"One hot item that I think that you will be able to get for a good price is a DVD player. As a fairly new technology, this is its first Christmas. Companies like Sony, Pioneer, Toshiba, Panasonic, and various others, will try to out do each other in DVD sales this year."

How to Shop for Budget Home Theaters for Christmas

Patrick Roberts

How to Shop for Budget Home Theaters for Christmas
by Patrick Roberts

"One hot item that I think that you will be able to get for a good price is a DVD player. As a fairly new technology, this is its first Christmas. Companies like Sony, Pioneer, Toshiba, Panasonic, and various others, will try to out do each other in DVD sales this year."


Patrick Roberts is a junior at Cascia Hall Preparatory School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has been involved in the home theater industry for about four years and has been installing and designing them for about three years. Patrick is co-director of the audio and visual crews at his school and looks forward to a career in Communications or Computer Technology. His personal website, The Definitive Home Theater Website, has been devoted to the development of home theaters and their technology.

Patman36@aol.com


Are you thinking about buying a home theater? Well, if you are, then now is a great time to buy. With Christmas around the corner, companies will begin to lower their prices to begin competing for the holiday sales. Local electronics stores will get the go ahead from their main distributors to clear out their recent merchandise. With this, you can practically steal a home theater for a fraction of the regular price.

One thing I hate about the Sunday paper is all of those darn inserts from every store in your city. Each one claims the lowest prices but usually they are just trying to get you into the store to sell you something. The greatest thing about the upcoming holidays are the price wars. Your local home theater and/or electronics stores will have to clear out this years merchandise to make room for the upcoming shipments. This presents a great buying opportunity. Even if you have most of your home theater components or if you have a complete system, you can always grab some new goodies.

One hot item that I think that you will be able to get for a good price is a DVD player. As a fairly new technology, this is its first Christmas. Companies like Sony, Pioneer, Toshiba, Panasonic, and various others, will try to out do each other in DVD sales this year.

This is the perfect time to upgrade too! If you have been putting off the purchase of a Dolby Digital decoder, procrastinate no longer! The secret to getting what you want at a good price is to be prepared and follow these simple guidelines.

On Sundays, go through your local newspaper and get all of the electronic store inserts. Go through them and see if you can find the item(s) you are looking for. Be sure to note the price and any other special offers that have to do with it. Plan your day so that you can go to all of the places you want to go to. Bring the store inserts because sometimes the clerks that will help you will try and say that something is not on sale etc. This has happened to me a few times. I whipped out the store insert and showed him that he was wrong. Not only did I get an apology, but the store manager gave me an additional 10% discount on the items I was buying.

Once you have your entire day planned, go through each insert and cross reference everything that you want. For example, if you are looking for a certain Dolby Digital decoder, go through and see if you can find the decoder in more than one insert. If you do find it in more than one place, see what each store "gives" you. Of course look at the price but also see if they have a special offer. While I was writing this article, I was going through a local electronics store insert in my paper. They had a pretty good Dolby Digital decoder for under $600 but it also came with a choice of interconnects or a $100 rebate. Also, I saw a DVD player for under $500 and came with a certificate for $50 worth of DVD titles.

Many companies will give you "No Interest Financing" but be sure to read the fine print. It will be there. Pay attention to the minimum monthly payments and the interest that will be charged to your account if you miss a payment.

With the increasing popularity of the Internet, shopping online is even more popular. To be honest, I did get a lot of my home theater equipment online. I dealt with one company online and it saved me a lot. It was even cheaper to purchase it online than it was to buy it on sale at a local store. They delivered all of my equipment directly to my house (including my seven piece THX speaker system). Everything came with its regular Warranties and Guarantees as it would if I bought it from a local dealer. You have to be careful if you choose to buy online however. Only buy from companies that you can telephone. I did buy my goods from online companies but I called them to order instead of placing the order online.

If you are a home theater magazine fanatic like me, turn to the back of your favorite magazine and look through all of the ads. Only go for the company that looks reputable. There are a lot of companies that used to have retail store fronts. They still usually do, but they have gone online to grab a new market. If you are still a little confused about shopping online, here is a list of some of my favorite online stores:

OneCall: www.onecall.com
These guys are great... I got my entire home theater from them

Laserdisc Fan Club: www.lvd.com
These guys also do DVD and DTS decoders

Laserdisc Enterprises: www.accessdvd.com
They do DVD, LD, and players

These guys contacted me: www.hometheater1.com
I know that the do new projectors and other things

Like I said, online shopping can be very beneficial but be aware of the certain dangers when shopping online.

The key to getting what you want at the right price is being prepared. Follow these simple steps:

  • If you go to a store, remember to bring everything you need. For example, if you are going to buy wires for your home theater, be sure to bring all of your measurements with you. This will help you save time and give you the chance to go to every store that you want to go to.
  • Be sure to see if the store delivers. This comes in handy if you are buying a TV or a speaker set. If the store you buy it from does not deliver, be sure that you have adequate transportation and if not, buy it from somewhere else.
  • The retailers want to get rid of there merchandise for Christmas. They do not want to have a whole bunch of after Christmas sales to get rid of it. Remember this when you go to your local stores. You are the customer and the employees of the store have to make you happy or they do not get to make their sale.

Home theaters can be a lot of fun. There is such a difference when watching a movie at home. There is even a greater difference when are watching a movie at home on your own home theater. This Christmas, you can be watching a movie on your own home theater. Following the right steps is key. Know what you want and what you want it to do. After that, follow the guidelines in this article and hopefully, a home theater will be in your future. I will help as much as possible so please feel free to e-mail me. I wish you the best of luck. Just remember, be prepared and be aware, this way you will have the upper hand.


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