When you look at CNET's top products lists for home audio and home video, you're seeing the culmination of countless hours of testing, research, writing, and careful consideration of how a product rates in the marketplace. When you look at CNET's list of the most popular home theater products of 2009, you're seeing the culmination of CNET readers clicking on products because they look cool.
This roundup is all about which products got the most pageviews, which means CNET readers have unknowingly been casting their vote for this list all year long simply by browsing the site. As you'd expect, the big 2009 trend for home theater was Blu-ray, with half of the top 10 product supporting the format. The only real surprise is the, which is a 2008 product. In this case, we're guessing its popularity was largely because of some wishful thinking, as the STR-DG920 was an editorial and user favorite last year, and the new wasn't quite as well received.
Before you jump into the slideshow, there are a couple of quick caveats to get out of the way. First, older products are more likely to do well, as they've had the entire year to rack up pageviews, unlike products released recently. Second, any product on one of CNET's top products lists is likely to score well, as readers often look to those lists to see what products they should be interested in.