A Buyers Guide to Home Cinema

Like if this guide is helpful
A Buyer's Guide to Home Cinema

For generations people have gone to the local cinema and munched on popcorn, while watching new films playing in brilliant colour on the giant screen, backed up by an exceptional sound system. Now,  homeowners can capture that very same experience in their house thanks to a home cinema system. Sometimes called a home theatre system,, a home cinema system is made up of several different components for an ultimate audio and visual experience. Movies can be seen in all of their glory, and soundtracks simply explode off the screen with a high tech sound system that spares no expense. However, even homeowners on a budget can still buy a decent home theatre system for their living room by making a few wise decisions. When purchasing a home cinema system,, customers should buy the different components based on their budget and their needs. Home theatre systems are sold in electronic stores and through online websites like eBay..

Components of a Home Cinema System

A home cinema system utilises different components for audio and visual effects. A basic system includes a TV, often called the display, a surround sound system, and an input device such as a Blu-ray disc player.. More complicated systems can also include gaming systems such as a Playstation 3, or Xbox 360, internet connectivity, and audio players. These systems are usually controlled by an AV receiver,, a device that acts as the brain for the entire system. AV receivers control different amplification levels to the speakers, as well as adjusting different display inputs on the TV. Some home cinema systems are sold in a box set that includes the TV, speakers, and amplifiers, while others are sold separately. Homeowners who understand all the different components of a home cinema system can quickly decide which features they want for their home.

Home Cinema System Display

When investing in the TV of the home cinema system, most homeowners choose to live large. This is the realm of the projection TV, which uses the same technology as movie theatres, and the super-sized TV’s over 50 inches. Obviously the size of the TV does need to be determined by available space. A large TV can overwhelm a small living room, forcing viewers to sit too close to the screen. For example, a 50 inch TV needs viewers to sit back at least 2.1 meters while a 60 inch TV requires 2.6 meters of viewing space. Keep this in mind when choosing TV sizes.


The high definition television (HDTV) is often chosen for a home theatre system simply because of its enhanced picture resolution. Consider for a moment that most standard TVs use 576i resolution, which means that the TV has 576 interlaced lines of display capability. Now compare that with HDTV, which at its lowest setting of 720p has far more lines for an enhanced picture. Most HDTVs come in higher resolution quantities, including the 1080p and the 1080i.. Between the three types, the 1080i is considered to be the best because it uses the same interlacing technology as the old standard TVs. Both 720p and 1080p use progressive scan which can lead to a pixilated look. However, 1080i is also the most expensive so homeowners on a strict budget who want excellent display capability can select the 1080p.

Display Type

When it comes to choosing a HDTV, it is very easy to get confused between the different display types of LCD, plasma, and LED. Keep in mind that all of these display types can handle different HD resolutions, so the homeowner is essentially choosing a type based on its lighting ability. The cheapest type is the LCD TV, which uses light crystals to colour the screen. While LCD TVs do give off intensely bright colours,  they have been criticised in the past for their inability to effectively display the colour black. LCD makers sought to remedy this situation by adding LED backlights to an LCD TV. In the TV industry these models are called LED TVs, though they are truly LED LCD TVs.. Very few LED TVs operate without LCD technology, and those that do tend to be extremely small and expensive. Plasma TVs,, which use plasma gas to colour the screen, sell for around the same price as LED LCD TVs and they produce exceptional colour detail.

Home Cinema Surround Sound

The sound system is just as important as buying a HDTV when it comes to home cinema systems.. A customer can spend all of their money on a 65-inch plasma HDTV, but then be forced to listen only to the sound coming out the speakers. Buying an HDTV without a surround sound system is like buying a Ferrari without the wheels. Sound amplifies the entire cinematic experience, so much so that many experts recommend that customers on a limited budget buy a slightly less impressive TV and use the extra money on a surround sound system. A surround sound system is a set of speakers controlled by an amplifier usually through an AV receiver.

Speaker Systems

Surround sound systems come with different stereo speakers, and they are labelled according to the number of speakers used. 2.1 surround sound systems usually make a good choice for small living rooms and apartments. They only use 2 front speakers placed on either side of the TV with a centre speaker for dialogue. 5.1 surround sound systems include six speakers. In addition to the three speakers in the front, two speakers are used in the back, along with a subwoofer, for playing bass tracks. The 7.1 surround sound system uses two more speakers in the rear for additional audio capability.

Input Devices

Input devices are anything that can be attached for playback on the home cinema system. Most homeowners will want to purchase an input device that plays movies. There is no reason to purchase a top of the line HDTV if the homeowner is not willing to buy a disc player that uses a Blu-ray format. Blu-ray players can play movies in HD to ensure that every nuance is captured on the screen. Another popular input choice is a gaming system that allows users to play their favourite games on the TV. Gamers love the extra sound and picture quality that a home cinema system provides when playing their games.


Finally, to many homeowners who are technologically-challenged, the prospect of attaching all the different components of a home cinema system together seems daunting. Truthfully, it is easier than it seems at first glance, especially with modern, user-friendly TVs. Remember that the audio and video lines need to be kept separate so that the surround sound system can accurately playback all the audio tracks. All video cables need to be attached directly into the TV, while all audio cables need to go to the AV receiver. TVs and surround sound systems come with detailed installation instructions that anyone can follow.

Purchasing Home Cinema Systems on eBay

Many homeowners take a trip to the electronics store so that they can see the latest products on display, but they become extremely turned off by the high prices found in retail shops. Therefore, consider eBay as an excellent second option when shopping for home cinema systems.. You can find the same TVs, speakers, and other components on eBay that you would find in an electronic shop but with a wider choice of pricing options. In fact, eBay is ideal for a shopper on a budget because it allows you to choose which system best meets your needs.

Buying Complete Home Cinema Sets

If you want to purchase everything at one time, then search eBay for 'home cinema sets&'. Depending on the price, a set typically includes a TV, speakers, and sometimes a DVD or Blu-ray player. Carefully read the auction listing to determine if everything in the set meets with your satisfaction. For example, if you want a Blu-ray player then make sure the set specifies that it comes with a disc player, and not a Blu-ray player..

Buying Different Components

If you want to purchase individual components separately, either because you have not found a set to your liking, or you want to create your own, then you will need to search eBay for individual parts. Start by searching for one thing at a time, such as 'home cinema system&', or whatever display TV you desire. Once you have the TV handled, then start searching for the sound system by typing in '5.1 surround sound&'. By searching individually you can choose which component you want for your home cinema system without being forced to settle for one provided by the manufacturer.


Home cinema systems can transform any family night, into a visit to the local theatre without ever having to leave home. These powerful systems provide startling audio and video technology that works together seamlessly for an enthralling cinematic experience. Buying a home theatre system means understanding all the requisite parts. For many the most valuable purchase is the TV. HDTVs provide superior resolution than standard TVs, and they come with several different display resolutions and types. Select one that provides the best resolution and lighting, while still fitting into the budget. Remember that the sound system is just as important and if necessary purchase a cheaper TV in exchange for surround sound speakers. Finally, purchase input devices like a Blu-ray player to get the most out of the home cinema system. Savvy shoppers who want great deals that they cannot find in retail stores, will certainly enjoy the deep discounts on eBay.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides