When the laser disc was introduced in the 1980s, people started to pair up their crisp, new picture with stereo sound to create a viewing experience unlike any other. As time has gone by, home theater technology has evolved, and people can now enjoy a full cinema experience in their homes. There are several steps that go into creating the ideal home theater, and it is important to plan out each step to make sure that you maximize your budget. From determining your budget to adding the popcorn machine, planning out a home theater is the best way to make sure that you get exactly what you want. Pool your resources and take the time to put together a home cinema that you and your family will enjoy for years.


You will need a comprehensive budget for your home theater because you do not want to run out of money halfway through the project. Before you set your budget, you will need to make some decisions. Will you use a projection unit on a screen, or will you buy a large television? Projection units are generally less expensive than larger television screens, and you can get special screen material that will make the image high-definition. You will need to consider your stereo equipment, furniture for the room, any kind of remodeling costs for the room itself, the costs of your cabling, and then the costs of any extra amenities you may want. You will have to measure the room you are going to use to determine your remodeling and cabling costs. You can save money by buying prepackaged home theater kits, which would include your audio and visual equipment.

How Much Does A Home Theater Cost: The Dummies approach to budgeting a home theater.

The Good, The Better, & The Best Besting The Budget: A comprehensive look at how to properly budget for a home theater.

Planning Your Home Theater (Budget): Budgeting advice from the audio experts at Dolby.

octane mega home theater loungers


For the best results, you should choose a room that is in the middle of the house and has no exterior windows. You can try the basement, but your basement needs to be completely dry and finished if you are going to use it. The further away from external sources of light and sound your home theater can be located, the better it will be.

Home Theater Design Basics: Advice from the DIY Network on where to put your home theater and how to build it.

Choosing A Room For A Home Theater: There are many room options to choose from in this resource.

Creating Your Ideal Home Theater: Bob Vila gets your home theater project off to a good start.

home theater attic


The design of your home theater is critical in creating the best possible experience. The seating you will install should be comfortable and encourage people to remain in one spot. The layout should have all of the speakers pointed towards a central point in the room to maximize the sound for everyone. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the projector to determine how far back to put your first row of seats. If your seats are too close or not set up for optimum sound, then some people will not get the best possible experience.

Speaker Placement For Home Theater: A guide on how to lay out a home theater from the speaker experts at Crutchfield.

An Essential Guide To How To Measure for Home Theater Layouts: Everything you need to know about getting the best sound in your home theater.

Home Theater: The experts at Hometime give you the rundown on installing a home theater.


To get the best possible home theater equipment, you need to stick with the best brands in the industry. Many of the top manufacturers offer packages that include projection and sound equipment that is optimized to work very well together. If you prefer to buy components that can be interchangeable, then always make sure that each component has the necessary type and amount of connections to make putting your home theater together easier.

How To Buy A Home Theater Audio System: The technology experts at CNET offer insight on buying home theater equipment.

THX Home Audio Buyer Guide: THX is one of the most prominent names in home theater sound, and this is their advice for buying equipment.

5.1 surround sound speaker system

Wiring and Installation

There is much more to wiring and installing a home theater system than people often realize. When you measure for cabling, always add at least 20 percent more to the amount you buy because hiding cables can sometimes force you to take detours. Along with putting your equipment in place and hooking it up, you will also have to consider remodeling the room to hide the cables and create places for the components to be installed.

Basic Home Theater Setup Guide – Hooking It All Up: An expert view on installing a home theater.

Installing Your New Home Theater: A practical guide to installing a home theater.

How to Hide Wiring: Step-by-step instructions show how to hide the wires from your sound system’s speakers

sound absorption and insulation in walls and floors

Special Features

The special features you add to your home theater can enhance the experience for everyone. How about a popcorn machine built like a real theater popcorn maker? Most of your audio and video components have remote controls, so why not get remotely controlled dimmer switches for the lights as well? Little touches like a curtain covering the projection screen that can be pulled back with the push of a button make your home theater look like a real cinema.

Popcorn Buyer’s Guide Popcorn Machine Comparison: A chart showing which is the best home theater popcorn machine to buy.

How To Control Your Home With Your iPhone Or iPad: Some advice on controlling your theater lights with your mobile computing device.

Home Theater Setup Tips: Who better to get your home theater special features from than Martha Stewart?

popcorn movie reel

Extra Resources

Setting Up A Home Theater: This Old House chimes in with information on setting up your home theater.

Home Theater Systems & Soundbars: Consumer Reports gives unbiased information on buying components.

Home Theater Projector Buyer’s Guide: Some expert advice on buying the right projector.

10 Stunning Home Theaters That Will Put Your Local Multiplex To Shame: A resource of ideas for your home theater.

Speaker Placement 101: Create The Ultimate Home Theater Experience: Good information on home theater surround sound.

IMAX Has A New Home Theater For Your Very Big, Very Nice House: The ultimate in a home theater experience.

Shopping For Home Theater Systems & Surround Sound: A practical shopping guide from Energy Star.

How To Use Less Energy In Your Home Theater: The experts at Popular Mechanics have some money-saving advice.

Killer Audio Completes Your Home Theater: Audio advice from The Washington Post.