A home cinema is one of the most immersive forms of entertainment available. However, with a wider range of speakers, screens and components available than ever before, it can be difficult to know where to begin when designing one of your own.
Whatever your budget might be, there are certain number of elements that you should take into account when designing your home cinema. To help you plan the perfect setup, we’ve compiled a list of 5 elements to consider when designing your home cinema.
Have you chosen the best location?
It might sound obvious, but whilst you likely have a room in mind for your home cinema, you might not have thought through several important factors. Besides simply the size of your room, it’s integral that you consider things like how natural light will impact the setting as well as furnishings and how these will fit into your setup.
Further elements like flooring will have a big impact on sound quality, with uncarpeted floor leading to echoes, often making carpeted a better choice because it absorbs unnecessary audio artifacts.
Besides this, however, you need to consider how the actual components of your home cinema will be housed in the room – do you intend on leaving speakers out in free space, building them into your walls or simply tucking them away in a cupboard? Decide on things like this now and you’ll save yourself the bother of having to make adjustments later on.
Are you using a TV or projector?
Are you planning on using a TV or projector screen in your home cinema? Video display is perhaps one of the most important elements of a home cinema system.
For a lot of people, TVs are the obvious option because they don’t require highly specific light levels in a room and have a sharp image quality. What’s more, things like slimline LED TVs are easy to mount on walls as well as being readily accessible and affordable. When choosing a TV, remember to choose one with the capability to display 4k Ultra HD, 1080p or 720p resolution for the clearest possible images.
However, if you’re looking to scale your screen beyond 100 inches then it makes sense to have a projector – they simply can’t be rivalled in terms of size. If you do choose to go with a projector, make sure that you’re fully aware of your specific screen’s features – for example, if you’re planning on positioning speakers behind your projector, you must ensure that your screen is acoustically transparent. This can often be expensive, so make sure that you’re informed about your full range of options before finalising your choice.
Speakers and subwoofers
Alongside your video display, loudspeakers and subwoofers are integral to creating a truly immersive experience.
Loudspeakers – In the same way that a room’s size and features dictate the type of video display you’ll need, the same factors (i.e room size and type) will also largely impact the types of speakers you use. Be sure to try before you buy your speakers – listen to several types of speakers and setups to find the right one for you.
Subwoofers – A specialised speaker that reproduces low audio frequencies, a subwoofer is essential in helping to create deep, bass sounds. With a huge selection of subwoofers available to choose from, your choice will again vary depending on factors like whether you have a carpet or not. To help you achieve the optimum sound, be sure to carry out sound tests where possible.
What source component will you use?
Your home cinema’s plan should provision for a dedicated space for your source component, whether that’s a DVD player, a blu-ray player, the internet, or whether you want to use an antenna, cable or satellite. Review your source options carefully dependent on your needs – quicker internet will naturally mean better quality streaming of both music and films without a need to buy DVDs and a DVD player. Equally, however, a DVD player will ensure consistently high-quality visuals regardless of your internet connection.
Planning factors like this in advance will allow you to factor in further elements like storage for your source component and whether you plan on concealing them.
Once you’ve gone through the trouble of bringing all these components together, the last thing you’ll want to do is to be fiddling with ten different controls.
You have a few options when it comes to overcoming this – one option is to program a remote to bring all of your controls into one universal control, or alternatively you can use a downloadable app to control your setup through your phone or tablet. For those wanting to go the extra mile, nowadays it’s even possible to implement voice control through smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa. Compatible with a number of smart TVs, users can now control multiple functions using voice commands.
Whatever control option you go with, drawing together each of these elements will save you a lot of trouble down the line.
With so many different components on offer, it can be difficult to know where to begin when planning a home cinema. However, these five elements are a good place to start. Whilst it’s certainly possible to install your home cinema yourself, it’s always advisable that you seek the help of a professional installer, especially for those looking to achieve a more elaborate home cinema system.