Home theater systems are a great investment for your house, and when assembled correctly can deliver many years of media enjoyment for you and your family. As with anything involving technology, the idea of building a home theater system may seem daunting. While there are certainly a wealth of options available to a number of budgets, keeping the basics in mind will help you determine which home theater setup will be the best fit for your media room. Pre-packaged options do exist, and they’re the easiest and most efficient way to go. However, taking this route limits your options and won’t always provide you with the very best in audio and video quality. It’s best to put together a component system pieced together with individual parts which you’ve specifically chosen. Generally speaking, there are five basic areas to consider when putting together the perfect home theater system for your home: Location, Television, Receiver, Speakers, and Cables.

Location, Location, Location:
Home theaters won’t work in just any room in the house. Find a place in your home without windows. It’s also important to find a place where your television and speakers can fire directly at the audience rather than work at an angle.

Tip: If you’re building a home theater in a room with no windows, you’ll be able to better control the ambience with canned lights, track lighting, etc. This is a nice addition to any home theater setup, adding a cinema quality to the room.

Anything Good On Television:
If your television is getting on in years, now’s a good time to upgrade your set. Look for a television in your budget which offers crisp and true colors. You may be interested in “smart” televisions which offer internet connectivity.

Tip: There’s a formula home theater professionals use to determine which size television is best for your home. The optimal home theater setup allows for a horizontal viewing angle of 40-degrees. As far as the size of the screen goes, measure the distance between the television and the primary seat in the room, then multiply this distance by .84. The resulting number is the maximum diagonal screen size you should buy, but smaller televisions are still an option.

Receivers – The Brains of the Operation:
As the name implies, the receiver is responsible for capturing audio and video signals and sending them to their corresponding output sources. Though you can buy a receiver of the same brand as your speakers, do not feel obligated to keep the family together.

Tip: Run video sources through the receiver. This streamlines everyday use and allows you to simply select the source on your receiver.

Speakers – Where the Sound Shines:
Audio and video experts recommend buying speakers with the same voice, or same tonality and timbre. This is most easily done when buying speakers from the same family.

Tip: When aiming your speakers, do not point them directly towards your audience’s ears. You’ll also get a better depth of sound if you place these speakers above and slightly behind your audience.

Are Pricier Cables Better Cables?
The topic of cables is subject to heady debate. Though some say there is little difference between stock cables and premium options, others swear by the pricier wire. If you have questions, consult with a home theater expert and look for the wiring which will best suit your needs and your budget.

Tip: It’s a good idea to buy extra and spare cables in longer lengths than you think you’ll need. These will be helpful if you ever have to reconfigure your home theater system or pack it up and move it to another location. And make sure you tell your wife before buying, or you’ll need a divorce lawyer!