The Perfect Home Theater on a Budget

By Scott Beckstead
FOLLOW US
SHARE

With movie prices soaring higher than an eagle in the night sky, many moviegoers are looking to replicate the movie theater experience in the comfort of their own living rooms. Until recently, such aspirations required investing heavily in costly multi-speaker setups and expensive big-screen TVs. Not only is this a costly pursuit, but the ensuing chaos of wires and cables strewn throughout the house leave a prominent eyesore. Thankfully, not only have LCD and Plasma TV prices dropped significantly over the past few years, but so have home audio speakers. In fact, you can now enjoy affordable simulated surround sound from the comfort of your own home with sound bars.

Sound bars are affordable, and they don't require the rat's nest of wiring that traditional multi-speaker setups require. So what exactly do you need to set up a perfect home theater on a budget besides a sound bar? Surprisingly, not much! We have removed all of the guesswork and have provided exactly what you need below:

Television
LED TVs have recently become all the rage – their thin profiles and bright displays are the envy of many. While LED televisions are extremely energy efficient, you can easily save a couple hundred dollars and purchase a similarly sized LCD television that offers comparative image quality.

Want to save even more money? Plasma TVs are not only less expensive than their LCD counterparts, but they also provide a better color spectrum and viewing angle. Unfortunately, they use far more power and are not very energy efficient. So where does that leave us?

There is one final option available for budget-conscious home-theater enthusiasts – DLP HDTVs. DLP, or Digital Light Processing technology, uses older rear-projection technology to produce images.While a bit more bulky than LED, LCD and Plasma televisions, DLP TVs display high-speed images flawlessly, without the blur other technologies suffer from. The best part? A DLP television will cost you hundreds of dollars less than similarly sized LED and LCD TVs. When choosing a television for your perfect home theater on a budget, we recommend either Plasma or DLP televisions.

Sound Bar
Sound bars provide an ideal solution for those who want to experience better sound than their television speakers are capable of producing but don't want the expense, or wiring, that multi-speaker systems require. Sound bars come in two flavors: Passive and Active. Active sound bars include an integrated amplifier and receiver, so you don't have to buy any extra components. Passive Sound bars on the other hand require an external amplifier and receiver to operate. While passive sound bars often provide slightly better sound quality than active sound bars, they can cost quite a bit more. We recommend selecting an active sound bar.

Most sound bars simulate surround sound and require minimal space to install. Many even come with a subwoofer to add a little rumbling bass to your favorite action movies. Active sound bars are budget friendly, easy to set up and provide much better sound than your television speakers can offer.

Blu-ray Player
Capable of playing back crystal-clear 1080p high-definition video, Blu-ray players were once reserved for home-theater enthusiasts with large budgets. DVD and VHS players were the default methods of video playback for most individuals. Today, you can purchase high quality Blu-ray players for less than the price of a steak dinner for two. The disparity between DVD picture quality and Blu-ray picture quality is enormous, and Blu-ray is certainly worth the upgrade.

Setting up the perfect home theater on a budget is easy and affordable. Thanks to advances in technology, only a few components are necessary to enjoy high quality home theater on a budget. Of course, you can always add a popcorn maker, a recliner and other creature comforts to your home-theater setup, but we'll save those recommendations for another day.

 At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don't Have To.™ 

 

 
Electronics » Home Audio » Home Theater Speakers Review » Sound Bar Review » The Perfect Home Theater on a Budget