Home Theater Setup

A home theater is becoming more common than they used to be.  As our entertainment dollars have to stretch people are looking for the same movie theater experience with having to pay for a family to attend the theater once a week.  Even those on limited budgets are turning to a home theater.  You can create the desired environment without spending a fortune.  It simply takes bargain hunting and creativity.

The homeowner with a basement has the beginnings of their home theater.  Basements make good solutions because the concrete walls offer soundproofing.  You can save a lot of money by utilizing the basement area by not having to pay to sound proof the walls.  One thing to consider is if the basement is suitable for finishing.  A basement that often floods is not a wise choice.  There also has to be the ability to put in wiring for all the electronics that will need to be utilized in creating the theater. The basement must have easy access in order to make if functional to use and to be able to get the electronics down there.

Ambiance is everything.  Even with a small space and limited budget the room needs to look like a normal theater. Consider lighting options.  It is best to avoid bright overhead lighting.  You do need enough light to be able to maneuver through the room and get the electronics set up.  A pendant light with a dimmer switch works well when hung over the electronic equipment.  Consider a pendant light with dimmer switch over the operator’s chair as well.  LED lights in the ceiling or around the screen can offer appropriate mood lighting.  Utilizing rope lighting around the edges of the room will put off soft diffuse light – put the ropes on the floor so that the light does not interfere with the screen.  Tiered seating is easily achieved by using wood to create the tiers.  You can also elevate the individual seats versus putting in tiers. When using this option the elevated boxes need to be very wide and extend beyond the seat for easy access.  Seats should be comfortable with cup holders, recliners work better than any other option.  Add some velvet drapes on all the walls and you have your theater look.  Be frugal and shop around.  Velvet drapes can often be found on sale and at discount outlets.  Recliners can be found in furniture clearance sales or used furniture stores.

There is so much available on the internet that this is an excellent place to start looking for your supplies.  Places like online auctions can offer significant savings on a large variety of items.  Search engines can help identify vendors and comparison shopping tools can tell you who sells it the cheapest.  It is important to understand what you are buying and who you are buying it from.  Always read return policies, guarantees and warranties thoroughly.  The vendor should have a physical address and customer service number.  Check out the BBB for any complaints on the vendor.  Use a credit card that offers some protection against fraudulent sellers.

Do not forget to look locally.  The local paper classifieds is a great place to start looking.  This way you get to go check out the items before you purchase them.  Craig’s list will also provide a number of local options for you to search through.  Both of these options afford you the unique opportunity to preview items to determine their condition and to bargain over the price.

Outlet stores are a convenient place to save money.  Depending on how much you are buying it may be worth it to make a short trip to get to an outlet.  Keep a written list of what you need to keep from overbuying.  Do not buy with the intention of making it work.  That strategy rarely works out.

You can see that it is possible to have your home theater even without a huge budget.  The majority of money needs to go into the electronics.  The decor created can be perfect yet budget friendly with a little ingenuity and patience.


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