Most of my friends, who are not technologically-inclined, find the idea of setting up a home theater to be as daunting as it is fun. Though new technology has certainly allowed more options in the home theater space, the basics remain the same.
For the purposes of this article, we will be taking a look at some of the ideas you can employ while setting up a home theater of your own. Since there will be no specific recommendations here, please feel free to suggest your own favorite items in the comments down below!
Before we delve into more specific constructs, we need to clear a few things up. First of all, a home theater can be as expensive as you want it to be. If you simply stick to what you need as opposed to what you want, your wallet will certainly thank you.
Future-proofing is fantastic if you have the money to spend, but it is not always necessary. Many extra features that you will undoubtedly encounter in home theater items are entirely optional. If you feel like you will never use them, then you cannot justify their price.
The first thing you will need is a device to play your media from. Nowadays, you have an incredible amount of options. The most obvious device would be something like a dedicated DVD or Blu-ray player. However, this is far from your only choice.
The latest consoles, for instance, are all-in-one entertainment systems and not just gaming consoles. Microsoft and Sony have spent considerable time and effort into turning their consoles into viable multimedia systems. If you already own a console, you can simply use that for your home theater too.
Another option nowadays is a streaming box/mini-PC. If you are willing to spend some more time with the setup, and you have some technical expertise, you can stream your entire selection of movies and TV series, along with online options such as Netflix, through your home theater.
All the movies in the world are useless if you have nothing to watch them on. Today, the selection of TVs in the market is simply incredible. You have Full HD TVs, 4K TVs, Smart TVs, and everything in between. On top of that, you have a wide selection of projectors that you can choose from, particularly if you have the room for it.
The choice here is entirely up to you. If you are going to sit relatively close to your TV and simply want to watch the latest and greatest from your favorite streaming services, then a 1080p Smart TV may be a good investment.
If you believe that 4K content is the future and your setup allows you to enjoy such quality, then you should definitely invest in a 4K TV. Despite what all the metrics can tell you, picture quality is often subjective so just go for a TV that satisfies your needs without going overboard.
Speakers are a hugely important part of setting up a home theater. Like with video, audio quality is often subjective, particularly to those of us who are not really trained to hear subtle differences.
Even so, a decent 5.1 or 7.1 surround audio set up can make a huge difference when watching a movie. Action films will be more robust, sci-fi universes will feel real, and horror films will actually make you look around to check that you are safe.
With a device like Chromecast Audio, you can even turn your speakers into a dedicated audio system whenever you are not using them for your home theater.
Of course, some people will not have the space for such a setup. In these cases, a soundbar can be an excellent option. Soundbars offer an affordable, space-saving alternative that does not sacrifice audio quality too much and will allow your home theater to look fantastic without adding bulk to it.
Using all of these devices together can be a hassle, both during the setup and during their actual operation. Instead of connecting everything to the TV directly, you should consider investing in a receiver. That little device will receive signals from your multimedia player and your speakers and output them on your TV so that you can control everything from a central hub.
Aside from that, you should consider investing in new cables, a couple of power strips, and anything else you might need to tidy up your system. Do not pay more than you need to; inexpensive cables will almost always perform the same as their overpriced counterparts.
If you cannot be bothered setting up everything on your own, then you might want to consider buying a ready-made home theater system. Setting up a home theater is half the fun for some people but others find the idea too dreadful to even consider.
Today, you can find Wi-Fi-enabled Blu-ray players with surround audio systems or soundbars without paying too much for them. Setting these up is often very easy so all you need is a TV or a projector and you will be ready to play your favorite media in no time.
The idea of complicated home entertainment systems is a thing of the past. Today, the average user has access to hundreds of different options, most of which require no technical expertise. All you need to do is acquire the necessary equipment, read through their manuals, and set everything up.
Even if you get stuck, there is an incredible number of resources in the Internet. The A/V communities online are often extremely helpful too. If you have the budget and space for a home theater setup, there has never been a better time to invest in one.