Your Guide to Building a Home Theatre System

By Sadira Sittampalam | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 27 2021
Home Your Guide to Building a Home Theatre System

By Sadira Sittampalam

 While going to the cinema is one of life’s great pleasures, having your very own home theatre is one of the best home improvements you can make, especially if you have the budget to afford it. However, there are many considerations you will have to make. While it may be tempting to go to a random electronics store and just buy whatever seems appropriate, this is a process that does require some research.

 Even store representatives shouldn’t be trusted in such a scenario as they may not have in-depth experience with home theatre equipment, especially when considering your personal requirements and they will likely just sell you items simply to make a sale. Moreover, electronics stores are usually built to showcase their products in flattering ways, so while the stereo system might sound amazing in-store, it might sound less impressive when you actually hear it at home. So, the first step is doing as much research about this subject as possible, and lucky for you, I will be covering all the basic considerations you’ll need to take in this article.

TV or projector?

 This is one of the main choices you’ll need to make when setting up your home theatre. When it comes to replicating the cinema at home, you’d think that the bigger the TV screen, the better. However, you do have to consider things like the size of your room as well, as it is more about the distance to the screen in relation to the size of the screen rather than just the objective size of the TV screen. Ideally, the screen should be big enough to fully occupy your field of vision. For 1080p HD screens, it is suggested that the viewing distance should be 1.5-2.5 times the screen diagonal. For 4K, you can sit closer as there are more pixels on the screen for you to see, so sitting closer gives you a more immersive experience. The recommended distance is 1-1.5 times the screen diagonal. On the other hand, you can also invest in a projector, however this also involves a little more work as you will either need to have a room that can be fully darkened or you need to choose a projector model with sufficient brightness and contrast ratio so that the image isn’t washed out.

Sound system

While many people place a lot of importance on the screen, the sound system is what really makes a home theatre. Oftentimes, this is often a bigger consideration, as it is straightforward enough to find a big TV screen or good projector. However, a good sound system for your home theatre has to replicate the multi-speaker setup of a theater, which is pretty complicated. The speakers built into most TVs are very sub-par. The key feature in all good cinema sound systems is the multi-channel sound, so it stands to reason that for a proper theatre experience, you need more sound, coming from more sources. Sound is also important for this setup, as at least half of a movie’s power and emotional impact come from sound. Thus, the most important aspect of your sound system should be that it covers the entire audible bandwidth - from the deepest bass to the highest treble. This will give you an immersive, realistic experience that accurately reproduces all dialogue, each sound effect, and the entire soundtrack. The bare minimum for a great sonic experience is an audio system that supports 5.1 channel surround sound. However, if you want to go fancier (and pricier), you can find speaker systems that support even more audio channels, which includes Dolby Atmos. This is a complete surround sound experience, that can simulate audio effects from any directions - so if a bird flutters from one side of the screen to the other, the audio will also mimic this, having the bird’s sounds fluttering from speakers on one side of the room all the way to the other.


The last thing you want in your home theatre is a window coming in and flooding the room with natural light that causes a very prominent glare on your TV. If you have a projector, it is even worse as this light will mute out some colours. Thus, it is in your best interests to purchase black-out curtains for the room, so that you can immerse yourself in the experience and not have to worry about the sun setting or the time passing.

 The best way to set the mood for a movie is to have dimmable lights. And these days it is easier than ever to set this up, as all you have to do is invest in a few smart lights and then control the lights with an app on your smartphone. Moreover, if the television is opposite to a door, opening the door may flood the room with light from the hallway which will likely disrupt the movie. Instead, you could install a sliding door into the room so that people can only slightly open the door to come in, which will cause minimal disruption. Alternatively, you could have a small screen covering the door so that any light that comes in is displaced onto another section of the room, and not straight onto the TV.

 The colour of the walls may also affect the lighting in the room. If it is a lighter colour, the walls will reflect more light around the room which will create a brighter room and decrease the viewing quality. Thus, you should probably stick with black for your walls, which will minimize light reflection, keeping all of your attention on the main screen. Moreover, the best way to set the mood for a movie is to have dimmable lights. And these days it is easier than ever to set this up, as all you have to do is invest in a few smart lights and then control the lights with an app on your smartphone.

Seating arrangement

Something that a lot of home theatre setups tend to ignore in favour of the TV and sound system is the seating arrangement. However, the way the seats are arranged in a room can make a huge difference to the viewing experience. First, off you should ensure that the seating heights are all arranged in such a way where every row has a good view of the screen. Each row should be elevated so that all viewers can see the screen unobstructed. You should also consider the seats themselves as comfy seats only make the experience that much more elevated. Remember to take into account the viewing distances from the screen for each tier of seats.

Media source

Nowadays with the variety of streaming services, it is a lot easier to find good movies, however, the selection is still pretty limited, especially if you are a film buff. This is why it is probably better for you to invest in a Blu-ray or DVD player so that if you cannot find a certain movie online, you can always just purchase the DVD and watch it.

By Sadira Sittampalam | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 27 2021

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