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How Much Does It Cost To Install a Home Theater System?

Home Theater Prices

Installing a home theater can be a dream come true. Home theater design can range from the simple flat screen setup in your living room to an eight foot screen, 1080p movie projector, and 7.2 surround sound system. You can spend as little as $1,500 for a simple setup or as much as $40,000 on a fancy home theater paradise. It all depends on your budget and how much you want to spend. Once you have a system in mind, talk to professional home theater installers about specifics. They can help answer questions, and they have great knowledge about what sound system is good for a particular type of room, what goes best with the type of television you have in mind, etc. To get the most out of your home theater system, make sure you do your homework and get multiple reviews on anything that you wish to buy to avoid complications.

What you should expect to pay depends on how creative you want to get with your home theater system, and whether you want low-end, mid-range or high-end equipment. Your home theater setup might include a 42-inch flat screen TV with a 5.1 or a 7.1 surround sound system, or it might be a 120 inch CinemaScope screen with a 1080p projector with accessories like wireless 7.1 surround sound speakers, home theater seats and other home theater furniture, and a touchscreen universal remote. Below is a list of options and prices that you can expect to pay for your dream home theater system.

Flat Screen Televisions Prices

  • 42-inch $500-$1,200
  • 46-inch $650-$1,500
  • 52-inch $800-$2,000
  • 60-inch $1,200-$3,000

The price ranges are due to technologies and features of the TV's. Whether it is an LCD, LED, plasma, 3-D capable, how high the aspect ratio is, resolution rate, how many hertz your television has, and the software that comes installed all has an impact on the price.

TV Prices

Prices vary dramatically with projectors and screens. 100 inch projector screens can be found from $300-$2,000. 83 inch screens can be found for as little as $150. A high-end 120 inch CinemaScope screen (Cinemascope allows a super wide view similar to that of a real movie theater) can run as much as $3,500. Projectors themselves run between $200 and $3,000 again, depending on features and technology.

Receivers, Speakers and Surround Sound Systems

If you're spending a lot of money on your television/projector setup, chances are you will want a good sound system to supplement your purchase. You can go with a standard 2-speaker system (no surround sound) for under $100, or you can upgrade to a 5 speaker or 7 speaker system. Depending on options and amount of subwoofers, expect to pay between $200-$1,000 for a 5.1 surround sound system. 7.1 surround sound systems go for $400-$1,500. Options that increase price dramatically include wattage, internet capability, HDMI compatibility, 3-D support, wireless capability and software support.

If you are purchasing a high quality 5 or 7 speaker sound system, you will require a receiver that supports the type of sound system you buy. A high quality receiver can not only control your sound system anymore, but you can run virtually every component in your home theater system through it, including video game consoles, I-pods, computers, etc. A decent receiver capable of handling your surround sound needs ranges from $400-$2,500. Receiver technology can be more complicated than building a jet engine, so this may be one area where you need to consult a professional to determine your exact needs so you don't overpay for what you need/don't need.

Home Theater Installation Costs

Professional home theater installation requires specific knowledge of all types of electronics, devices and systems. Hooking up a DVD player with a television and sound system could cost as little as $100-$200. More advanced systems may require multiple days of labor and cost as much as $10,000. If you want your wires hidden in the walls, you may also need a sheetrock contractor. Get estimates from home theater installers on how long they estimate the project will take. Most home theater installers charge between $45-$60 per hour, and with this knowledge coupled with a time estimate you can calculate how much your home theater setup should cost.

If your home theater design includes furniture and a lifelike movie theater feel, you may need a general contractor for the build process. Acoustical walls have to be built, lighting designs must be implemented, and the furniture installed by qualified professionals. A home theater setup like this could cost as much as $30,000 not including your home theater components or installation costs. Remember that for every project your best way to keep costs down is to get several quotes from respected home theater installers and compare estimates.