How to Build a Home Theater

By Jonathan Bales , last updated January 10, 2012

Building a home theater can be a lot of work, especially if you have never completed the task before. The home theater experience is becoming more and more popular as people use emerging technology to recreate the theater experience. There is nothing better than staying in your own home and watching a movie as if you were in a real theater. Nowadays, people often use projection systems to build home theaters because they are high-quality and easier to install than other home theater systems. Projection televisions simply project the image right onto a wall or other surface, leaving you with a lot less work to mount a large television. Plus, if you want the true theater experience, you have to go with a projection system like they use at the movies. These projection systems can be incredibly high definition, ranging from cheaper varieties to very expensive ones. Read below for a few tips on how to properly build a projection home theater today.

When dealing with a projection television, the most important aspect of the decision process is selecting the proper screen. Some people project images directly onto their walls, but the most efficient way to watch movies, television or the big game is to install a projection screen. Screens can come in any size, but there are a few important things to remember. First, know that the usual aspect ratios for movies and television are 2.35:1, 16:9 and 4:3. This means if the length of your screen is 64 inches, the height will be around 36 inches (which would represent a 16:9 aspect ratio).

Another important thing to take into consideration when choosing a projection screen is that larger screens are not always better. The smaller the screen is, the more focused and crisp the images. For certain people, the highest amount of definition possible is the ultimate goal. As the screen size increases, the level of definition decreases. Those with projection screens which are very large may have trouble generating high definition images. To create the same level of definition as a smaller screen, one would need to invest far more money into the actual projector to compensate. Thus, the size of your screen should depend on your goals. If you plan to primarily watch movies and want a high level of clarity, a small to medium-sized projection screen would be best. For those who want sheer size to watch the big game, for example, opt for the larger screen.

When selecting the projector, most people go with 1280 x 720 resolution. Also check out the zoom range, which determines how far you can place the projector from the screen. Most projectors must be placed anywhere from 10 to 20 feet from the screen.

Installing the home theater is the easy part. Simply mount the screen using drywall screws and two brackets. Make sure the brackets are level, and then screw the screen onto the brackets. The most important part of the screen placement is making sure it is level and at a comfortable height to watch. The projector can be placed on any shelf or mantle. Again, make sure the projector is level. Test it out on the screen prior to building a shelf for it.

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