Essential Home Theater Components: Audio & Video

Home Theater Components
Simplified guide to help you understand the various Home Theater parts & components

A Home Theater System comes with several components, which you need to connect together, to hear the final sound. There are many who don’t feel comfortable, at first glance, on seeing a home theater just because of the number of pieces. But, it is not difficult once you know what the various components do, and where they need to be placed.

We all desire the latest hi-tech equipment and entertainments systems, but then some of these can be a bit challenging to setup. Read here to know about the various home theater components and parts that you will have to deal with in most common entertainment systems.

Basic Home theatre System

Even before we go into the details of the various parts and components, for all basic purposes you can assume it to be made of the following components:

  • Television: Ideally bigger than 27 inches for best experience
  • DVD player
  • Three speakers
  • These are actually the basic components of any home theater, and this is what you need to get a better audio-visual experience.

    The level of entertainment/ cinematic experience you get out of it is further dependent on the specs of your system.

    Besides, adding the right home entertainment furniture can further enhance your experience. This is because, depending on the size of your room, these help to place them at locations to help you get the best results.

    Audio Components of a Typical Home Theater System

    Knowing the various audio components will also help you decide, what accessories you need to place them best!

    Great audio components will ensure you hours of entertainment to enhance your home theater experience. This is the part of your home theater system that adds life to the movies you watch. Just imagine watching the latest blockbuster movie without audio. Even if you were watching it in 3D, it wouldn’t appeal to you as much.

    So what are the essential audio components of any home theater?

    Home Theater Audio Components

    Multi-format playback
    Your basic CD player will do, but if you can splurge on an audio component capable of multi-format playback, then do so. This will allow you certain flexibility when it comes to playing music and video content that were recorded on different formats.

    Speakers can make or break your home theater audio components. You could have the most sophisticated audio components on the market but if you played your DVD using some mediocre speakers, you’ll turn a really good movie into a B-rated disaster and a B-movie into something worse.

    So how many speakers do you need? If you’re on an extreme budget, a set of two front speakers will do a decent job but if you want a real home theater experience, get front speakers, a center channel speaker, surround speakers, a subwoofer and throw in a single (or a pair of) rear surround speakers.

    Front speakers are a primary source of audio while surround speakers allow you to hear the sound in a 3D-like environment. Was that a real bird you heard chirping next to your left ear? No, those are just the surround speakers doing their job.

    The center channel speaker is the unit you place either below or above the monitor screen and is responsible for reproducing music, dialogue and other sound effects. The subwoofer is dedicated for bass sounds and is the one that makes your heart thump heavily during really scary scenes.

    Receivers are responsible for making sure you hear what you’re supposed to hear. They often include a radio tuner. Stereo speakers use two channels to amplify sound and send the sounds from the source to the speakers. Home theater receivers, on the other hand, are capable of providing output for multiple speakers and can decode surround audio sounds from sources like HDTV, multi-channel audio CDs and DVD movies.

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    Evolution of Stereo Systems

    Several years back, a music system would mean an all-in-one one-piece body that was easier to carry as well. For several years, people would happily listen to these, as that was the only make that was available to music lovers.

    Over a period of time, multiple pieces started getting introduced and until not long ago, even a hi-fi system would contain a main body with a built-in amplifier and all the controls, and a couple of speakers that would be placed adjacent to the box.

    And that changed with the introduction of home theater systems.

    Though audio speakers are an important part of any home theater setup, there are a few more components involved in this setup. The two other important Home Theater Components, besides the speakers, being the Television & DVD player and the home theater receiver.

    Most of us are aware of televisions and DVD players. Here’s a bit more on the receiver.

    What Does a Home Theater Receiver Do?

    A receiver acts as the control center for surround sound audio; it processes audio signals, amplifies them, and sends them to your speakers. All recent home theater receivers can amplify multi-channel surround sound as well as stereo audio, because they have built-in surround sound decoding.

    Great for Connecting Multiple Sources
    The receiver can be used to connect multiple sources, such as DVD player, a cable box, a Blu-ray player, and a video game console or two, to your home theater system.

    Home Theater Components

    There are many who use a a single connection from the receiver to the TV and other sources to simplify everyday use.

    So whenever you want to watch a movie or play a video game, you just have to press a button on your receiver’s remote to switch to the right inputs, without having to switch inputs on your TV.

    Several Components to Handle

    When you are talking about electronics equipment such as surround sound or home theater system, these can have several components / pieces that need to be tied together and placed at various locations in order to get the best performance from them.

    A good home theater system will have things like TV, speakers, receivers, amplifiers, preamps, etc. These all come together to provide you a very realistic viewing as well as hearing experience.

    Though not all systems have to have all of these (you can always go in for a toned down version), the more speakers you have the better is the hearing experience.

    It Can Be Challenging to Install

    As you can see, the top entertainment systems can have several components, and if you consider the various cords and wires that also need to be handled, it can be challenging to set it up.

    Even if you were to give it a try, it is definitely not a few minutes job. In fact, it is quite possible that you may easily spend a few hours figuring out the connection between the various parts, and the best placement for these components.

    To Conclude

    Buying a hi-tech entertainment system is a great feeling but you need to set it up properly first. Remember, there are several parts and components in a home theater that you’ll need to handle. You’ll also want a pre-amplifier, an amplifier and an equalizer to complete your home theater setup. You need to spend some time tweaking the settings, so that you are happy with the sound, but if you know what you’re doing, amplifiers will definitely enhance your home theater experience. You may even need the help of another pair of hands, especially for placing heavier things like television and any heavier speakers. So you need to consider these factors when you plan for the installation.

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