Home theatre is a great way to enhance your home entertainment.
When they were making my new house, I was excited to tell them about all the things I wanted in it.
One of those things was a home theatre.
It took me forever to find out how it worked to set up an incredible movie-watching experience for myself.
The first time I showed my friends over, we put on Star Wars: A New Hope
We watched it from start to finish. One of the best nights ever!
As the holidays approach, it’s time to start thinking about what gifts you want to give your loved ones.
If someone on your list is a homeowner interested in buying a home theater, this blog post is for them!
We’re going to cover everything from how home theatre works and why it is essential.
So let’s get started!
Section 1: What is a Home Theatre and Why Do You Need One?
What Is Home Theatre?
Home theatre is an experience that lets you immerse yourself in entertainment using surround sound.
Surround sound is provided by speakers or headphones and video displayed on a screen or projector.
Most systems consist of multiple pieces of equipment working together.
They include surround sound, HD digital picture, and 3D video.
Systems are for movie-watching, but the individual components can provide entertainment such as gaming or music.
Why Is Home Theatre Important?
Having a Home theatre allows you to modify your TV into something that provides you with a more engaging viewing experience.
That happens by adding surround sound, digital picture quality, and 3D video effects.
These features allow you to either increase what you are already watching or make your favorite shows even better.
They are also great devices for use outside of entertainment purposes.
You can create Home theatres for business presentations and for students to complete school projects.
Home theatres also offer a presentation space with a screen and projector.
Section 2: Things to Consider Before Investing in a Home Theatre System
Size of room:
Home theatres require ample space that will accommodate all equipment and furniture needed for operation.
Without sufficient space, it becomes difficult to install equipment and furniture properly.
Also, keep in mind the location of electrical sockets and doorways so users can access them easily.
Rooms between 10 feet by 16 feet and 20 feet by 25 feet should accommodate any home theatre system without difficulty.
However, you may need to upgrade the system if the room has many obstructions.
Obstructions could mean high ceilings, large columns, or other obstacles.
They require a location that is easy to access and close to electrical sockets and doorways.
Theatres usually occupy one corner of a room and do not work well in cramped spaces.
Cramped spaces make moving around and accessing equipment difficult.
It is also best not to install home theatres near windows since sunlight can cause distortion on-screen images.
Instead, choose a location that will provide maximum comfort when listening to audio from speakers located throughout the theatre area.
Size of budget:
Systems are available in all price ranges, from less than $100 to several thousand dollars for state-of-the-art equipment.
Home theatre system is just as good as the price you pay for it.
Remember those very cheap systems may not be as effective as those that cost a little more.
Speaker and Display Quality:
Home theatre comprises several devices to recreate sounds and images with high-quality surround sound and picture clarity.
Equipment includes speakers, DVD player, and display devices such as projector screens and flat-panel televisions.
Speakers range from tiny sound bars to complete surround systems with many speakers and subwoofers.
The more advanced the speaker system, the better the sound quality on DVDs or Blu-ray discs.
Similarly, sizeable high television displays can provide stunningly clear videos with better clarity and detail than standard-definition videos.
When watching in a home theatre setting, use high-definition media sources such as DVDs or Blu-ray discs.
Consider whether all the devices are compatible with each other.
Speakers usually have 3.5mm input or speaker terminals.
They allow you to connect your system directly to the TV, DVD player, and surround sound receiver.
Video sources can also be connected using HDMI cables for high-definition units or composite cables for standard units.
Ensure all displays have similar inputs, so it isn’t necessary to use multiple adapters to connect everything properly.
Section 3: Understanding Surround Sound and Its Importance in Home Theatre
Home theatre was once an exclusive commodity.
Only available for those who could afford 5000-dollar speaker sets and multi-million-dollar custom installations.
Most people watched movies in mono, which only used one speaker path, along with some limited stereo sound.
Nowadays, however, things are different.
Surround sound has become a staple in most homes. Modern movies makers create with 5.1 or 7.1-channel Dolby Digital.
That means at least five speakers and one subwoofer are in use to play the audio track.
The experience is available for everyone now.
Anyone can go out and buy an entry-level setup for 1000 dollars or less.
You must choose your components carefully to ensure optimal performance.
One of the first things you will need is a receiver:
This device bridges the gap between your source (Blu-ray player) and your speakers.
A home receiver must provide an excellent surround sound listening experience.
It should also enable you to play your media files with minimal wires around the home.
The home receiver has both wireless and wired connections.
You can use interchangeably depending on the utilization of the media file and personal preference.
A receiver also functions as a high-quality amplifier.
That offers improved music listening experience coupled with studio-quality speakers such as select Yamaha.
All receivers have either a two-channel output or a multi-channel output, but not both.
Home Theater in a Box (HTIB) systems will have all of these speaker outputs already wired together for you.
A receiver-based system, on the other hand, gives you more flexibility with your setup.
If you don’t want to use two speakers on the receiver, you can plug them into your TV instead.
Types of Receivers
2.1″ (two speakers and one subwoofer),
“3.1” (three speakers and one subwoofer)
“5.1” (five speakers and one subwoofer).
The number refers to how many speaker outputs on the back of the receiver there are.
The second thing you will need is the Home Theatre System’s speakers:
These come in many shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose – to convert electrical signals into sound.
It’s up to you to pick the right speakers for your space.
You have a lot of choices when it comes to Home theatre speakers.
Getting advice from an expert is always advisable.
A typical system with five speakers can create a virtual space around the viewer.
2 front, two rear, and one center.
It creates an audio scene that immerses the viewer into the movie they are watching at home.
However, adding more channels, such as an additional two channels for front height, drastically increases the overall experience.
Add more speakers, such as two more speakers for front height.
You can opt for an additional separate home theatre speaker.
That provides the most flexibility of all the home theatre configurations.
The last thing you should purchase would be your home theatre subwoofer
It is responsible for playing deep bass sounds (e.g., explosions).
Section 4: The Different Components That Make Up a Home Theatre System
The system has many components working together to help you watch your movies and play music and games.
Home Theatre Projector
The newest edition is the projector.
Home theatres have come a long way from their simple roots in which there were only speakers, receivers, and subwoofers.
The result was underwhelming compared to what one can get from a home cinema system nowadays.
The projector has been made possible due to the advancement of technology.
A projector is used to project film, television shows, or games onto a screen for viewing.
Projectors are digital replacements for earlier types of slideshows.
They work by projecting an image onto the screen with the use of a light source.
A light source could be either plasma screens or LCD screens.
The light then reflects towards the screen via mirrors and lenses.
You can place projectors on either side of your seating arrangement, above or below the seating area (called front-projection).
Heavier home entertainment projector systems usually require permanent installation.
Lighter ones can be wall-mounted like any other picture light fixture.
The projector’s lamp is the light source for projectors.
Projectors typically feature high-resolution image light sources and take several home theatre speaker configurations such as 5:1, 7:1, 9:1, etc.
The preamplifier or processor has two critical jobs in the home theatre room.
It must take the sound from the home theatre receiver and direct it to the speakers.
A preamplifier also handles all of the surround sound decoding’s’ for the speakers.
The home preamp also connects to a home computer and has an easy-to-use interface.
It should include connections for iPod devices as well as computers.
The home theatre preamplifier allows you to choose which format sounds best through your speakers.
It then amplifies the audio to a level that is suited for your Home Theatre speakers.
Video switching also plays a big part in the preamp/processor.
Power Amplifier/ Av Receiver (With Built-in amplifier)
So all of the speakers in your home surround sound system need to be powered; this is what a power amplifier does.
Building up your home surround sound system, needs an AV receiver that has more than one channel of amplification.
You will be able to use five speakers and a subwoofer all at once.
Make sure the AV receiver has enough channels on board to match how many speakers you have.
If you’ve got five speakers, buy a five-channel amp.
If you’ve only got two home cinema speakers, buy a stereo amplifier with two channels built into it.
Speakers play audio.
It can work either in combination with or separately from video.
Home theatres typically have excellent acoustics.
They require speakers with high sensitivity to reproduce low-level dialogue without requiring too much power.
They also must be capable of playing relatively loudly with little distortion at close range.
Bass response is an essential criterion for this application.
It affects how well they can reproduce the powerful deep bass sounds needed for movie special effects.
Two main types of Home Theatre Speakers
Dolby Atmos Speakers
Front speakers have the primary function of creating realistic effects and surround sound.
They should be placed on either side of the cinema screen at the same height as the viewer’s ears.
That is when seated in their normal viewing position.
In addition, there are Home theatre center speakers and rear speakers (also known as surround or satellite speakers).
They come as a single unit with an easy setup and installation.
They work together to create a clear and natural three-dimensional (3D) stereo sound.
That helps to make viewers feel like they’re inside the action.
A subwoofer or HTS is a type of Speaker that reproduces very low audio frequencies below 80 Hz.
It provides a full-range frequency response down to 20–30 Hz within a typical room environment.
Subwoofers provide a critical function in modern Home cinemas.
They produce movie soundtracks and music with significantly enhanced power and clarity throughout the entire room.
Use subwoofers in cinemas with speaker systems, receivers, and power amplifiers.
They come in a wide range of sizes. Small 8-inch (20 cm) models placed on the floor near the seating.
Large 15-inch or larger models designed for placement in a corner.
Advantages of subwoofers over Built-in TV Speakers:
In terms of features and functionality, subwoofers provide many benefits over built-in TV speakers.
They have excellent low-frequency extension and dynamic capability.
Their Home cinema sound quality is much cleaner and more accurate than TV speakers.
That is because subwoofers don’t have to reproduce other sounds such as voices or music.
They are far more potent than built-in speakers.
Subwoofers can provide all the bass sound effects and home theatre special effects needed to enjoy home entertainment fully.
The subwoofer connects to your receiver or amplifier via standard speaker cable.
The cable carries low-level audio signals from your receiver to the subwoofer.
The subwoofer then amplifies these signals and passes them on connection back to the Home theater receiver or power amplifier.
Add additional sources such as an MP3 player, DVD player or Internet TV Box to your system.
Home Theatre systems provide you with the ultimate home entertainment experience.
Section 5: How to Set up Your New System
The first thing you need to do is make sure all your equipment will work together.
- If you already have a TV, you might find it has an HDMI port built-in.
- Make sure your Home Theatre system comes with at least one HDMI cable.
Will you be connecting your Home Theatre system using a wired connection or wirelessly?
Decide whether you want your Home Theatre System speakers to go on the floor or mounted on the wall.
- For a bedroom set up, connect any devices/computers that will become part of your Home Theatre through an HDMI cable.
- The cable should be plugged into a TOSLINK converter box.
- That converts digital sound from HDMI signals.
- Next is to plug the TOS LINK cable into the Home Theatre system.
Home Theatre systems usually come with a Home Theatre PC (HTPC) connection.
If yours doesn’t, you’ll need to purchase one separately and connect it to your HTPC or other device using another HDMI cable.
Make sure you purchase an HTPC with the correct connections necessary to transmit sound.
They require a transmitter and receiver in each location and can be more expensive than wired connections.
The good thing is that they take up less room and make rearranging easier.
The transmission will likely be in the same place as the Home theatre System.
It’s best to place speakers near power outlets where there is space for them on furniture or walls, away from doors or windows.
If you’ve chosen a home theatre system with a wireless connection, make sure your Home Theatre PC or other device has a similar capability.
You will need to purchase Home Theatre PC and other device transmitters and receivers, which can be expensive.
If you’re using a Home theatre system with a wired connection, you’ll need to place the speakers near the home theatre.
Make sure that all components are in close enough range to communicate with each other.
If they’re not, you’ll experience lags in sound and picture.
The most important part of this step is ensuring that your Home Theatre System can work with all your devices, including Home Theatre PC (HTPC), Blu-ray player, game console, etc.,
Make sure all cables are connected accordingly.
You may need an HDMI switcher if you only have one or two HDMI ports on your Home Theatre system.
Make sure to connect to different devices.
A Home Theatre System will usually come with a remote control so you can easily switch sound sources without having to get up from the couch or chair.
Next, place your home theatre system with enough room for everything, including connecting cables to devices, while still close enough for easy access from the couch or chair.
It’s best not to put it in a cupboard since this will hinder its performance; make sure it’s in some open space with some space for airflow around it.
Home Theatre Systems usually come with stands or brackets, but if you want to mount the speakers onto the wall instead of the floor, make sure you purchase racks for this purpose at any home improvement store.
Plug speakers into an amplifier that sends sound waves through the air at specific frequencies that cause physical vibrations within the eardrums, resulting in the sensation of hearing.
Home Theatre Systems require more than one Home Theatre speaker because human ears can hear sound at different frequencies depending on positioning.
Groups of Home Theatre System speakers
Subwoofers create shallow bass sounds, usually below 200Hz;
Front Speakers produce mid to high-range frequency sounds (200Hz to 20kHz);
Surround Speakers can be either Rear or Side Speakers and reproduce sounds between 200Hz and 20kHz, but usually closer to 10 kHz.
Setting Up Surround Sound
If you’re planning on setting up surround sound, make sure that your system has at least three separate speakers.
If it doesn’t, you’ll need to purchase Home Theatre speakers and a subwoofer separately from your Home Theatre System and connect them using a speaker wire.
Finally, make sure to purchase speakers that can reproduce the sound you want and fit in your setup.
Speakers usually have a frequency response curve that shows performance at different frequencies.
If you have speakers with really high performance at mid to high range frequencies (500Hz to 20kHz), don’t set the speaker EQ to completely flat.
That will result in over-emphasizing sounds you want to hear.
Now that your Home Theatre System is complete sit back on the couch or chair and turn it on!
From here, I recommend taking time to fine-tune your sound by adjusting the Home Theatre speaker EQ.
The proper home theater can create an immersive experience perfect for binge-watching your favorite TV show or catching the latest blockbuster.
If you want to have a more fulfilling entertainment experience in your living room, it may be time to invest in a new home theatre system.
We’re here to help with all of the information and guidance you need when buying one, including tips on choosing which type will work best for your needs.
You’ll also find out about installation and setup and what sound quality means for home theatres, so don’t miss this article!
Have you decided whether now is the right time for an upgrade?