When I initially looked for a home theater system, I was not interested in spending too much money. So, I went on the cheap w/ some Koss system from Sears. Wow — that was a horrible choice.
In general, it was ok. However, with a maximum output of 300 watts, it could never really perform. I know an audio enthusiast would have know this ahead of time, but I didn’t. Later, I found myself changing the decibel level of the center channel based on whatever I was watching. After about 2 years of visiting friends homes and noticing they never had to change settings to get reasonable sound, I knew I had to make a change.
Now, being the miser that I am, I wasn’t about to purchase a Klipsch or Bose system. However, there are a few reasonably priced Phillips and Sony systems out there. I searched a bit and found this great Phillips system. 1000 watts, as you might assume, is a remarkable jump. All of a sudden, all media comes through without fiddling. Things like disruption on sudden loud sounds — gone. Also, I didn’t have the ability to read data of USB drives. That’s a nice addition. I noticed this system had 2 real settings: stereo or Dolby Pro Logic II (Dolby Digital, DTS â€“ basically multichannel). The Koss system had these 2 and 5 other crap settings, that tried to hide the poor audio handling.
Well, I always knew if you bought an inexpensive system, it would only be a holdover for a more performant one. Now I don’t really want to go through all this for a flat screen tvâ€¦ we’ll see how that works out.