Is Home Theatre In A Box Worth It?

August 20, in Audio

Let’s face it, folks–with the way the economy is today, we’re ALL looking at our wallets a little more closely than we ever did.  We’re all feeling every last dollar flow out like we were losing blood.  And we’re all thinking about ways to save.

Now, to that end, some people think that now is a really good time to set up a home theatre.  They figure–and who can blame them?–why spend gas money and wear on a vehicle just to go somewhere to spend ridiculous prices to watch movies when I can go to the video store and get more movies for less money, or even have Netflix (or Blockbuster) deliver them right to my front door by mail?  Why pay four bucks for a large soda when I can buy three, four two-liters for the same price?  A sack of popcorn is two bucks here, but a “large popcorn” at the movies is twice that and maybe a tenth of the bag!

These are, naturally, fair arguments.  They advance the idea that you can actually save money by spending a whole lot of it all at once then not spending it any more for a good long while.  But the components can be downright pricey, and some people look to save money by getting a so-called “home theatre in a box“.

These all-in-one systems are definitely inexpensive, and vastly simplified for the non-technological crowd, but the question is, are they worth it?

Some would say no, that the quality of the components is vastly less than what you would get buying piecemeal and assembling yourself.  That if you start with a good receiver and work your way down to speakers you’ll get a much better system than you do out of the boxes.

Some, meanwhile, say that the incredible value of a box system takes precedence over any perceived lack of quality, and that toward the upper levels, quality differences aren’t even that perceptible.  After all, some will say, look at a 1080p and a 720p system–do you see a whole lot of difference there?  Some people will, of course, but for a lot of people, 720p may well be more than enough, especially if they’re used to standard definition systems.

So is it worth it?  It really depends on your needs.  If all you need is to be able to see your movie and hear it, then a box system might be just fine.  If not, well, then piecemeal is the way to go.


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