The price of cinema tickets is so high these days and if you want to see all of the latest releases, you’re going to spend a lot of money. But if you create your own home theatre system, you can watch all of your favourite movies from the comfort of your own home without paying for overpriced popcorn. It’s a bit of an investment but it’s definitely worth it if you’re a movie buff. People think that creating a home theatre is easy, you just need a massive TV, a surround sound system and some comfy chairs and you’re done, but there’s a lot more to it than that. It’s going to be quite expensive so you need to make sure that you’re spending your money wisely and getting the set up right. If you’re planning your own home theatre system, make sure that you avoid these common mistakes.
Buying An Oversized TV
The screen is the most important element in your home theatre so you need to choose wisely. If you’re going to be watching your favourite blockbusters, you need a decent TV to do them justice. But the mistake that people tend to make is thinking that bigger is always better, but that isn’t the case. There is an optimum viewing distance for a TV depending on its size so you’ve got to consider the size and shape of the room. If the room is massive, you can get away with a giant TV or even a projector. But if the room isn’t that big, those huge TVs aren’t going to look good if you’re sitting too close to it. As a general rule, the optimal viewing distance is about double the width of the TV screen. So, if you’ve got a 55 inch TV, you should be sitting around 9 feet away to get the best view. Any closer and you’ll start to see the individual pixels and lines in the TV which will ruin your viewing experience. When you go into the store to buy a TV, the salesman is going to tell you that you need a giant TV, but don’t let them fool you. Consider the space in the room and work out which size works best for you.
The only exception to that rule is 4K TVs. The quality on those things is incredible and even if you’re sitting closer, it’s still going to look great. However, they’re still relatively new technology and they cost a lot to buy.
Too Much Light
When you’re creating a home theatre, you need to recreate the cinema experience as much as you can. Light is a big issue when you’re trying to watch movies and if you’ve got too much coming into the room, it’ll ruin your viewing experience quickly. If you have a little light coming in, it should be fine with a normal TV but if you’re trying to use a projector, you ideally need complete darkness. If there are windows in the room, you should cover them with some thick blackout curtains so no light is getting in at all.
When you’re picking a TV, you need to think about the light in the room. Some TVs have a reflective coating on them which reduces the impact of sunlight so you can see the screen better. If you can’t get rid of all of the light completely, you should look at getting one. Some TVs have an extra layer of glass over them for protection which is great, but it also makes them way more reflective so you should only go for one of those if you’ve got complete darkness in the room.
Not Having A Good TV Package
When you’re investing all of that money into a home theatre system, it’s important that you’re actually getting good use out of it, that’s why you should spend a bit of money on a good TV package. If you’ve got Netflix or Amazon Prime, you can get a good amount of content on there but you won’t get any new releases that are currently in the cinema. If you spend a lot of your time watching films, it’s worth getting a Sky subscription with the latest movie channels. The reception can be a bit shaky so you might need to get a television aerials installation to upgrade your aerial so you can get a clear picture. There’s no point spending loads of money on a fancy home theatre system if you don’t have anything to watch on it.
Getting The Wrong Speakers
Everybody always spends a lot of time and money getting the actual screen for their home theatre system but then they don’t put the same amount of effort or investment into the sound system. The thing is, good sound is just as important as good picture if you want the proper cinema experience. If you don’t know much about speaker systems, it’s a bit tough to choose the right one because there are so many options. You don’t need to spend thousands on a really high-end set of speakers but you also can’t get away with using really cheap ones. If you’re using the sound system for watching movies on, you’ll need a subwoofer and a couple of good speakers at least. It’s important to consider the style but don’t let that dictate your entire decision. For example, you can get some great looking cube speakers that don’t take up too much space in the room, but the sound you get out of them won’t be great. You’re best off getting a mid range set of bookshelf speakers and some smaller ones for surround sound.
You need to buy a decent amplifier to run them through as well. If you pay for expensive speakers but then just get a cheap amp, you’re not going to see the benefit of the high end speakers anyway so it’s a waste of money.
The most important thing to remember when you’re buying speakers is that you need to hear them first. Don’t just order a set online and hope they’re going to be great because you never know. You need to go to a shop and actually listen to the speakers before you decide which ones to get. Ask for professional advice from The Grid HiFi who will help you select the right kind of speakers for your room.
Bad Speaker Levels
Getting the right speakers in the first place is step one, now you need to make sure that they’re set up properly. If the levels are unbalanced you could end up with a subwoofer that drowns everything out or you might not be able to hear dialogue in your movies properly which is really going to ruin your viewing experience. If you’re having problems, you probably haven’t got the levels right on your speakers. First off, before you start playing around with the levels, think about the speaker placement. If you’ve got something blocking one of the speakers, that might cause you problems. You’ll also get uneven levels if you’ve got one of the speakers particularly close to the seating. It’s worth experimenting with the placement to work out the prime position for them. When you’ve sorted out the speaker placement, you should start looking at the levels.
A lot of home theatre systems already have a built-in setup program that will help you get the speakers set up and sort out all of the levels. If you don’t have that on your home theatre system, you’ll need to do it manually. Get yourself a sound meter and then put a film on and measure the levels. Then you’ll be able to see whether they’re right or not and adjust them accordingly.
Lastly, you need to remember the cables for your speakers because they make more difference than people realize. You can pick up some incredibly cheap ones but the sound quality that you’re going to get from them isn’t going to be that good. There’s a big range of different cables and you probably don’t need to buy the most expensive ones for a home theatre system. But you should invest a decent amount of money in some good quality speaker cables if you want good sound.
If you’ve got a lot of components in your home theatre system, that means you’re going to have a lot of cables all over the place. It can quickly become a big mess which makes it really frustrating if you need to unplug anything and move it around for any reason. You can’t always avoid messy cables but you can manage it better. Always make the cable runs as short as possible and label them so you have a better idea of what’s going on down there. Try to fix cables to the wall where possible as well. If you’ve got messy cables all over the place, it’ll make your home theatre room look untidy so make sure that you sort them out.
Setting up a home theatre is a great way to bring the cinema experience into your home whenever you want, but you have to make sure that you’re not making these mistakes when you set it up.
Image Credits: Georgefromistanbul, Bru-nO, PxHere
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