Ever since the television was brought to households across the world, it has been the goal of many to have the ultimate personal theater in their home. The ability to lay back and watch movies in a carefully controlled environment is worth the high premium to many people across the globe.
Technology has gotten very advanced since the first TV that didn’t even have a remote control (gasp). TV’s are bigger, thinner, and offer visual & audio quality the likes we’ve never seen before. You’ll need more than just a TV to properly set up your new home theater though. These days it is much more about creating a customized system than it is to just have all of the right hardware and a DVD player.
Let’s get into what it takes to have a home cinema system truly worth envying:
Pick The Right TV
The largest TV currently available for consumers right now is a whopping 110 inches wide. Chances are you don’t need a TV that big, but for a proper cinematic experience, something in excess of 50 inches is what you’re looking for. Look at the size of the room and where you’ll be sitting, an excessively large TV can actually be more difficult to watch if you can’t get the picture in your frame of vision. The general formula for how far you should sit away from your TV is between 1.5 to 2.5 times the length of your screen.
For a truly immersive experience, the TV should be able to deliver media in 1080p HD quality or even 4K. Previously there were few options for actually watching something in 4K, but now you’ll actually be able to enjoy all of the extra pixel space. Also, the TV should be a “smart” TV so you can take advantage of services like Roku and Kodi or even browse the web for something to watch right on your television.
After the TV, you need to carefully plan out any accessories you’ll want for it. Most commonly, a surround sound system is your best bet for 360 degrees sound coverage so you can feel like you’re actually in the film you’re watching. When bought these systems often come with a central control unit and mounting gear so you can attach the speakers around your room.
Besides that, making sure that you have comfortable chairs that you can melt into for hours at a time is also essential. It is hardly a “home theater” experience if you’re sitting on fold-out lawn chairs, now is it? Bottom line, there is much you can do to make your home theater as comfortable and opulent as possible.
Now you need to figure out what you’ll be watching and how you’ll bring it to your TV screen. Physical media is dying out rapidly, if you have a large DVD collection I recommend using a program like Rip to MP4 software to digitize your collection for easy viewing instead of having to get up and switch disks. Not to mention the fact that hardly anyone even owns a functioning DVD player anymore. From there, it is possible to have your entire DVD collection on your TV by either connecting your laptop via HDMI cord and selecting the movie you’d like to watch or by putting it in your library on a service like Kodi.
If you have a Smart TV, the possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to choosing what to watch. These TVs are loaded with apps like Netflix, Hulu, Crave, and just about every other on-demand streaming service possible. Purchasing a subscription to one or all of them expands your potential library to thousands of hours of screen time. Switching from these services on a Smart TV is possible with the simple push of a button, there’s no need to have to rearrange any cords or get up to do a little bit of finagling. Any Smart TV equipped with a mobile browser will also allow you to view any movie that is publicly available online.
That means no waiting for a movie to come on, no waiting for a movie to arrive in the mail, and a library of movies so large it’ll make the Library Of Congress quiver in its boots.
It is actually fairly straightforward to have a killer home TV system that’ll have your friends calling you to visit for years to come. The biggest differentiator in modern times is how someone chooses to populate their television with worthwhile things to watch. Paid services like Netflix take much of the work out of finding something to watch, but others prefer manually downloading what they’d like to watch piece by piece to slowly build up their collection. This collection can be stored either on an external hard drive to be watched from a laptop connected to the TV or similar service.