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Everything You Need to Create the Ultimate Home Theater Experience

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If you love movies, there’s no real substitute for the authentic movie theater experience. The comfortable chairs, the live audience, and the gigantic screen aren’t replicable in a home environment. But at the same time, you can’t go to the movie theater every night—and you probably have a massive collection of films you want to enjoy at home on a regular basis.

If that’s the case, you’ll want to make the investment in an enriching, immersive home theater experience. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to do it.

Location

First, you’ll need to plan the location. You’ll need plenty of room for your home theater, not just for the furniture and video and audio equipment, but also walkways for your guests. In addition to size, you’ll need to consider how this room fits into the rest of the house. For example, are there lots of windows in this room that could compromise your experience with too much light and outside noise? For this reason, many people choose the basement, or an interior living room for their home theater.

Soundproofing

Next, you’ll want to consider soundproofing the area you choose for your home theater—and possibly the rest of your house as well. This will prevent outside noise and unwanted noise from other areas of your house from interfering with your experience.

There are some renovations you can perform to majorly improve the soundproofing of this room; for example, you can place more insulation in the walls, or replace the doors and windows with better insulated varieties. However, most of the changes you can make are inexpensive. For example, you can fix squeaky floorboards and oil doors so they’re less noisy. You can repair cracks in and around doors and windows that are responsible for leaking sound. You can also put up sound absorbing panels, designed to absorb sound so it doesn’t reach your ears.

The Right TV

One of the biggest investments you’ll make for your home theater is the TV. There are hundreds of options available, so make sure to keep these variables in mind when you make your purchase:

  •         Size. First, you’ll need to think about size, and all other factors being equal, bigger is better. Bigger screens allow you to sit further back with no reduction in the quality of your visual experience. However, you may be working with a limited amount of room.
  •         Definition. You’ll also need to think about the definition of your TV. These days, the best choice is 4K, or Ultra-HD.
  •         Backlighting. Also make sure the TV comes with LED backlighting, or something similar. It can considerably improve your viewing experience.
  •         Connectivity. How does your TV connect with your home network and other technology? For starters, you’ll want to consider the number of ports and the types of wires this TV can accept; more HDMI ports are usually better. You’ll also need to think about whether you want a “smart” TV that can connect to the internet.
  •         Reviews/reputation. Of course, you’ll also need to think about the quality and reliability of your chosen brand. Check out online reviews from previous buyers to get a better sense of its performance.

Depending on your preferences, you may also choose to invest in a screen and a projector, for a more authentic “theater” experience.

The Right Speakers

Most TVs have terrible built-in speakers, so you’ll want to invest in a surround sound system:

  •         Channels. You can get a basic soundbar, but for a better surround sound experience, you’ll want to invest in a system that features a low-frequency subwoofer and rear speakers. Systems with 5.1 channels include a center speaker, two front-facing speakers, two rear speakers, and a subwoofer. Systems with 7.1 channels include two additional speakers, usually off to the side.
  •         Connectivity. How does this speaker system connect to your TV? How do the speakers connect to each other? Wireless systems are popular these days, but it’s not universal.
  •         Reviews/reputation. Like with your TV, you’ll need to think about the reputation of the brand you’re buying from, and you’ll need to read reviews before making a purchase.

Lighting, Décor, Furniture, and More

There are many other considerations you’ll need to make for your home theater, but they’re more about comfort and personal preference than your core experience. For example, you’ll need to invest in lighting that can improve visibility without compromising your viewing experience, and you’ll need to buy furniture that’s both comfortable and roomy enough to accommodate an audience. You may also want to get some décor to make the environment more immersive, like movie posters or a popcorn machine.

Ultimately, your home theater experience is whatever you want it to be. Take your time and create the film-watching space of your dreams.

Image by Reimund Bertrams from Pixabay.

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