• Television – For most individuals, the television and its images will be the focal point of your whole setup, and most of your budget should be invested here accordingly. Plasma, LCD, and projection screen televisions can all work fine, just make sure to research the particular unit you are looking for.
• Video Source – Next, you’ll need devices which can produce video signals for your fine new television to display. This can include a Blu-ray player, video game consoles, and more.
• Audio Receiver – Adding a receiver to the mix adds a control center for the audio signals your home theater will process. The receiver processes audio signals, then amplifies them and outputs them to your speakers.
• Speakers – To get the most realistic surround sound experience available, you’ll want to purchase at least five speakers. You should get a center channel unit, rear speakers, and a few for the sides as well.
• Subwoofer – Adding a subwoofer to your home theater system makes it much easier to process bass tones and deeper, louder sound effectively and realistically.
• Cables – You’ll need quite a bit of cabling to connect everything together. Speaker cables, audio cables, video cables, and more can all be used, depending on your specific setup. You may want to consider investing in premium cabling to preserve the signal integrity of your home theater system; cheap cabling degrades signals, and negatively impacts the quality of high-definition video and audio.
• Universal Remote – Unless you want to constantly be on the look for the remote for each individual piece of your system, you should probably consider purchasing a universal remote that can be programmed to work with your whole setup.
• Surge Protection – Almost every piece of equipment in a home theater should run through a surge protector or other power protection unit. Home electronics are quite expensive, and you don’t want a surge or lightning strike to fry your home theater.
• Internet – If you intend to take advantage of that Ethernet port on your receiver, or run other services through your home theater, you’ll need to ensure you have access to a computer network connection relatively close by.
So if you are interested in putting together your own home theater system, we suggest you use this guide as a basic checklist to ensure that you will make all the purchases you need to build and enjoy your setup.