There are few things that can match the excitement of upgrading a really good home theatre into the best possible home theater available today
Let’s say money is no object and you have the time and freedom to really create the home theatre of your dreams. Where do you begin? Here are some tips.
Create the Home Theatre of your Dreams
What makes viewing a movie in a theatre such a great diversion? Is it the sense of wonder as you walk down the darkened carpeted floor? The scent of freshly popped and buttered popcorn in the air, or the lush feel of a roomy and reclining theatre chair which gives you a great view of the screen where the magic is about to unfold?
For me, it is the combination of all these elements, plus the top of the line video and audio quality that movie theatres offer, which make watching movies such an event. So, how do we replicate this setup at home?
Level up your screen
Getting a bigger, better and more impressive 4K TV or Digital 4K Projector is a no brainer. The latest OLED 4K HDR TVs have gone down in price substantially and anything from 65-inches to 77-inches will guarantee a stunning cinematic experience. How and where the HDTV is mounted is also important.
The best home theatres can shut off sources of light or at least manage them to approach complete darkness. Mounting your TV or projector screen in a spot where it can be the focal point and has a wide viewing angle without reflections is ideal. It pays to measure and try out different distances to place your seating as well.
A popular way of installing 4K TVs is setting them flush on a wall, or even hidden behind a moving panel. Some TVs manufacturers even make their 4K TVs look like framed artwork, like Samsung’s Frame TV which show paintings and photos when they’re not showing video.
Whatever your choice, get the best 4K TV with the largest size that makes sense for your space, and budget. This is one aspect of your home theatre that you don’t want to regret.
Upgrade your home theatre seats
Next to the screen and audio, theatre seats are the biggest perk that you can invest in.
Sure, maybe a comfy sofa or sectional has worked in the past, but this is a home theatre you’re creating, not a living room.
You can completely change the game with a set of true theatre seats.
A fine example of luxury, comfort and high technology is the Verona theater seating system by Valencia Home Theatre Seating. Rivaling the best theatre seats with padded cushions that provide great lumbar support, and the chaise-style recliner offers you a great way to kick back and relax.
The seating system is lavish and comes complete with cupholders and even mood-lighting to help replicate the in-theatre experience.
More importantly, proper theatre seating like the Verona theatre system gives movie viewing a more purposeful feel and give you and your guests the opportunity to focus on the screen, since you’ll be fully relaxed.
Correct your cable management
No matter what your setup is like, the golden rule is that it should be seamless. Cables, wires and other exposed connectors are an eyesore and detract from the immersive experience we seek from watching shows and movies in our home theatre.
Cable management takes time and planning (read Erin’s recent blog for some tips), but when done properly it makes your home theatre look and feel more professional.
Whether you decide to run cable under carpet or behind walls or if you use special cable management tools or covers, keeping them out of sight while ensuring everything is connected and working is a worthwhile and rewarding task.
While you’re at it, why not add some surge protectors and line conditioners to ensure your components aren’t at risk during power outages or power surges.
Home Theatre audio is key
There are many ways to improve audio quality and sound in your home theatre.
You can opt to expand your existing stereo or stereo plus subwoofer system to a more dynamic surround sound setup with 5.1 or even 7.1 surround speaker system.
Consider adding a receiver and amplifier to better shape your sound requirements and investigate available surround sound technologies like DTS or Dolby Atmos to enhance sound quality.
More than just speakers and technology, try making your home theater better suited to high-fidelity audio.
Rugs or a carpet help dampen the sound yet boost bass feel, you can replace your curtains with heavier drapes for similar audio dampening and darkening qualities just like in your favourite Cineplex.
Pay attention to ambient lighting
Adding smart light strips (like this one from LIFX) and smart bulbs can enhance your home theatre experience in many ways. Ambient light strips can light serve as subtle lighting for walls and floors. They can even be placed behind or near the TV screen to complete a desired type of look.
Indoor lighting can dramatically change the mood of a room and there are some ways to use it to enhance the movie or show you’re watching. If you like horror films, a deep red or purple lighting concept adds an ominous glow to your home theatre. Enhance a sci-fi movie by lighting your home theatre with a Tron neon blue or muted white light.
Some smart lights can even use your smartphone’s microphone to make light move to music or match the mood or colour palette of what is showing on the screen. Watching the Toronto Raptors or Maple Leaf playoff games can mean switching between those teams’ red and blue colours while the games are going on.
Become a Control Freak
One of the pain points of modern home theater systems is that we need remotes for each individual component and who hasn’t spent a good 30 minutes trying to figure out how to get the Blu-Ray playing or how to turn on the audio on the good speakers?
A universal remote that can suck in all the functionality of your TV, audio system, DVR, Blu-Ray and game console and which can also toggle your lights is the perfect item to top off your upgraded home theatre system. Wouldn’t it be great to just have one remote to rule them all?
Look at what’s available and see how you can integrate as many devices into your remote. This will make your home theatre feel more professional.
These are suggestions to help you take your home theatre to new heights.