How to Take Your Home Entertainment System with You When You Emigrate

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How to Take Your Home Entertainment System with You When You Emigrate

Preparing for a move is a great deal of work, especially when that move is out of the UK and to a new locale abroad. Emigres have the choice of selling possessions or transporting them to their new homes. When it comes to home entertainment systems,, many emigres choose the latter option because putting together a new home entertainment system of equal quality for a reasonable price in a new locale can prove too challenging.

The process of how to take a home entertainment system along when emigrating includes choosing a transportation service, preparing the home entertainment system for the move, and packing the system so that it will not suffer any damage in transit and will be easy to reassemble in its new locale.

eBay is a convenient source from which to buy all of the supplies needed for the packing and relocation process, and you can be sure you have everything you need in order to pack up your home entertainment system efficiently and securely for its journey to its new home.

Choose a Transportation Service

Before starting to disassemble the home entertainment system and packing it for transport, it is a good idea to research and choose a transportation service. The two main options in the case of emigration are a shipping service or a moving service.

If you are not moving too far away, to continental Europe for example, it may make sense to use a moving service that will transport the home entertainment system in lorries or articulated trucks. Some moving companies even offer to dismantle, pack and subsequently reassemble the home entertainment system in its new locale.

Emigration further afield may require you to ship your home entertainment system. This option leaves you, the owner, chiefly responsible for protecting the system’s components for transit as the extra care that comes with using a moving service is likely to be absent.


The first general step in transporting a home entertainment system is to prepare. Whether packing up the system oneself or having it professionally packed, this includes taking stock of the home entertainment system’s components, taking measurements of the components, collecting packing supplies, and gathering any necessary conversion components. Thorough preparation will help ensure a smooth moving procedure, making it easier to locate quickly all of the home entertainment system components and ensuring that all of the components arrive damage-free in the new locale.

Take Stock of Components

Start by taking stock of the home entertainment system’s components. Standard systems typically include a television, a receiver, a media player such as a DVD player, Blu-Ray player, and / or VCR, speakers, and a subwoofer. Some systems may also have a CD or MP3 player. Make note of all connecting wires and remote controls. (It’s helpful to label wires at their junction points to make reassembly swift and sure.)

Take Measurements

After taking stock of all of the home entertainment system components, measure all of them (except for the remote controls and wires). Use a tape measure to determine the dimensions of each component and note them on paper. Having this information will make it far easier to select the right size boxes for each component. Boxes that are too small are useless and boxes that are too big will require extra padding materials to keep the components stable in those boxes. It will also increase the cost of moving the components to the new locale.

Collect Packing Supplies

The table below lists and describes the packing supplies necessary for moving a home entertainment system.

Packing Item


Packing Boxes

Each components should have its own box, with one for the wires / cords and remotes. Small speakers may be combined into a single box. Leave about five centimetres of space around each component for padding.

Address Labels

Easy labelling of shipping address on boxes. Not required for use with a professional moving service.

Foam Wrap

A thin foam sheet / layer that wraps the components, preventing scratches and surface damage.

Bubble Wrap

Sheets of air-filled plastic, wrap this tightly around system components to provide good padding and shock resistance.

Packing Peanuts

Peanut-shaped pieces of foam used to fill empty spaces inside boxes to prevent damage caused by components shifting while in transit. Some types are bio-degradable.

Twist Ties

Small, flexible wires with paper, plastic, or rubber outer layers, these are invaluable for binding folded up cables and wires to prevent tangling.

Packing Tape

A particularly strong seal for box exteriors resistant to breakage during moving. Also useful for securing speaker and subwoofer cabinet parts together to avoid transit damage.


Printing machine handy for labelling box contents and easy identification of cords that can be difficult to differentiate. ‘Fragile’ labels also alert movers to fragility of box contents.

The process of packing the components and labelling the boxes is far more efficient when all of the packing supplies have been purchased and are in place beforehand.

Gather Necessary Conversion Components

It is important to bear in mind that other countries have different electrical outlet standards than the UK. Some other countries, especially the United States and Canada, also use different voltages and frequencies. Be sure to research the type of electrical outlet plugs and the voltage used in the new locale.

Adaptor plugs are almost always necessary due to the different design of plugs and outlets that vary from country to country. Adaptors simply adapt your hardware so the plug on your component will be able to access the electrical supply of the new locale. Some products identify themselves as power adaptors, which can be confusing, as it refers only to adapting the plug to a power source; they do not convert the electrical current, something that will not be necessary if you are relocating to another country, such as in Europe, where voltage of 240V remains the same.

Converters, sometimes referred to as power or AC adaptors, convert the electrical voltage from 240V to 110V. Plugging in an electrical component to a different voltage without using a converter can damage or destroy any electrically powered item.

Transformers are a step up from low wattage converters and are necessary for items that use more than 50 or 100 watts. Although it’s unlikely that any one home entertainment system component will have a high watt requirement, it is a convenient way to run multiple items, such as in a home entertainment center, simultaneously off one power converter.

One consideration which is often under-reported is the effect of different frequencies. The UK, Europe and some other countries operate on a 50Hz (hertz) frequency which is, in over-simplified terms, essentially the speed at which the electrical current moves. Countries like the US and Canada operate on 60Hz frequency, slightly faster of that in the UK. For most plug-in items, this is not an issue, however, for clocks and any items, like VCRs, multiple CD changers, fans – any item that is run by a motor – this will affect performance, speeding up clocks and motor speed, potentially shortening their lifespan. Transformers are available that will convert Hz frequency as well as voltage. Look for ones that specifically state they convert 50Hz to 60Hz if you’re moving to a country that operates on 60Hz. If the information isn’t provided, always ask the seller to be sure.

Disassemble and Pack

Once all of the necessary packing supplies are in place, it is time to disassemble the home entertainments system and pack it. This process includes detaching the components and packing them.

Detach Components

Make sure any components that have a power source are turned off before unplugging. Unplug any wires and cables that connect components to one another and lay these parts out neatly. Again, labelling each end of the wire and cable connects makes it easier to set the home entertainment system up in its new locale. Once all of the components are unplugged from their power source and there are no cables connecting the components, the home entertainment system is ready for packing.

Pack Components

It is important to know how to pack each of the components of a home entertainment system. Each component should be wrapped in bubble wrap and /or foam wrap before being placed into its own individual box. Label the box, clearly identifying the contents and indication of fragility, and then fill any gaps with packing peanuts. Seal each box with packing tape, taking care not to tape over the box label unless the packing tape is fully transparent.

Wires and Remotes

Wires, cables, and remote controls may be packed together in one box. Make sure to apply twist ties to all folded up wires to prevent them from becoming tangled in the box. It is advisable to remove the batteries from each remote. Tape them together with cello tape and adhere them to their remote control ‘home’.


Start by taping the edges of the receiver with packing tape to stabilise the unit for transit. Next, place a layer of foam wrap around the receiver. After that, put a layer of bubble wrap around the it and place the unit in its box.

Media Players

Tighten all of the screws on media players, such as DVD players.. This will help keep parts such as lasers from loosening during transport. Once all of the screws are tight, place a layer of foam wrap followed by a layer of bubble wrap around each media player and place them in their respective box.


Start by removing the speaker grilles, which, if left on the speakers,, could detach in transit and either become damaged or damage something else. Place a layer of foam wrap and one of bubble wrap around each speaker grille and place these in their own box. Next, tape the edges of each speaker cabinet. Any shift in the cabinets during transit can ruin acoustics. Place a layer of foam wrap and one of bubble wrap around each speaker cabinet with the speakers inside and put each speaker unit in its box.


Wrap the television in a layer of foam wrap. If the original box the television came in and the styrofoam blocks that protected it are still available, use these parts to package the television; otherwise a new box is fine. If the styrofoam blocks are unavailable, put a layer of bubble wrap around the television and use packing peanuts in the box.

Using eBay to Transport Your Home Entertainment System

There are a variety of sources from which you can buy the supplies to pack your home entertainment system for transport. Many shipping services sell these supplies at their outlets located around the UK. You may also be able to buy them from online retailers who specialise in shipping supplies.

eBay is a good source from which you can buy everything you need to pack your home entertainment system for safe transport. Go to any eBay page, enter the term for the packing supplies you need, such as ‘packing boxes&’, into the search bar, and click the Search button. You can then filter the results by selecting the Packing & Posting Supplies option, if need be. If there is a home entertainment system component that you wish to buy for shipping abroad, you can also search eBay for that component by using a term such as ‘DVD player’.


Moving abroad is an exciting prospect, but it also requires logistics. It is not easy to take a settled life and move it to a new locale, but thorough planning and preparation makes the process go more smoothly.

Many emigres choose to send their home entertainment systems to their new locales. This is one process in particular that requires good preparation and close attention to detail, from choosing a transportation method for the system, preparing by acquiring the right packing supplies, and disassembling and packing the system for transport.

It is possible to buy the right packing supplies on eBay easily and conveniently, and eBay is also a good source for acquiring new home entertainment system components for shipping, should that be a more cost effective solution than buying components in the new locale. By following these helpful steps, you can be sure you have done all you can to keep your home entertainment system free from damage during transport and easily set the systems back up in your new home.

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