These days, many of us are looking for ways to save money and stick it to the big cable companies. “Cutting the cord” accomplishes both of these tasks. So we combined a few inexpensive home theater components (FireStick, Multimedia Projector, and HD Antenna) to make a great, inexpensive home theater system.
How To Set Up a Multimedia Projector Home Theater
Get an HD Antenna and receive free HD local channels through the air! Combine your FireStick with a multimedia projector to get a super-compact HD media center. Add a Bluetooth controller for some gaming, install a nice-looking shelf on your wall for your projector and Fire Stick – and you’re done. You can do it all for around $85 (without projector, or around $300 including the projector). This turns out to be a solid little multimedia projector home theater / “media center”. It’s way below the cost of something like the Sony VPL Projector ($27,999). See how to make this little powerhouse of a media center below – without breaking the bank.
The Beauty of the Mini Multimedia Projector
These days, a mini multimedia projector can be had for $200 or less. I bought one a few years ago for about $250 refurbished. It’s a Brookstone Mini Projector. It has served me well and continues to be my go-to display mechanism for my media center. PLUS – it works perfectly with FireTV. It even has a USB port to supply power to the FireStick, eliminating 1 more cord that needs to be run from the power strip to the media center. The picture quality of this projector is well worth the cost. The pictures below don’t do it justice – it looks better in person. I snapped these pics with my HD Galaxy camera:
The multimedia projector screensize shown in these photos is roughly 4 feet high by 8 feet wide, or about 9 feet diagonally. The projector is roughly 13 feet away from the wall it’s projecting onto, producing about a 108″ screen. (“Roughly” means I didn’t have a tape measure handy – Will get exact measurements and post them).
Ultimate Cord-Cutter’s Multimedia Projector Guide for 2016+ (on a Budget!):
- Get a Fire TV Stick ($39 new, $34 refurbished) and use Kodi for TV & Movies
- Use an HD antenna ($25 new,$19 refurbished) for your local & sports channels
- * To use an HD antenna, you need a TV/monitor that can accept a regular coax cable (plain old “TV cable”). OR you can get a digital converter box that outputs an HDMI signal (for use with a monitor that only accepts HDMI, for example). Also consider getting an amplified HD antenna ($36 new) that boasts a 50 mile range.
- Set up Plex for playing your media library (movies/TV on a hard drive).
- Pair a Bluetooth controller with your FireTV for playing emulators and Amazon games.
- Connect your FireStick to a mini multimedia projector like the Brookstone HDMI Pocket Projector Mobile.
* Don’t let the name fool you. This plain old “pocket projector” packs some serious punch.
- Install a nice multimedia projector shelf to hold your components
Total Cost of Equipment: Around $83 USD ($34 for FireStick + $19 for HD Antenna + $30 for Bluetooth Controller)
+ $200 for Multimedia Projector (Optional)
Total Monthly Cost: $0
Services Provided: TV, Movies, Sports, Local Channels, Stream Your Media Library, Emulated Games and Amazon Games.
Overkill & Other Add-Ons to The Budget Media Center
- 4K Digital Multimedia Projector like this Sony or this JVC.
- New FireTV (plays 4K digital video!)
- Ridiculously-high-power HD Antenna