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With the increasing social distance measures required by the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are staying indoors. That can be discouraging for those who love the classic movie theater experience. Thankfully, with the advent of advanced technology, you can bring the movie theater right into your home. Sure, you may not have access to new releases, but you can get pretty close to the real experience and maybe even add some improvements like a better seating arrangement or a backyard movie night. Here are some home movie theater ideas and tips to help you get started.
It all starts with the room. While it might be helpful, you don’t need a large, cavernous room for a home theater or media room. A simple 12 by 12 square foot room is generally all you need for a good theater or movie room. Or, if you are feeling adventurous you can even dedicate space in your backyard to create an outdoor entertainment area.
Ideally, you want your home movie theater to be its own space that does not mingle with your living room, family room, or other existing space. A home theater that shares its space with another room can take away from the cinematic experience while interfering with your home’s everyday activities.
In other rooms, natural light is positive, but in your home theater room, you want to control and limit any form of ambient light as much as possible. This includes light from windows and light from other rooms. Ambient light can cause glare on flatscreens, but even the slightest bit of light-bleed can make projected images nearly unwatchable. If you can’t find a space without ambient light, use light-blocking shades and curtains.
Along with light, be aware of any ambient sound. Even in a regular movie theater, any extra sound can distract and take you out of the experience. Whether that is laundry room noises or loud upstairs neighbors, assess your space for any ambient sound. Add soundproofing to your walls, or use thick curtains that can absorb any ambient noise that could ruin the cinema experience.
Your two options for your home movie screen are a high-quality flatscreen TV or a home movie theater projector system. You can find good-sized LED TVs with smart functionality for a relatively affordable price. And with Mount-It!’s wide variety of tv mounting options, you can easily find a mounting solution that works for your space!
If you are going for a full wall screen size like in the movie theater, then the home projector system is your best option. However, it’s important to keep in mind that installing a projector will add to the overall costs of your home theater project and require a bit more maintenance. Projectors will also require a spotless, blank, crack-free wall or a large projector screen.
The audio experience is just as important as what shows up on the screen. Surround sound is always the best option and is actually more affordable than you may think. 5.1 surround sound systems are the most common, comprising of five small speakers- two at the sides of the screen, two in the back, and one in the center- and one large subwoofer to pick up the bass. Additionally, speaker mounts are a must to ensure the best acoustics and aesthetics.
Most projector systems will require an external sound system anyway. However, if you opt for the TV but don’t have the budget for a full surround system, consider at least getting a nice soundbar. The audio improvement is worth the added investment.
You simply cannot forget the cushy theater seat. Whether you’re enjoying a short matinee or a marathon of favorites, you don’t want to spend any amount of time in a hard, uncomfortable chair as a movie theater seat. Seats specifically designed for the home theater can be luxurious but out of your budget. You can thankfully get plenty comfortable with a nice sofa and recliners.
Along with the equipment and location, don’t forget the popcorn and other concession stand treats to really make the most out of your in-home movie theater.