At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Home theater bundles can be divided into two main categories, based on the type of equipment they include. One type of bundle includes every component necessary to set up a basic home theater, aside from a television. This type of bundle is sometimes referred to a home theater in a box, since it include all of the necessary speakers and cables, plus a receiver unit and a digital versatile disc (DVD) or Blu-ray™ player. There are also home theater bundles that include speakers, cables and a receiver, and others that consist only of speakers. The other main factor that differentiates home theater bundles is the number of speakers that are included.
The most complete type of home theater bundle is sometimes referred to as a home theater in a box. This name is derived from the fact that these kits sometimes come in one large box, though that is not always the case. These bundles typically include a number of speakers, a receiver unit, some type of DVD or Blu-ray™ player, and all of the cables necessary to hook them up. In some cases, the DVD or Blu-ray™ player will be integrated into the receiver unit. It is typically possible to purchase this type of kit, connect it to a television, and have a complete home theater experience.
Other home theater bundles include fewer components, which can allow more room for an audiophile to pick and choose. Some bundles come with a receiver and speakers, while others include only speakers. It is also possible to find home theater bundles with or without specific speakers, such as the subwoofer and center channel. Bundling together different items in this way can provide better prices while still offering a greater level of choice than home theater in a box setups provide.
Home theater bundles can also be defined by the number of speakers they include. A simple stereo system must have both right and left channel speakers, but most home theaters use more. The number of speakers included in home theater systems is typically represented by a whole number followed by a decimal and a zero or a one to indicate if it has a low frequency subwoofer. A 5.1 home theater bundle includes two speakers to the front and rear, a center speaker and a subwoofer, for a total of six channels. Home theater bundles designated 7.1 add two additional side speakers, and so on.