Build a great home theatre system

A few essential pointers for a great entertainment system setup at home.

Should it be a plasma or LED? And bookshelf speakers or large tower speakers? Decisions, decisions! If space is not an issue and your budget permits you to dish out enough dough that could buy you a medium-sized car, then you have the fundamentals in place to making yourself a home theatre system that will serve you for years to come.

Although LED and HDTV sets are the way to go these days, LCD screens last much longer and are also more durable. If you are going the LCD way, then buy a high end set that will get you a truer black colour and avoid annoying artifacts that pop up in action scenes caused by the refresh rate of pixels in low-end LCD panels.

The Blu-Ray Player
Did you think Blu-ray technology was passe? Hang on a bit — it's still a great choice if you want the very best movie experience possible. If you've ever seen the Blu-ray version of Lord of the Rings, you'll probably get what we are saying. Picture and sound quality do differ by a certain margin among high-end Blu-ray players and you may not need to spend too much. Cancer surgeon, Dr Rajay Kumar, who likes to relax with a good movie after long hours in the OT, says, "I actually use the Blu-Ray player that comes inbuilt in my game console. It does the job pretty well."

The Preamp/Amplifier Combo
While most of us manage to obtain decent sound with a no-frills stereo amplifier, which is also called a receiver, in the dream world, you're going to want some extra muscle. That's where the preamp comes in. The two-stage process is normally handled by an amplifier. But you're going to want to separate these processes, because amplifiers work best when they're cool and not overheated multitasking to create the type of room-filling, realistic sound you're going to be producing.

The speakers
Your speakers are the only part of your dream home theatre audio system that metaphorically touch the road. So you need them to be great. Musician and singer Priya Darshini says speakers are critical to any home theatre section. "I would mix and match my speakers. I'd probably get two studio-level front speakers and combine it with say, satellite or cube speakers, which are pretty good these days."

Room acoustics
Acoustic tiles, sound diffusers and even rugs can be used to shape the sound of a room. This too is critical to setting up a good home theatre.



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