Five FEATURES Every Home Theater Needs
Published June 9th, 2014
Just because you've got a big television set doesn't mean you actually have a home theater. A home theater is a room that is designed to recreate the theatrical experience as closely as possible with the means you have available to you. Most movie lovers dream of one day having the money and resources to put together a respectable home theater in their house. If you're trying to put together a home theater of your own, there are a few key components that you're not going to want to be without.
You need to have a way to control the lighting in the room. This goes beyond having a switch that simply turns the overhead lights "on" and "off." Any good home theater needs a dimmer switch - something that allows you to take into consideration light from other sources and adjust as necessary. Having too much light in a room could seriously degrade the picture from a television set or a projector. Likewise, having too little light could make it difficult to navigate around the area. You need to be able to strike a happy balance between the two for the best results.
A projector is better than a television set. No matter how expensive your television set is, it won't be able to match the image quality of even a decent projector. The projector will give a more natural, film-like look to the content you're trying to watch. This will help you be able to more accurately recreate the theater experience in your home.
You have to have a 5.1 or better stereo system. A 5.1 system refers to a surround sound setup with five speakers and one subwoofer channel. Some Blu-ray discs encode sound in 6.1 or 7.1 setups. If you're serious about recreating the theater experience, you need to be able to hear movies the way they were supposed to sound. It will give a more immersive, natural feel to the production.
You need a Blu-ray player. There is no exception to this rule. Blu-ray video discs are capable of over twice the resolution of regular DVDs. This means that, mathematically, the picture will always look at the very least twice as good as it would if you were watching the same movie or TV show on DVD.
You need to sit a comfortable amount of space away from your screen. Don't spend thousands of dollars on a good home theater setup and find yourself sitting six inches away from the screen. Very few people like sitting in the front row of a movie theater. A general rule of thumb is that your viewing distance should always be close to 1.5 times the size of your screen. So if you own a 50" screen, for example, you would want to try to sit around 75" away from that screen for the best possible viewing experience. Don't try to build a home theater in a room that is too small for the type of equipment you are purchasing.