Mark Richards


Friday, March 21, 2003

The Home Theater Experience

The home theater search is on! Over the past few weeks, I have begun looking into some of the toys that I may be purchasing in the near future. I've been saying for the past two years that I would like to buy a 50+ inch widescreen TV, which would be the focal point of a huge home entertainment center. I realized though that purchasing a TV of that magnitude would not completely satisfy me or do the TV justice. I must begin from ground zero and build up my ideal home theater.

The first component that I must purchase is the receiver. The receiver connects all devices that I use in one location, so that they can be output to one location. Using a receiver prevents the need for running wires from device to device to device in a daisy chain manner. I've already been to Best Buy, Circuit City, and Hi-Fi Buys (now called Tweeter) to check out the different brands, models, and prices. My favorite is the Kenwood VR-6060. It has good power levels, an excellent number of connections/inputs/outputs, all the newest encoding schemes, and a sixth channel for a rear center speaker if I decide to add one in the future. I've found a good deal online at 6th Ave Electronics for almost $100 under the price I've found anywhere else.

While I was at Hi-Fi Buys, I was coaxed into listening to different speaker models by the salesman. I wasn't upset though because I knew nothing about speaker systems prior to my trip. We listened to a whole bunch of different makes and models, all with advantages and disadvantages. Unfortunately for my bank account though, I fell in love with some relatively expensive front speakers: the Mirage OMNI 50. Relatively speaking they don't cost that much, but for my budget, they are near the top end, especially when you consider that I would still need to purchase a center channel speaker and subwoofer. Anyways, these speakers sound incredible. The salesman played "I Want My MTV", which has some awesome effects and drums and I was just blown away. So from what I have learned and heard, speakers can make or break a home theater system, and therefore I cannot afford to be cheap. I plan on purchasing these speakers in the upcoming months.

That's about as much information as I have now. Have I mentioned that I've been doing this search with Brian, and that we both like the exactly same systems so far? Yeah well, it'll be very funny when someone walks into either one of our apartments and sees the exact same home theater setup. Kinda weird, but cool nevertheless.


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