There are no hard-and-fast rules for what turns a room with a TV into a full-fledged "home theater." At the very least it's a bigger, better picture with bigger, better sound. But it isn't just electronics junkies and lottery winners who are going in for home theater systems. Families who want a more engaging cinema experience — minus the overpriced popcorn — are upgrading as well, thanks to affordable options for nearly every budget.

To set up a home theater in your house, you'll first need to prepare a room, whether it's the basement, the attic, or the bedroom of a college-bound son or daughter. Then you'll need to acquire the necessary components: TV, receiver, DVD player, speakers. Finally, you'll have to put it all together. Throughout the process, remember that in the end what's important is not snazzy new technology or killer specs but how comfortable and enjoyable your home theater is. And whether there are enough Milk Duds.
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