Upgrading the Home Theater

With a new room in my house, the time has come. I’ve long dreamed about having a real movie theater-like experience at home, and this time I’m going to try and make that a reality. It’s not going to be a room just devoted to movies and nothing else (my house isn’t that big), but I just bought a projector yesterday, and I have a wall all picked out for the screen.

It’s good to start a project like this out with a definite goal in mind. My goal? 120 inches of 7.1 surround sound goodness. 3D movie nights with the family. And the best thing is that after looking at what I need, I don’t think I need that much. The biggest speed bump was always having a place to have this all set up. For most projectors, you want a room that doesn’t have too much light, or where the light can be controlled. You also (obviously) need a big empty wall for the screen to hang. I had curtains for windows, but no place to put the screen.

Once you’ve got that taken care of, you need the components. I already have a surround sound system, so that can be moved for free. I also already have all the things I need to be able to play the stuff I want to watch on the screen, so that’s also free. Buying a nice 3D television that is 120 inches big would cost me . . . an impossible amount. The best I can find would be a 90 inch screen, and good luck paying for that. (Best Buy has a 75 inch screen on sale for $3800. It has 4k picture, which is nicer than I need by a long shot. I have no 4k content to display.)

Buying a projector? I got a nice refurbished one for $540. It’s a BenQ HT2050, which is one of the best reviewed less-expensive models out there. The ceiling mount cost me a whopping $24. Once they arrive in a few days, I’m going to set them up and see how big I can make the screen on the opposite wall. Once I know that for sure, I’ll buy a screen. That costs around $100-$200, though I could also make one, it seems. I’ll have to investigate that option. 3D glasses (active shutter, so they work with my projector) come in at $25 each. My trusty PS3 already reads 3D blu-rays, so all I’ll need beyond that is to buy a couple 3D discs . . .

I should be able to do the whole thing for under $1000 easily. Though one thing that budget doesn’t cover? A couch to watch it on.

We can’t have everything, folks. But if I do this right, then come Groundhog Day, I’ll be watching Phil see a much bigger shadow this year than last.

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