Since movie theaters have been mostly inaccessible due to a certain public health crisis, an increasing number of moviegoers have discovered that a home theater can be an acceptable substitute if set up the right way. What’s more exciting, as an ardent film lover, than having your personal theater designed to suit every movie time you have ever wanted? With the top ten tips for setting up a home theater below, you can quickly bridge the gap between your favorite cinema and the comfort of your home.
But before that, what kind of different equipment would we consider must-haves you in your home theater?
To create a dreamy theater experience at home or anywhere, there are a few essential devices you need to have. They include; high-quality speakers, a decently large TV set (OLED works best, but LED LCD TVs work better in bright rooms) or projector and screen, an AV receiver, comfy seats, and most importantly, space. Once these are in place, you can get on to setting up your dream theater!
Create Room for Your Experience
Before you get started with anything, you need enough space for everything you’ll be installing and setting up. Remember that you will have quality speakers and possibly subwoofers, so might want to remove that flower vase from the shelf in your theater room. Change the position of delicate items on a table or shelves. Also, it isn’t advisable to have any frames or paintings not well-placed on the wall.
Since it is a home theater, people typically pull it off with a smaller room compared to the cinemas. If you don’t plan to host a large number of people, then it is advisable to use a small room because you can use far less equipment to achieve the same effect. For a small room, adding a soundbar wouldn’t be a bad idea. Soundbars are designed to be placed above or below your display and will do a decent job of projecting sound in a smaller. They are also great when you don’t want to use floor-standing speakers that may take more space than you can spare.
The Surround Effect
What’s a home theatre without the surround effect? The sounds at your cinema are so real and overwhelming because they are produced by an array of speakers that are distributed around the seating area. There are ways to create this in your DIY home theatre setup. You typically want to get five audio channels at the bare minimum - two in front at the right and left of the display, one in the middle below or above the display, and two behind the seating area. A more involved setup includes seven audio channels, which add left and right speakers next to the seating area. There are additional options such as Dolby Atmos that will create "height" channels, but this setup requires a specialized AV receiver and speakers to achieve the proper effect. Frankly, it's overkill in most home theater setups. Finally, don't forget to add a subwoofer or two. Without it, you'll miss out on the low frequencies that add hard-hitting bass to action scenes. There you have it; the perfect cinema sound system setup!
Improvise with Speaker Positions
Guess what you can place on the shelves? More speakers! Great sound is integral to the cinematic experience. You can arrange smaller speakers (if any) to sit beautifully on your shelves at different angles so they fill your room where the larger speakers don’t. This will allow you to fine-tune the audio projection to create a "sweet spot" right where you need it. The sweet spot should coincide with your most comfortable position in the room, say on your couch. You never have to miss a word from your favorite scenes again!
The Relevance of Headphones
Indeed, headphones also contribute to the quality of a home theater setup if playing a movie out loud is not an option. The most interesting aspect of setting up a home theater is the fact that you get to tailor the experience as you like. Pairing your HDTV and headphones is gradually becoming the norm for a more personalized experience and is usually done via Bluetooth.
Get the Best View
Your viewing comfort also comes into play. You want to be close enough to the screen that you catch all the action, but not too close that your eyes begin to get fatigued. Fortunately, experts have developed simple math that can help you determine this factor. The ideal distance for viewing is determined by multiplying the measurement of the display’s diagonal length (your TV size in inches as stated by the manufacturer) by 1.5 to 2.5 and you are all set! The rule applies to your projection screen if you are using a projector.
It is also part of your responsibility to make sure the seat is at the best angle from the HDTV while doing your calculations. In addition, don’t calculate from a position you may change soon because once you mount the TV up, there isn’t much you can do anymore. Moving the TV around would affect the appeal of your wall after drilling holes in it and switching the position of your seat could be exhausting. Pick your side whether it is the left, right, or center and then, calculate your distance from the HDTV to that position. If it helps, you can place the TV where you want it on a table or steady support, then turn it on to test run and see if you like that angle. Try to keep the seats as straight as possible in relation to the TV; while OLED TVs and projectors are more forgiving of viewing angles, LED LCD TVs will exhibit noticeably degraded picture quality as you get further off center.
Another vital factor to consider is the room lighting. The room lighting considers both natural and manmade sources of light like the sun, weather, track lighting, bulbs, and lamps. Additionally, you can use Blackout or Room Darkening Curtains that block out sunlight. And if you’ll be installing lights, make sure that they don’t cause glare by reflecting off your TV’s screen.
The Overall Solution for Bad Angles
If the viewing angles are still bad, consider an OLED TV instead. They are ideal for people who want the optimum home theater experience and may change their seats often. Unlike LED LCD TVs, OLED TVs offer outstanding picture quality from just about any angle where the image is viewable. The downside is that they tend to cost significantly more than their LED LCD TV counterparts, but the "wow" factor from the perfect black levels and impressive contrast is more than enough to make up for the price difference.
Hey there! You made it to the end of the article; kudos to you! Now you are ready to create your home theater and begin your experience. Make every moment count!