I think you needed to add a few lower categories dollar ranges.
HT IMHO should be inclusive to everyone and at all price points. Enjoyment is the end goal and my hope is to not discourage anyone looking here to live the dream.
Here is my roundup.
We bought this 1860s Victorian house on short sale for $24K. We put a year of sweat equity into it along with another $15k of reclaimed, repurposed and salvaged materials. There was a parlor room 11x14 off the living room that was deemed the location of our 4 seat single row Front projection home theater / media entertainment room. 100% external light proof, with dark light absorbing interior finish.
Room cost $200
Projector Viewsonic Pro-7827-HD 1080p DLP close out special $499
Mount system DIY CIH+IMAX manual zoom using Chief components $100
Screen DIY stealth painted ND gray .5 gain $25
Used Onkyo AVR 5.1 prior to HDMI $50
Sony BD player with streaming capabilities $79
OTA Homeworx tuner box $34
Attic antenna Free no one wants OTA any more 16 1080 network channels the way God intended TV to be.
Used Carver amp for subs $100
Front LR mains DIY $300
Phantom center $0
Rears LR Pioneer mains garage sale $30
Subs two DIY 12” ported $250
A/B switch for audio selection do to lack of HDMI pass thru $10
HTPC option Toshiba laptop $375
Cables and misc. $200
Grand total $2,252 plus labor “priceless” as it’s a hobby.
We sit on our old 4 seat leather reclining sofa watching Netflix, Amazon, OTA TV, BD and DVD and anything we surf to on the HTPC worth watching large. We do RedBox rentals and have really slowed down on buying media over the last year or two.
Internet and streaming services Cost us about $100 per month or $3 a day. That’s a small price for all the amazing entertainment we get.
I won’t win HT of the month anytime soon but that was never a goal. But when the lights go out my vision is totally filled and the total AV experience is much better than our best local cinema. We can seat 2 couples and squeeze in a few kids if we have to. Popcorn is every bit as good.
It can be done on a shoestring budget.