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Chapter 11. The Upgrade Path > Continuously Changing Technology

Continuously Changing Technology

If there is a constant in the world of home theater, it is that the technology is always changing. It never fails, of course, that at about the time you’ve made up your mind to buy a new receiver, an even newer model is announced, possessing a few more features but costing many more dollars. This can be confusing and frustrating, putting you in a dilemma: Do you stick with the receiver you’ve had your heart set on for months or do you buy the just-released model? I can’t decide for you and I can’t “future proof” your home theater purchases, but I can offer some suggestions for buying at the right time and upgrading for the right reasons.

You probably know that every product released is touted as “ground-breaking” and a “must have” for all home theater consumers. That’s the nature of the advertising beast. But, especially in home theater, it can be difficult to distinguish worthy improvements and new handy features from mere hype. Be leery of the hype and of a manufacturer’s persuasive ad campaign, which tries to convince you that a new product is crucial to your home theater experience—usually it is not. An example of this was the much-hyped release of Dolby Pro Logic II. Whether to invest in this new surround sound format was a widely debated issue on Internet message boards: Is it worth spending the money to upgrade to Dolby Pro Logic II? Is my almost new, only one year-old receiver obsolete because it doesn’t support the Dolby Pro Logic II format?


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