A home theater was once a luxury reserved for the affluent, but now it’s something that many people aspire to. All you need is some basic technical knowledge and a few inexpensive household items like an old TV, DVD player, speakers and cables.
In this post we’ll show you how to build your own media room without breaking the bank. We’ll cover everything from equipment choices to adding finishing touches like theatre curtains and installing theater seats. So that you can build and set up a home theater in your room.
Follow these steps to build your own home theater in less than a weekend:
Step 1. Pick Your Speaker Setup
Not all home theater setups are created equal. The type of speaker setup you choose will depend on your goals, the room’s acoustics, and your budget. If you want the ultimate in surround sound, you’ll need a set of center channel speakers to deliver dialogue and sfx in a centralized location. If you’re looking for a bit more immersion, however, you can’t beat full-range speakers for an immersive listening experience.
We recommend center channel speakers, but you can do with just one or two. A budget pair of front left and right speakers will give you a big bang for your buck. Just make sure you can hear all the dialog and sfx without cranking the volume too high.
Step 2. Decide on Your Surround Sound Setup
If you want to be able to gather family and friends around for a movie night, home theater gear offers plenty of options to make that possible. There are surround sound setups designed specifically for watching movies, games, music and sports (like 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound).
When it comes to people watching a movie, you’ll want your players and speakers to be able to reproduce dialog and sfx with great clarity. Most full-range speakers will do the trick, but if you want more immersion, center channel speakers are the way to go. If you want a more immersive experience in all applications, consider adding rear surround speakers (right and left) if you have the room and budget.
Step 3. Decide on Your Audio Setup
There are two main types of audio setup for home theater systems: analog surround sound or digital surround sound. Most people prefer analog when it comes to movies because it’s smoother sounding and less fatiguing on the ears.
There are several ways to get analog audio into your theater room. First, you can run them through your home’s power lines and use a wireless signal transmitter (or IR repeater) to pick up on the signal. This is the best option if you have weak network coverage or certain devices in the room (like speakers) don’t have an infrared port.
Another option is to run a coaxial cable from your home theater’s audio hardware and split it off at the desired location with a splitter, then send it through another wire for each speaker. If you pick up one of our kits, we’ll provide this solution for you.
Step 4. Decide on Your DVD Setup
To watch DVD movies in your home theater, you’ll need to use a DVD player that is compatible with the audio and video standards for DVDs. If you’ve never used one before, finding out which one to buy can be frustrating. We’ve created this guide which will help you choose the right player for your home theater setup and room environment.
Step 5. Install Your Cables
Once you decide on your speaker setup and speaker cables, it’s time to get started with installing them in the correct locations. You can usually find speaker wire in hardware stores or online. Here’s an easy guide to installing your theater speakers:
Step 6. Choose Your Player
Once you’ve got your speakers set up, you’ll need a DVD player to use with them. Choosing the right DVD player can be a real headache, so we’ve created this simple guide to choosing your ideal player for the job:
Step 7. Set Up Your Remote
If you’re using a handheld remote control, you can go ahead and place it on the TV stand, shelf or wherever you like. But if you have one of our universal remotes, it will have its own stand attached to the back of it. First, find the spot to put it and then cut holes in the back to match up with the receiver speakers’ inputs.
If you’re using a universal remote, we recommend starting off by placing it on your disc tray, bottom shelf or anything that’s convenient for now. Don’t forget to plug in your cables before placing them into their designated input spots!
Step 8. Test Your Speakers and System
Once you’ve set up your player and speakers, it’s time to test them out. Find a movie or music track you like, turn the speakers on and adjust the volume until they’re loud enough without hurting your ears. You’ll also want to check that the sound is coming out of each input just as it should. If that’s not the case, you might have defined them incorrectly or they may be wired incorrectly (assuming you used our kit). Try swapping cables in the desired locations until it sounds right.
Step 9. Put in the Final Touches
Now it’s time to personalize your home theater system and make it look its absolute best. At this point, it’s a matter of style and personal preference, but we always recommend adding some finishing touches to make the room look nice. Here are some ideas:
Finishing Touches The final touch you’ll want to add is a theater curtain. Even if you only plan on watching movies at home, a good theater curtain will make the room more inviting and give it that finished appearance. You can find them in most hardware stores, or even online.
Final Thoughts on Building a Home Theater System
Now you know how to build a home theater system of your own! If you have any other questions, we encourage you to leave them below and we’ll help wherever we can. And if you decide to build your own setup, do us a favor and snap some pictures of it while it’s all put together.