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Ahhh, you've embarked on the path to video and audio enlightenment. What path to choose? Projection or plasma, separates or all-in-one, 5.1 7.1 or 100.5, balanced power? Can I simply have one remote and an enveloping experience?
Simply put, there are a lot of options from the esoteric to the simple. Breaking this down to a few subject areas,
- Speakers, you're most probably going to be using more than 2 speakers in a home theater. How many? Well, from your stereo (got one of those, right?) you can pretty much pick out right and left sides with 2 speakers. Adding two more in the left back and right back will give you left front, left back, right front, and right back - which would be 4 speakers - along the lines of a quadraphonic system from way back... but back to the subject at hand. When watching a movie, for example, there's generally some action coming from the screen, otherwise why watch? This being the case, let's add a speaker above or below the screen, which brings us to 5 speakers, Front Left and Right, Front Center, and Rear Left and Rear Right. You might think that adding a subwoofer, or a low frequency speaker, would bring this setup to 6 speakers, but you would only be partially correct. Those in the know would refer to this as a 5.1 system, which really means 5 "regular" speakers, and one low frequency speaker.
- Amplifiers - Surround procesing
- DVD players - HTPC (Home Theater Personal Computer) - Video processing / scaling - Projectors - Screens - Plasma displays - LCD displays - Rear projection displays - CRT (tube) displays
- Dimensions - Sound attenuation - Seating