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All-in-One Solution Versus Separate Components

Is an HTiB system the right way to go, or should you invest in separate components? While there are definite advantages to purchasing separate components, many consumers prefer the simplicity of a boxed system. There are several other advantages to these all-in-one packages:

  • They're typically lower-priced than purchasing similar components separately. Some of these packages, including speakers, cost less than a single audio/video receiver!

  • A single remote controls the entire system—you don't have to juggle separate remotes for a receiver and DVD player.

  • They're especially good for small rooms, where space is at a premium. Not only are the speakers typically smallish in nature, but you only have one central unit to deal with, instead of a separate (and larger) receiver and DVD player. That single unit is typically no bigger than a DVD player, and can sit right on top of your TV.

  • Because all the equipment choices are made for you by a single manufacturer, you don't have to worry about connecting and configuring different components, or matching speakers and electronics. Everything works together, and everything matches—both technically and visually.

In short, a home theater in a box system is ideal for someone who wants a home theater system but doesn't want to bother with shopping for or connecting all the separate components.

Why might you not want an HTiB system? Here are the drawbacks:

  • Lack of flexibility—you have to settle for what the manufacturer packs in the box.

  • It's not easy to upgrade, or to connect additional components.

  • Sound quality often isn't as good as with separate components, especially for listening to music.

So if you want more flexibility and higher-quality sound—and have a larger budget—you should consider investing in separate components, which we'll discuss in a separate article. Otherwise, check out an HTiB package—it might just fit your needs.

And even if you go with separate components for your big home theater setup, you still might want to investigate the HTiB route for a secondary system in another room. Splurge on the big system, but then go with a more compact HTiB system for your bedroom or basement!

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