Product Review Roundup:

Home Theater in a Box (HTIB)

December, 2003

Brian Weatherhead


Wow, holiday season already! What to purchase for that friend who never really got into home theater? Maybe you need something to keep the relatives entertained so that they stay at their houses instead of coming over to watch Christmas movies at your house.

The Home Theater in a Box (HTIB) movement is gaining momentum. Manufacturers are bundling their equipment together and providing substantial discounts for those who want to get it all. Moreover, many of these systems are complete all the way to the speaker and subwoofer cables. Many feature color coded speaker terminals and easy-to-use guides to help those first time setups.

What is great about these systems is that many are still based on the idea of separates, meaning that you can selectively upgrade your system in the future as new features or budgets allow. Even better is that these systems have prices as low as $400 out the door. That $400 buys a lot these days, and these systems are all bargains because they are less expensive than purchasing them as individual components.

One thing you need to note is that HTIB is a very general term that manufacturers use to label systems that include a DVD player, receiver, speakers, and subwoofer, or it can be a system that has the receiver, speakers, and sub, but no DVD player. It can also just be a set of speakers and subwoofer. All of these types are included in our Roundup.

So whether you want something for the den, or maybe for that college dorm, these systems pack a ton of features and performance into one box, ready to go. For our holiday shopping roundup, we chose several HTIB packages. You can click on them below ("See It"). They are reviewed by a number of our staff, as indicated next to each system. A few more may be added in the next week or so. By the way, some of these packages will be given away in our new registration program that starts shortly, so look them all over.

See It Onkyo 6.1 System w/ DVD Player [HT-S767c] by Brian Weatherhead
See It Onkyo 5.1 System [HT-S660] by Brian Weatherhead
See It JVC 5.1 System w/ DVD Player [TH-M65] by Gabriel Lowe
See It AudioSource Speaker Set [230] by Rick Schmidt
See It Denon 6.1 System w/ DVD Player [DHT-684] by Rick Schmidt
See It Yamaha 6.1 System w/DVD Player [YHT-941] by Brett Johnson
See It NIRO 1.1 STD System w/ DVD Player by Brian Weatherhead
See It Hsu Research VT-12 Satellite Speakers and STF-2 Subwoofer by Gabriel Lowe


- Brian Weatherhead -


Copyright 2003 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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