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How much will my home theater cost? | Simplify My Home
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Q: How Much Will My Home Theater Cost?

All construction, electrical, installation and furnishing costs aside, here's a rundown of the equipment you'll be able to afford on a budget of $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $50,000, $100,000 and $200,000.

$5,000

Display: A 42-inch display (LCD or plasma TV)

Sound: A home-theater-in-a-box system, which includes a surround-sound receiver and five speakers.

Control: A basic IR (infrared) remote.

Environment: A finished space, like your family room or den.

Installation: You'll need to set it up yourself.

$10,000

Display: A 42-inch or larger display (LCD or plasma TV).

Sound: A surround-sound receiver with separate in-ceiling speakers and a stand-alone subwoofer.

Control: An RF (radio-frequency) remote control (beams through walls and ceilings and more versatile than a standard IR remote).

Environment: A finished space, like your family room or den.

Installation: If you buy your own equipment you might be able to afford to have a professional install it.

$20,000

Display: An inexpensive video projector and screen.

Sound: A 7.1 surround-sound setup with higher-quality speakers and subwoofers.

Control: An RF remote control.

Environment: A custom-built dedicated theater room (you may have to furnish the room with pieces you already own).

Installation: Professionally done.

$50,000

Display: A higher-quality projector and screen (possibly a perforated screen that allows sound from speakers placed behind it to fill the listening area).

Sound: A 7.1 setup with a higher-quality receiver and speakers.

Control: A small touch screen remote.

Environment: A custom-built dedicated theater room.

Installation: Professionally done.

$100,000

Display: A 1080p video projector has the highest resolution available and a CinemaScope screen (shaped to be extremely wide for a highly engaging viewing experience)

Sound: A separate processor and amplifiers; seven professional theater caliber speakers and two subwoofers

Control: A color touch screen remote

Environment: A custom dedicated theater room with new specialty cinema seating (you may be able to afford hiring a home theater designer who can create a theme for your room)

Installation: Professionally done, from the interior elements to the electronic equipment

$200,000+

There are many options available at this level - let your imagination run wild - but some ideas include:

  • Add a special lens to your projector that can display images in anamorphic (super wide) mode
  • Add masking material to your screen that alters the shape of the screen based on the format of the video being displayed
  • Add a Blu-ray server that can store hundreds of movies digitally and display the titles of your movie library on the theater screen
  • Add decorative acoustical treatments to the walls and ceiling; hire an acoustician to design and install the products for you
  • Motorize everything: the screen, the projector and window shade.
  • Accessorize to the hilt: a popcorn machine, a bar in the back, a lobby, marquees, tactile transducers that make the seats shake in sync with the movie action