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DIYer Builds Theater By Spending Wisely

By Krissy Rushing
With his wife on vacation, Ashok Kumar went on an A/V spending spree and finished his home theater.

Ashok Kumar has always been an audio-video hobbyist. That, combined with a day job in Austin's high-tech industry, are fodder for a DIY theater that implements both favorite pastime and career. I watched a lot of movies as a kid. Then, I started watching them on my PC, says Ashok. I later became entranced by the glamour of the big screen. He was never able to infuse his home with that glamour, however, until October 2006 when he purchased a home that had an extra room for a home theater.

A few months later, Kumar purchased an Optoma HD70 720p/1080i projector and 110-inch Da-Lite screen. My goal for this home theater was to build my equipment slowly, get small components one by one, and to get the absolute best equipment in the midrange, says Ashok. In my opinion, after a certain price point, the law of diminishing returns kicks in, where you get only small improvements in quality for larger increments of money. That was the guiding principle behind all my purchases, from the receiver all the way down to the speaker cable. Diligent research and user reviews helped Kumar make equipment decisions.

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