You love going to the theater. The noises that shake your chair, the huge screen, the popcorn . . .
But those shrieking kids in front of you sure do get on your nerves. And the sticky floor and bright cell phones of the people next to you just don’t quite create the ambiance you desire.
What you need is your own home theater.
It sounds too good to be true, right? It’s not. In fact, creating your personalized theater can be quite simple–if you know what to get.
Here, we’ll show you exactly what you need to get started and get watching.
What Do I Need for a Home Theater?
The components of a home theater system depend on your personal tastes and desires, but there are essentials every person will need.
Yes. That Savant Lutron Home Theater is well within your grasp.
Before you purchase that wall-size TV, make sure you actually have the space for it.
Map out the area where you would like to insert your home theater.
Don’t worry if the room is small; as Lifehacker points out, small rooms actually have several advantages when creating a personalized theater. For audio purposes, you may want a more rectangular room rather than a square one.
Determine where you would like your television and sitting area. Optimally, it is suggested the viewing space be situated so that you have a 40-degree viewing angle. Most people sit about 9 feet from the screen.
Don’t worry; we’ll get into the math later.
For now, just brainstorm. Make sure wherever you would like to sit (or lie; we won’t judge) has ample room for you to be comfortable while watching.
Also, consider room lighting. Is it bright or dark in the soon-to-be home theater room? This will be important in determining other components.
Projector or Television?
Your next step is to decide between the two.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Projectors
True theater connoisseurs know that a projector can be an invaluable replacement for a regular television.
They are specifically made to create higher contrast and better image quality. Furthermore, there is the added advantage of size; you can project onto an entire wall without spending thousands of dollars on a TV.
As The New York Times’ Damon Darlin puts it, “An $800 projector can give you a 120-inch image, while a TV that’s 80 inches costs nearly $4,000.”
However, if you want real quality, you will also need a screen and a more expensive projector with good contrast ratios.
And if you’re the type of person who likes watching your movies or sports with the curtains wide open, you may prefer the other route.
Then there’s the cord deal. After all, those cords have to hook up to your devices, and we seriously doubt those will be anywhere near the ceiling. Therefore, you’ll have the added pain of running the connections through the walls and ceiling.
Advantages and Disadvantages of TVs
The rule of thumb here is simple: buy as big as you can afford without making it seem like the television is the only thing in the room.
Of course, there are other factors you should consider. Like resolution, television type, pixels and connections.
The big question you should concern yourself with first is the type of device.
Plasma or OLED TVs are recommended for dimly-lit rooms.
LED or LCD is ideal for sun-lovers.
And LED or OLED is best for regular, any-time-of day viewers.
Next, look at the resolution and viewing distance.
For regular 720p and 1080p HDTVs, double the size of the television to see how far you should sit from the screen. If you get too close, the pixels will make the image appear undesirable.
Thanks to the new technology involving 4K Ultra HD TVs, though, you can sit pretty darn close to that screen without sacrificing image quality. On a 55-inch, you could sit a mere five feet away.
TVs will cost more. Much more.
But you have to remember that setup is easier and you won’t have to worry about that pesky sunlight streaming in to ruin your image quality.
You want an immersive experience, right? Surround sound is the only way to go.
But how do you choose the best speakers? Bigger is usually better.
Yes, they’re bulkier. But the small speakers you can get in a single box usually don’t have the volume or quality you will want in the components of a home theater system.
Freestanding speakers will sound best, but wall-mounted ones produce good quality, too.
Ensure you have a woofer and a tweeter; these two speaker types produce the low, bass sounds and higher pitches. Trust us; not having quality woofers, sub-woofers and tweeters can mean the whole experience can become botched.
If the room is large, consider purchasing an extra sub-woofer to keep those dulcet tones in check.
If you don’t want the hassle of wires, go wireless here.
For the best sound, place the television or projector screen on one of the narrower walls in the room along with your two front speakers. This will let the sound travel down the long walls, creating a superior and devastatingly awesome audio experience.
Whatever speakers you purchase, be sure they all come from the same company; mixing and matching will result in distorted noise.
AV Receiver or AV Separates?
Now it’s time to decide how you want all these delicious goodies to work together by making a choice that has resulted in hearing loss and screaming matches among audio enthusiasts: deciding between an AV receiver or separates.
An AV receiver simplifies things by putting everything through one chassis. AV separates offer two boxes, one of which is purely for audio.
If you’re an audio junky, AV separates may be right for you. They give you much more control over sounds than an AV receiver, more power and flexibility if you ever wish to upgrade.
AV receivers, however, require less groundwork. Because everything runs through one chassis, it means a lot less tangled cords and frustrated yells upon setup.
We warned you: it all comes down to personal preference.
You have the basics that will lead you to the home theater of your dreams, one where sticky floors and overpriced soda becomes a nightmare of the past.
But you still don’t want to put it all together yourself.
What are you waiting for? BBD Lifestyle can do it all for you. Sit back, relax and let us do the work.
In the meantime, get some popcorn ready: you’re going to need it.