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Tip Sheet

  • A home theater in a box (HTiB) system offers all the audio and control components for a home theater system in a single package: combination DVD player/amplifier/ control center, six speakers (five main speakers and a subwoofer), a wireless remote control, and all the cables necessary to connect everything.

  • HTiB systems are popular because they're simpler to buy and set up than separate components, take less room, and often cost less.

  • Connecting an HTiB system is typically facilitated by color-coded cables and connectors.

  • Basic HTiB systems start in the $300–400 range. Better-sounding systems utilize bigger speakers and more powerful amplifiers, and cost anywhere from $400–1,000.

  • Some HTiB systems offer additional features, such as dual DVD/VHS playback, multiple-disc DVD changers, or DVD recorders.

  • For easier setup, consider an HTiB system that provides virtual surround using front speakers only, or a system that utilizes wireless rear speakers.

  • If you already have a DVD player and audio/video receiver, look for home theater speaker systems that offer six matching speakers in a single package.

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