Many of us now watch films and TV series via online streaming services. With brand new films now being made available on these services rather than in cinemas, it makes sense to ensure your home viewing environment will do your film/TV/sport viewing as much justice as possible.
Although a dedicated home cinema room is great, you don't have to go that far or spend a lot to get an impressive experience at home. We run through your options, from budget to bank busting!
If you don't have a lot to spend, there's nothing wrong with staying in your lounge and using a TV, or perhaps a projector which can be set up/put away, for your viewing.
A step up is to dedicate a room of the house such as an unused bedroom, loft or garage conversion as a home cinema room. You then don't have to worry about the room having shared purposes and can set things up to be permanent, or keep things simple if you want to be able to change the room back easily later.
The most impressive but costly option is to have either a new building (perhaps in the garden) built especially to be a home cinema, or to have a dedicated home cinema room designed as part of plans for a new build house. If this is your choice, it's best to discuss with an architect.
A TV can be great for watching films, especially as the price of large TVs is now lower than ever, with 50" or larger TVs now only a few hundred pounds. Read plenty of reviews before buying as the largest screen sizes may not always have the best image quality within your budget.
When most people think of a home cinema they think of projectors, and with this option it's possible to get a much bigger screen size (60" right up to around 300" typically) for no more than the cost of the average TV - from around £500 for a 1080p (Full HD) model.
The top projector option at the moment is a 4K (Ultra HD) model, offering four times the picture quality of Full HD and similar to the resolution used in many cinemas! The price of 4K projectors is falling slowly, now ranging from around £1.5K to £20K. Keep in mind that you will need an Ultra HD 'source' such as a UHD Blu-ray player or 4K Netflix subscription.
Another key aspect of the cinema is powerful surround sound. Modern flat screen TVs struggle to produce impressive sound so if you're using a TV to view your films then you may want to add external speakers. These could be in the form of a soundbar - a wide but slim single speaker with several smaller speakers inside, or a 5.1 surround sound package. The 5 refers to speakers - 3 at the front and 2 behind, plus a bass speaker or 'subwoofer' (the 0.1).
If you're using a projector then you may want to invest in a home cinema amplifier which can process all the latest surround sound formats such as Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Atmos etc. The amplifier should be used with separate speakers around the room usually in either 5.1 or 7.1 setups, though up to 11.2 (11 speakers and 2 subwoofers) is possible!
A top home cinema installation will use good quality speakers integrated into the room to create the ideal sound experience. Dolby Atmos is a sound format which also produces sounds from above you, so speakers in the ceiling (or a false ceiling made from MDF) is ideal.
Films are great entertainment especially when viewed on a good home cinema setup. If you need any help why not contact a home cinema specialist on TrustATrader?