Home theatre tips for DIYers

If you'd rather watch movies at home than go to the theatre, you're not alone. A large percentage of movie-lovers feel the same, according to an AOL poll. The majority of respondents said they would rather watch movies at home, citing crowds, uncomfortable seats, expensive tickets and costly concessions among the aggravations of going out to the movies.


No wonder building a home theatre is one of the hottest trends in home improvement. If the idea of having your own home theatre is appealing, you don't have to pay pros to do the job for you. You can enjoy a home theatre experience without the expense of professional installation by doing it yourself.

Have a seat
First, decide where your home theatre will be. If you have a basement or spare bedroom you can convert, bravo! If you don't have a spare room, a little improvisation can make a home theater work in your family or living rooms. If you're setting up your theatre in the family room, a comfortable sofa and a few recliners will perform well.

Whatever type of seating you choose, remember to position it so that everyone has a good view of the screen.



Screening the possibilities
A true movie screen - available in various sizes, fabrics and prices - and a projector may be the essence of the movie experience. But if those items are outside your budget, a flat-screen TV makes a great understudy for pricier projection screens. Prices on high-definition plasma or LCD TVs have dropped considerably over the past few years as demand increases, and this is likely to continue as the trend grows.

Mounting is paramount
Proper mounting of all components of your home theatre system is important for both aesthetics and safety. You'll put a lot of time, thought and some money into pulling together your home theatre, so you'll want a better way to store components than to precariously perch them on an accent table or - worse yet - leave them sitting on the floor.

If you've purchased a projector, a ceiling mount will give you the best theatre experience. If you've opted for a flat-screen TV, there are a variety of TV mounts that will allow you to put the screen on the wall and angle it to meet your needs. Audio components like speakers also perform best when wall mounted. And you'll want to consider placing components like the DVD player and satellite receiver on the wall too.

Once the technical aspects of your do-it-yourself home theatre project are taken care of, plug in the carnival-style popcorn popper, pour on the butter and settle down to enjoy the movie theatre experience in the comfort of your own home.