Did you know movie theatre sales are in decline? It’s true. There are a number of reasons for this but one major one is, the experience at home has become just as good, if not better.
Why go to a theatre when you can just stay at home, with a big clear screen, digital surround sound, a bowl of your favorite snacks in one hand and your favorite drink in the other for a fraction of the cost? Factor in the ability to pause when you have to go to the bathroom and the idea of going to a movie seems downright silly.
But getting the best of the theatre experience at home, requires a number of technological investments. This can be a daunting set of tasks to take on all at once, so we have put together a handy guide to making your home theatre dreams come true.
We start with the most important decision first, the screen. Your first task will be to decide what kind of screen you want. Your main choices are between TVs and Projectors.
Projectors can display an image much larger than most TVs for a lower price than higher end televisions. However, if you are looking to put your home theatre in a brightly lit room, they are not recommended as the lighting will wash out the visuals. Furthermore, lots of projectors do not last as long in operating hours as TVs would. You also need to factor in buying a proper screen to project onto. These are all things to keep in mind before diving in to the projector route. If you’ve decided to go down this road, we recommend the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5030UB for its fantastic combination of quality and affordability.
As for a TV, your decision comes down to size and type. You will want to pick something that is the right size for the room. There’s no point in buying an 80 inch TV if you will be sitting 5 feet away from it. We can get into hours upon hours of analysis on what sort of TV is the right choice, but such a discussion is beyond the scope of this article. If you’d rather not nitpick about all the different technical specs, we can quickly recommend the Vizio M Series as a nice TV for the budget conscious or the LG 4K UHD TV if you’re looking to go high end.
Essential to the theatre experience is sound you don’t just hear, but feel as well. It’s about sound that moves you and can come from any direction, enveloping you in whatever experience you choose. You’re not going to get that by using the speakers packed into your TV. You’re going to have to go with surround sound.
You have plenty of options, from going all out with an 11 speaker/2 subwoofer configuration to something more modest. Which set-up to buy depends on the size of your room. Most rooms will be well served by the Pioneer SP-PK52FS 5.1 Speaker System and an Onkyo TX-NR646 Receiver.
Now you have the main components of your home theatre. There are just a few things you need to take care of to make the experience all it can be.
A good universal remote control will help you streamline the experience and prevent you from having to fumble around with all kinds of different remotes. There are apps you can get on your phone which mimic the functions of a universal remote control, but if you want a full featured device which will not try to serve you advertising, a universal remote control is the way to go. For this, we recommend the Logitech Harmony Home Control.
In addition to this, you are going to want to stock up on minor things like HDMI cables, speaker wire, surge protectors, and any wall mounts you might need. They can all be found here
There is no end to the other fun stuff you can use to decorate your theatre room, including pop corn machines, decorations, and special furniture. Ebay is a great place to find stuff like this.
The list of things to upgrade your theatre room can go on and on. We haven’t yet talked about cup holders, mini fridges, special lighting, or any of the other add ons that bring a home theatre to the next level. How far to take this is your decision, based on your budget constraints, but be sure to check back soon for an article on the many cool products you can get to make your home theatre absolutely perfect.