A Budget Home Theatre

Now I don’t expect many of you can afford a set-up anywhere near what’s depicted in the picture, but an inexpensive home theatre set up will make a world of difference to your viewing experience. Whether that’s playing video games or watching the latest films, you can get a complete living room overhaul for less than £500, if you really want to.

Being immersed in your favourite shows or movies is an experience everyone can enjoy, from the elderly to the youngest of children. When you’ve come in from a hard week at work and you want nothing more than to sit back and enjoy a good film. There are thousands of DVD’s on offer to suit everyone, from horror to comedy and documentaries to music, but you just don’t get the full benefit of what they have to offer without a home theatre set up.

As I said earlier there are various options for those on a budget. A simple surround sound system can cost as little as £50 giving you that immersive feeling that you get at the cinema in your own home. Something like this costs less than £40 (1/9/11) and will give you quite a lot of bang for your buck.

So the sound is sorted, now for the visual. HDTV is the current technology that’s within most peoples budget. Amazon again come in with a respectable HDTV (1/9/2011) for less than £275. Some things to look out for when looking at HDTV’s most people go by screen size and nothing else, which is a pretty terrible way to decide on a TV that will more than likely be the centrepiece of their living room for years to come. Make sure that you take into account the contrast ratio, this is the difference between the whitest white and the blackest black that the screen can show. The higher the number the better. Also don’t forget that with technology progressing HDMI ports are becoming more and more common on devices, so make sure that your new TV has at the very least 2 ports. Sky and Virgin Media both have HD boxes that require HDMI ports as well as modern games consoles such as the xBox or PS3.

I personally dont think that a home cinema is complete without a PS3, it is one of the cheapest blu-ray players on the market allowing for a full HD experience without breaking the bank. The Playstation 3 is able to play the latest blu-ray’s with its ability to be updated to the latest blu-ray profiles, which are like updates for your computer, you can still use it but it won’t have all the new functionality of the newer blu-ray discs. If you do decide to choose a stand-alone player, then you will have to make sure that the profile is updatable otherwise the longevity of your player will be short lived as 12 months down the line you may be unable to take advantage of the new features available on blu-ray discs. The other added bonus of the Playstation’s media abilities is its DVD up-scaling function that will improve the video quality of your DVD’s to near HD standards so not only will your blu-ray’s play in fantastic HD quality, your old DVD’s will look a lot better too. Obviously it is first and foremost a games console that kids will love, especially with the new Playstation move that is available, meaning you can actually get physically involved in the game that you are playing, along with the HD graphics and the surround sound system, the experience is almost unparalleled. Sony have recently reduced the price of the PS3 to <£200, so, this means that you will still be just within your budget and now own a fantastic home theater system without breaking the bank.