What Are the Different Types of Home Theater Electronics?

Jeremy Laukkonen

The different types of home theater electronics can be broken down into general categories such as audio and video equipment. Home theater audio equipment includes amplifiers, compact disc (CD) players, speakers, and other related components. Most home theater systems include at least a tuner and two or more speakers. Home theater video equipment includes items such as televisions, projectors, digital video disc (DVD) players, and other video sources. Audio and video home theater electronics are typically joined together through a tuner or receiver, which allows audio from the television to play over the speaker system, or external video sources to be routed to the television.

A Blu-ray® player for a home theater.
A Blu-ray® player for a home theater.

Home theaters are entertainment rooms designed to provide a high quality audio and visual experience without having to leave the house. Simple home theaters consist of little more than a television hooked up to a surround sound speaker system, while complex installations can provide a viewing experience that rivals or exceeds that of a real cinema. There are a number of electronic components that can be put together to create a home theater, though these systems need both audio and visual elements.

Some home theater systems use a projector.
Some home theater systems use a projector.

The main visual component of a home theater system is usually some type of television or a projector. Televisions typically include some type of built-in tuner, while projectors usually rely on an exterior video source. There are a number of different types of home theater electronics that can serve as video sources, including DVD players, DVRs, cable television tuners, and even video game systems. In some cases, a computer or hard drive can also provide video and audio to a home theater system.

A home theater includes video and audio components.
A home theater includes video and audio components.

Some televisions have high quality built-in speakers, but most home theater systems make use of separate surround sound systems. The type of home theater electronics commonly used to connect televisions to surround sound systems are tuners and receivers. These components can typically accept connections from both video and audio home theater electronics, and then route the signals appropriately. Home theater systems typically include at least two speakers, to provide stereo sound, though surround sound systems can make use of ten or more.

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

Amplifiers are another common type of home theater audio equipment. Some tuners have built-in amplifiers, though stand-alone units are often used in high end home theater installations. One component, such as a DVD player or cable box, can provide both audio and video outputs, but many home theaters also include CD players and other dedicated audio devices. Some home theater systems also include connections for digital music players, or older equipment such as tape decks and vinyl record players.

Most home theater systems make use of separate surround sound systems.
Most home theater systems make use of separate surround sound systems.
The projection screen can be the focal point of a home theater.
The projection screen can be the focal point of a home theater.
Home theaters often deploy state-of-the-art high-def TVs and video players, with the latest digital and wireless audio equipment.
Home theaters often deploy state-of-the-art high-def TVs and video players, with the latest digital and wireless audio equipment.

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