As more providers offer more streaming services, suitably high internet speeds become increasingly available, and the latest in TV tech from wide screen TVs to projectors becomes more affordable, if you’ve got room, then a home cinema could be a fantastic addition to your home.
It doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive, complicated, or even that high tech as the crucial part of the home cinema is getting the room set up right and arranging the surround sound. Managing your budget and choosing your kit is all part of the fun.
Firstly, the space you have available will determine the amount of seating you can have, but you do need to decide whether it’s going to double up as a multi-purpose room or whether it will be a truly dedicated home cinema as that too may affect the seating arrangements.
Then you need to consider the room’s layout: high-quality screen, AV receiver, dedicated control system, speakers, lighting and comfortable seating all have to be factored in. Rectangular rooms tend to allow more seating flexibility.
Once you’ve estimated the seating position, draw two lines to the edges of the estimated screen size to get a viewing angle – ideally between 33˚ and 40 ˚. Then choose a screen. Slimline TVs are easy to mount on the wall – there are many wall mount choices available – and they can still be watched comfortably in a well-lit, multi-use room.
If you want a screen larger than 100 inches, then you’ll need a projector. In this case, for the best audio sound, speakers can be placed behind an acoustically transparent screen which is more expensive than a drop-down screen. (However, a drop-down screen can be more convenient in a multi-use room.) Light levels and control s are more important with a projector, so think about how you will manage the light and also consider mounting a larger projector in the ceiling.
In terms of acoustics, surfaces need to absorb sound, not transmit it, so think about thick carpets, acoustic tiles for the ceiling and acoustic boards. You could even go as far as creating an inner wall of stud work for soundproofing, but that not really practical unless the room is generously sized. Blinds and thick-lined curtains will also help absorb the sound, as will comfortably upholstered chairs.
Using a good quality 5:1 or 7:1 surround sound system should guarantee a great sound experience. Remember that appropriate mounts can really help with positioning of speakers and there is a lot of choice available when it comes to cabling – go for Cat6 if you have a 4K TV.
Really, the sky’s the limit when it comes to the of a home cinema room. From a fairly basic £2,000-£3,000 spend on the whole project to £100, 000 on the projector alone, the choice is yours.