Lights, Camera, Action!!! (Don’t Forget The Popcorn)
There are more options for enjoying movies than ever before. IMAX, Dolby sound and other technology-driven features make movie going a great experience. But size isn’t everything! In the case of home theaters, smaller is actually better. Audio and visual technology has delivered new options for homeowners that are unique to our generation and are gaining momentum. But where do you begin if you are interested in a home theater? How about at the beginning! Here are some helpful ideas to think about to get you started.
What I s A Home Theatre?
A home theatre means different things to different people. Strictly speaking, it is intended to provide you with an enhanced entertainment option for watching and listening to television and movies at home. This can range from TV, DVD, and high speed Internet, surround sound receiver and speakers to a specially built theatre room with high end components including a big screen television, receiver and multiple speakers built into the walls and special furniture for viewing.
Where Do You Start?
Before planning your home theater concept, consult with a home theatre design expert. They will assess your space and ask you about what you want in a home theater system. You will also need to determine a budget because this will drive what type of equipment you will be able to afford. The home theater design expert will make useful suggestions on components or installation concepts specifically for your situation, delivering maximum benefit, ease of use and value.
How Much Will It Cost?
What you budget depends on what you want. When developing your budget, think about:
- Where do you want your theatre to be located?
- Will you use an existing space or do you plan to build an additional room?
- Will the video display device, other components and speakers be placed in the walls?
- Will ventilation requirements create additional changes?
- What are the desired lighting features?
- What type of viewing area and furniture will be used?
Should I Get An AV Receiver or Separate Components?
The AV receiver is the main component of a home theater system and provides most or all of the input and output connections. An AV receiver provides an easy and cost effective way of centralizing your home theater system.
However, in many higher-end installations, the functions of an AV receiver are often provided by separate components. Such a setup provides more flexibility in switching out or upgrading the separate functions of the system as well enabling trouble shooting certain issues that may arise.
What Other Components Do I Need?
High speed Internet via cable or WiFi is almost a requirement as much of today’s video content is streamed over the Internet. Another option is having a DVD player for movies that you have purchased or rented. As a result, you will need a fast Internet connection so that that the content streams quickly and so that you do not see the images in jerky movements.
What Type Of Video Display Should I Get?
Room size will help determine the screen that can be accommodated. From there, you need to decide what type of video display device would be most appropriate. Some options include:
- A Flat Panel LCD or Plasma Screen.
- A Video Projector/ Screen Combination
- Or a Rear Projection Television
What Kind Of Speakers Should I Get & How Many Do I Need?
The room size and layout will help determine the number and size of the speakers needed as well as their locations. A professional installer can help you with the speaker selection and provide experienced advice on the best way to install the speakers. All speakers are not created equal. Be sure to listen to a variety of speaker systems to ensure that you get the sound you desire.
What Is A Subwoofer & Do I Really Need One?
A subwoofer is a special speaker that reproduces the extreme low frequencies present in movies or music. It’s the “sound that you feel” when you are sitting in the theatre. There are several types of subwoofers, and, once again, the size and type of room, whether the room is carpeted or you have insulated walls, will help you determine which subwoofer is right for you. Listening tests are the best way to ensure that you get the subwoofer(s) that are right for your environment.
What Else Do I Need To Consider/Purchase?
In order to enjoy television programming outside of viewing movies, you must decide how you will receive the signal (cable, WiFi, satellite). In addition, for maximum comfort there is a variety of furniture designed for the home theatre experience. This type of furniture can include specialized features such as reclining options, cup holders and tray tables.
Once you have finished your home theatre installation it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy the show!