What is home cinema?Modern televisions are far better looking than the big old boxy affairs. They take up far less room, are no longer an eyesore, and can even be hung discreetly on a wall, or even easily be tucked out of sight. The main downside of modern TV’s is that the sound is, if anything, worse than their predecessors. Now, this is no scam to get you to upgrade your sound system, it is a consequence of the slim design. You simply can’t produce decent sound without a good depth, or some expensive, state-of-the-art technology built in. So, sound system upgrades are a standard feature of the modern home.

The most popular choices of sound system are full home cinema systems, surround sound systems, and sound bars.

Now, the first two are essentially the same, except that the full cinema system generally comes with all the other hardware, such as DVD players and amplifiers, as well as the surround sound set-up. Surround sound is most commonly found in a 5:1 format, where you have three front speakers, front, left and right, as well as two rear speakers and a sub-woofer. These provide great sound, immersing you in the action, but mean running cables all around your room. Of course, with a bit of effort you can conceal cables behind skirting boards and under floors, but it is a point to bear in mind. Wireless systems are available but are expensive and generally require a power point at each position.

Sound bars are a top choice if running cables isn’t your thing, you have a small room, or you simply don’t want to be surrounded by explosions. You can pick up sound bars at a lower price, but try before you buy; you generally get what you pay for. A sound bar with its own compatible sub-woofer is often the best choice.

Another idea, and one that is often overlooked, sits between the two previous options. A simple stereo set-up with sub, or even a 3:1 system can give great sound, without the hassle of cables flying everywhere. One advantage this set-up has over the sound bar is that you can space the speakers, giving you a much larger soundscape to enjoy.

So, there you are; if you can deal with the cable issue, and your room is large enough to do it justice, grab yourself the full system. If you have a small room or just want to give the sound a little boost, go for a sound bar, but don’t forget the stereo option.

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