It could be very easy to spend tens of thousands of dollars building the ultimate home theater experience for you and your family and if you use your home theater on a regular basis and have the money to spare you might find well worth the investment. However, you can also build a fantastic home theater for significantly less money if you are willing to put a great deal of effort into finding the right parts for the right price for your system. Everything comes down to matters of preference and available funds when building any sort of home theater.
The truth of the matter is that most of us cannot afford to spend more than ten thousand dollars creating the home theater of our dreams. Many of us must seriously budget well in order to spend a couple thousand dollars on our home theaters. The good news is that for a few thousand dollars you can create a truly phenomenal home theater if you do your homework and invest your money wisely in components for your home theater system.
My first recommendation when building a good quality home theater is to buy one piece at a time rather than building it all at once. This allows you to constantly upgrade your system without breaking the budget all at once. It also allows you the time to save up for better quality pieces within your system rather than attempting to make an all or nothing purchase. One thing to remember when purchasing pieces individually is to make sure that they are all compatible (this is especially important with speakers, which I recommend purchasing together as a set whenever possible).
The television is the first thing you should purchase when building your home theater as almost everything in your home theater will center around your television. High definition televisions are becoming more and more common and provide superior quality to many other televisions you will find on the market. If you have the means with which to purchase this sort of television I highly recommend that you do so. Once you have your television you can begin purchasing other components in order to complete your system.
The next component I recommend is a receiver or amplifier. This is the piece that brings all other components together. Without a decent receiver it is virtually impossible to have a decent home theater. The receiver acts as a sort of conductor for the sound and picture of your home theater. This is a piece of equipment that should not be skimped on when it comes to quality, as you will completely miss an important part of the "theater" experience without it.
Next are the speakers. Speakers are also very important to the "theater" experience of your home theater. The speakers are what provide that "movie quality" sound that is so important to most enthusiasts and what will make your system the envy of the neighborhood. I highly recommend purchasing speakers as a set in order to insure compatibility.
Finally, the DVD player or recorder rounds out the system. It is up to you and your preferences whether or not you wish to invest in a high dollar (at the moment) high definition DVD player. If you have HD television and plan to purchase HD disks for your movies then this is the way to go. Otherwise it is a complete waste of money in my opinion until the rest of your system rises to meet the technology. The good thing about purchasing one component at a time is that you can constantly work towards upgrading your system to meet rising technology.