Spruce Up Your Home Theater on a Budget

July 13th, 2010

In today's economy, the average consumer's budget may not afford a complete home theatre transformation, but there are some affordable solutions that will make noticeable improvements. Today's topic explores ways to upgrade without the need to downgrade your wallet size. As always, we appreciate your feedback and experiences, please take the time to share with us here in the blog comments, on Facebook or on Twitter. HDTV Image Credit Most likely you already have an HDTV as the centerpiece of your home entertainment setup, so the first question will be: Should I upgrade my TV for a bigger one, a version with built-in Internet connectivity, or even to a 3D TV? Top consumer tech sites, CNet and PCWorld, have great guides that help you decide on an upgrade, but for those satisfied with their current TV, they can opt to save some cash with using the best cables where possible, usually in the form of HDMI. Too many HDMI devices and not enough ports? An HDMI switch is your best solution. PC to TV Media Centers let you extend your PC experience into the living room, and might just be the most impactful upgrade in terms of overall experience and streaming limitless content. Imagine having your entire computer's contents and the Internet available on your HDTV! At IOGEAR we believe the PC to TV experience is further enhanced by going wireless, and we make that possible with our award winning Wireless AV/Kit. You can always opt to set up your computer near the TV and use a wireless keyboard with a laser trackball as your remote control – a more affordable option. Gaming Image Credit If you are a gamer it's probable that you may have more than one gaming system, such as an XBox360, Nintendo Wii and PS3. If so, you may not be able to access all of these devices on your HDTV due to only one HDMI input. Solve your gaming fiasco with an HDMI switch, allowing you to connect more than one console. DVD / Blu-Ray Image Credit If you are thinking of upgrading from DVD to Blu-Ray, there are many options on the market right now and the prices are reasonable. As an added bonus, newer versions usually include Internet connectivity and the ability to stream Internet media, such as streaming movies from Netflix.com, directly to your HDTV. If you are having a difficult time deciding what Blu-Ray device to go with, check out the Consumer Reports online guide. You may have a DVD player along with a Blu-Ray player, but you want to just use just one HDMI input on our TV,again, the HDMI switch is the key for any multitasking living room. Remote Controls Image Credit Declutter your Mount Everest pile of remotes with a universal remote. Your remote control solution will depend on your particular setup, but one worthy goal is to replace your stash of controls with one or two, and possibly a keyboard if you have a PC to TV solution. If you don't want to buy yet another remote, utilize the instructions equipped with your cable company's, as you may find that it can ultimately replace a few of the remotes you have on your coffee table by working with several devices. Sound Systems Image Credit There are many things to consider when opting for an audio system upgrade. Often, today's home audio systems include functionality that complement or replace equipment you already have, or even offer iPod/iPhone connectivity and varying levels of wireless abilities. We suggest you head on over to AVGuide.com to weigh your options. Once there, take a gander at their Surround Sound Speakers Buyer's guide, a free PDF download with over 100 pages of useful information. Have tips for helpful upgrade ideas? Take some time and share your thoughts here on the blog, Twitter or Facebook. Keep an eye out at our Twitter Deals feed for extra savings, and don't forget to get even more value at Club IOGEAR. Cheers from the IOGEAR team!

About the Author



IOGEAR enjoys long walks on the beach and romantic getaways. While not traveling, IOGEAR enjoys a great game of shuffle board whilst playing the banjo.