Technology makes our lives easier and richer ... except when it becomes overwhelming and confusing. With the transition to digital cable signals over the last decade, we've seen a lot of technological changes in the entertainment devices we bring into our homes. Flat-panel TV screens, wireless networks, Blu-ray readers and always-on connectivity have become the standard. But with those advances comes a whole slew of new information as we learn to use our devices to the fullest.
For those of us who never dipped our toes in the equipment one-upmanship that began with hi-fi stereos in the 1970s, it can be a little dizzying. So many people put a premium on the individual components of their audio and video equipment that a simple trip to the store for a TV upgrade can become a nightmare of acronyms, add-ons, gold-tipped connectors and a sea of numerical specs.
Flat-panel LCD and LED screens have become the center of every home entertainment system, but it's the home theater aficionados that have driven technological development. The confusing array of products for sale is satisfying prey for the armchair gadget hunter, but what about the rest of us?
If you just want an easy, no-hassle way to listen to the sounds that accompany your television, there's the all-in-one home theater setup, which combines surround-sound speakers with a central receiver that you can easily plug into your TV, collapsing all those options into one simple purchase.