If you’ve got the space, installing a home theatre system can allow you to avoid the cacophony of chewing, chatting and mobile ringtones in your average multiplex and enjoy watching movies in theatre quality in your own home.

Home theatre options fall into two main categories: the theatre in a box system, or systems made up of separate components. Which one you choose will depend largely on your own technical expertise and the requirements you’ll have of your system.

The home theatre in a box option has its advantages -” total home theatre packages offer simplicity, taking a lot of the stress out of the decision-making process. Many are almost foolproof in terms of set-up, with colour-coded cables and instructions. Complete packages range from as little as a couple of hundred dollars to upwards of $2,000 for the more serious audiovisual buff.

However, complete packages do have their drawbacks, including one that home theatre geeks may consider a fatal flaw: the quality of speaker systems can be poor in comparison to those made and sold separately. Complete home theatre packages also tend to be just that: complete, meaning that it is often difficult to add new, outside components to the system. Often they are simply not built to support anything that’s not in the box.

Component systems, in which speakers, screens and other parts are sourced independently, are ideal for cinema aficionados looking for a true home theatre experience.

The quality and performance in these systems is likely to be much stronger: for instance, a company that focuses solely on producing speakers is going to provide you with a better listening experience than one who throws a couple of plastic speakers in as part of an overall home theatre package.

But component systems do have their drawbacks: they are generally more expensive, will likely take up more room (as they were not designed with the interface of other specific parts in mind), and can be much more difficult to set up and master.

Read up on both types of systems and do your homework before you commit to buying anything. Listen to the systems instore, and don’t be afraid to ask for product demonstrations -” if you’re buying an expensive set of speakers, you want to be sure that they’re worth the money. The more research and groundwork you do, the more likely you’ll be able to relax in your new home theatre, confident you bought the perfect system for your needs.

info: If you are thinking of installing a home theatre system talk to the Apollo Hi-Fi and Video Centre at 283 Victoria Rd, Marrickville, phone 9560 9019 or visit

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