This checklist is geared toward an ideal setup, but one that is reachable for under $5000 total. Read through the descriptions of these guidelines and then print it for a quick checklist before each viewing.
To build a home theater at the bare minimum, you need:
- A large-screen television (at least 40 inches across, measured diagonally) with a clear picture
- At least six speakers
- An AV Receiver for splitting up the surround-sound signal and sending it to the speakers
- A set-top box either Cable or Sattelite that plays or broadcasts movies in surround sound, preferably with a clear picture
- you’ll need a room where you can arrange all this stuff.
There are any number of ways you can meet this criteria. In the end, your home theater system depends on how much money you’re willing to spend and how important certain areas of performance are to you.
One home theater option is a “home theater in a box” system. consists of a DVD player with built-in surround-sound receiver and a collection of speakers
If you’re not looking to spend much money, and already have a good-sized television and a stereo system, you can upgrade your entertainment system into a fairly crude home theater with a couple of extra speakers and a few other inexpensive components
If you invest in a basic surround-sound system and a new DVD player, you might spend $500.
For a more advanced system, with a larger television and an advanced sound system, you might spend as much as $5,000.
For $10,000, you could set up a real theater, with a projection television, built-in speakers and theater seats (and maybe a concession stand).
And now, the checklist:
- 50″ or bigger widescreen HDTV capable of 1080i and/or 1080p resolution.
- Screen size is 1/2 the distance to the viewer (example: 55″ TV is no more than 110″).
- Primary video source is a progressive scan DVD player.
- Receiver includes both Dolby Digital and DTS decoding.
- Receiver has 85 watts or better to all five main channels.
- Five timbre matched main speakers capable of 70hz to 20khz.
- Powered subwoofer for low frequency effects capable of 25hz to 100hz at 105db.
- Single remote control for the whole system.