Building a Home Theater on a Budget

budget home theaterAmericans tend to spend a lot of time in front of our television sets so a budget home theater is a great thing to have. Whether we are movie junkies with multiple memberships to Internet movie rental companies or are serious addicts to all things reality on television we are addicted to our entertainment. Since we spend so much time watching our televisions it makes sense that we make a sizeable investment in our home theater in order to get the best possible quality picture and sound from our systems.

We do not, however live in a one size fits all world, which has lead to a good deal of healthy competition within the entertainment industry as well as the electronics industry. This is excellent news for consumers that must live within the constraints of their budget home theater. As competition emerges along with newer technologies we see a downward trend in the prices of existing technology. The real trick however is to be content with last year’s technology today and you could actually save thousands on your home theater. [Read more…]

Building a Great Home Theater

It could be very easy to spend tens of thousands of dollars building the ultimate home theater experience for you and your family and if you use your home theater on a regular basis and have the money to spare you might find well worth the investment. However, you can also build a fantastic home theater for significantly less money if you are willing to put a great deal of effort into finding the right parts for the right price for your system. Everything comes down to matters of preference and available funds when building any sort of home theater.

The truth of the matter is that most of us cannot afford to spend more than ten thousand dollars creating the home theater of our dreams. Many of us must seriously budget well in order to spend a couple thousand dollars on our home theaters. The good news is that for a few thousand dollars you can create a truly phenomenal home theater if you do your homework and invest your money wisely in components for your home theater system.

My first recommendation when building a good quality home theater is to buy one piece at a time rather than building it all at once. This allows you to constantly upgrade your system without breaking the budget all at once. It also allows you the time to save up for better quality pieces within your system rather than attempting to make an all or nothing purchase. One thing to remember when purchasing pieces individually is to make sure that they are all compatible (this is especially important with speakers, which I recommend purchasing together as a set whenever possible).

The television is the first thing you should purchase when building your home theater as almost everything in your home theater will center around your television. High definition televisions are becoming more and more common and provide superior quality to many other televisions you will find on the market. If you have the means with which to purchase this sort of television I highly recommend that you do so. Once you have your television you can begin purchasing other components in order to complete your system.

The next component I recommend is a receiver or amplifier. This is the piece that brings all other components together. Without a decent receiver it is virtually impossible to have a decent home theater. The receiver acts as a sort of conductor for the sound and picture of your home theater. This is a piece of equipment that should not be skimped on when it comes to quality, as you will completely miss an important part of the ‘theater’ experience without it.

Next are the speakers. Speakers are also very important to the ‘theater’ experience of your home theater. The speakers are what provide that ‘movie quality’ sound that is so important to most enthusiasts and what will make your system the envy of the neighborhood. I highly recommend purchasing speakers as a set in order to insure compatibility.

Finally, the DVD player or recorder rounds out the system. It is up to you and your preferences whether or not you wish to invest in a high dollar (at the moment) high definition DVD player. If you have HD television and plan to purchase HD disks for your movies then this is the way to go. Otherwise it is a complete waste of money in my opinion until the rest of your system rises to meet the technology. The good thing about purchasing one component at a time is that you can constantly work towards upgrading your system to meet rising technology.

Home Theater Practicalities

Today’s shoppers are much more savvy than they have been in days past. Perhaps this sophistication when it comes to learning about the products we spend our hard earned money on is the result of instant information at our fingertips through the Internet or a deep desire to know more about where our money is going. Whatever the reason, we are taking the time to learn as much as possible about our investments and carefully planning how we spend our money before it leaves our wallets.

In many ways this is wonderful news. You really can’t go wrong as a consumer my educating yourself about the products you are considering purchasing and this holds doubly true when it comes to electronics. More and more consumers are opening up to the idea of home theaters. In fact, this is becoming a selling point in many homes across the country. It is a great idea to research the products you will purchase and the individual components of your home theater system but how much time have you invested towards the planning and design of your home theater?

You may have the room in mind, but do you have the wiring you need? Are outlets in the correct location in order to provide the extra outlets you will need for your components? Do you have the wiring for speakers in place or is this something additional you will need to consider? Will you go with wireless speakers in order to avoid the hassle? There are so many questions you will need to ask yourself when planning for your home theater.

What, of your existing home entertainment equipment will you be keeping and which pieces of equipment, if any, will you be replacing? I always recommend buying one component at a time and building a home theater system rather than simply going in and purchasing a box off the shelf that has everything in one place. While you can get a very nice system by doing this, I think you will ultimately get more bang for your buck if you build your own system one piece at a time and select each piece for the individual qualities your prefer. That being said, once you get the components home you need to be able to install them and incorporate them into your existing home theater.

Will you be adding special home theater seating or going with a big comfy couch? This matters when planning the layout for the room in which you will be watching your movies and television favorites. You want the seating to be comfortable or no one will want to spend too terribly much time in the room, no matter how large the television screen is. We like to be comfortable as we watch 24 hours of non-stop action or the nearest planet in a far off solar system explode. Do you have a plan for providing that comfort in your home theater?

Do you have all of the connecting wires? How about a reliable method for disguising the wires so that they do not provide a distraction during your movie and television viewing time? Are you going to add gaming equipment to your home theater system? If so, this opens up an entire new ball game when it comes to wires, as you will be bringing even more cords and wires and controllers into the mix.

The next question is how do you plan to hide all the equipment? While built in entertainment centers may seem like a great idea, they are killers to your bottom line should you need to some day sell your home as they eat up floor space and not everyone will appreciate your home theater. For this reason, I recommend a floor-to-ceiling entertainment center with doors that can be closed around the features you aren’t using at any given moment.

While there is no right or wrong when it comes to designing a home theater for your family, there are practical matters that are well worth considering. I hope this has brought to mind a few of those and that you are brimming with wonderful ideas for your current or future home theater.

Home Theater for Kids

home theater for kidsYour home theater can be one room in which everyone loves to watch television, it may even be a home theater for kids. In fact, in many homes it is the one room that is most often used by the family. However, it is obvious that everyone within a family doesn’t always agree on what is an appropriate movie or television choice at any given time.

I know in my family dad and baby girl often disagree on whether Sunday football or yet another viewing of Cars, or whichever Disney flick has her unending attention at the moment, has a higher viewing priority.

Home theater for kids?

In most instances dad wins out as baby girl has almost unlimited access to the television while daddy is working during the week. However a simple solution to this particular dilemma would be to create a pint sized home theater. Of course then there will be fights among the little ones about who’s turn it is, but that’s better than having them fight over seating position while you’re trying to watch a movie or favorite television show (I think). [Read more…]

Should You Use a Wireless Home Theater System?

Whether to use a wireless home theater system falls under the heading of personal choice, but there are some positives you might not have heard about when it comes to this type of system.

The way it’s defined is described differently by users who own some wireless home theater components. Someone who has speakers that are wireless might tell others he or she has a wireless home theater system. Technically, that’s incorrect – because a system is a set of combined components all meant to work together as one unit. Speakers are only a small part of that total unit.

Wireless installation is easier to install and start using. You won’t have all those ugly cables sticking out to ruin your décor. There won’t be as many cords to create fall hazards lying around to trip you or a guest. [Read more…]

Get a Complete Home Theater Package

Having a home theater today is more than the norm than not. People have discovered that having their own theater at home is a much more pleasant experience than actually going to the theater. Maybe you’ve decided to join the ranks of those who have their own home theater. If so, you’ll want to consider getting the whole home theater package.

Why should you get a complete home theater package? If you’re looking for a home theater system and you’re not that handy with technology, everything you need is already compiled. No “on your own” hassles of trying to figure out what pieces you need for your home theater. All you have to do is select the right package.

You’ll save money when you buy the complete package because they’re not as expensive, so they’re suited toward any budget – even if you’re just setting up house. All of the components are bundled for the same price. [Read more…]

Home Theater – You get what you pay for

Let’s say you’re not quite satisfied with the 37-inch flat-screen TV you bought a few years back. You’re looking for something a little bit more impressive, a system to give you that gasp-inducing, jaw-dropping, toe-curling movie theater experience. Maybe it’s time for your own home theater.

What kind of equipment to buy depends on your budget, how much time you have on your hands, your technical prowess and – of course – how much you tend to drool over the latest high-tech gizmos. Those inclined toward do-it-yourself projects can buy a high-definition set or projector, hook it up to a DVD player and surround-sound system for $3,000 or less.

But if money is no object, you can get your home cinema professionally designed, acoustically engineered, installed and tricked out to look like a real movie theater … for $25,000 and up. Like luxury cars or motorboats, there’s practically no upper limit for those with money to spend. [Read more…]

Benefits of a home theater

We all love to go to the movie theater to relax after a long day of work. Even if you need to tide traffics jams to go to the movie theater, you are willing to endure this to be able to watch a movie. The sight and sound of a movie theater is what makes us go back there every so often. We easily get lost in the movie scene because of the bigger than life pictures and surround sound that takes you there beside the characters in the movie. This may prove to be costly in the end but we continue to do this because we love to go to movie theaters and see movies. If you can bring home a movie theater, it will be good and I am sure you will love the idea. However, before you say no, think again. Going to the movie theaters every single day is definitely costly in the long run. Additionally, if you know the basic components of a home movie theater, you may not think twice and will definitely leave right now to acquire your own home movie theater.

A complete setup of a movie theater in a big room is definitely only accessible to the rich and the famous. However, if you have meager budget, you can have the home movie theater for yourself knowing the basic components and setting up the home movie theater in a smaller room. You may convert you den to a home theater room. You only need the three basic components and you may already enjoy watching movies with no limit.

If you have a television set, which I know you do, that is about 27 inches, you run away spending for the first major component of your home movie theater. The second major component, which I think you have, is the DVD player. If your DVD Player has progressive scan that is wonderful, however, even without progressive scan, your DVD player may work as the second component for your home movie theater. The final piece of the puzzle, which I want you to spend on, is the home theater speakers. You need three high-quality home theater speakers for your home movie theater. You need to place one on the right side, one on the left side and one on the rear center of the room. These are the three basic components of your home movie theater. You may now start enjoying unlimited movie and enjoy watching movies with your whole family. I am sure you will agree with me that this is the best part of owning your own home movie theater.

The set up for your home movie theater with the three basic components is the best perfect setup for small rooms. However, if you have a bigger room for your home movie theater, I am sure you have a bigger budget for your home theater. Then you may want to consider the recommendation of home theater experts, you may add more speakers up to six home theater speakers and may need to compliment it with subwoofer to maintain the surround sound effect for your home movie theater. If you want a bigger picture, you may want to consider buying a home theater projector. You may also acquire home theater seating and television cabinet if you want to compliment the home theater design to make up a complete package for your home entertainment. All these additions to the basic components may be necessary if you have a bigger room. If the room is smaller, then you may only need the three basic components for your home movie theater.

Having to be able to bring home the sight and sound you run after in movie theaters may be very efficient and less costly. Aside form the fact that you enjoy life with your family beside you watching movies after movies in your very own home movie theater.

Harman Kardon HS 500

I have always respected Harmon Kardon and they just came out with a lower end (for them anyway) home theater system that will be a thrill to hear.

Harman Kardon has put in a good effort to bring out their Home Theatre range. The HS 300 and the HS 500 seem to be winning hearts ever since they first showed up on the company’s site. Both systems boast a 5.1-channel receiver/DVD-Audio/Video player. In addition to this it also has five satellites and a subwoofer. Additionally, there’s HDMI connectivity. With 1080i video processing and USB connection to other players, are fantastic entertainment systems that are maid to drive your senses and give you a theatrical experience in the confines of your living room. At the end of the day, Harman Kardon has made it a success in the home theatre arena. It’s only a matter of time until we know how much of a best seller this is.

Setting up your home theater

I ran across this very detailed and complete guide to setting up your home theater over at It is very important to have a plan when you are setting up as well as when you are buying the components for your home theater.

Think of source components, such as a DVD player, as the beginning point, and your television and loudspeakers as your end point. You have to get the video signal from your source component to your television or video display, and the audio signal to your loudspeakers.

Home Theater Set-up Example

In a basic setup that includes an television, AV receiver, a DVD player, and a VCR (or DVD recorder), here is an example of one approach:

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 1.5 Hours

What You Need:
Home Theater Receiver
Television or Video Projector (and screen)
DVD Recorder and/or VCR
CD or DVD/CD Player
All Needed connection cables and speaker wire
A Sound Meter

Here’s How:
Connect your satellite, cable, or antenna to your VCR (or DVD recorder) and then to the television. This will allow both your television and your VCR (or DVD recorder) to be able to receive broadcast, cable, or satellite signals, depending on what service you have.

NOTE: If you have both a VCR and DVD recorder, you should have the incoming cable, satellite, or antenna signal split and connected to them separately, not from one to the other.

Connect the audio and video outputs of your VCR or DVD recorder to your AV receiver’s VCR video inputs (if you have both a VCR and DVD recorder, use the AV receiver’s VCR1 connections for the VCR and the VCR2 connections for the DVD recorder).

In turn, connect the AV receiver’s VCR audio and video outputs to the audio and video inputs of your VCR. This will allow your VCR or DVD recorder to record video signals that come through the AV receiver or to play back tapes or DVDs for viewing on your television.

NOTE: Where you have both a VCR and DVD recorder connected to the AV receiver, you can dub non-copyprotected video tapes and DVDs between the two units via the AV receiver.

Connect one of the video outputs of your DVD player to the DVD player video input on your AV Receiver. In addition, also connect the digital optical or digital coaxial audio connection to your AV receiver. In order to access digital surround sound, you must make use of the DVD player’s digital audio connections.

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