Compare Home Theater to Movie Going
Many people shy away from purchasing a home theater for fear of the great costs involved in doing so. I recommend that you put serious pen and paper to those assumptions rather then merely assuming it is too costly for your limited budget. The truth of the matter, when compared with the costs of going out to watch a movie you might find that you will be spending less money in no time by watching movies at home rather than paying for the 'movie going' experience.
You might want to pay careful attention to how much money you spend each month going to the theater. Don't forget including any costs involved in hiring sitters, going out to dinner (most people don't do McDonald's before or after going to theaters), concession stand purchases in those figures. Even if you go to the theater once a week as a couple or as family the costs can really add up. If you visit the theater less or have a smaller family those costs might be less but you could also seriously raise those prices by going more often or having a larger family.
The important thing to remember when pricing a home theater system is the value it will bring to you and your family. If this will bring the family together at home for a couple of nights a week it is well worth the investment in my opinion. If it will keep the teens in your home and off the streets on the weekend it is worth even more. A home theater is an investment in the enjoyment of your home for everyone involved and many families find that this is a great way to enjoy a night at home. It's also a great way to insure super-Super Bowl parties will be taking place in your home rather than the homes of others (it's a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things).
With this in mind you can buy kits for anywhere between $200 and $2,000 (and upwards, but if you are going to spend more than $2,000 I seriously recommend building your own home theater). Box systems are rather easy to find in local and mass-market retailers and are rather simple to install (even for the uninitiated). These systems may not provide the best possible system but for those who have significant budget concerns they are a great place to start and you can get some really great systems if you are willing to seriously shop around and compare the different quality between brands as well as which bells and whistles you require and which you can live without.
Once you make the decision to buy a home theater the best thing to do is check out what is available. You should then take complete advantage of the great competition on the market today by searching for the most features for the lowest price. You just might be shocked and amazed at the great bargains that you can find, especially in the months following the big consumer expo show each January.
You should combine the home theater and excellent movie experience in your home with a membership to Netflix, Blockbuster, or some other home delivery DVD system and you can have frozen pizza, microwave popcorn, and all the pillows to hide behind you can ask for in the comfort of your home for a fraction of the price of going to the theater once a week.