DIY Home Theater System… Without a TV!

Having a giant movie screen in your living room, family room or even your backyard can provide lots of entertainment – and a good quality system may cost less than you think.


Epson Home Cinema 8350 Projector

The cool thing about home movie projectors is that they can connect to a variety of different devices, like DVD players, game consoles, smart phones, digital cameras, computers, tablets, camcorders and more. No TV required!

This means you can do a lot more with a home theater system besides just watching movies. Use them for gaming, watching sports events, displaying photo slide shows from your most recent trip, showing home videos and more.

While we don’t want to over-spend on a home movie theater, we do want invest in quality equipment that will provide a good entertainment experience and last a long time. Once we set up our system, we don’t want to continually be fixing problems, making repairs or upgrading gear to achieve the sound or video experience we want.

4 Things Needed for a Home Theater System:

  1. Projector
  2. Screen
  3. Sound System
  4. Movie Player

1. The Projector

Optoma HD26 Projector
I personally like the Optoma HD26 Home Theater Projector because it’s affordable. At the same time, it’s a high-quality home movie projector that offers a little bit of everything:

  • The Optoma HD26 is bright, so you can watch videos even in daytime.
  • It includes a sound system, so you don’t have to buy external speakers.
  • You can connect it to a wide variety of gadgets, so you can do more with it.
  • Take the HD26 indoors or out.
  • Find out more

Note: Don’t forget HDMI connector cables and a ceiling mount bracket if you want one.

2. The Movie Screen

Although you can make your own or use a white wall in your house, I really like the retractable, automatic projector screens.

  • There are some that are surprisingly inexpensive.
  • Bright screens can improve the quality of videos.
  • They are really easy to install, but add a clean professional look to any room.
  • Retractable screens can easily be concealed out of the way when not in use.
  • Should you buy a projector screen – or not?

3. The Sound System

Audio can make a big difference when watching movies, games and events on the big screen.

Samsung HW-J550 Wireless SoundbarAs I mentioned above, if you get a projector with good built-in speakers, you don’t necessarily need to get an external set. However, if you’re looking for more of a “surround sound” experience without having to wire-in a bunch of speakers, check out the Samsung HW-J550 300 Watt Wireless Audio Soundbar.

Like the Optoma projector, this speaker system is simple, versatile and affordable. The inputs include HDMI, optical, USB, and AUX cables and an HDMI output. Therefore, you can connect it to pretty much anything. Plus, wirelessly sync up to any bluetooth enabled devices quickly and easily.

The video below shows more (note: the 2014 year model).


Click here for the Samsung Wireless Audio Soundbar

Another cool feature is that it has different audio settings so you get the best sound – whether it’s a movie, sports, music, etc.. Plus, you’ve got the Surround Sound Expansion feature built-in.

The wireless functionality single long speaker means a cleaner design, less wires and easier set-up (if you didn’t already notice). It looks like you spent a lot of money… when you really didn’t.

Other Speaker Options for Projectors…

If you want a portable option without any wires (great for outdoor theaters or taking your home theater with you), many people like the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker. It works easily with projectors and has an AUX input if your projector doesn’t have Bluetooth.

Even though it gives off great sound, it is on the higher end of the price range for cordless speakers. Therefore, I’d suggest it only if you want the convenience of the extra portability.

Get cinema-quality sound without having to pay $1,000+. Plus, Logitech’s Surround Sound Speaker System has a really awesome feature…

It can connect simultaneously to 6 different devices, including your TV, DVD player, DVR, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, iPod and more.

It also has a lot of power: 500 watts.


Click here to get the Z906 on sale

4. The Movie Player

Sony Blu-Ray PlayerI’m guessing that you may already have the movie player, gaming system, laptop computer, tablet, camcorder or smartphone that you want to use. However, if you want a Blu-ray player to go in your home theater, check out Sony’s BDPS3500 Blu-ray Player with Wi-Fi. It’s less than $100.

2 Things to Keep in Mind:

  1. While it can be convenient to buy everything at once, don’t feel like you have to. You may want to purchase a projector first and test it out before deciding on a screen or speaker system (especially if the projector already has a sound system built in).
  2. If you want a home theater that you can move around, make sure that you look for more portable equipment when shopping for gear. For example, projectors that can be used indoors or out – or movie screens that can be quickly assembled and disassembled.
  3. When it comes to home theaters, less is more. Keep your project and layout simple, and the end design is likely to look more sophisticated and polished.
  4. By doing the work yourself, you can save up to $800 on installation service alone, according to Fixr.com. You can then take that money and put toward equipment and furniture…