by Paul Sanders
The components in a home theater system can determine the quality of your audio and video experience. Weak points in your overall home theater system can often appear in the little things: the home theater accessories. If you've already assembled your ideal home theater, the next step may be to make sure you have the right accessories. Here are the top five home theater accessories that can enhance your home entertainment experience.
Surge protectors. If you haven't run all of your home theater electronics through a surge protector, they may not be protected from unexpected voltage spikes. Protect your investment and be sure all your electronics are protected with a surge protector that can divert voltage spikes. Make sure that your power strip is a real surge protector, not just a multiple-outlet power strip. Otherwise, your electronics won't be protected.
Speaker wall mounts. Proper speaker placement can affect the sound quality of your surround-sound system. You can improve your sound quality by moving your speakers away from obstructions, which usually means moving them upward. Wall mounts allow you to take advantage of free space on your walls near the ceiling. It may also be easier to run speaker wire through your home theater room ceiling than along the floor.
HDMI cables. If you've upgraded your home theater system to high-definition television, you've probably already heard of high-definition multimedia interface cables. HDMI cables carry HD sound and video between your home theater electronics. This technology is a significant improvement over standard-definition cables. If you want to take full advantage of your home theater's HD capabilities, make sure you have HDMI cables connecting your HDTV, receiver, Blu-ray disc player and any other HD peripherals.
Speaker wire. The wires connecting your home theater receiver to your speakers may not seem complicated, but the specifications of your speaker wire can seriously affect your sound quality. Make sure the resistance (ohm) rating of your speaker wire is lower than that of your speakers for maximum quality. Also, the shorter your speaker wire and the thicker it is, the lower the wire's resistance. A heavier gauge wire, used in lengths as short as possible, will ensure the best sound for your home theater's surround sound.
Universal remote. It's probable that each of your home theater came with its own remote control. You can simplify your home theater system by using a universal remote control. These remotes can be programmed to replace each of your home theater electronics' remotes. You may even want to look into a full home-theater control system that can operate automatic window shades, lights and climate control.