Home Cinema - Tips on Buying a Home Cinema System
Buying a home cinema system isn’t easy, particularly if you don’t have any previous experience of home theater. Here we present a few tips to make the whole process easier.
Set a budget and stick to it. Home cinema systems can vary greatly in price, and it’s easy to be tempted by great equipment even when it’s more than you can afford. Setting a realistic budget before you start helps you to avoid “budget creep”. Break the budget down so that you have a rough idea of how much you’re spending on each part of your home cinema.
Consider installation. This could be a hidden cost of hundreds of dollars unless you do it yourself. Cheaper systems are usually easier to install and fine-tune than expensive models, while the “home theater in a box” kind are the easiest of all. Buying a very complex system usually means that you’ll need help setting it up in the room. Some stores offer an installation service (either for a fee or as part of a package deal) but online stores usually don’t.
Think integration. How is your new kit going to fit into the allocated room? Will your equipment and accessories go with the existing décor or will you have to redecorate the room first? This might sound like a trivial concern, but you’ll understand if you’ve ever seen a Star Wars popcorn maker sitting uneasily alongside floral wallpaper. Choose each accessory with an idea of how it’ll fit into the general theme.
Cut out the jargon. It’s easy to be distracted by a product’s specifications, particularly if you’ve never even heard of the feature on offer. So find out what all the technical terms mean before you start. You’ll find that some features are essential, others desirable and others completely unnecessary. Our page on reviews offers a useful jargon-buster.
Once you’ve set a budget (including installation costs), considered the space available and mastered the jargon, it’s time to make some choices about the home cinema equipment you want to buy. Each piece of equipment has its advantages and disadvantages, and it’s your task to make the comparisons that will lead you to a decision. The right preparation will make this task much easier.