What You Need to Build Your Own Smart Home Theater


There’s something about the experience of a darkened room, an oversized screen, and surround sound that makes watching a movie so much better. But with expensive ticket prices, weird food smells (buttery popcorn, hotdogs, and cinnamon pretzels do not mix well), and that one guy who always laughs too long and too loud, movie theaters aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to create your home movie theater in your home. And when you consider how expensive movie theaters are now, the investment in a home theater is well worth it.

When it comes to a home theater system, your imagination is the only limit. You can make it as basic or as complex as you want. You could simply improve a room’s audio or entire renovate the room to look like an actual theater. It all depends on what you are willing to spend and how much time you have.

Here is what you need to build your own smart home theater:

Choose Your Screen

There are a lot of options for home theater screens. Your first big decision is deciding between a projector/screen combo or a television. If you choose a projector/screen, you’ll want to look into the many options within that, including dimensions and capabilities. If you choose a television, beyond screen size, investigate the differences between LCD, plasma, and 3D options.

Pick an Audio System

For surround sound, you can either choose a pre-packaged option or build your own system using separate components. While pre-packaged systems are easy to choose and set up, you can get higher quality and better performance with a component system. The latter is ideal for those who know what they want, are comfortable with technology (or know someone who is that can help them) and wants to create their own custom system.

Decide on Video Sources

How will you play movies? If you have a high-def TV, you want to match that using a Blu-ray player. There are also other high-def broadcast options available, such as HDTV programming. This provides high-res digital audio and video, as well as video game consoles.

Select a Receiver

If you want surround sound, you need a receiver. This serves as the control center for all of your audio, processing audio signals, amplifying them, and sending them to the speakers. You can even use your receiver to manage video by running video signals to the receiver. This means you can make a single video connection, which simplifies everything. This is great if you have several sources that you want to work together, like a Playstation, DVD player, and cable box.

Shop for Speakers and a Subwoofer

For impressive movie theater sound, many pros recommend having a subwoofer and around five speakers or more.

Don’t Forget Cables and Cords

What’s technology with cords and cables? Don’t forget the small essentials, like audio and video cables, HDMI cords, remote controls, an Internet connection, and a power protector.

Photo by: Gramophone Maryland