A cozy, immersive home theater can be the perfect alternative to an expensive, crowded night out at the cinema. Most of us already have a big high definition television with a beautiful picture, but there’s plenty of additions to the room that can upgrade movie night from “great” to “perfect”. We picked the five best.
Most living rooms make use of conventional light sources – overhead fixtures, floor or table lamps, natural light through a window – that are too bright and harsh for a theater, and often create a nasty glare on your TV screen. You don’t want to watch in absolute darkness, either; you might need to search for the remote, or get up to take a bathroom or snack break. Ambient lighting provides the perfect solution, and there are a variety of track mounts and soft bulbs available that can be tailored to fit your room.
Couches and Loveseats
Couches and loveseats may be great for a solitary viewing, or for couples snuggling during a romantic comedy, but it can be awkward when you invite friends over for a screening and they’re all squished together on a sectional. A theater seating gallery effect provides each viewer with their own comfortable seat and armrests. Most have built-in drink holders, and the higher-end units feature powered recline, LED trim, leather upholstery, and even USB charging ports.
One of the most crucial pieces of a complete home theater viewing experience is access to a variety of content. Fortunately, there are a plethora of affordable, easy to use devices that stream high definition content to your theater over Wi-Fi, such as the Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, and Apple TV. If you want to go the extra mile, with a little work you can set up a home server for streaming that uses your computer as an entertainment hub, and use software like Plex or Universal Media Server to get things up and running.
The speakers that come installed on modern TVs are so small as to be useless, and while soundbars provide a nice boost, they don’t deliver the immersion that a quality surround sound setup can provide. A dedicated surround sound receiver with five powerful speakers and a booming subwoofer will bring a new level of intensity to your theater. When you’re shopping for surround sound, be wary of home theater in-a-box (HTIB) systems. While they provide all the components for your system at a low price, the quality is typically sub-optimal, and the proprietary connections on such units mean that if one component fails, it may be impossible to replace.
Wall mounts for your TV and components create a streamlined, minimalist look, and eliminate the need for a bulky TV stand. Articulating mounts are available that allow you to change your TV viewing angle to best suit your audience, and to make connecting new components a breeze. Wall mounted shelving, when combined with through-wall cabling, makes your components easy to access and creates an aesthetically pleasing picture to rival the one you’re seeing on your TV. Professional installation services are always available if you’re intimidated by the idea of drilling into your wall. Either way, make sure to use wall-rated audio, video, and power cables, as they have an extra layer of shielding that protects against the possibility of electrical fire.
The home theater should be a haven where you can escape the pressure of daily life with friends and family. With the proper equipment and a little bit of work, a comfortable and stress free environment for enjoying your favorite entertainments is well within reach.
Courtesy TheTopTier Digital Media