What you consider a ‘home cinema’ is really up to you – it could be as simple as couch, TV and modest sound system or it could be as sophisticated as a custom-built system with a high-end TV, proper home theatre seating and top-of-the-range speakers. Whatever you go for, here are three things to consider when setting up a home cinema:
The Right Size TV
As much as we all love huge TV screens, they might not be practical for your space. What you want is a TV that’s just right – if it’s too big, you’ll be distracted by pixels, if it’s too small, it won’t really be a home cinema. Thankfully, some people even nerdier than us have come up with a simple formula you can use to figure out your ideal TV size: comfortable viewing distance (in inches) divided by 3 equals recommended TV size. So, if you will be sitting 10 feet from the TV, that’s 120 inches (10 feet x 12 inches). Divide 120 by 3, and the recommended screen size for you is 40 inches (diagonally across the screen).
The Right Speakers
Your speakers can make or break your home cinema. If you have a medium-large size room, a set of floor-standing speakers might be the best option, as they provide full-range sound that can fill a room. If you don’t have a lot of space, a soundbar with an included subwoofer is the best choice. Soundbars are affordable and offer excellent sound, especially in smaller spaces. They’re slim, self-powered and amplified, so you don’t need a receiver, and they can be placed above or below a TV. As far as soundbars go, we recommend the new JBL BAR Series. These come in four models and can be customised to suit any home cinema. The BAR series comes with an included subwoofer as well as additional speakers to further enhance sound performance (go here for more info).
Something else you should consider in regards to sound is your flooring. Wooden floors are more reflective than carpeted floors, meaning they can result in unwanted sound echoes and uneven bass. If you have wooden floors, you might want to invest in a rug.
Reflections or glare on a TV screen are sure to ruin any movie experience.
A home cinema is all about creating an ideal movie-watching environment. Therefore, your lighting should be subtle, atmospheric and, ideally, dimmable. If your cinema room has a window, you can prevent glare with blackout curtains. If you have lamps, make sure that they are placed so that their light doesn’t reflect off the screen (it’s best to place them either side of the TV). You can also be extra fancy and use ‘bias lighting,’ which helps to reduce eye strain by providing light around the screen without shining light into the viewer’s eyes. The simplest way to create bias lighting is to get simple clip lamps and attach them to the back lip of your TV stand. Point the light so that it reflects off the wall to the sides and top of your TV. It’s best to use an LED light bulb, as Incandescent or CFL lights can be too bright. You can read more home cinema lighting tips here.
So, there you have it, hopefully these tips help to make your home cinema as awesome as possible. Don’t forget ridiculously comfy chairs and plenty of cinematic decoration (yep, this is the perfect excuse to wipe the dust off those movie posters you’ve been hoarding).
Now for the hard part… What are you going to watch first?
Add big sound to your big screen with the JBL Bar Series. Designed to perfectly match any TV, the JBL BAR Series soundbars deliver an epic cinematic experience. Enjoy a state-of-the-art viewing and listening experience with JBL Surround Sound, Dolby Digital and wireless Bluetooth streaming.