So you are building or renovating your house and you want to create a home cinema, but you don’t want to spend thousands? Well, you are in the right place!
Nowadays, as technology becomes increasingly affordable and easily available, building a home cinema isn’t just an option for the wealthy. In fact, you can easily build a home theatre on the cheap side and still experience the luxury of a home cinema.
Start with the three basic elements, namely the surround sound system, a television, and a broadband internet connection. Then factor in other essentials, such as seating arrangement and light distribution. Since you plan on incorporating a home cinema in your living room, our guide will give you some awesome tips to help you transform this already multi-purpose room into the home theatre of your dreams.
Read on to explore our guide to turn your living room into a home cinema!
Choosing Your Screen
When choosing a screen for your home theatre, you can either opt for a TV or a projector. We suggest that you stick with a television unless you have a huge living room and you can make additional arrangements for a projector.
When buying a TV, make sure it’s at least 60”. You can opt for a larger screen as long as you can afford it. Remember to look for a 4K resolution TV that is HDR compatible for superior contrast and display.
If you decide on a projector, be ready to invest in an HD projector screen as well and make all the necessary arrangements in your living room. Get a projector in a 1500-lumen range for ideal brightness with at least 1000:1 contrast ratio. Since some projectors tend to heat up, ensure that there is a vent outlet wherever it is mounted or resting.
Also, remember to invest in HDMI cables to transmit the signal from the source to the projector or television.
Deciding On Your Audio System
One of the most crucial aspects of setting up any theatre system is ensuring that it has a great audio system. This can make or break the entire feel of your home cinema.
You can choose between 5.1 or 7.1 surround system setups. The 5.1 system is the more traditional setup, which means that it contains five speakers: left, right and center, and the remaining two at the rear of the room, or surround speakers. The 7.1 setup, which tends to be more costly, consists of additional right and left surround speakers for a better audio system. The “1” refers to the subwoofer that tends to provide a low-pitched frequency or a low bass.
If you are planning on undertaking a long renovation process, you can pre-install the speakers according to your living room furniture and setup or install them in the walls. This will allow the living room to remain virtually unchanged while simultaneously giving you the ultimate home cinema experience with fantastic audio.
Soundproofing The Living Room
If you have decided on building a home cinema, you have probably heard about the importance of acoustics. For a top-notch home cinema experience, you need to ensure that the sounds being transmitted from your audio system sound pleasant and enhance your overall viewing experience. This is why we strongly suggest soundproofing your living room!
First off, know that all the surfaces in the living room need to absorb rather than reflect the sound waves. To achieve this, you need to insulate the room by, for instance, installing acoustic panels on the walls, acoustic tiles on the ceiling, and/or plush carpet on the floors.
Additionally, if you have floors that are hardwood, concrete, linoleum, or wood, consider using area rugs in your living room for better sound. After all, you don’t only need to ensure good audio in the living room home cinema, you also need to consider that the noise doesn’t disturb anyone else in the house.
Getting High-Speed Internet
For an interrupted cinema experience, you need to take on the expense of a stable bandwidth high-speed internet connection. Consider calling a specialist when installing this.
Whether you opt for Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet, you should ideally opt for a speed that is at least 2 Mbps for streaming purposes. In case you want to splurge, get 5 Mbps or 10 Mbps for viewing high definition video.
You can also get a completely separate modem or router to be connected to the home cinema if you want to avoid the hassle of other members of the house eating up the speed through constant usage.
Setting Up Your Living Room
Since you plan on converting your living room into a cinema, you need to design the interior in a way that is functional for both purposes.
We suggest that instead of changing your entire furniture, keep that coffee table you have and invest in a love seat and at least one leather recliner. This will give your room a cinema feel while allowing the living room ambiance to stay alive.
Next, you want to probably do something about those huge windows letting in all that light. Consider heavy drapes or dark-colored blinds to reduce any glare and prevent the screen brightness from washing out.
You should also opt for recessed lighting, light dimmers, and sconces on the walls. This will look beautiful with or without the TV being switched on, so consider it a design upgrade.
Contrary to what some people might think, building a home cinema is not as complicated or expensive. You need to thoroughly research the equipment you decide to get and hire a professional to do the fittings to avoid any inconvenience in the future.
So what other ideas do you have to turn your living room into a home cinema? Let us know in the comments below!