In today’s world, we spend a lot of time looking at screens. The phones glued to our hands, desktop monitors at work and TVs in the bedroom all grab our attention for hours each day. This continues at home where gaming, TV and movies are, for many, an essential form of recreation to unwind when we finally get through the door.
Its possible to spend almost unlimited cash on your perfect setup, but by focusing on what you need you’ll save money and still have a great end result. Here’s our guide to the essential components of your home theatre system.
Your screen or viewing space is, of course, one of the most important purchases in any home theatre set up. A high definition Smart-TV allows you to watch apps like iPlayer, surf the web, or use instant messaging and social media. With the right hardware, you can even use your Smart TV as a chrome cast device to “push” videos, documents or music on to your screen..
Alternatively you could plump for a projector, although you’ll need a large amount of empty wall space or a drop down screen to make it feasible. You’ll also need enough room to set back the projector several feet from the wall. Projectors are a cost effective way to maximise your viewing space – so are worth investigating if you want a floor to ceiling setup.
This depends on where you’ve decided to base your theatre system. If you opt for the living room, a chaise-lounge or beanbags can provide comfortable, casual seating to host friends. Alternatively, if situated in your bedroom, a comfortable new bed and mattress set will give you the perfect place to snuggle in and settle down for a film!
Some new lighting systems, like Phillips Hue, can be programed and controlled from your phone. You can set lights, or groups of lights, to raise, dim or turn off and on with just the flick of a finger. Dimming your lights to a gentle glow when the entertainment starts is a cheap but classy touch thats bound to impress!
You’ll often see sound systems advertised as “x.1”, where x is the number of speakers and the “1” represents the bass producing subwoofer. For example a 5.1 surround setup uses 5 standard speakers plus subwoofer.
Because our ears aren’t able to determine the direction of very low frequency sounds (i.e. bass), it is rarely considered necessary to add additional subwoofers to even the most sophisticated systems.
A 5.1 setup is generally considered acceptable to provide the complete “surround sound” effect, but systems up to 9.1 are widely sold. Although you can spend an almost unlimited sum on your actual sound system, the setup and room acoustics can be just as important to the overall effect.
Try to place your speakers in clear view of your viewing position, otherwise sound is being blocked. Experiment with moving speakers about to create a clearer sound and benefit from the room’s natural acoustics.