How to Design and Build the Ultimate Home Theater (for under $2,500)

Rajat Hardy
Written by
Last update:

Television or Projector ($1,000)

There are a lot of TVs that look modern and compelling, but there are two main advantages of having a rear projection TV over a direct view (DLP, LCD, or Plasma) TV. The most obvious one is that rear projection TV’s have much smaller bezels, but the power of the rear projection TV is that it requires no interaction with the TV to watch it. The point of home theater is that you want to focus your attention on the picture.

If you use a direct-view TV, you have to spend time finding the right angle on the screen to see the optimal viewing area. Rear projection gets around this because it projects the image on to a screen in front of the TV, creating an optimal viewing experience for everyone in the room. In short, it’s easier to watch.

Speakers ($300)

You’ll need the basic setup of speakers. These will be placed in the ceiling. They should be able to fill the room with sound. The subwoofer will also be placed in the ceiling and should be turned on and off with a remote control.

Sound Bar ($150-$250)

While everyone is going high tech with their home theaters, there are still those who like to keep it simple. If you are one of those people, then it’s time for you to update your home theater set-up. The best way to do this is to invest in an affordable sound bar. These are very popular because they are a cost-effective way to add great sound to your movie experience. These sound bars also come with wireless subwoofers, which can be great. It means that you don’t have to worry about a subwoofer taking up valuable space in your living room or office.

So why do so many consumers choose sound bars over the traditional home theater system? For starters, the sound bars are easy to install. They require minimal set up and zero technical knowhow. Most also come with some sort of remote control. This is a valuable feature because it means that you can turn the volume up or down without having to get up. It also gives you the ability to easily switch from one sound source to another.

These home theaters usually offer the cleanest sound for the price. You don’t have to worry about added wires or confusing settings. Some also offer surround sound capabilities.

Subwoofer ($200-$250)

A subwoofer is a speaker that has been designed to reproduce extremely low frequency (20-200 Hz) sound. They are often used in conjunction with other speakers in a home theater to provide greater audio depth. Subwoofers are also called “sound systems,” “sub systems,” or “bass bins.”

Subwoofers come in a variety of sizes. A standard design is an 8-inch subwoofer, and the smaller the speaker, the faster the woofer can move, producing lower notes. However, you will want to be careful with designing a subwoofer system that is too small. A very small subwoofer won’t be able to produce enough output to produce a good bass response.

As with all speakers, you want to load them with your receiver’s on-board bass management or set aside room in your receiver’s speaker setup to take advantage of the subwoofer’s dedicated crossover and low-pass filter.

Receiver ($150-$600)

A home theater is all about watching a good movie, and not really about the quality of the picture. However, even if you’re only interested in the best sound quality possible, you’re going to want a receiver with surround sound capabilities. These systems use five or more speakers to create a superior sound experience.

The receiver must have an HDMI output to connect to your video source, such as a Blu-Ray player. HDMI is an all-digital connection, offering the highest quality output. Most receivers are also compatible with the newer optical digital connections, while older receivers may only have an RCA or coax connection.

If you’re worried about the wiring, there are wireless surround sound options available for the receiver to connect to the speakers.

Blu-ray Player ($350)

Blu-ray discs have become a standard even though HD DVDs were the first to hit the market. However, Blu-ray rapidly won the format wars and has become the dominant form of high-definition video.

With both formats now defunct, home theatre enthusiasts view Blu-ray players as a long-term investment. Prices for Blu-ray players are steadily dropping, but more importantly, they’re increasing in capability and performance. Today’s Blu-ray players can download movie trailers, receive internet updates and even play a limited number of video games.

Top-of-the-line players can even stream video over wi-fi.

Cables, Surge Protector, etc. ($100)

When building your home theater you have to have cables. You can choose from HDMI or VGA cables for the most part depending on which devices that you have. You can either purchase a new cable, or you can buy a used one. They may be either too short or too long, but either way it still will be alright. You can always purchase a cable that is of the right length. I am sure you can find a cable that will work nicely for your home theater. If on the other hand you have a specific device that needs a very specific type of cable, you may try buying some of the ones that you want online through Amazon. I do that from time to time.