Cheap Building of Home Theater
#1 Don’t Purchase Everything All At Once
This is the best advice one can ever receive before beginning to build their own home theater. If you try to go out and purchase all the latest cutting edge, futuristic equipment at once, chances are you will end up compromising either on the quality of your technology or the integrity of your bank account. Instead, skip the components of the project you do not have to purchase right away and begin with the cheapest variables and most important parts. Do your research on every product you intend to purchase to calibrate pricing versus how long a piece of equipment is proven to last. Try to stagger out the components you purchase to ensure you get the best value for your cost and most up to date components at every stage of the build.
#2 Do Not Waste Money on Unneeded Equipment
As you go to purchase different components you will hear it all from every salesman you run into, and while they do have some knowledge - they do not know everything. You do not need a smart TV or fancy look alike, instead purchase a high quality Blu-ray player. It will do everything a Smart TV is capable of and probably more all while saving you hundreds. Or check out older TVs fully capably of hosting high quality movies as they will be deeply discounted.
Another decision to think about is whether or not you will be purchasing a 4k TV. If you already own one, then great, but if you do not, then do not go out and buy a new one. 4K TVs are not standardized yet and have proven to be quite costly. Plus, only recently has Blu-ray and select few movies become compatible for the platform. Thus, if you are truly on a budget than a 4K TV is not a realistic consideration. Stick with saving on a cheaper TV and buy your dream 4K HDR TV once the market settles down and the price decreases.
#3 Research Projectors
Instead of installing a television, you could consider installing a projector instead but again it is best to begin by doing research on quality and pricing. The BenQ TH670 projector is said to be good quality and a budget friendly option while the JmGO G1 Smart Projector is said to be a high quality projector that will not cost you an arm and a leg. 4K projectors are also available on the market but again they are a non option for those on a tight budget. Epson currently makes the cheapest 4K projector and it barely costs under $3,000.
#4 Refurbish an Old Laptop
The chances are high that you or someone you know has an old laptop or PC lying around someone that you can utilize for little to no cost. Refurbishing old unused products is exactly how one should be beginning a DIY budget home theater. Even if you have to repair a few parts the total cost will still be cheaper than buying a brand new component. Furthermore, PC’s can do all the same tasks as streaming devices! Your refurbished PC can take the place of purchasing a brand new Roku streaming device. Not to mention, the money you will save by simply refurbishing an old PC will leave you wiggle room to purchase a 4K Blu-ray TV when you can comfortably do so.
#5 Start Small
Ditch the ‘bigger is better’ philosophy. This rule is irrelevant when it comes to speaker systems as it is not the size that is important but rather the setup and quality of the component. More importantly, you need to observe the shape and size of the room you will be installing them into. For example, if you have a smaller living room you will want to choose speakers with a good dipole or bipole output. A typical home theater system will be comprised of five satellite speakers and on single subwoofer making up a 5.1 setup. And bottom line, you need to buy what's right for you and not the 9.1 channel set up as it will be overkill. Additionally, before pulling the trigger decide where you are going to place each speaker and wiring workings among other details. Do not forget you can always change and upgrade your speaker system later.
#6 Purchase a Cheap Universal Remote
Every HTPC system needs a remote that is able to handle each and every device hooked up to it which requires a universal remote. The Logitech Harmony 650 is a great option for those on a budget but there are several universal remotes available on the market. However, if have an old tablet or smartphone you can easily transform it into a highly reliable universal remote controller. There are several applications available on the market like the Sure Univeral Remote app that allows easy setup on most gadgets.
#7 It’s Not All Technical
The tech components are only one half of your home theater set up. You will also need to think about how you will be camouflaging all your new bits and gadgets along with needed furniture. These costs will need to be accounted for as well. The upside to this is that you can purchase a lot of these goodies on Craigslist or at real estate auctions for half the price.
#8 Splurge on Your Receiver
The receiver is the most important and underappreciated element to your home theater. While you can save money on your receiver, it is highly advised against. Regard your receiver like your PC’s processor or the engine to your car - if you do not get the correct one, your entire theater could be compromised. However, if you choose the right one, your entire operation, discounted parts and all will run like a dream.