Unless you have experience in the home theater industry, you may find it difficult to choose the components that you must have for your own setup. Use these four recommendations to start building the home theater of your dreams.

Ultra HD TV

You cannot have a great home movie theater without a great screen. Look for options that are appropriately sized for your room and have terrific resolution. For example, 4K TVs from Sharp, Samsung, and LG 4K TVs have four times the resolution of a standard HD TV. That’s the kind of quality you want for your home. Anything less than that will leave you wanting more.

The most important thing to look for in a home theater TV is resolution. As long as you remember that, you should be able to choose the right centerpiece for your theater.

Stereo Receiver

Your stereo receiver is probably the second-most important item for your home theater setup. No matter how much money you spend on fancy speakers, they will never sound great without a reliable receiver.

Assuming that you buy one of newer models, your receiver should have the features to communicate with all of your media devices, including your TV, speakers, smartphone, and video game console.

Although of course you can, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a great stereo receiver. There are plenty of good units selling for $250 to $600. Harman Kardon makes excellent receivers that usually cost about $400. That may sound like a lot, but the receiver should last multiple decades.

Surround Sound Speakers

If you want to feel like you are at the movies, then you will need surround sound speakers. Most surround sound systems include at least six speakers:

  • Right surround
  • Left surround
  • Left
  • Right
  • Center
  • Subwoofer

You will want to buy quality speakers that can handle the volume you prefer. There is a lot of variety among speakers, though. A set that sounds great to one person may only sound okay to another. If possible, listen to the speakers in person before you make a purchase. If that isn’t possible, read as many reviews as you can and try to buy from a store that has a good return policy.

No matter what speakers you buy, you will need to know how to set them up properly. It isn’t difficult as long as you take your time and think about what you’re doing.

Media Server

Media servers are becoming more popular because they let you stream all types of content to your TV.

If you are pretty tech-savvy and you have an old computer sitting around, you can build your own home media server. You may need to spend money on some new software, but it is still inexpensive. People who enjoy playing with computers may also have fun treating this as a weekend project.

If you would rather just buy a media server, you should expect to spend anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars. The expensive servers will give you more memory and some enhanced features. In most cases, though, an entry-level server will match your home’s needs.

There are plenty of accessories that you can always add later. As long as you start with these four core components, though, you should have a quality home theater.

Image via Flickr by turnerburns