Now that platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and HBO have become popular, the best alternative for watching movies is to install a home theatre. It’s very simple, as we’ll show, and it allows you to enjoy the big screen in the comfort of your own home.
Going to the movies can certainly be a lot of fun, but organizing your own show at home is on another level. You won’t have to share with strangers, you’ll be able to control the flow of the movie, and best of all, you’ll have a personalized menu of food and drinks. If you want to enjoy all these benefits, all you have to do is follow a few steps to set up your own home theatre.
The Projector First
The most essential thing when installing a home theatre is to have a good projector, and the first factor to consider when buying one is the resolution. As a general rule, this cannot go below 1080p; lower quality will result in a blurry projection. Despite this, we recommend that you stay away from 1080p and instead go for 2K (1440p) or 4K (2400p) resolution, which are more suitable for large projection. For example, the differences between 1080p and 4K are abysmal.
Also, we recommend that you pay attention to projectors that “accept” 4K, 2K, etc. While such equipment is compatible with the resolution promised by the vendor, some are not capable of preserving the original video quality during projection.
Instead, the projector may simply convert your HD movie to a lower resolution. In order not to end up buying the wrong product, we suggest you check that the projection resolution is equal to the accepted video quality.
Another important measurement is the brightness of the projector, which is measured in ANSI lumens and a minimum of 1500 is recommended for dark rooms. 2,000 lumens is a good option if your theatre will have some light, and if you plan to set up your theatre in a location with natural light, it is essential that the projector meet or exceed 3,000.
And Why Choose a Projector and Not a TV?
If you’re wondering, why not buy a TV? Here are some reasons why a projector is the best choice when it comes to setting up a home theatre:
- Larger size: With a projector, you can project movies onto screens larger than 100 inches without major difficulties. On the other hand, televisions rarely reach this screen size, and when they do, they are usually quite expensive.
- Less space: you will only need the projector and the projection screen, which take up much less space and can be transported without much difficulty.
- More affordable: A projector costs much less than a Smart TV. Plus, you can buy a high-end one without having to pay an excessive price.
- Get the screen to project
The next thing you need to install a home theatre is a good screen to project movies. We tend to think that a white wall is enough, but the truth is nothing compared to the image quality, brightness and sharpness offered by a specially designed projection screen.
When choosing a screen, the most important thing to consider is that the gain is as close to zero as possible. If the gain were lower or higher, we would get more brightness in the center, so that viewers at the ends of the home theatre will have trouble seeing the show.
Another question is whether this screen can be rolled up and transported to another site, or if it is permanently mounted on the wall. Both work equally well, although with the former, we can move our cinema to another room or even outside the house without much difficulty.
Install a Good Sound System
Since we’ve covered the whole audiovisual part, it’s time to talk about the speakers, as you’ll need a decent sound system for the audience to enjoy. The best option is the sound bar, which, while you can’t expect the best sound quality, is at least a superior option to the speakers already built into some projectors. Or if you already want to take it to the next level, buy a 5.1 home theatre to experience total immersion.
You can also opt for good headphones to watch movies and series, which, like the home theatre, will give you an even more intense experience.
Sound Bars vs. Home Theatre (Surround Sound)
Although sound bars are enough for a small audience, if we have a large family, if we want to invite several people or if we are demanding in terms of audiovisual quality, the most practical option is a surround sound system, which is composed of several speakers organized in a specific pattern.
The most common surround sound system in home theatres is the 5.1, in which we place a subwoofer in the center, two speakers in front and two behind. There are also 7.1 and 9.1 sound systems, which offer a higher level of immersion, but are not essential for a good home theatre.
Installing a Home Theatre
During the installation process, your best ally will be the instruction manual for the projector and your sound system or sound bar. However, we already anticipate that you will need an HDMI cable to connect the PC or laptop to the projector, although it is very likely that this is already included in the product.
– If you’ve chosen the soundbar as your audio device, you can only connect it via HDMI if the projector has an ARC-type HDMI port or if you have an adapter to separate audio from video. Other options are RCA cables, mini-jack and even bluetooth on some models.
– If you have chosen surround sound, all speakers will need to be connected to the TV receiver with a speaker cable. Keep in mind that this cable is not usually included with the product.
Now, how you arrange all these components depends entirely on your preferences. The projector can be suspended from the ceiling (preferably) or you can place it on an elevated base so that it is also close to the ceiling.
One tip you should keep in mind is to install the screen after the projector, as it is much easier to move this component if its location does not match the projection.
Home Theatre Furniture
Finally, the last step to complete the installation of your home theatre is to furnish everything for the filmmakers to be comfortable. This can include chairs and seats, rugs, blankets and cushions; it varies depending on the environment you want to achieve. We also recommend that you have a table to place food and drinks.
There you are! With these steps, renovating an unused room into a space for your home theatre should be very easy. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.