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Components of a Home Theatre System

A home theater system gives you a cinema-like experience from the comfort of your own living room or any other room in the house. It consists of:

  • Audio
    • AM/FM, satellite or internet radio
    • Media server
    • CD
    • Speakers
    • Sound system
  • Video
    • DVD or Blu-ray player
    • Projector
    • Plasma TV or flat screen TV
    • Satellite or cable
    • Request DVD server
  • A room where this equipment can be installed

A description of only the main components is given below.

Sound System

The most important things that set apart the experience of watching at a theater and watching on a standard television are the sound system and the large screen. Every home theatre system must consist of at least 5 speakers termed as the 5.1 surround system. One speaker is set up at the front, one at the back, one in the centre and two at the sides.  This configuration has been chosen to allow the audio signal to split up in a number of channels, so that a different sound can be heard from each speaker.

AV Receiver

The audio-video or AV receiver acts as both a receiver and an amplifier. Its purpose is to receive signals from the source such as a VCR, DVD player or cable, amplify these signals and transmit them to output devices which are basically the television and speakers. An AV receiver comprises of a preamplifier, signal processor and a power amplifier, which aid in the functioning.

DVD or Blu-Ray Players

Digital Versatile Discs or DVDs are characterized by a great picture quality and rich sound. Widescreen DVDs are also available, and support a variety of sound formats.  So a DVD player may be a good choice, but an even better option is a blue-ray player. Blu-ray supports HDTV, and gives a five times better performance than DVDs.


The large screen is another important factor which makes a movie experience at a theatre so much better than one at home. Since a home theatre system allows a person to have that very same experience, it also consists of a large screen in the form of a rear projection television, front projection television and plasma screen. Any of these devices can be used depending on the budget. A standard television can also be set up with a home theatre system, but it naturally will not have that same charm.

Whatever device may be selected, the size, picture resolution, signal format and digital capacity are important for determining the output quality.