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Aaron Allen
Aaron Allen

Home Theater Buying Guide


Obviously, a good TV or projector and screen are principal to the experience. But if you think of a home theater system like a Broadway play, then the TV = the stage, and the sound = everything else, from story and actors to music and pageantry. The real magic behind home theater systems is audio, and audio is what you need to get right to create a real home theater system at your house.




home theater buying guide



Your favorite shows and movies can come from any number of devices in addition to your set-top box. Blu-ray players and 4K media players give you a gorgeous viewing experience and extremely rich home theater sound, and the same is true with devices like Apple TV and Roku, which connect to the Internet and stream content from an ever-growing list of providers (e.g., Netflix, HBO GO, Hulu). Also, unlike some older TVs, devices like Apple TV and Roku automatically update themselves whenever new apps, games, and/or shows become available.


That depends. Again, more is always better when it comes to sound, and there are literally dozens of speaker combinations that can create true home theater sound. The traditional home theater includes 5 speakers: a center speaker, a left and a right speaker, two rear left and right speakers, and, of course, a subwoofer. A typical setup looks like this:


The basic, traditional home theater setup is a 5.1 home theater system with 5 or more speakers: a center speaker, a left and a right speaker, a rear left and right speaker, and, of course, a subwoofer. A typical setup looks like the image below.


For years, a 5.1 home theater system was considered the crème de la crème. Not anymore. A slew of recent technology breakthroughs now take home theater to a level equal to (and in some cases, even better than) the world's finest cinemas. And one of the biggest breakthroughs came by way of Dolby Laboratories.


The first thing you'll need for a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos home theater setup is a Dolby Atmos capable receiver. Additionally, you'll need eight speakers: a center speaker, two left and right main speakers, left and right surrounds, a pair of Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers, and a subwoofer.


Choosing what home theater speakers to buy is typically a really difficult decision. There are tons of different options available at varying price points. One will most certainly ask, what home theater speakers should I buy? I know this because I did at one point in time.


So what home theater speakers should you buy? Choosing the right speakers for your home theater is dependant upon a few things. Here are some things to consider when making your next speaker purchase.


We have used these in many home theater setups where we put the speakers behind an acoustically transparent projector screen. This allows you to completely hide the speakers and makes it feel as if the sound is coming from the projector screen itself! Check out my article on acoustically transparent screens and how they work.


Center channel speakers are very important to a home theater surround sound system. It produces almost all of the dialogue and a lot of the soundtrack in movies. Therefore it is extremely important in any great surround sound setup. A center channel speaker typically includes a variety of different sized drivers to cover a large frequency range.


The Klipsch R-5502-W II is an outstanding low profile in-wall speaker! This speaker is very versatile and can be used a left, right, or center channel home theater speaker. It is built to be mounted vertically or horizontally to fit different needs. This unit comes with a magnetic cover that can be painted to match the color of the wall. It can definitley output an impressive amount of sound for being an in-wall unit.


If you want to see more of our recommended products, then check out our recommended products page. This page includes all of the different home theater products we recommend, so you can make an informed decision before making any purchase!


Thanks for pointing out that before getting home theater speakers you should determine your budget and decide what type of system you want to use. My husband and I are trying to set-up a home theater in our basement because we think it would be a great place to relax and hang out with friends once it's done. Since we don't know that much about speakers, we'll have to talk to a professional that could help us choose the best ones for our situation.


Hi! I'm Jonah. I've always been interested in different electronics. I began working for an A/V installation company years ago and realized my passion for home theaters! Home Theater DIY is where I can share my findings and experience about home theaters and home electronics. For more info, check out my about me page!


If you're considering a projector, this article will cover the basics and what to look for. I'll mainly be discussing home theater projectors, but we do carry some business projectors in our commercial display section, as well as a few pocket projectors for personal use and travel.


For the best projector performance in a home theater, try to reduce or eliminate light in the room, whether it's daylight or room lights. Rooms with few windows are good candidates, especially if your viewing is heavy on movies.


If you have more of a dedicated home theater in mind (or if you want to keep your projector out of the reach of small children), you can ceiling-mount it. This makes for a neat, uncluttered look, but it does call for some DIY skills.


To get the best picture quality from any projector, you should get a screen that is a good match for your projector and room. Check out our projector screen buying guide for more information on choosing the right screen. Or you can opt for a pre-paired projector/screen combo like these Hisense systems.


Get ALL ten (10) of our Buying Guide E-Books #1-6 and Set Up GuideE-Books #7 - 10 for one great price of only $49.95! That's a 50%savings over buying them individually. To sweeten the deal we even giveyou a special login to our exclusive members area where Audioholicsstaff and other premium members can answer your questions and engage inhome theater talk to further assist you in your purchasing or setupguidance. We also offer FREE updates to ALL of our E-Books when theybecome available. This is the BEST deal for any Audioholic seriousabout maximizing their home theater experience.


Are you confused about which AV Receiver to get? This Buying GuidelineE-Book will give you a tour of the modern AV Receiver to help betterguide your buying decision. How many watts do you need? What does UltraHD mean? We answer all of that and more. Make sure you get the rightAV Receiver for your needs by reading our Ebook.


When making an investment in a home theater, it's important to use your hard earned dollars wisely to ensure you get many years of enjoyment by choosing the right components. Our Buying Guide E-Books are concise, easy to read and printable. Take them with you to your local dealer or use them as a guide when shopping online. We are confident these E-Books will help you!


Kramer Crane worked for Crutchfield from 2007-2022. He joined the home A/V writing staff after eight years as an Advisor in our sales department. As a writer, Kramer specialized in home theater and camera equipment. He left Crutchfield to pursue a full-time career as a photographer specializing in portraiture, event, and landscape imagery.


If watching movies or playing video games is your ideal way to spend free time, then turning your rec room or basement into a home theater may be the perfect option. From leather home theater seating sets to reclining console sofas, we have the key pieces to bring the big screen experience to your home. Below are a few helpful hints and key considerations to help you pick the perfect seating for your home theater.


While we certainly offer home theater seating available in classic colors like black and red, you may also choose from tans, creams, crisp whites, light or rich browns, and varying shades of gray to match virtually any home theater décor. Depending on which material you choose, the colors can range anywhere from shiny and sheen, to muted and matte.


Console Loveseats: Party for 2? We have just the ticket. Maybe you like to enjoy your favorite TV shows, movies, or games during a quiet night in. Or maybe your home theater is tight on space. In either case, a dual-console loveseat is the ideal home theater sofa for your lifestyle. (Hint: Kick the comfort up a notch and make it a dual recliner).


Cup Holders: From a holder with antique finishes, to ones with stainless steel and LED lighting, cup holders put the finishing touches on your home theater seating. Plus, many cup holders are removable to make clean up a breeze. If you and guests prefer to sip on something tasty (courtesy of your home bar), then cup holders may be the perfect option.


Before we get started, let us point out that every home theater is unique. If you have specific questions about your setup, we strongly recommend running them by one of our highly knowledgeable Projector Experts. Call us at 1-888-248-0675.


That said, we've covered the basics and more in our Home Theater Projector Buyer's Guide. For the latest updates in home theater technology, sign up for our newsletter or check out our projector blog.


Projector brightness is measured in ANSI lumens*. Home theater projectors generally start out at about 1000 lumens and range upwards to 2500 lumens and more. Your viewing environment is the deciding factor on how many lumens your projector needs. Dedicated home theaters (rooms with controlled lighting and no ambient light) will not require as much brightness as a space with ambient light from windows or other household lighting.


Currently, Wide XGA (1280 x 800) and HD (1920 x 1080) are the most common home theater projector resolutions. An HD (1920 x 1080) projector has about twice the number of pixels of a Wide XGA projector. More pixels mean a sharper looking image and better compatibility with high-definition sources. 041b061a72


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