Everything you need to know about finding a Home Theatre Expert
A home theatre system is simply a system that allows you to watch movies at cinema quality in your own home. Systems can be simple or complicated depending on your requirements and, thanks to new technology, home theatres can be integrated into your home automation system. Home theatres are basically comprised of a screen, the surround sound system and the playback devices (the DVD player).
Home Theatre Components
The first thing to consider is what kind of screen you will require, with the common choices being plasma, LCD or projector. Plasma screens produce a high quality picture while taking up little space and are becoming ever cheaper. LCD screens are also high quality; however, they tend to be smaller than plasmas. Projectors produce the highest quality image and the largest screen but bear in mind that the projector lamp will likely have to be changed annually, depending on how often you use it.
The surround sound system can range from a cheap boxed set to a series of individual high quality speakers, so it is really up to what the individual requires. However, it is a good idea to get the best quality system as you can afford so that the sound quality matches picture quality. At a minimum, you should have five speakers – two forward, two rear and a sub-woofer.
Finally, there is the playback device, and this is most likely to be the DVD player. Opting for a player that has progressive scanning capabilities will provide you with the best quality picture. You could also opt for a DVD recorder if you would like the option of recording programs from television.
Home Theatre Design Considerations
The best home theatres are in a dedicated room. This room should actually have as little natural light as possible as the light can affect how you see the screen. Space-wise, your room should be a minimum of 6x4 metres in order to fit the screen and viewers comfortably, but if you can go bigger, do so.
Your room should be carpeted and there should be no nooks or crannies. This will stop sound bouncing around and producing an undesirable “echo” effect.
The design and installation of a home theatre system will depend on whether you are bulding a new home, or installing the system into an existing home. For more information see Home Theatre Design and Install for Existing Premises or Home Theatre Design and Install for a New Premises
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Home Theatre Automation
By automating your home theatre system, you will be able to control all aspects from the one remote control or from a wall-mounted panel, depending on which option you choose. Not only can you automate the home theatre, you can choose to automate the lights so that they dim or turn off when the home theatre is operating. Another aspect of automating your home entertainment systems is to have the ability to play music in several different rooms at once.
It is most cost effective to install wiring for automation when undertaking renovations or building work as access is easier, however wiring can be retrofitted. Even if you don’t want to install a fully automated home theatre right away, having the wiring in place will make it a lot simpler to install a home theatre in the future. With automation it pays to think ahead!
Speaking with a qualified electrician will help you decide what level of wiring you need throughout your home in order to cope with the home theatre and other aspects of automation you may want. Professionally installed wiring and cables will be well hidden and produce the best-quality sound and image. For more information see electricians.
How Much Does a Home Theatre System Cost?
Home theatres are limited only by your imagination and can range from relatively cheap to expensive, depending on what your needs are. A simple plug in and play version with adequate audio can be bought for under a $1000. Custom integrated home theatre systems can cost as much as $10 000, with some screens costing as much as $8,000. The latter are often designed into a new build or major renovation and are installed in a dedicated media or entertainment room.
If you are experiencing difficulties with your home theatre system, see our guide to Home Theatre Troubleshooting Service.