Technology is a temporary thing. Whenever one believes they have the utmost in high tech at their disposal, a new invention or innovation is introduced rendering the previously purchased item something of a second-tier commodity. In home electronics, advances occur rapidly, making any new purchase a temporary solution for anyone who wants to stay at the head of the pack. When selecting a home theater, many can become frustrated when they realize the money they spend today will be getting them components that are no longer at the top of the line tomorrow. The aggravation is then intensified when they recognize the expensive items of today are often next seasonâ€™s bargain bin sale items.
You cannot stop the wheels of progress, and most of us who enjoy home theater technology would not want to become neo-Luddites even if clog tossing would stop the gears of the industry. We like technology, we appreciate innovations in quality and we look forward to improvements. We do not, however, enjoy watching our electronic assets fall into obsolescence.
How can one make wise home theater decisions that will retain some value and utility as times change? A few simple guidelines can reduce the irritation of obsolescence when putting together a home theater system.
First, one should purchase individual components at all times. Not all things change at the same rate. Nor do our desires to keep up with every innovation change evenly across the spectrum. There may be great advances in DVD technology that excite us, but the new line of stereo speakers may not seem like a wonderful investment at all.
By purchasing individual components, one can upgrade and replace outdated aspects of their home theater system on a one-by-one basis as desired and necessary. Individual components allow a degree of flexibility that is sorely lacking in combination or all-in-one systems. Instead of looking at completely outmoded system, or needing to invest in all technology to take advantage of one advance, the component buyer can simply replace the parts with which her or she is dissatisfied.
Another great way to protect oneself is by purchasing based on need instead of hype. Before purchasing a home theater system, one should make a careful determination of his or her needs and wants from the unit. This will allow the buyer to make good decisions about the technology instead of finding themselves beginning a never-ending chase for the newest thing.
Systems based on real needs tend not be upgraded as frequently, as owners are usually more happy with the overall quality of their home entertainment experience than are those who simply purchased based on what was "hot." When one acquires technology based on objective goals, they can be sure to achieve the effect they desire, decreasing the impetus to continually upgrade and adjust their home theater system.
Another great strategy in this vein is to invest in quality equipment. The new advances may mean huge jumps in quality for cheaper components, but usually amount to a far lesser difference with high-end equipment. This is particularly true of less volatile components, like amplifiers, pre-amplifiers and receivers. There are absolutely stunning home theater systems in operation today relying on amplifiers built before the words "home" and "theater" were ever used side by side.
By investing in quality technology, one can truly increase the overall longevity of their system, helping them to avoid the obsolescence trap. One may not want to over-invest in technologies that are rapidly changing. For instance, the purchase of a new HDTV may not make much sense, as prices are sure to drop when the format becomes an industry standard and conventional televisions are being offered at incredibly cheap prices.
If you are worried about buying tomorrowâ€™s junk today, consider three helpful guidelines when assembling a home theater: buy components, make decisions based on need instead of hype, and be willing to invest in quality merchandise in less rapidly changing areas. By following these guidelines, you can buy a system today that you will not be ashamed of when manufacturers roll out next yearâ€™s new offerings
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