It's showtime! Ready?

Updated: Dec 01, 2019, 09:49 IST | Jaison Lewis | Mumbai

Want to a build a theatre at home? We help you make the right choices in four easy steps.

Optimal speaker placement

The left, right and centre speaker need to face the central seating position, while the rear speakers need to be slightly behind seating position. The rear speakers also need to be around a foot over the ear position.

It's showtime! Ready?

The subwoofer placement can make or break your sound. A subwoofer is meant to fill the room with impactful low frequency sounds and a corner could help you make it sound louder, so start there. However, make sure the speaker is not so far away from the audience that they may not enjoy its effect.

It's showtime! Ready?

Move your subwoofer around, until your couch gets the right amount of vibration and sound. Take your time with this and get this right. Also, do not place your subwoofer in a cabinet. Subwoofer placement is the only crucial placement in a soundbar setup. Refer to the graphic below for placement.

It's showtime! Ready?

Soundbar or AV receiver

Sound is essential to the home theatre experience. While a soundbar is easy to install and provides decent sound at a very competitive price, you will lose out on some of the features available on AV receivers. While the sound separation might not be as good, it is a nice, clean wire-free option. AV receivers, on the other hand, are loaded with features that can sound phenomenal when setup right. You can also attach powerful speakers to them. Most decently priced receivers are wired; wireless setups can increase the cost significantly. They are also relatively hard to set up.

Decision
Get a soundbar for easy installation and a wire-free, pocket-friendly setup. You may have to sacrifice sound quality, sound channel separation and a lot of features.

Get an AV receiver if you are willing to put in the effort and money to set up your sound system right, to get the best sound possible. Concealing the wires can also be a pain.

Soundbar options
JBL Bar 5.1: R55,000
Yamaha YAS-408: R45,000
Klipsch Bar 48: R59,800

AV receiver and speaker options
Pioneer VSX-LX103 Elite: R56,000
Denon AVR-X1500H: R45,600
Yamaha RX-V 485: R35,300

Speakers 5.1:
Yamaha NS-P41 5.1 speaker set: R19,000
Polk Audio TL1600 speaker set: R36,990
Elac Cinema 5 5.1 speaker set: R34,900

Home theatres do not require their own separate room, a huge budget or professional installation. With the right equipment and time, you can turn any space into a home theatre. To make things easy, let us break down each decision needed to get you started.

Soundbar or AV receiver

TV or Projector

You don’t always need a projector to get the full theatre experience. In fact, a large television can easily mimic the experience with the right sound. Before investing in a projector, consider the fact that you’ll need space to install it far enough to create a huge screen.

A projector also requires accessories like a projector screen to get the right colours and brightness, and blackout curtains to block window and light. It is also significantly harder to configure and install a projector when compared to the simple installation of a TV. However, a television cannot match the size of a projector. You can get a 100+ inch screen full HD screen for the same price as a 55-inch 4K QLED TV.

Soundbar or AV receiver

Decision
Get a projector for the big 100+ inch screen. Sacrifice day time visibility, ease of use and 4K resolution.

Get a TV if a 100+ inch screen is not important. You sacrifice size, but installation will be easy and you watch the TV without having to darken your room.

Projector options
Epson EH-TW650: R56,000
Xgimi H2: R89,000
BenQ W1050: R65,000

We reviewed Epson; Link: https://youtu.be/7W5phyTA-mY

TV options
Blaupunkt 55-inch 4K QLED: R50,000
OnePlus 55-inch 4K QLED: R69,899
TCL TV 65P8 65-inch 4K LED: R49,800

Get a smartbox

Get a smartbox

If you want a setup that is
constantly updated and supported, it makes sense to go in for a dongle or a box. If you are going for a 4K setup, buy a 4K Fire TV Stick or 4K Apple TV, else get the cheaper 1080p version.

Decision
Buy a smart TV device for a 4K setup like Amazon 4K Fire TV Stick or Apple TV 4k.

Buy a smart TV device for a full-HD setup like Amazon Fire TV Stick or Apple TV.

Smart TV dongles/box
Amazon 4K Fire TV Stick: R5,999
Amazon Fire TV Stick: R3,999
Apple TV HD 32GB: R14,100
Apple TV 4k 32GB: R17,500

Tips and tricks

Dampen your sound
You do not want your sound bouncing around, so make sure your home theatre room has things that will absorb sound, like a comfortable plush couch, a thick rug and nice heavy curtains.

Projectors need accessories to shine
If you go with the projector option, invest in a projector screen and light-blocking curtains. Both will enhance your experience at a relatively low cost.

Optimal distance from screen
Use the home theatre calculator to figure out the optimal distance from your screen. http://bit.ly/smdhomecal

Manage cables effectively
Installing a home theatre involves a lot of wires and cables. You might want to conceal them or run them along in a way that does not cause a nuisance. You can also go for wireless speakers, but that will increase costs significantly. Of course, a nice wireless soundbar system could solve this
issue instantly.

Protect your investment
Buy a stabiliser to make sure your precious investment remains protected from surges. You don’t need to spend all at once. Getting a home theatre in place may not be a huge one-time investment. Instead, you can start your journey by first buying a good television or projector and then move on to the sound, and other small investments.

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