The popularity of home theaters continues to rise as more people appreciate the convenience and superior viewing experience they can have at home. Whether you intend to install your home theater yourself or hire a professional to do it, you need to make sure that you have all of the essential pieces, starting with the right room.
Before selecting a room, you need to determine how much ambient lighting it has, the type of wall construction, whether it is carpeted, where you will sit in relation to the screen, if you will be placing the speakers in the wall or ceiling, and whether you will place the rest of the home theater equipment in an open space or an enclosed cabinet. Once you have these things figured out, you're ready to start choosing the components of your home theater system.
What You Will Need
You should plan to purchase the following equipment at a minimum:
- The video display device: You have several choices for a unit to project images and sound, including a plasma or flat-panel television, a video projector and screen combination, a large-screen CRT-based television, an HDTV, or an HD compatible television.
- Audio reproduction device: This is an AV receiver that combines AM and FM radio and different types of Internet radio, a preamplifier, and a built-in multi-channel amplifier.
- Surround sound receiver: This device provides most of the outputs and inputs that the entire home theater system is connected to, including your television set.
- Loudspeakers: These help to amplify the sound to your exact preference.
- Subwoofer: This unit is responsible for amplifying extremely low frequencies in the movies and music you select.
- Source component: A DVD player is usually sufficient, but you may also want to have a CD player or a Blu-ray disc player.
- Surge protector: This protects the power in your home from going out when you are running several sources of electricity at once.
- Connection cables and speaker wire: This equipment connects everything in your home theater system together.
- Universal remote control: You use this device to control all of the various equipment from one central location.