For film enthusiasts, the idea of setting up a home theatre can be very intriguing. With thoughtfully designed home theatre systems, you can enjoy a captivating theatrical experience at your comfort.
The best part is that you will not have to bother latecomers blocking your view.
Home theatres, however, are not only meant for watching movies. You can enjoy your favourite TV shows, sports, music, playoff games, or streaming services as well. In essence, spending on home theatres is equivalent to investing in your happiness.
The best part - you can customise it yourself according to your preference and here is what you need to know to do so.
While the visual experience is principal for home theatre, the real magic behind home theatre systems is in the audio experience. But is home theatre just a combination of a large screen and a set of giant speakers?
The answer is - no.
There is a lot to consider if you want to make a dedicated home theatre system. Although gadgets remain the focal point, you should also plan the room décor, furniture, lighting, and sound insulations beforehand.
Let us start with what gadgets you must need.
Screen - the bigger, the better
LED televisions with 4K HDR (high-dynamic range) can give you the best experience on a budget. Make sure it is a smart TV as they come with built-in Wi-Fi and offer the easiest connectivity options.
When it comes to screen size, bigger is always better. However, a minimum of 40 inches is necessary to get the theatrical feeling.
Multiple televisions brands including Sony, Samsung, LG, and Xiaomi can be found within Tk45,000-200,000. The price varies according to the size, resolution, and features.
You can also go for projector and screens but implementing a 4K projector and a screen is not only a lot costlier than buying TVs, but also more complex. A good quality 4K projector starts at a minimum of Tk120,000.
Unless having a grand cinematic experience of a projector is your top priority, investing in a good TV is the more cost-effective and simpler option.
Sound - the magic factor
When it comes to audio systems, you can go all creative in terms of choosing the speakers and the layout. There are multiple variations of how you can do this.
Home-theatre-in-a-box system (HTIB)
The package usually contains five surround sound speakers, a subwoofer, and a disc player or amplifier and these are sold all together as one unit. For incredibly lifelike and precisely located overhead sounds, you need to find the Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers.
Dolby Atmos speaker layouts parallel the 5.1 and 7.1 setups for surround sound. You can find brands like Sony, Edifier, and Logitech within a minimum budget of Tk35,000.
If you have a large room, the simplest choice would be getting a home-theatre-in-a-box system; however, if you have space and budget concerns, soundbars will meet your needs.
Soundbar, which serves almost the same purpose as HTIBs, is a bar-shaped device containing multiple loudspeaker drivers.
All you have to do is add a subwoofer for perfect bass sound and two extra rear speakers, or you can simply find a dedicated soundbar home theatre system.
For the 5.1 Dolby-enabled soundbar home theatre system, the price starts from Tk25,000 and the brands you can look into are Sony, JBL, Edifier, and such.
If you have a high budget and the mood to explore, you can customise the whole system by spending on separate components, which means buying individual speakers, preamplifiers, subwoofers, power amplifiers, and so on.
This definitely requires more effort and research but you can have the best all-around results and a home theatre system solely according to your taste.
While choosing the speakers, the more wattage power you can manage the better your experience gets. However, it is important to remember that 125 watts per channel are the optimum amount of power.
Remember to have a strong broadband connection to have an uninterrupted watching experience.
Home theatre interior
You should always measure your room first to determine the size of screens, speakers, and furniture you need.
You do not want to spend a fortune on the gadgets and later realise they do not fit your room.
If you have a small room, big speakers can make the room feel congested and ruin the experience.
Similarly, soundbars may not be enough for a chilling sound experience in a large room. There is also the furniture and décor you need to worry about.
Hence, having a good understanding of your room's capacity is a must before planning home theatre.
For a compelling experience, the screen should be placed at a good eye level. There are a variety of television cabinets made of engineered wood, compatible with couch-level seating within a price range of Tk5,000-30,000.
Depending on the size and weight of the TV and the speaker format, the cabinets should be chosen.
You can also add a console table to keep the remotes in your reach according to the seating layout, which leads us to our next section.
While recliners are the most popular seating arrangement used in western culture for ultimate comfort and personal space, quality recliners are overwhelmingly pricey. Even the single rexine recliner in our country costs a minimum of Tk30,000.
For budget seating arrangements, a combination of couches, ottomans, and armchairs can ensure maximum comfort and capacity in your home cinema.
To avoid reflections, home theatres should always be painted with dark colours.
While semi-gloss paints are easier to clean, they might reflect the screen's light and make the room brighter.
For similar reasons, light-absorbing dark colours are appropriate to define the picture.
Therefore, matte paints in dark, earthy tones should be used for the walls.
For ceilings, a flat black or gray paint should be chosen for a home theatre room.
You can cover windows with dark-coloured curtains to bar unwanted lights from reflecting on the screen. However, watching in a completely dark room for a long time can potentially strain your eyes and cause headaches.
Using a smart bulb or LED strips behind your TV as a DIY bias lighting solution can elevate your experience and help reduce strain on your eyes. You can also use RGB LED strips in your room to enhance the visual appearance of your theatre.
Nonetheless, if you wish to have a sophisticated, soft ambient lighting décor, you can always hire professional interior designers.
The floor type plays a big role behind sound distribution throughout the theater area. As hard floors are more reflective, it can result in unwanted echoes and uneven bass.
Carpeted floors help in absorbing unwanted audio artifacts and prevent excess reverberation around the room.
Hence, the room's floor needs to be carpeted, preferably with ones made of nylon or wool.
All in all, if you are truly considering investing in a home theatre, refrain from randomly picking up the first big television and speaker set you see in the store.
Rather invest both your time and money carefully, choose the right cinema set and suitable décor for your home theatre.