How to Save Money on Installing a Home Theater
Installing a home theater system is not rocket science, but at the same time, it does require a bit of technical knowledge and moderate level of installation skills. If you are tempted by a package deal that many brands offer, you could be tossing away extra cash that you could save by knowing the components you require and managing the installation on your own.
However, the skill required for the installation will also depend on the complexity of components you have chosen and the design of your room. Here we explore the main components that you require for your home theater system and how you could save money in the installation process.
What You Require:
HDTV or HD Projector and Screen
Opting for an HDTV would definitely make your installation much simpler compared to purchasing a HD projector and screen. However, when you want an authentic theater experience many aficionados prefer HD projector. A projector would mean purchasing a proper projector stand, and knowing the correct placement of the projector and the screen. While opting for an HDTV consider models that are light and thin, and having smart features like Wi-Fi connectivity, and built-in connectivity to the Internet.
The receiver is like a hub that will be handling various audio and video devices of your home theater system. Most inputs, set-top boxes, and consoles will have to be connected to the receiver, which will send audio signal to your speakers, and video signals to your TV. The receiver makes it easy to connect and manage all the devices and have an organized system. However, you need not go overboard on features, but make sure there are sufficient HDMI inputs.
Speakers or a Soundbar
Ability to control the audio output is the major advantage of having a home theater system. Your choice of audio speakers will determine the sound effects you are going to experience. However, apart from the quality of speakers, you also need to consider their correct placement to obtain the best output possible. Outstanding speakers are available in all sizes with a wide price range, which makes it possible to enjoy awesome sound even on a tight budget. However, if you have a very limited space and want to cut down on costs and effort of installation, you could consider installing a soundbar.
Most models have in-built amplification and power system, which means you do not require a receiver. In such a scenario, you will be connecting all the devices to your HDTV and the sound output from the TV will be through the soundbar. Depending on the soundbar model, you can expect the same audio quality that you would receive from the surround system, at a fraction of the cost.
Cables and Connectors
Connecting various components of your home theater system can prove to be a nightmare if you are not organized. Before you purchase cables, first consider the placement of the various components and the length of cable and wires you are going to need. Always add a few meters more, since running short will not only be frustrating, but also add to the cost.
To reduce the number of cables, choose components with HDMI ports. The different cables that you will possibly need include HDMI, composite video, component video, speaker cable, and Ethernet cable. However, do not attempt wiring without using labels; otherwise, you will end up with a tangled mess and you will not know which cable goes where. Including a label maker, few cable ties, and power strip, in your shopping list is a magnificent idea.
Carefully consider the size and shape of your room, and plan where you are going to place each component. The correct placement of speakers is critical for having an awesome sound effect; however, a soundbar can simplify things largely and keep the cost down. Also, consider the lighting in your room, especially when you have opted for a projector and a screen.
We highly reccommend using a professional home theater installer. Here is a great tool from our friends at Home Theater Review, which lets homeowners find certified installers in their area.