4 must-have pieces of equipment for your home theater
Going out to the cinema to see a film has its pros and cons. At the venue, you of course have access to the latest movies, a huge screen and a sound that makes the seats shake, but you don’t have control over the screening or what happens in the theater. You can’t take a “break” whenever you want (to get yourself some popcorn!), nor choose the lighting and volume. In the cinema, you also can’t comment on the feature film as you see fit or silence people who keep talking the whole time.
This is undoubtedly why so many people dream of owning a home theater. This allows you to enjoy all the perks of a night out at the movies without all the inconveniences… as long as you have the right equipment.
Here are 4 essential pieces of equipment to have in your home theater.
1- Television or projector?
Isn’t the whole idea of home theater about recreating the immersion of a real movie theater in your home? Well, the first ingredient that will help you achieve this is an oversized screen. There are two options available if you want to be blown away.
An LED or OLED television set
For a cinematic experience, you should choose a TV with a screen that can deliver 4K Ultra HD picture quality, has good brightness and contrast and the latest imaging technologies. This will give you the best performance in image clarity and colour quality.
A prime example is OLED technology, which, thanks to its self-luminous organic membrane, reproduces absolute blacks and an ultra-realistic range of dark colours. On the other hand, the panel of an OLED TV has its limits in terms of brightness, which reduces its ability to perform well in a very bright environment.
Other technologies offer very high contrast ratios, such as QLED (Quantum Dot) or the traditional backlit LED. However, even though QLED and LED TVs perform better in brighter rooms since they provide much greater brightness, they cannot compete with OLED displays for darker colours.
Projector and projection screen combo
The procedure for installing a video projector with a projection screen is obviously more complex than a TV. However, this setup will allow you to project images in a colossal format and enjoy an atmosphere worthy of a movie theater.
As with televisions, different resolutions and specifications in terms of imaging and colour quality are available. However, these specifications can easily be confused. You should therefore be careful. For example, many projectors on the market are labeled 4K, while they only emulate ULTRA HD or 4K using image enhancement technology.
There is also a wide range of options for the projection surface. You can choose a motorized or fixed projection screen or a special paint with the same reflective properties as a screen. Some projection screens are even micro-perforated to make them acoustically transparent and allow speakers to be installed behind them to maximize the size of the screen in the space.
Naturally, an expert will be able to analyze the dimensions of the room, the positioning of the projector in relation to the projection surface, the ambient brightness and the connections necessary to achieve a professional result.
2- High-fidelity speakers
For a truly compelling home theater experience, the sound quality has to match the image quality. If you really want to feel immersed in the sound of a feature film, you need high-fidelity speakers properly positioned in your screening room to achieve a rich and realistic sound.
For example, for a 5.1 configuration, you need two front speakers, a center speaker, two surround speakers and a subwoofer (the infamous .1), while in an Atmos configuration, you will also need speakers that will add a height dimension (a third audio axis), thanks to speakers positioned in the ceiling, above the listening point.
Buying speakers of the same brand and related models for your home theater is not an obligation, but could provide better acoustic performance since sound tones vary greatly from one brand to another. If you want to get the most out of your multimedia room, don’t hesitate to consult an expert to determine the best speaker positioning options.
3- A well calibrated audio-video receiver
The audio-video receiver is the heart of any home theater system. It transmits the signals to the various components of the system. In more technical terms, it is responsible for decoding audio and video signals and then transmitting the information with maximum accuracy to your TV or projector and speakers. A wide variety of models are available, with different sound qualities and strengths. You should therefore choose your own based on the level of realism and volume you are looking for. It should also be noted that the quality of a receiver’s internal components is just as important as the amplification power.
Naturally, if you want to exploit the full potential of your audio system, you need to properly calibrate the audio-video receiver to the room that will be used as a home theater. In this sense, working with an audio calibration expert ensures that you get sound quality that matches the capabilities of the receiver and speakers.
4- Ergonomic cinema seats
While state-of-the-art audio-video equipment is essential to enjoy a good movie, the experience wouldn’t be complete without a comfortable seat.
Modular cinema seating will provide you with the same sensations as if you were in a movie theater, as well as features such as a motorized backrest and footrest. The only problem with these seats is that some of them are so comfortable that you might fall asleep while watching!
Contact Elitronic to design the ultimate home theater
With these 4 pieces of equipment, you have everything you need to recreate the special atmosphere of a movie theater… well, almost! You may also need a Blu-ray player, TV set-top box, Android or Apple box and acoustic panels if you want to treat the room acoustically.
If you need more information, you are more than welcome to contact the Elitronic team. With the help of audio-video professionals, we will guide you to the products that match your personality and your space.