Twenty five years ago, only a small percentage of households in the United States had cable television, and VCRs were a brand-new luxury item. Sound systems, for the most part, were limited to the small speaker built into the television, and not many people had a screen larger than 27 inches. There was certainly no mistaking the typical TV room for a home theater -- home theaters were expensive setups with actual film projectors and wide screens.

A custom-installed home theater system

Over the years, the world of home entertainment has changed radically. These days, most U.S. households get at least 50 channels and have a good-sized color television and a VCR. More and more people are adding additional advanced components to their entertainment setup to create home theater systems. The world of home entertainment is changing rapidly, and consumers have a wide range of options.

In this article, we'll look at home theater systems to find out what they are, what they can do, and what components you need to set one up. If you're thinking of turning your den into a fully functioning home theater, this article will help you get started.