Home Theatre

A home theatre used to be a luxury room only a movie mogul or Hollywood star would have in their home, but with high-tech electronics becoming more affordable and mainstream, and larger homes being built, home theatres may be coming soon to a home near you.

Can you actually build or design on home theater on a budget?  You can, but you need to educate yourself before you plan or design a budget home theatre project.

What Exactly is a Home Theatre?

For our purposes, a home theatre is not just the electronics, but a room or dedicated space in which the furnishings, surroundings and television and video equipment are designed to reproduce in the home the experience of being in a movie theater. 

Seating for a Home Theatre

Of course the most important furniture for a home theatre is comfortable seating.   You need to make sure you not only have enough seating, but it needs to be comfortable.  With the popularity of home theaters booming, you can purchase specialized seating for home theatres which optimize viewing and acoustics. 

Why not use your old recliners from the living room?  Well, you can if you must, but there are specialty home theater recliners which have built-in cup holders and even snack tables.  Prices start at over $1,000 a piece, so this may not be an option if your creating a home theater on a budget.

An alternative you may want to consider is plush seats that look like movie theater seats. These seats often have reclining features along with  cup holders. Some may even be able to connect with other seats or bolt directly to the ground to really give that theatre experience.  Prices for this seating is much more affordable, with the more basic seats starting at $300.

Still considering those recliners from your living room?  If you must, then go for it, but home theatre experts warn against using high-backed and reclining seating, as the extra head cushioning acts as a sound absorber while a reclining position changes your head position.  Both of these factors can alter the acoustics in the room and make your listening experience less intense. But if you’re working with a tight budget, the comfort may be worth the compromise of sound quality.

Basic Electronic Theater Components

The very basic elements necessary to create the electronics portion of your home theater are:

  • A 27" or larger flat-panel – LCD or plasma television - they're now available for under $1,000;
  • A DVD Player;
  • Speakers, and
  • A surround sound capable stereo receiver.

A general rule in home theater is that you get what you pay for.  It is possible to put together a lower-end home theater system from scratch for under $2,000 - $4,000, but there are some upgrades that are worth the extra money.  A basic system can be upgraded by going with a larger television, laser disc player, quality speakers, or a Dolby sound receiver.

Whether you’re planning on creating a dedicated, high-tech home theater or just a home theater experience in an area of your living room, focus on comfort, minimizing distractions and outside noise and quality electronics.