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Many people shy away from purchasing a home theater for fear of the great costs involved in doing so. I recommend that you put serious pen and paper to those assumptions rather then merely assuming it is too costly for your limited budget. The truth of the matter, when compared with the costs of going out to watch a movie you might find that you will be spending less money in no time by watching movies at home rather than paying for the ‘movie going’ experience.
You might want to pay careful attention to how much money you spend each month going to the theater. Don’t forget including any costs involved in hiring sitters, going out to dinner (most people don’t do McDonald’s before or after going to theaters), concession stand purchases in those figures. Even if you go to the theater once a week as a couple or as family the costs can really add up. If you visit the theater less or have a smaller family those costs might be less but you could also seriously raise those prices by going more often or having a larger family.
The important thing to remember when pricing a home theater system is the value it will bring to you and your family. If this will bring the family together at home for a couple of nights a week it is well worth the investment in my opinion. If it will keep the teens in your home and off the streets on the weekend it is worth even more. A home theater is an investment in the enjoyment of your home for everyone involved and many families find that this is a great way to enjoy a night at home. It’s also a great way to insure super-Super Bowl parties will be taking place in your home rather than the homes of others (it’s a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things).
With this in mind you can buy kits for anywhere between $200 and $2,000 (and upwards, but if you are going to spend more than $2,000 I seriously recommend building your own home theater). Box systems are rather easy to find in local and mass-market retailers and are rather simple to install (even for the uninitiated). These systems may not provide the best possible system but for those who have significant budget concerns they are a great place to start and you can get some really great systems if you are willing to seriously shop around and compare the different quality between brands as well as which bells and whistles you require and which you can live without.
Once you make the decision to buy a home theater the best thing to do is check out what is available. You should then take complete advantage of the great competition on the market today by searching for the most features for the lowest price. You just might be shocked and amazed at the great bargains that you can find, especially in the months following the big consumer expo show each January.
You should combine the home theater and excellent movie experience in your home with a membership to Netflix, Blockbuster, or some other home delivery DVD system and you can have frozen pizza, microwave popcorn, and all the pillows to hide behind you can ask for in the comfort of your home for a fraction of the price of going to the theater once a week.
Today’s personal computers are being called upon to do more diverse tasks than at any other point in history. In fact, the use of personal computers as an integral part of a home theater is becoming more and more commonplace as technology progresses. There are even operating systems designed upon the idea of a personal computer being used as an all around media center rather than merely functioning as a personal computer.
As a result, I see the growth in this treatment and use of computers growing in popularity as well as possibility in the future. With more and more people incorporating their computer use into various aspects of work and play it only makes sense that we now bring them one step further in their entertainment functions and capabilities. The technology however isn’t entirely new, what is new is the growing number of people putting this technology to use on a regular, if not daily basis.
Media Center personal computers are computers that essentially act in the capacity that a receiver would normally act. They accept the information and send it where it should go. These PCs allow you to listen to music through the speakers on the computer or through those that are part of your home stereo system as well as DVDs, mp3s, etc. You can also use these systems in order to watch television programs on your computer monitor rather than a television set. This means you can also use your computer hard drive in order to store digital recordings of your favorite television show. In addition to these great features, you can also create slideshows with your digital photographs.
While a few years ago you would have been mocked for the notion that your home computer would prove a valuable resource for your home theater, the use is becoming more and more widely accepted and practices. We will only see greater instances of this occurring as technology evolves and advances to a point where personal computers may one day become a necessary component in any really good quality home theater system that is sold on any market.
By taking the time now to learn to use this technology to your advantage you are setting the stage for even greater things to come in the future for your home theater system and to increase your personal enjoyment of the space that is your home theater. As technology advances we will see improvements of functionality of media center PCs as well as ways to expand their current capacity and bring more features to them. For now, they offer the greatest combination of function and entertainment I have experienced within my lifetime. I am looking forward to see the things yet to come with media center PCs and the combination of home theater technology with the efficiency and control that computers allow into the mix.
If you have not yet considered the additional depth that combining your personal computer with your home theater can provide there is no time better than the president to check out what it can do for your and your current configuration. While you are at it you might also wish to check out advances that are being made on both fronts and how they complement each other when considering future purchases or upgrades for your current home theater.
One huge questions looms in the minds of many who elect to purchase massive home theater systems for their homes: Do I install it myself or pay for installation? This great debate seems to consume consumers the world over and there really is no easy answer as it completely and entirely depends on your own confidence of your abilities and whether or not you will postpone the work for six months or get right to it once you get your home theater-well home.
In my house it all depends on who wants the product most and who has the ability to handle an installation. I’ve learned that when it comes to things such as home theaters my husband is an ace at getting it done right away. On the other hand I lugged my laundry to the laundry mat for 6 weeks while a washing machine and dryer sat in my basement waiting for him to install them. With this in mind, I pay for installation on anything that I want installed quickly and if it doesn’t matter too terribly much to me, I’ll leave it to him to install on his own timeline.
Of course timing isn’t the only consideration when it comes to the installation of your home theater equipment. Knowledge is actually a key component. If you break something during the course of installation it may not be covered by the warranty, particularly if it is easy to prove that it was broken and not the result of a factory defect. At the same time you do not wish to get down to the last little bit only to discover that one small part is missing, which may actually require you to take everything out, box it up, and return it to the store. Time is money for many of us and going through the installation process twice is not only frustrating it is expensive (even in terms of the amount of our leisure time it robs us of).
There are of course other considerations when it comes to the decision of whether or not to pay the price of professional installation and one of those is the warranty on your home theater system and its components. There are some warranties that are nullified if you do not have your home theater factory or professionally installed. You need to be certain if you are installing your own home theater that your warranty won’t be wasted as a result.
There are positives to consider when it comes to installing your home theater as well. Number one on that list is the amount of money you will save. Professional installation (anything with professional in front of it for that matter) is quite costly and many consumers neglect to consider that when budgeting for their home theaters. In many cases professional installation can be a real deal breaker when it comes to getting the home theater system that you really want.
The second positive when it comes to performing the installation yourself is that you know without a doubt how to take it apart and move the pieces if you ever have the occasion or need to do so (such as a move or the need to repair or replace certain pieces or parts). It is also a good idea to know where everything plugs in and doing the installation yourself will give you a clear indication of that as well.
Finally, there is a sense of pride that comes with knowing you did it yourself and you did it well. Being able to accomplish something that not everyone is able or willing to do on their own is impressive and something you should take great pride in doing. Whether you decide to go with professional installation (there is no shame in this decision) or installing your home theater system for yourself I wish you many years of enjoyment with your new home theater.