick speaker cables may help ensure a good, clean sound.

In the same way that a television is required for the display of video signals, speakers are used for an audience to enjoy the audio aspects of a setup. Different types of speakers can be used as home theater components, though they typically include at least one bass and multiple satellites. The number of speakers in a system is designated by the numerical value of the audio. For example, “5.1 stereo sound” has five satellite speakers and one bass unit, indicated by the “0.1” in the description.

A Blu-ray® player for a home theater.
A Blu-ray® player for a home theater.
A home theater may include a digital projector.
A home theater may include a digital projector.

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