Home theater is an ultimate zone of entertainment, a place reserved only for cutting-edge tech and people who know how to cherish it. Now, building a lavish theater with the seating for dozens of people is a tech geek’s dream comes true, but it also costs an arm and a leg and requires a vast space. However, you do not have to spend a truckload of money or bring down the walls to be able to enjoy the latest blockbuster. Opt for something that suits both your taste and budget when infusing the room with the visual bliss, audio indulgence and sublime comfort. The only problem would be ever leaving the room I guess.
The weight of choice
For the sake of your finances, you should treat buying a home theater as investing in a car, not your PC. It makes sense to update the components every few years, but most people are satisfied with their vehicles for a decade or more. Also, in terms of quality, variations in costs of products are mostly related to extended power and features. Assembling a home theatre was nice and easy with the local suppliers, although I did take my time picking the right system. So should you- there is little chance you will end up with a shabby tech, because the value made available to the modern consumer is amazing. But, the devil is in the fine detail, and products you buy must work well with the design and outline of the room.
There is nothing more frustrating than people walking in front of the screen and ruining your immersion. Well, that is precisely what is going to happen if you forgo the home theater design and neglect the positioning of the system. The first thing to muse on is the room that will serve as a stage for the home theater. See whether you have a power infrastructure to support your tech haven. Having a TV, receiver, subwoofer, game console and a Blu-Ray player would require five outlets within reach. Another problem is related to the sunlight. Apart from tedious people who do not appreciate the tech marvels, the areas should be also off limits to sunlight. The reason is that it decreases the image quality and causes annoying reflections, so cover windows with shades and blinds.
Deployment of speakers throughout the room is paramount to the sound quality. Putting the speakers in furniture, for example, muffles their output and muddies the tones. A similar thing could happen if you place them too close to the wall. Going surround is a great option, but only provided that you have ample space. Many home theaters use a 7.1 system, meaning you have one subwoofer and seven channel speakers. These include left, right, and center speaker, as well as two side and two rear surrounds. The central speaker is responsible for lines of dialogue, and it should be just below or above the screen. On the other hand, satellites that sit behind the view need to be connected, and this requires some wiring.
The silver screen
Pay attention to the positioning of the screen and bear in mind that humans are not born to look up (what does that say about us?). It causes back and shoulder pain that can ruin a good movie night. So, see to it that the display is right at the center of your gaze. An adjustable and configurable TV stand is a way to achieve this, but huge TVs are usually mounted on the wall. Mind the viewing distance as well, and avoid swinging your head too much. This is important for the perceived quality, and affects your ability to spot detail. Pretty important when playing a 60fps game, is it not? We can easily get lost in the enthralling spectacle before us, but there is no reason to undermine the comfort, alertness and cause health problems.
Personal battle station
Gamers and tech aficionados can opt for a home theater PC (HTPC). As the name suggests, this is a computer connected to the big screen, with the purpose of providing the best viewing and gaming experience. It can play favorite TV shows, movies, games from a console, and with advanced setup you can even access the content from any computer on the network. Shabby PCs and outdated laptops are out of the question if you want good video streaming and lag-free interface, while people into gaming must invest more money in a powerful hardware. In any event, select the core components carefully. A Rasberry Pi build costs less than $100, and has good H.264 and Blue-ray quality. But, a full-sized system with a HDMI 1.4 output, and capacities for HD audio bit streaming is something truly special.
A power play
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Similar configurations call for vigilance when picking pieces like the case, which determines the type of the motherboard, and the cooling of your system. If you want some mean processing power, a killer motherboard and CPU combo is a must-have. Think in terms of power requirements, video playback and speedy performance. A budget build may involve integrated graphics like AMD’s Radeon or Intel’s HD series. A Steam gaming machine, however, demands some additional wattage and better cooling. Always compliment your key components with sufficient RAM, and access the size of your video library to figure out whether you need an additional hard drive. Finally, those who want DVR capability should ponder on something like a Ceton InfiniTV 4 and a cable card, or Hauppauge and AverMedia Dual-tuner cards.
Run the show
Although it may seem like facing an uphill battle at first, building a home theater is an immensely rewarding endeavor. After getting hold of the technical aspects and all the possibilities, you will dive into an amazing world where the limits of your imagination and finances are the only ones that are well-founded. With that in mind, adhere to hard rules when it comes to the positioning and the combination of the components. There is no need to open your wallet wider than you intended or strain your eyes more than necessary. So, treat yourself with a system that captures even the wildest of your home theater dreams: This can turns any boring afternoon into a night to remember and treasure.