Updated: July 16, 2013

Best Home Theater Books
Reviews and Suggestions

Discussing some of the best home theater book titles ever!

Many agree that books are your only way to research information in a structured and time efficient manner while helping you reach a level of insight no other publication medium can ever achieve. The truth is that at this digital age, books still remain the number one choice for those looking for the right information.

Grab the right set of home theater books that may serve as a valid reference to the world of audio and video, and you are on the fast track to a thorough understanding of all aspects of home theater, from the initial design stage to final implementation. There is one problem though: Selecting the right books from the never ending list of titles covering all sorts of home theater topics is not easy.

Help is here! We are presenting what in our opinion are some of the best titles that can help you gain a clear understanding of the various aspects of home theater.

Entertainment Rooms - Tina Skinner

Entertainment Rooms: Home Theaters, Bars, and Game Rooms

A compilation of great pictures of entertainment spaces... a valid source for anyone looking for superb decorating ideas.

Books can help you grasp a structured insight in a way no web-site or home theater magazine can do.

In particular, knowledge gained through the right home theater books gives you the potential to evaluate magazine reviews, and even challenge sales talk by company-reps whose main aim is to make you spend money on the company products. Above all, this kind of knowledge helps you build the necessary level of confidence in whatever decision you have to take concerning your home theater. The issue however remains which books to pick up; the list is incredibly long!

To assist you in your selection, we are reviewing some of the best home theater books presently available from major bookshops and on-line stores.

Home Theater Books covered in this review include:

- Home Theater for Dummies

- Practical Home Theater

- Home Theater Hacks

- Home Theater Design

- Audio/Video Cable Installer's Pocket Book

Submit a Book Review:

While we have picked what in our opinion represent among the best home theater books, we are also sure there are many others worth considering. If you have some favorite home theater book you would like to talk about, we invite you to submit a short write-up about the book in question by filling the submission form at the end of this page. Your submission will appear as a separate page under this same section.

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Home Theater For Dummies - Click to buy from amazon

Home Theater for Dummies - 3rd Edition
By: Danny Briere & Pat Hurley
Published on: November 2008
Paperback: 408 pages

Well researched. It is great for anyone interested in home theater. A good overall primer for newbie's. But it's more than just a primer.

This is a great home theater book that can serve as a quick reference guide to anyone interested in home entertainment—in particular, to those who did not keep up to date with the latest developments. It covers the subject in simple plain English; this is probably the reason why it is named '...for Dummies'.  In this respect, the book title is somewhat misleading. Why?

Home Theater For Dummies takes a detailed comprehensive approach to the subject while clearly explaining the latest developments in home theater systems.

It starts with budget issues and then goes on to defining home theater basics. It covers important topics like choosing a room, organizing your gear, explaining audio systems, choosing the video display, home theater cables, home theater PCs, remotes, and speaker placement. It also discuss issues related to hooking up of A/V systems, and home theater room design issues such as light and sound proofing,  etc.

The 3rd edition of Home Theater for Dummies also includes information about Blu-ray and HD, satellite radio options, and information on how to incorporate a Wii, Xbox, or PlayStation into your set-up. You will also find instructions on how to calibrate your HDTV with a calibration disk or a DVD containing THX Optimizer.

Overall, Home Theater for Dummies is a comprehensive reference book that can serve a valid purpose especially to the new comer, but not only.

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Practical Home Theater (Click to buy from amazon)

Practical Home Theater: A Guide to Video and Audio Systems
By: Mark Fleischmann
Published on: Updated yearly in October
Paperback: Over 280 pages

If what you are after is a single home theater book to serve you as a generic reference guide to the latest audio and video technology, this is definitely the one that will answer most of your questions.

Written in plain English, this well researched home theater book by Mark Fleischmann can easily serve as a primer to the novice, but not only. This book at times can get somewhat technical, though in easy to understand terminology. It is not the type of book you read cover to cover at one go, but surely it will prove a useful complement to any home theater library.

Topics covered include HDTVs, digital television and satellite receivers, surround systems, DVD players, digital video recorders, accessories including power line conditioning equipment, equipment installation, connection guide, etc. A rather unique interesting section worth looking into is the one dealing with problem solving.

You will also find extensive details explaining the differences between Dolby and DTS surround, including the new lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master standards as well as the new height-enhanced listening modes, Dolby Pro Logic IIz and Audyssey DSX. And it covers all formats under the sun including the new Blu-ray disc and anything that plays in an iPod.

This is not the type of home theater book that will help you in home theater room design; but it is surely the one that will answer most of your audio and video questions.

What makes Practical Home Theater stand out over most other publications is that it is updated yearly. The present version is the 12th edition in an ongoing series that started more than eleven years ago. These yearly updates make Practical Home Theater one of those few home theater books presently available that manages to cover even the latest AV technology.

Thanks to its clear presentation of the topics under discussion, it will help you find your way in the complex world of today's audio and video technologies. A highly recommended title.

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Home Theater Hacks (Click to buy from amazon)

Home Theater Hacks: 100 Industrial-strength Tips and Tools
By: Brett Mclaughlin
Published on: November, 2004
Paperback: 416 pages

Many would find this home theater book a bit outdated but we keep listing it here as apart from being well written and easy to understand, it can still serve as a good reference to those in the process of designing, planning, or upgrading their home theater.

Alone, this book by Brett Mclaughlin is not enough; it lacks a lot of information about the latest technology; suffice to note that HDMI is only mentioned once! But it includes extensive insight you would not find anywhere and that can be of assistance to those in the process of planning or building their home theater. It covers everything from selecting the right system components and equipment configuration, to cabling and all that is necessary to come up with a great home theater.

It includes an extensive and interesting section that deals with equipment configuration, covering topics as varied as how to install and configure a terrestrial television antenna, to how to match your subwoofer to your room.

Despite certain sections are becoming outdated, the extensive material and the numerous great ideas presented in this home theater book still make Home Theater Hacks a good addition to one's home theater library, and a good choice to anyone who wants to learn how to get started in home theater.

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Home Theater Design (Click to buy from amazon)

Home Theater Design: Planning and Decorating Media-Savvy Interiors
By: Krissy Rushing
Published on: September 2006
Paperback: 144 pages

A relatively inexpensive home theater book that can serve as a great resource to anyone interested in creating a beautiful and comfortable home theater environment.

This is a well-presented home theater book written by an authority in the field of audio/video interior design. It guides the reader through the necessary steps to create the home theater of his/her dreams within the limitations of available space and budget, while taking advantage of emerging technologies in the rapidly changing world of home theater.

It starts with an insider's approach to home entertainment. Step-by-step, it examines current technology, space planning, acoustics, functionality, lifestyle, and overall aesthetics. The book offers information on a variety of design considerations—furnishings, comfort, setting up entertainment spaces, hosting get-togethers, accommodating guests—while factoring in style, functionality, new technology, acoustic planning, soundproofing, lighting, and environmental and personal health considerations.

In the process, it addresses the important issue of available space, from small urban apartments to spacious, multipurpose living areas and full-blown dedicated theater spaces. The goal is to help you plan and design an entertainment system that's right for you.

Complementing this information are great pictures of mid and high-end home theaters—great to help trigger design ideas, and important technical tips on how to achieve the 'movie theater' experience in your own home.

Overall, Home Theater Design is one of the few inexpensive home theater books that cover both the basic theory and the practical aspects of decorating home theaters. Highly recommended.

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AV Cable Installer Guide (Click to buy from amazon)

Audio/Video Cable Installer's: A Pocket Reference Guide
By: Stephen H. Lampen
Published on: January 2002
Paperback: 412 pages

Published over 10 years ago, this home theater book still remains the definite guide to audio and video cables. Written by a pro in the industry, it is great for anyone in the sphere of home theater, from the hobbyist to professionals.

This is the pocket guide that you will surely refer to it again and again. It covers the subject in exceptional detail, with over 200 illustrations that clarify the methods, procedures, and tools required for the job.

It starts with the very basics, an in-depth discussion on cable anatomy. It then goes on to discuss the different types of audio and video cables—both analog and digital—pointing out important wire specifications; the whole scope here is to help the reader get a better understanding of which cables are most appropriate for the different applications. A whole section is also devoted to project planning and handling.

More than a home theater book, this is a wiring guide, but it will surely find its way in the home theater library of many DIY enthusiasts. Though highly technical in nature, the author has still done a great job in rendering complex topics interesting and readable. 

Audio/Video Cable Installer's is must have book for anyone interested in A/V cable installation and entertainment systems hook-up. 

...back to Book Review Index

Practical-Home-Theater-Guide.com Choice:

Do not be tempted to pick a never-ending list of home theater books; instead, investing in a couple of well written and up-to-date books is surely worth considering. In this respect, the selection listed below (in order of preference) represents a good starting point...

- Practical Home Theater: Guide to Video and Audio Systems

- Home Theater Design: Planning & Decorating Media-Savvy Interiors

- Audio/Video Cable Installer's - A Pocket Guide

Home Theater for Dummies is also worth considering especially for the new comer to the world of home entertainment.

Complement the above selection of home theater books with a good magazine and you will be on your way to home theater success. For our reviews and recommendations on some of the best home theater magazines, please check our Home Theater Magazines review page.

Why not recommend a Home Theater Book!

Would you like to suggest some additional home theater title? Why not submit a short review to be included on our site, of your favorite home theater book? We are interested in your opinion, and many others are interested too!

All you have to do is to fill in the form below and submit a short write-up about your home theater book of interest; your submission will appear as a webpage on our site under this same section.

Editor's Note: Non-related submissions will not be posted on our site. Thank you.

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Learning The Basics Of Home Theater This is a beginner’s guide to the world of home theater, a book for those who want to setup their own home theater …

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More Home Theater Reading

Downloadable e-Guides

Home Automation,  Networking
and wireless AV distribution in the home

Home Theater Design e-book

by Duncan McClelland
More information HERE.