It may come as a surprise but you can build a home theater from scratch – and it does not have to be complicated or even expensive. If you are searching for a way to improve your entertainment system at home, perhaps it is time to upgrade your tiny screen TV and your low-quality speakers. A few necessary components are involved in setting up the home theater in your place. When talking about a “home theater,” it does not have to be about turning your property or a room into a full movie house. It merely refers to having multiple devices and a decent TV that come with speakers that produce excellent sound. All these things should work together in harmony. Perhaps a decade ago, when people mention an in-home screening space, they thought these rooms are limited to celebrities and CEOs of companies. However, things have changed, and you can set up a theater for your home without shelling out too much money and buying high-priced devices. If you are ready to build your in-home entertainment room, here are what you should be prepared with to get things started:
1. Buy an HDTV.
If you have no HDTV yet, it is time to upgrade. The latest HDTVs are light and thin so that you can move them around quickly. Plus, they have smart features, including Wi-Fi connectivity. Buying an HDTV is not difficult at all, but it is easy for some people to believe they need to go for a 60-inch screen or one with 1080p video. Think about purchasing the HDTV for your space and not to serve as an ego booster. If you choose a 1080p video, but you have to sit far from the television, your eyes will find it hard to tell the difference between 720p and 1080p. Meanwhile, if you are too close to the screen, a 60-inch will be too large for your eyes to handle.
2. Choose the right receiver.
You need a receiver to handle all the audio and video for the home theater, from your consoles to the set-top boxes. Plus, having a receiver allows you to have a more organized system since all your devices are connected to one gear where you can manage them all. When choosing the receiver, you should stick to your budget. There may be attractive features and stats, such as HDMI inputs, streaming for various apps, support for playing with specific devices, and raw power. However, you should not go overboard with the features. For instance, if you do not own an iOS device, you do not have to buy a receiver with AirPlay support.
3. Find the best speakers for your space.
An excellent pair of speakers will allow you to watch movies and listen with better sound effects. The speakers today come at all sizes and price points so you can have great sounds even if you are on a tight budget and you have a small space. The good thing about buying speakers is that you can always upgrade later. When you purchase, think first where you will place the speaker, especially if you have a small room or you live in a small apartment. Perhaps you would like to mount them on the walls, or you will use stands. Always begin with the placement of the speakers since it will determine the quality of the audio.
4. Add more cables.
Even if you have everything plugged in, you should have extra cables for your devices, whether it is an Ethernet cable, HDMI, or a component video. You can also add a speaker cable if you need a longer one for the audio devices. Labeling also helps, so have a good label marker for each of your equipment and cables. New power strips can also be useful at this point, which will also keep your stuff organized.
5. Calculate your space.
Ideally, the dimension of a home theater is 20’x13’. However, not everyone has enough space. If the mentioned dimension is not available for your room, you should have at least 12’x12’. When you measure your room where you would like your home theater to be, it will help determine the things you should add to it. If it is too small (and you already have budget constraints), a TV may be enough instead of going for a projector and a screen. The space will also tell you how far the seating will be based on the screen size. If your room is bright and you do not have a space for a 10-foot-wide video screen, stick with television.
6. Dim the lights.
Your home theater will not feel like an authentic movie theater experience if you cannot control the lighting in that particular room. You want to have that kind of power, preferably while you are on your seat. You do not have to splurge on this feature because you can just go for a dimmer switch. It is easy to install, and it is also affordable. Another option is an infrared (IR) receiver, which is typically around $40. It will allow you to control the lighting in the room using an IR remote. Therefore, you can automatically dim the lights with the same remote as you start watching the film.
7. Consider foot traffic.
When you build your home theater, you certainly do not want to have people walking in front of the screen. Often though, homeowners choose their living room as their home entertainment space. It is not advisable to arrange your living room and give a small area for moving to the kitchen from the front door by trotting in front of the TV. It can be a hazard if you have small children around since they will most likely play in the open area. If you do have a problem with foot traffic, move the seating forward, so there is a different path for other people. Remember not to get too close to the screen since it will affect the quality of the picture as you view it.