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10 DIY home theater disasters

Most of us have seen at least one of the 10 best home theaters lists that litter the Internet. They’re all pretty much the same: really kick-ass setups that look like the Batcave or the bridge of one of the many versions of the Starship Enterprise. They’re fun to look at, and we’ll probably put together an updated version of just such a list. But before we go there, can we just acknowledge the fact that not everyone who owns a home theater is wealthy? There is such a thing as a ghetto home theater, or, a DIY special, if you prefer. Hey, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Still, some ideas are just bad, no matter you spin them. That’s what this is all about. Here are 10…er…unique approaches to home theater design. Use this as an example of what to avoid if you decide to embark on a similar project. 

The MacGyver

The MacGyver

Avoid the temptation to MacGyver your home theater together. Look, I’ve Jerry-rigged a lot of stuff in my day, but nothing quite so ghastly as this. I’m not sure what I like most, the telephone cable suspension system, The VGA cable counter-balance, the light socket from which it is suspended, or the fact that the projector appears to be hooked up via S-Video. But I can tell you I don’t like the idea of a free-falling projector giving a friend or family member a concussion. (Image courtesy of AVS Forum)

The Macklemore

The Macklemore

Yes! I like your style, bro. I do. There’s a time when I might have done something exactly like this myself. The thrift shop is a great place to pick up some cool vintage speakers. But stringing them together and stacking them up doesn’t work on several different levels.  Thanks for the laughs, though.  (Image courtesy of Cheezburger)

The Hoarder

The Hoarder

Dude! Clean your room, or grandma’s going to come down there and take away your toys. Also, can you even see that screen? (Image courtesy of 80skid)

The Flintstones

The Flintstones

Fred Flinstone called; he wants his blanket back. Ok, there’s nothing wrong with a little home-brew theater action. Rustic even. But this screen looks like a tanned buffalo hide that’s been stretched to its limit. And the rocks and the clothespins? (Image courtesy of Houseface)

The Rookie

The Rookie

To be fair, this was a first attempt for someone. And we’re not trying to mean here, it’s just that this is a great example of what not to do. That’s a nice TV and a nice receiver, but the TV’s too high and the speakers? Just…no. Anything worth doing is worth doing…well…better than this. (Image courtesy of AVS Forum)

The Liberace

The Liberace

Oh ornate home theater, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways: The gaudy matching art frames, the chrome spray-painted cubbies, the executive desktop audio system superglued under the cubbies. Liberace would have dug it, though. (Image courtesy of Arlioni)

The Pinkman 

The Pinkman

What would most 19-year old kids pick up for the ultimate system if cash was of no concern? Exactly what Jesse Pinkman did in Breaking Bad. The biggest speakers possible, enough amplification to power a city block, two 150-band equalizers and tons of bright flashing lights that don’t really do anything. Well played, Pinkman. Well played. (Image courtesy of AMC)

The Bong

The Bong

A: Smoke is bad for electronics. B: Clean that resin of your desk, for crying out loud. C: See A and B. (Image courtesy of Techpowerup)

The nest

The nest

Wire management is a pain in the neck. No one likes dealing with it. This, however, is totally not acceptable. There’s a fire code violation happening in there somewhere, not to mention a bunch of cross-mojonation among component signals. Do not let things get to this point. Because once they do, it’s hard to step up to it like a man and take care of business. (Image courtesy of Audioholics)

The Vegas Strip

The Vegas Strip

Ummmmmm…isn’t this supposed to be a home theater? I’m down with themes. I’m especially down with Star Wars themes. But all that neon makes me want to tear my eyeballs out. This looks more like Paul Bunyan’s tanning bed, if you ask me. I wouldn’t know whether to cue up a flick or drop some acid in this joint. (Image courtesy of CEpro)