10 March 2021 (updated)

Tips to Set up the Perfect Home Theater

A home theater can take your family movie night to new heights! With surround sound speakers, a TV screen, and cozy seats, you can bring the experience of the movies into your home!

Most of us haven’t been out to see a film for a while. As COVID-19 continues, things don't look great for movie theater openings any time soon. But with the right electronic know-how and extra space, a home theater is within reach. With a few add-ins to your TV or screen, you can bring the magic of the movies into your home!

What Do I Need for a Home Theater?

If you’re ready to get started on your own home theater, start with the basics. Head to your local electronics store to scope out your options!

  • Screen - If you need just one thing for your home theater system, start with a screen. Depending on your room and budget, you might want to spring for the Ultra HD projector screen- which can go up to 16K resolution (but costs over $3,000), or a smaller HDTV, which could be under $100.     
  • Audio System - The audio part of your home theater system is the key to an optimal movie-watching experience. You may want to purchase a home theater audio system, so you don't have to plug your home theater speakers into your big screen TV. Often, your audio system will include either a soundbar or an audio receiver. Get tips from others on your favorite family app!
    • Soundbar- A sound bar is smaller, sleeker, and can really help you crank up the bass. For satellite or wireless speakers, stick with the soundbar vs. a receiver. If you're looking to splurge, try out the Sonos Surround Set with a wireless Dolby soundbar, a wireless subwoofer, and speakers. 
    • Receiver - If you have traditional speakers as part of your audio system, stick with a receiver for your home theater. It doesn't matter if you get an AV receiver for music or one more specific to your theater-- both will provide you with amazing audio output. It might also enhance your video quality, as well.
  • Seats - We’ve all been in theaters where we can’t get comfortable in our seats. So invest in cozy cushions to create the right theater ambiance. Whether you want a reclining seat, cup holders, or even traditional sofas, your ideal cinema seat is out there.

How to Design a Home Theater

Here are some of our favorite tips on how to design your own home theater system. Share your finds with other users on FamilyApp!

  • Do the Math ­- Well, we’ve already done it for you, but there is a calculation for the best home theater projector viewing distance. Simply take your TV or screen’s diagonal size and multiply it by 1.5 and 2.5. It’s within this distance range that your seating should be placed for optimal viewing.
  • Get Surrounded - Surround sound may offer the best audio experience. You’ll need around six speakers with one at the center, the right, the left, a subwoofer, and two at the rear. To get the best surround sound, mount the rear speakers in each back corner.
  • Check Your Angle - You might think that a dead center is the best view for your TV. But when it comes to high-definition televisions, that’s not always the case. Before getting started, check out the views and ensure you’re getting the best movie-watching experience from your seat. Share your home theater design ideas on your favorite family app!
  • Avoid the Glare - If your home theater is on the main floor, it’s particularly important to take note of the glare you might get. Outside light and even lamps inside your home can have a huge impact on your viewing. Make sure whatever lighting you have is doing its best to flatter the big picture!

Theater Magic

In these days of being inside, a home theater system can offer a fun family way to enjoy the movies together! If some components seem out of reach for your budget, just invest in one component, or look for a previously used or last year's subwoofer or soundbar. You've got lots of options!   

Do you have any questions about the home theater setup? Ask away in our comments! Watching the latest films or some classic movies from your own home can make it easy to stay inside through the season. Don't forget the popcorn!



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