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The 4 Essentials of a Killer Home Theatre Setup

17 July 2020 | 0 comments | Posted by Maia Steel in Geek Chic

Setting up a home theatre environment

The need for home theatres has been on a steady rise with the increased accessibility of movie streaming and video-on-demand, plus the fact that watching movies at home can be a smart financial decision in the long run. I mean, who wouldn’t want to binge endless incredible TV series and 4K content at home at any time of the day or year, for almost zero cost?

Besides, traditional in-person theatres and studios have become no-gone zones for many people thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, further escalating the need for cinema fans to bring theatre experience indoors. Creating a comfortable, state-of-the-art home theatre system doesn’t have to be expensive or daunting in any way whatsoever.

It is easy and affordable for an average homeowner to install home audio and video technology as opposed to just watching movies from a big TV on a boring wall. If you have no idea on how (or what you need) to set up a killer home theatre system, here are the four essentials of the ultimate home theatre experience:

1. Visual display

The three common visual displays for home theatres are LED video walls, flat-panel TVs, and projectors. Your choice will depend on the viewing distance (or the size of your theatre room), whether or not you have a dedicated theatre room, and the size of your budget.

  • Video walls are great, but they can be very pricey. Ignore them if you are on a tight budget.
  • If you will be sitting too close to the screen, your best choice is a small TV, just like the one you use in the TV room or living area.

Modern DLP projectors are the most ideal of all the three choices because:

  • They are cheaper per inch of screen size,
  • They give you a remarkably large screen size without compromising on picture quality,
  • And because they technically use one of your interior walls as their screen, you can bet that their “screen” will never get damaged by your playful pets or toddlers.

However, you cannot use a projector under normal lighting conditions because the display will be completely washed out. You will have to invest in blackout curtains or install the projector in a room with minimal ventilation; preferably no windows.

If you intend to install your home theatre setup in the living room and not in a dedicated theatre room, you should consider a flat panel TV instead of a projector.

2. An awesome surround sound system

Here is your home theatre surround sound system in a nutshell:

Quality speakers of your choice. You can have two standing speakers flanking your TV, a centre channel speaker below the TV, a couple of upward-firing speakers, and a couple more surround speakers placed strategically around the room.

  • A receiver that powers the speakers.
  • A couple powered subwoofers.

Sometimes you will feel like hosting a wild karaoke night at home, which will need you to connect your sound system to a microphone. The easiest and most affordable way of connecting the mic to an AV receiver is using an audio interface and an RCA or digital audio.


  • If your theatre room is too small, mount the speakers on a stand or on the walls.
  • If you have a limiting budget, invest in the more affordable soundbars instead of the surround speakers. Their amplification of audio performance isn’t bad either.

3. Furniture

It’d be great if you can afford a seat and an attached cup holder for everyone. They can be mounted or mobile depending on your budget and preferences. Recliners and theatre seats are more comfortable options, but they can be a little pricey. but will give you an even better experience and could be worth saving up for and incrementally added to your entertainment room over time. You could also review second-hand websites and look for theatre seats that are pre-owned and can get them at a cheaper rate. 

Once your seating arrangements are sorted you you will need a cabinet for storing theatre devices, a popcorn machine, and a mini-fridge for drinks if you want the whole movie theatre experience.

4. Lighting

Install light-blocking drapes on the windows to minimize natural light distractions. Follow that up by installing fibre optic lighting (ambient, dimmable, and remote-controlled lighting) as opposed to suspended fixtures and lamps because such lighting options can reflect on the screen. This will provide that deep secluded feeling that movie theatres have and allow your eyes to focus on what's happening on-screen with limited distraction.

The small screen competes with the big-screen experience

Your theatre should be up and running at this point. However, it is not complete until you have deadened all sounds that could be escaping into the other rooms in the house. Soundproof the room as much as possible using acoustic sound-deadening drywall or hanging curtains and other sound dampening materials around the room.

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on home entertainment.

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