Movie theaters have had a rough couple of years. And with more movies heading straight to streaming than ever before, the days of heading to the cinema may soon be gone. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a big-screen experience. All you need is your own home movie theater.
5 Home Theater Tips
Whether you have a very limited budget or the financial resources to make anything happen, a home theater is within reach. Here are a few top tips and suggestions to consider:
Choose the Location Wisely
Location is the first factor to consider. While it’s possible to have a home theater in your living room, it’s usually better to stick it in a more private and secluded place where you don’t have to deal with lots of natural light, foot traffic, and other noises.
Common home theater locations include basements, bonus rooms, or spare bedrooms. Ideally, you’d like carpet flooring (to improve acoustics) and minimal/no windows. However, you can make anything work if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.
Think About Lighting
Lighting is very important. As mentioned, it’s best to eliminate natural light. So if you’re in a room that has windows, blackout curtains are a good idea. As far as artificial lighting goes, you want just enough to have a little ambiance.
Think about an actual movie theater and the lighting design that’s present there. Typically, there’s both overhead and accent lighting. These lights feature warm bulbs that are on a dimmer switch. All lighting should be soft and directed away from the screen. For best results, sync lighting up to a remote Bluetooth application that gives you full control from your seat.
Create the Right Ambiance
The ambiance is everything in a home theater. The more warmth you can create, the better. Here are a few ideas:
- Include decorations and memorabilia from your favorite films.
- Install an electric fireplace to create ambiance lighting, warmth, and visual appeal.
- Add a popcorn machine for that genuine theater taste and smell.
These are just a few ideas. You’ll have to decide what sort of ambiance you’re going for. Then, based on your tastes and preferences, you can find different elements that fit into your budget and space constraints.
Invest in Good Equipment
Good equipment is a must for a five-star home theater experience. You don’t need the most advanced or sophisticated technology, but it should be good enough to give you a quality picture and smooth sound.
One of the biggest choices involves the screen. Do you want a large HDTV television, or would you prefer a projector and screen? If you’re doing anything above 70 inches, a projector is your best bet. Below 70 inches and you can find some pretty affordable 4K and 5K televisions.
As for sound, systems have come down in price significantly over the past several years. Thanks to Bluetooth technology, it’s now possible to have wireless speakers that deliver exceptional sound at a fraction of the cost.
Make it Comfortable
It’s fairly easy to design a home theater that looks good, but it also needs to be comfortable. If you aren’t comfortable while watching a movie, then you aren’t going to use the theater very often.
Comfort can be tied to any number of aspects, but it ultimately comes down to the seating. Choose theater chairs, sofas, or sectionals that give you support, but also allow you to unwind. You don’t necessarily need to buy movie theater furniture, but we do recommend shopping around and trying furniture prior to purchase. (This is one thing you’ll want to shop for in-person.)
Make it Your Own
As you do research online, you’ll discover a lot of conflicting advice. You’ll hear people say you have to use this particular projector, or that you can’t possibly use a sound system that costs less than $500, or that the only way to have a proper home theater is to choose a room with no windows. The list goes on and on. But here’s the deal: It’s your home theater – not theirs!
The entire point of designing a home theater in your house is that you get to call all of the shots. So rather than forcing yourself to follow someone else’s rules, do it the way you want. If other people don’t like it, that’s fine. This is about you creating a place that you can enjoy.