So you stop by your local Big Box home electronics retailer to look at some home theater equipment. A friend was recently telling you about the awesome system he got at a fantastic price and you figure it can’t hurt to check things out. You wind your way through the aisles of computers and vacuum cleaners to arrive at your destination. As you begin your browsing, you notice a giant, colorful tag at the end of one aisle – “Complete High-End Home Theater System, $499.95” it reads. That sounds like the one your friend may have purchased!  This is really interesting – you get an A/V Receiver, a DVD player, front, center, and rear speakers, plus a subwoofer. The shelves are crowed with tags listing all sorts of specifications, features and abbreviations, many of which make no sense to you. The system is not hooked up, but you can see everything it includes on the display. Hey, it’s $500 – a pretty good price for a one-stop complete setup, right?


Well, considering that you can (not that you need to) easily spend $500 on a single cable, something about the math doesn’t quite add up. Eight pieces of equipment for that price places you at about $62 per unit, or however you want to balance out the average. If you weigh cost heavily in favor of the A/V receiver, then the value of the remaining pieces shrinks even more. What will it sound like when you turn it on? What will you do when the most dynamic parts of your movie distort? What else could that $500 have bought?


With audio equipment, sonic performance is what you pay for. Much like an entry-level, bottom-budget automobile will not perform like a luxury or sports car, a home theater at that level will also fall short of expectation. Amplifier quality, speaker efficiency and feature levels must all be cut drastically to arrive at a price point this low. Distortion, low fidelity and lackluster performance are the result.


Cool Home Technology can help you understand the things that will make the most difference in the money you spend. And remember, ‘cheap’ is ultimately ‘expensive’. When you become dissatisfied with something that was inexpensive, you will spend money again to get something you’re going to be happy with.

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