What’s a Home Theater for Bubbas?

It wasn’t too long ago, I was in the market for one of them cool looking, slicker than owl shit LCD TV’s. After poking around the web, talking to friends and then a couple sales guys, and reading around the web, I thought maybe a plasma might be a better deal. Then I decided that my old stereo wasn’t going to cut it, Finally, I NEEDED some kind of decent surround sound system to play with the plasma in a slightly renovated family room.

And so I started that research. And what a tangled web of misinformation. It seems that most of the info concerning home theater is written and directed at folks that find it easy to drop six figures on a huge, built out home theater. The rest of what I could find was just tons of product descriptions available on discount store sites.

What is a Bubba to do? I couldn’t spend the equivalent of a starter home on one room in my house, and I didn’t want to take a chance and order some cheap store brand speakers with a Close-N-Play surround sound system.

So I shopped and researched, and found out just how hard it is for us Bubbas, and decided to do something about it. I thought I’d do some research for us.

Don’t get me wrong, the information available about setting up a good home theater system is excellent, but it can be way way too much for the Bubba set. Look, I’ve got a pretty reasonable technical background, but most of us really really don’t want to worry too much about total harmonic distortion or power output as described in total RMS watts per channel into X ohms. Or should we worry?

What “specs” ARE important? What is hype? And what if this just sounds good to me… isn’t that enough? Is there any real difference in a five thousand dollar home theater component, and a five hundred dollar one? If there is a difference, is that difference worth that much?

And perhaps the most important thing of all, if I buy this gear, design a decent theater or family room, set it up, and get it all to work – will it be easy enough for Sissy and the kids to use it without having to call me at work every time they want to change the channel?  Heck, can granny play a DVD if we decide we want to go out for the evening?