How to create the perfect home cinema experience!
Tired of having to traipse to the cinema to watch your movies? Want to bring the big screen experience to your home? Then why not turn your spare room into your very own home cinema!
Check out our top tips on how to do it the right way!
First off, let’s have a look at the room. You’ll want somewhere which has enough space to allow you the perfect distance between your seats and the screen. Ideally, you need between 3 and 5 metres between your eyeballs and the screen.
When you’ve chosen your room, clear it out of anything you won’t need. If you’ve not got the space Big Yellow Self Storage can help out with small Storage rooms from as little as £7 a week. Check out www.bigyellow.co.uk for more details.
Get yourself a comfy sofa and position it in the middle of the room so you can get the full benefit of your rear speakers. If you’re feeling very rich then you could always splash out on a set of real cinema chairs! (be warned these don’t come cheap!)Audio Affair http://bit.ly/yL7k9F can help you out.
We’re looking to make the room as dark as possible; so use curtains instead of blinds. Try Lined curtains as they enable you to control the light within the room. This is also better for acoustics and more environmentally conscious as they keep the heat in.
Adding a dimmer switch will give you that gradual lights-down effect as the movie begins!
There are so many choices these days but it boils down to the basic principle that bigger is better! 60” is probably the minimum you should go for to create that real cinema feel. HD is a must these days as SD (standard definition) screens just won’t cut it when it comes to a big picture!
The 2 options are:
1. A Projector
• This has the benefit of being as big as your room is, as they can vary the size of the picture. They do cost more but if you’re serious about your cinematic experience then you can’t beat a projector!
• An example of one that does Full 1080p HD is the Optoma HD200X available from Amazon at for around £600 http://amzn.to/weCTLL . If you want a cheaper model then you could go for something like a HD-12PRO from www.projectorsite.com for less than £200.
• Don’t forget you’ll need a screen for this as well. A 70” costs from around £40 on Amazon http://amzn.to/xdmHeT
2. An LCD/LED or Plasma TV
• LCD is light and clear, with LED being similar but slightly newer technology and Plasma is the original and some say the sharpest, (but remember you may need to re-fill the gas in the tube).
• The Daddy of these is the Sony KDL-60LX903 from £3200 available from Amazon http://amzn.to/y4EXM4
• If you haven’t got that much cash, a cheaper option is the Sharp LC60LE831E at around £2000 http://amzn.to/vYTUfP
Don’t forget to get a decent wall mount if you go for the TV option and a ceiling mount if you go for the projector
Don’t skimp here! You need to ensure that you get a 7.1 system which means that you have 7 speakers +1 subwoofer. These are one centre speaker for speech, a left and right front channel, two left and right mid channels and two speakers behind you for rear effects.
There are plenty of speaker systems out there and you must make your own choice depending on the kind of sound you want. Make sure you go to a retailer where you can test out the speakers first in a properly set up demo room. Examples of good brands to go with are Q Acoustics or KEF.
You also need a 7.1 Amp to channel your films through. Don’t rely on the blu-ray player’s output as it won’t be good enough for a full 7.1 system. Good examples of a home cinema amp are Sony’s STRDH820 http://amzn.to/wOo75a or Yamaha’s RXV565BL http://amzn.to/wjk4LD
Finally you need a good source to play your films from. Whilst online movies via LoveFilm or Apple TV are easy to get hold of and convenient they are no match in quality to full HD transmitted movies from Sky/VirginMedia or Blu-ray DVDs.
Talk to Sky or Virgin Media about their Full HD movie packages or get yourself as blu ray player from £60 upwards. Try the Panasonic DMR-BWT700EB for around £350 for top quality http://amzn.to/yYtrbN
Once you’ve sorted your home cinema out, why not splash out on a popcorn maker to add that extra touch. Happy movie watching!
If you need some space to make your dream home theatre then Big Yellow Self Storage is available from as little as £7 a week.