If you’re a movie aficionado, chances are that building your very own home theater is at the top of your bucket list. The right screen, speakers, and set-up can totally revolutionize the experience of watching a movie at home, making it more immersive and exciting.
During the last year, the closure of almost all movie theaters has led to a surge in the popularity of home theaters. If you’re planning on designing your own home theater system, here are some quick tips on how to do it properly
Choosing the Room
Before you go on a buying spree, you first must decide which room of the house will be the best environment for your new home theater set-up. Though it might sound like a simple choice (many people automatically gravitate toward the living room, as it’s where they currently watch television), you may be surprised by the options once you consider all possibilities. As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to put your home theater in a room that is spacious enough for sufficient seating, and relatively dark.
While living rooms and dens are quite popular, some people also choose finished basements and attics for their home theaters, as these spaces tend to be quiet and have little natural light. You can also soundproof your walls for an extra cinematic atmosphere by adding insulation in the walls and hanging blankets or foam. To minimize light exposure in a home theater that does have windows, consider hanging blackout curtains. How much effort you put in is up to you—your home theater may be an adaptation of an existing space, or an entirely new project!
Boost Your Wi-Fi
If you mainly watch television and movies through subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, you’ll need a strong Wi-Fi signal in your home theater. If your Wi-Fi connection is spotty or low-quality, you’ll have a hard time enjoying your home theater, as your video and audio will likely freeze and lose quality at random intervals. For this reason, boosting your Wi-Fi signal is a crucial part of creating the ideal home theater space. Here are some steps you can take:
● Regularly check for and install updates to your router firmware.
● Ensure the router placement is optimal to provide a strong signal to your home theater—ideally, the router is in the same room as the theater.
● If necessary, install a booster, which strengthens the signal and helps it reach farther.
● Password-protect your network to make sure no one is leeching off your bandwidth.
Television vs. Projector
The television vs. projector debate goes back a long way, with many of the most experienced home theater enthusiasts split between the two options. On the one hand, using a projector retains the classic movie theater vibe that many people feel is a must for a home theater system. Projectors also allow you to adjust the size of the viewing window, creating a much bigger screen than you can find with a traditional TV.
On the other hand, modern televisions provide a higher resolution threshold that translates to better image clarity. Many also have other additional features, like more customizable options for brightness, color quality, and so on. When making your decision, consider the following factors:
● How much space you have available—does your screen have to fit on a shelf, or can it take up a whole wall?
● Your budget—depending on the model, televisions also tend to be more expensive than projectors.
● Your image clarity and high-definition preferences—if you like being able to see every pore on an actor’s face even during the big action sequences, a traditional television is probably the best choice for you.
Don’t Skimp on Sound
The viewing experience is a big part of what makes going to the movies fun—but you can’t forget the sound. Home theater sound gives you an immersive experience that you cannot get from watching something on a TV with built-in speakers or a computer.
While you’re weighing your options for the visual aspect of your home theater, don’t forget to also focus on choosing a good sound system. A couple of things to keep in mind when building your home theater sound system include:
● Do you want surround sound?
● How many speakers will be in your set-up? Between two and four speakers tends to be an appropriate range for most spaces.
● Where in the room will your speakers fit? This influences the size and shape you’ll choose.
● What are your sound preferences? How much bass do you prefer? Some speaker systems handle low sounds better than others.
Have Tech Support Ready
Your home theater system is not a singular device that you can ship off to the seller or manufacturer for repairs. When everything is working correctly, it might not occur to you, but your home theater is made of many different components, and a lot can go wrong. Your Bluetooth connectivity can fail, the television or projector can break down, the software and apps might fail, and so on.
The best way to avoid ruined movie nights due to technical difficulties is by looking into local tech help so that you have someone dependable at the ready if something goes wrong with your home theater system. Professional tech services also provide support plans, so you’ll always know where to turn for tech help.
Be Smart When Designing Your Dream Home Theater
Home theater systems are expensive endeavors that require a lot of investment, and if you fail to consider all the options and factors as you assemble yours, you might end up feeling like you’ve wasted time and money. However, if you keep the above tips in mind, you should be able to design the theater of your dreams and benefit from it for years to come.