Building Your Home Theater: Getting Started!

April 25, 2010

One easy way to make the build out of your home theater more affordable is to spread it out over several years. This way as you purchase a component, you can focus on it alone, research it and find what’s the best value. But how do you get started given all of the components required to create a home theater (display, receiver, speakers, blu-ray player)? Well, I started my home theater with hand-me down equipment and the purchase of a Fisher Hi-Fi VCR back in college. The system was simple but lots of fun to watch. My father gave me an old Realistic tube Receiver and Bose 301 Speakers. Paired with my 13″ Zenith color TV in my dorm room, it was unbelievable at the time. So, how do you get started?  Find some budget equipment! Cruise your local garage sales, go on Craig’s List or just drive around a nice neighborhood on trash day (I once saw someone throw out a decent Onkyo receiver!).

Another alternative is to start out with a home theater in a box (HTIB). While the systems are affordable and well integrated, usually they come with poor quality speakers. Remember, George Lucas once stated that sound is 50% of the movie going experience. But something is better than nothing and the speakers can be the first thing you eventually upgrade. When you buy your HTIB, look at the back of the receiver and make sure it can have regular speakers plugged in; not just the ones included. Also, check to see if it allows other components to be plugged in as well (look for additional RCA and/or HDMI jacks).  
I have never purchased a HTIB but would love to hear some recommendations from folks.

Tags: Home Theater, HTIB

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