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I own a decent TV and a computer that will be placed nearby it. I am looking to build a home theatre around the TV, so I've got a decision. I don't want to spend much money on this. Should I go ahead and buy a home theatre in a box, or is there a decently cheap way for me to build just as good a system, using my computer?

So option 1 - spend $300-500 on a home theatre in a box.


Option 2 - buy speakers, a decent sound card, and whatever else i'd need to hook my TV and video game systems through my computer to pump sound out of those speakers? i've got a decent computer with a dvd drive, but i would have to invest in a decent sound card i know.


Which option is best, and can anybody give me direction on what to buy? I don't plan on ever blasting the volume on this system, so I don't need serious watts, but I do want Dolby Digital, DTS, and pro logic 2 (which some of my games would take advantage of)
 

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Do not forget about the multi-channel power amp that you will still need in Option 2 -- the price can be significant. Price-wise, I do not think you can beat Option 1, although Option 2 can give you a lot more flexibility...
 

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Ditto. I ended up doing option 3 :). I used an older receiver to power 4 Paradigm mini-monitors. The speakers alone are over your $500 option 1 choice, though I did end up with a good bit of ability for MP3's. Since you want to go with a DD/DTS setup, I think option 1 is the most affordable, and the largest bang for the buck. It also will be the least upgradable. Option 2 would easily double if not triple the price of option 1.
 
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