HD Entertainment Center

High definition (HD) has completely transformed the way we watch television. It provides superior picture quality and surround sound, and the widescreen format allows movies to be seen as they were intended. An HD entertainment center is essential to get the full benefit of this new technology. However, there are few complete centers available in the stores, which is pretty confusing for someone looking to buy one. Frequently, they have to put together their own center by choosing a television, Blu-ray player, and surround sound system. They are also faced with a bewildering range of accessories for each of these components.

The main components of a HD entertainment center are a large screen television, Blu-ray player, and a surround sound system. Also, there are plenty of other entertainment devices that are useful but not really essential, such as the satellite receiver, video game console, media player, and universal remote. To get the best movie experience, the DVD library should be upgraded with full high definition Blu-ray discs. There is a noticeable difference when the two formats are played on a large screen, but upgrading is very expensive so few people actually do it.

The television is arguably the most important part of a HD entertainment system. There are many high definition models available but only some have the superior picture quality of full high definition. These models have a distinctive “1080p” label somewhere on them, which is a reference to their very high resolution. The best televisions also have superior brightness and contrast ratio, which ensures that the picture looks good in all lighting conditions. Also, it’s essential that the television have at least one HDMI input port for the Blu-ray player.

Take care when choosing the screen size of the television. Most people aim for the largest screen they can afford, which is often a good idea but not always. In a small room, there may not be enough distance between the chairs and the television. Being too close to the screen is just as bad as being too far away from it. The viewing distance should ideally be three times the width of the screen. Even when there is enough room, the television may be too large for the cabinet, or it may simply look out of place with the furniture.

Every HD entertainment center has a Blu-ray player to play full high definition movies. A Blu-ray disc is used because a DVD does not have nearly enough capacity. Every Blu-ray player can play DVDs and CDs, but only some have DVD upscaling which improves the picture on a high definition television. Avoid buying one of the older models because they take forever to start playing a movie. They also lacked features such as BonusView, which shows a small picture in the corner of the main picture. Support for the Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio formats is also essential for the best quality sound.

The most challenging part of buying a HD entertainment center is choosing the surround sound system. There are a confusing number of speaker combinations on offer, but the general rule of more is better usually holds true. A basic 5.1 channel system has five satellite speakers and one subwoofer. It provides good surround sound for most centers, but a system with more satellite speakers is even better. There are also wireless systems which send the audio signals through the air instead of through cables. However, it’s better to use cables if they can be easily hidden from view.

Every HD entertainment center can be improved with a few additional components. A satellite receiver allows access to a large number of television shows, but it needs to be connected to an expensive satellite dish. A video game console provides many hours of entertainment, and there are even games designed to be played in high definition. A media player is another useful accessory because it allows media to be played from a computer, external hard drive, or flash drive. A universal remote control is also good because it combines the main functions of several remote controls into one convenient unit.

This HD Entertainment Center Review is Written/Updated on Jul 5th, 2010 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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