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Great home theater tips to help you design and setup your basement home theater!

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Home theater budget

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Bello home theater rack & home theater componentsBefore you purchase any home theater equipment, you need to establish a budget. You may not stick to it exactly (allow for + or - 15%), but you need to go into the process with an idea of what you'll be spending.

Too many people buy the biggest TV they can afford and they're done! They've used up 100% of their budget. Be sure to save some money for the other half of the HDTV equation- your audio system!

Home theater surround sound

The higher resolution of HDTV is only half the picture! Don't forget about all that great Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound you'll be missing if you don't buy separate components for your audio!

I've seen differing breakdowns on how much you should spend on each component of your system. While only you know how important sound is to you, or how often you watch sports and movies (which are especially great in 5.1 surround), below are some general guidelines.


Percentage of total budget



A/V Receiver, speakers


DVD or BluRay player


Cables, TV stand, etc. (screen if using a front projector)



With those numbers in mind for your home theater budget, here's a look at a few budget examples:

$5,000 system


Purchase Price



A/V Receiver, speakers


DVD or BluRay player


Cables, TV stand, etc. (screen if using a front projector)



$10,000 system


Purchase Price



A/V Receiver, speakers


DVD or BluRay player


Cables, TV stand, etc. (screen if using a front projector)


Surround sound speaker

Based on the numbers above, here's a look at the tentative list of components I've selected for my new basement home theater:



Purchase Price

The 'Pearl' - Sony's awesome 1080P projector

Sony VPL-VW50 1080P projector OR
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 1080P SXRD TV

$4,000 - $6,000

The Sony 5200 receiver scales all output to 1080P

Pioneer Elite VSX-84TXSi OR
Sony STR DA5200ES Receiver

$1,000 - $1,500

The Intimus 533 Cinema HD 5.1 surround sound system from Aperion

Aperion 5.1 surround system

$2,200 - $2,600


Cables and accessories (HDMI, speaker wire), surge protector, etc.



Rack or stand and/or screen

$600 - $800


Total Budget

$8,200 - $11,300



Like I said earlier, the percentages above are just a guideline…


Home Theater Topics

Setting your budget

Selecting components

A/V receivers

How big should the screen be?

Display technologies

Front projectors

HDTV shopping tips

Speakers and subwoofer

DVD players

Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD

How to buy a Blu-ray player

Top Blu-ray players

Lutron dimmers: Custom home theater lighting

Lutron Spacer System: Custom programmable scene lighting

Cables and accessories

Buying home theater systems

Buying home theater speaker, Blu-ray players, and accessories

Home theater setup



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