(ARA) Your home is bursting at the seams but buying something bigger is out of the question in this economy. And your improvement budget is limited, so you can't please every member of the family with whatever renovation you choose to fund. Or can you?

Polls show that many American families prefer to watch movies in the comfort of their own homes rather than public theaters. Yet actual home theater systems complete with projection screen and surround sound are costly. Many people are opting for a more cost-effective approach by connecting several audio-visual components, including a flat-screen TV, DVD player and speaker system, to create a home theater experience.

While transforming an extra bedroom, basement or even garage into a home theater may be the ideal, many of us simply don't have a spare room to devote to just one function. Many home theater owners choose to set up their systems in the family room. Wherever you decide to place your system, plenty of comfortable seating positioned so that everyone can clearly see the screen and enjoy the sound is the first essential ingredient.

Flat-screen TVs are now a favored option to an actual projector and screen. Each year, the quality of these electronic showpieces improves while prices drop. Most flat-screen TVs can easily be connected to other AV components, including external speaker systems.

Properly mounting a flat-screen TV on the wall can really create a theater-like effect. You'll need a special mount to secure your TV, and there are several kinds to choose from. You could opt for a full-motion mount which allows you to move the TV for optimum viewing from any angle. Or, a tilting mount might be right for your setup if the TV is positioned higher on the wall, such as above a fireplace. Sanus Systems is a leading manufacturer of mounts for flat-screen TVs. Visit www.sanus.com to see the range of options.

Sound components will elevate your simple flat- or big-screen TV to home theater status. A good home theater system should have at least five main speakers, according to sound innovators Dolby Laboratories. A center speaker should be mounted just below the screen. Two speakers should be positioned in the front of the room in the corners on either side of the TV, at the same height as the center speaker. Finally, two speakers should be placed slightly behind the seating area and above ear level but facing horizontally and not down toward the listener. These five components give the "surround sound" effect.

Speakers can be placed on bookshelves but may yield better sound if mounted on the walls. Sanus makes speaker stands and mounts that can attach to walls or ceilings, and side speaker mounts or center-channel speaker mounts that attach directly to the TV mount.

Finally, add on your AV components like a DVD player or a satellite TV receiver. While many people simply place these components on a piece of furniture beneath their wall-mounted TV, a wall mount can help streamline the look of your system, eliminate a lot of wire clutter and still provide easy access to the components. Sanus' Vertical Foundations line of on-wall furniture provides stylish, simple and efficient mounting options for AV components.

Visit www.sanus.com to learn more about mounting systems for flat-screen TVs and home theater systems.

Courtesy of ARAcontent