How to Build a Home Theater on a Budget
We all like being at the movie theater, but do you like the people talking or the overpriced snacks? No? We didn’t think so. With that in mind, there isn’t a more important time to start looking for alternatives.
You might be saying “I’m not a millionaire, I can’t afford a movie theater!”, well fear not! You won’t need to be a millionaire to get your very own theater experience from the comfort of your home with this budget home theater setup!
Before you get to putting the pieces together, we need to take a few things into consideration first:
The size, shape and layout is going to affect the acoustics of the room when using your chosen audio system, as well as the required area that the TV will cover. It’s important to take these into account, as you could potentially substitute the audio system for a smaller/bigger one or you may not need one at all, depending on how well the sound travels within the room from the TV.
Home Theater TV
Now that there are more on the market than ever, the brand isn’t necessarily indicative of which is the best TV. Most companies employ the same technology and therefore offer very similar displays, so it’s important to look past the branding and towards the specifications and reviews.
As we’re on a budget, you can get an excellent viewing experience within the $200 – $400 range. The price will vary greatly, however, depending on the features listed below.
If you have a small to medium-sized room or little space to use, we would recommend narrowing your search to 32” – 44”.
We recommend sticking within 720p (HD) – 1080p (FHD) range for the ultimate budget price. However, if you’re willing to spend a little extra you could bump that up to 4K (UHD) if you’re looking for a sharper, more defined image.
Typically, the mid – low budget display types will use LCD or LED, however, if you’re looking on the higher end of the budget you may want to look for OLED displays as they have much deeper blacks than any other display.
For further enriching the contrast and color depth, you may also want to look for a display with ‘HDR’. HDR delivers a much larger color and brightness range.
Smart or not
If you’re someone who watches a lot of streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer etc. then you’ll want to get a smart TV, as these apps are either built in or you can typically download them through the TV itself.
Home Theater Audio
Generally, if you want truly immersive surround sound you should aim for 3 channels and above, however these tend to be more costly. For a budget setup, you should be primarily focused on 2.0 or 2.1.
You’ll want to make sure your TV and sound system support HDMI (ARC) connectivity, and any additional connectivity features are a bonus!
This part is entirely up to you, but we would recommend you find a sound bar that fits in with the color/style of your room, with little to no obvious edges awkwardly poking out.
The rule of thumb here is simple: don’t be excessive. What we mean is, don’t buy a gigantic speaker if the sound travels just as well as a smaller one – save your money, save your eardrums!
Our recommended budget price range is $65 – $200.
If you’re looking to save some money or earn some cashback when you purchase the things for your home cinema, be sure to check out our deals and cashback pages!