There is nothing quite like sitting back to enjoy a good movie on your own home cinema system. The colours are vibrant, the images crystal clear and the audio mind-blowing. All of this from the comfort of your own home, with no annoying chatter in your ear or rustling of foodstuffs which can so often spoil the experience at the cinema proper. There is only one problem – good quality home cinema systems don’t come cheap. You could opt for a home-cinema-in-a-box from one of the major manufacturers like Samsung or Sony – which will give reasonable performance – but for a truly uplifting experience you really need to be going for separates.
So, how can you go about getting the necessary equipment without paying a fortune. There are a few options open to you:
There are plenty of places where you can pick up good quality second hand audio visual equipment for a fraction of its original purchase price. You could try Ebay or some of the other auction sites or else sites such as Gumtree or Amazon. The only problem with buying components from these places is that you do not usually get any kind of guarantee. So if the item breaks down soon after you purchase it, you are unlikely to have any comeback against the seller.
For this reason we do not recommend buying from sites like Ebay if you can avoid it. Better to make friends with your local hi-fi dealer. Most hi-fi shops will have a stock of pre-owned equipment which will tend to be in good condition and be accompanied by some guarantee, albeit perhaps only a few months. A lot of this type of equipment has been pre-owned by real audio-visual fans who will have taken really good care of the items, so you could end up landing a terrific acquisition this way.
There is, however, another option – one that allows you to get hold of brand new (not second hand) equipment, fully guaranteed at sizeable reductions on the retail price? So, what is the secret?
Most major manufacturers such as Denon, Yamaha, Sony and a whole host of others update their audio visual equipment each year. Often the changes to the specification of items such as AV Amplifiers or Blu-ray players are pretty minor, but they have the effect of “relegating” last year’s model in terms of overall specification. And that is where the opportunity to make decent savings arises. If you do not need to have this year’s latest model Blu-ray player for instance – with all the bells and whistles trumpeted by the manufacturers – why not look for a decent bargain on the previous year’s model or even one which is two years “old”. Very often the improvements in specification are so minor as to make little discernible difference to your listening or viewing pleasure. But the good news is that if a retailer has an overstock of a previous year’s model then they are likely to be willing to sell them at a good discount to clear the decks. And remember, these are brand new, fully guaranteed items from extremely good manufacturers. So if you are looking for a good quality home cinema system on a budget, do your homework. Most major retailers will offer these items for sale on their websites – although some manufacturers prohibit online sales – so go ahead and grab a bargain.