A home theatre is a must-have for anyone looking to enjoy a movie cinema experience or entertain their friends and family.
The essential components are the same in all home theatres. But, your choice of each product is what draws the line between a low grade system and one that will give you the special kind of enjoyment you’d want.
Below is a breakdown of all the key components of a home theatre. Enjoy an enhanced entertainment experience in the comfort of your home.
Components of a Home Theatre
When creating or improving your home theatre, the big debate is often between choosing a TV and projector. Which one will give an unmatched performance without having to rob a bank to afford it?
Some years back, large screen TVs were costly. You would get a projector at a fraction of the price of a TV with similar specs. The projectors had better image quality and more impressive contrast ratios compared to a TV in the same price range.
Surprisingly, TVs quickly upped their game, and you can find top-notch options with relatively large screen sizes at an almost similar price to that of a projector with the same specs. All that said, projectors still hold the top position in terms of getting a bigger screen for less money.
Image Quality & Contrast
However, TVs currently outshine projectors in terms of image quality and contrast. That’s because projectors work by focusing light on a screen. If you’re watching a video consisting mostly of bright parts, your viewing experience will be flawless.
But if a movie has several dark scenes, they can get quite tricky to see. Plus, although there are screens designed to reject ambient lights, these are usually super expensive.
TVs also give clear, bright, and well-contrasted images that hold up well even in broad daylight. Thus, consider your priorities and budget to see whether a TV or projector will work in your favor.
Video source, also known as the source component, refers to the movie player that sends video signals to your TV or projector.
The most common video sources are DVRs, similar to the hard drive on a computer or a Blu-Ray DVD. You can send and download extra movies to a video source.
Another common video source is the cable or satellite dish box. These come with plenty of free-to-air channels, while some channels may require a subscription.
What’s more, modern televisions feature advanced technologies that allow you to stream live shows from video streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more.
These are also often set to automatically update their systems over a Wi-Fi connection whenever there are new games, apps, or shows.
Gaming consoles are increasingly becoming a popular video source, especially for gaming enthusiasts. These include the likes of Xbox One and PlayStation 5, which support HD and Ultra HD viewing.
Audio System & Receivers
To replicate the movie theatre experience at home, you need to have an impeccable surround sound system.
A typical home cinema comprises 5 speakers, including 2 rear right and left speakers, a right and left speaker, and the central speaker, not forgetting the subwoofer for bass management.
The rear speakers are placed at the back of your theatre, while the left and right speakers are on each side of your screen. The left and right speakers play the most significant role in determining the overall quality of the sound.
The central speaker is then installed right below your screen to ensure a well-balanced sound.
However, currently, there are plenty of other speaker arrangements to choose from. Some great options include Dolby Atmos for a 3D surround sound to create an actual cinematic mood.
Your choice of speakers will determine the type of receivers you’ll need for your home. That’s because the number of channels on your receiver is directly proportional to the number of speakers in your audio system.
The receiver interprets and processes the audio signals it receives and sends them to the speakers. As a general rule of thumb, always choose a home theatre audio receiver with a minimum of five channels.
However, if you’d want to have a multi-room audio experience, go for a minimum of a seven-channel receiver.
Some top-notch receivers even have built-in Bluetooth and are compatible with live streaming apps such as Pandora and Spotify. They’ll even have handy control options to make your experience as flawless as it can be.
Seating & Furniture
Before you buy your home theatre furniture and seats, consider your room’s size and the space available. Also, consider the number of people who’ll be using the home cinema.
That will help you determine the number of seats that can fit and the size of the furniture you’ll buy.
Before buying any seats or furniture, measure the size of your home cinema. It’ll help ensure that what you choose fits in your room.
Next, settle for a suitable style that blends flawlessly with the rest of your décor but also fits your personality. That includes the materials, colors, style, and finishes. Some seats come in as recliners, while others are sectional or love sofas.
Single recliner seats are mostly made of leather and are super comfortable.
However, if you’re looking to have cuddly movie nights with your significant other, these may not be your best pick. In this case, sectional sofas may be your best pick.
Also, make sure you’re working within a budget. Then, do your homework to determine which home cinema seating gives you absolute value for your money while meeting all your needs.
Lighting & Decoration
The quality of your overall viewing experience is also largely dependent on the lighting and décor.
The ideal setup is one where the light is bright enough to allow easy movement yet dim enough for an undistracted experience. Some easy ways to add enough lights for easy navigation are installing stair lighting, cove lighting, LED downlights, and table lamps.
Low Level Lighting
Table lamps also come in very handy in allowing easy access to snacks and drinks. You can even take the whole cinematic experience a notch higher by including ceiling lights, such as star lights.
Colored lighting also acts as excellent décor and helps to emphasize a celebratory mood.
Finally, add a personal touch to match your tastes and preferences. That includes the color of the walls, carpet, and more.
Wiring & Surge Protection
A home theatre is a costly investment. Thus, it would be best if you took all necessary measures to protect your equipment.
One of the must-have equipment is an AC surge protector. It will protect your home theatre against the costly damage associated with power surges.
Surge protector options cut across all price ranges. But cheap options can be costly. You might be wondering how that is possible. Well, that’s because the protectors are often not strong enough to handle powerful power surges, so you risk losing your equipment if you skimp out on the protection
Go for top quality options that will serve their purpose in the worst case scenarios. These have a higher resistance for maximum protection which automatically disconnect your equipment whenever the voltage is either too low or too high.
Make sure that the wiring is well-spaced. Ideally, each wire should have approximately at least two inches on each side. Proper aeration plays a significant role in protecting the cables from overheating.
Finally, consider plugging your home cinema equipment into a UPS. A UPS provides backup power to run your system even when the power goes off. A UPS is a convenient component as it gives you ample time to shut down all sensitive equipment properly.
Remote & Voice Control
Finally, enjoy an uninterrupted movie theatre experience with the convenience of using remote and voice control. A remote control allows you the convenience of changing channels and movies from the comfort of your seat.
However, home automation can make your control quicker, easier, and seamless. Voice assistants such as Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Siri take the work off your hands.
You can now control your entire home theatre by simply using your voice. What’s more, you can create custom connectivity, depending on your existing system.
Simply connect your smart device to a compatible hub. You can now control your home cinema components using a smartphone app from any location in the world.
Home Theatre Articles
Home Theatre: The Verdict
A home theatre’s essential components are the video display, video sources, audio sound system and receiver, seating and furniture, lighting and décor, wiring and surge protectors, and remote and voice control.
I hope this handy guide has answered all questions you had regarding choosing the ideal components of your home theater.