Ask the expert: Is it difficult to put together a home theater?
STATEN ISLAND, NY – Home entertainment is an ever changing industry with new and improved devices appearing every year. It has never been more important than it has been in the past 45 days, when millions of people stayed home to protect themselves. Not only do we see shows on our TVs, but all of them on tablets, smartphones, laptops or desktop computers – live from multiple platforms, not just from your cable provider or streaming service.
However, “watching” your favorite show is not the same as the physical and emotional “experience” you have when you are surrounded by the elements of a home theater.
At its core, a home theater system should deliver a high quality video experience and immersive audio experience that brings your favorite movies to life – but home theater is not a one-size-fits-all concept.
Many consider a home theater a lavish and extravagant facility that requires a dedicated room, large screen, fancy seating, and expensive audio equipment. While this can give you the cinematic experience, it is not a requirement. Thanks to affordable technology and creative design ideas, a home theater experience can be functional and visually appealing for everyone.
In reality, home theater doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. A humble home theater setup can be as simple as a 55- to 75-inch television combined with a stereo or home theater receiver, speakers, and a subwoofer. There are other variants that include other components such as a Blu-ray DiSC player and soundbar.
Choosing the right location is the first step in determining the needs and costs of your home theater. The ideal room should be relatively isolated from the rest of the home so as not to disrupt busy areas. Having your own room of sufficient size is ideal, but it is not a requirement. If you don’t already have the perfect place to dedicate your home theater, e.g. B. in a basement or in a finished attic, there are other options. Some ideas include closing a second floor loft, remodeling a guest room or formal living space, or even building an extra space out of the family room if that’s within your budget.
When envisioning a home theater, your first thought might be a very large screen projection system – which is certainly the first choice for professionals when working with a large dedicated theater space. Flat screen TVs are a great alternative, however, and thanks to falling prices, they’re cheaper. Whether your design plan includes an Ultra HD LED or OLED television (which replaced plasma technology) with or without smart TV capabilities, a home theater is achievable with almost any type of screen.
To get that cinematic experience, you need to provide enveloping audio that plays the sound from all directions. At home, the simplest surround sound speaker system consists of 5.1 channels. The “5” stands for speakers in the front left, center, front right, rear right and rear left positions, while the “.1” belongs to a subwoofer that flushes out the bass for explosions and other low-end effects. Some home theater installers recommend using multiple subwoofers for smoother bass reproduction over a larger listening area. It’s also popular to use a seven-channel speaker system that uses two side-channel and two back-channel speakers for a more complete surround experience.
If you like the idea of surround sound but just can’t find a way to practically integrate a multi-channel speaker system into your room, the soundbar has become a popular solution. A soundbar contains multiple speaker channels in a single speaker bar that is placed above or below your television. These sound bars use acoustic manipulation to create a feel of the surround envelope, sometimes through digital sound processing and sometimes by bouncing the sound off the walls – and sometimes both.
In addition to the audiovisual equipment and automation system, there are a few important decisions that need to be made for your home theater:
– Where will the equipment be located and how should the seating be arranged to enhance the viewing experience?
– How will you deal with the natural light if there are windows in the room where the home theater is located? What lighting is needed to create an authentic theater atmosphere, even if there are no windows?
– One of the advantages of having a dedicated room for your home theater is the ability to isolate outside noise by designing the room to absorb sound rather than reflecting or transmitting it. It is important to discuss this with the installer prior to installation.
– Seating is usually designed based on the size of the room and budget. Make sure your seating is comfortable and conducive to the relaxing environment you want to create.
When you’ve put all the different components of your home theater together, you may want to invest in a universal remote – unless you just need to use five different remotes to watch a movie. A well-chosen, well-programmed remote control can make your life easier. An entry-level universal remote control is limited and may not offer flexibility to customize the buttons to suit your personal needs. More advanced remote controls offer more flexibility and are usually set up on a touch screen, using computer software programs to integrate the audio, video and lighting.
Home theaters can add value to your home. Even if you only have 200 square meters of space, you can install a high quality and custom home theater system that you can enjoy for years. If you love to entertain, your home theater is sure to get your family and friends to the party. Game days on movie nights, slumber parties on special occasions – your home is the ideal place for entertainment.
If you have a fairly large movie collection, you can consider a video server that can store your movies in digital form. This enables easy search, quick commissioning and convenient access to cover pictures and other information.
Imagine larger-than-life pictures, crisp sound, and comfortable seating that makes you feel like you’re in a movie theater – without leaving your home. Imagine a front row seat at a concert or sporting event – or experience this blockbuster movie experience. With the latest technology, you can authentically reproduce the movie experience from the comfort of your own home. While the world is in quarantine, numerous film studios, including Disney and Warner Bros., are releasing movies directly to streaming services so you can enjoy the latest movies from the comfort of your home.
Remember, your home theater is yours alone and is designed to fit your home and reflect your personality. It brings both financial and personal value and joy.
As with any home improvement or home improvement service, use a reputable and insured company. Do your homework first, get at least two or three estimates, and ask for references. Installing the right equipment in the right application can be a once in a lifetime experience.
Michael Bloomfield, President Tekie Geek
(347) 671-7000 https://favoritegeeks.com/
All of our experts are licensed, bonded, and insured members of the Staten Island Home Improvement Companies (Staten Island HIC). Homeowners should always consult with licensed professionals, review a contractor’s license through the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (call 311 for information), and ensure their project complies with NYC DOB regulations before embarking on a home improvement project. For more information, contact us at (718) 356-2323 or visit www.hicofsi.org.
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