A home theatre is the ideal addition to any man cave. In true man cave fashion, however, the finished product isn’t quite as rewarding unless you do it yourself. In most homes, this can mean a fair amount investment, carpentry and electrical wiring. If that sounds complicated to you, join the club.
Home theatre installation is not for the weak-willed. There are several tips, however, that will improve your chances of success. Take these five pointers to heart, and you’ll be enjoying the fruits of your labor in no time – on a 72″ screen with surround sound!
1) Pick high quality speakers
Amazing visuals will mean nothing if you have to listen to your sound on your TV’s ineffective speaker system. Half the experience at the movie theatre is the outrageously loud, immersive sound. When a car explodes in “Die Hard,” you need to feel like you’re in the middle of the explosion. Without quality surround sound speakers mounted inside the walls at two – or preferably five – points, your “home theatre” is just a big TV screen. You can find speakers for a range of prices. Typical arrangements are wall-mounted and ceiling-mounted. Which one is right for you depends on your space.
2) Remove wall obstructions
When you install your speakers, placement is everything. One obnoxious wall stud can make your job much more difficult. You want to place your speakers six to ten feet apart from each other and at the same level as your seating. This arrangement will optimize sound. You want to avoid placing speakers too close to corners as well. The proximity of a perpendicular wall can drastically alter sound quality. Choose the sites for your speakers and TV screen before you begin installation, and make sure that the walls are clear of any obstructions at those sites so you can easily mount your equipment.
3) Run speaker wire through the walls
No one wants a gangle of unsightly speaker wire contaminating his home theatre space. For the right aesthetic effect, run wires through the wall from speaker to receiver. If you do this step correctly, the wires will be entirely invisible to people in the room. To accomplish this task you’ll need a tool called a fish tape that electricians use to feed wires through hard-to-reach spaces. You can purchase this tool for $25 or less.
4) Pick a next-gen screen
Installation can be a tough task. The last thing you want to do is install an old-school TV screen that needs to be upgraded in year. If you’re going to go to the trouble of installing a home theatre system, you need to do it right. Purchase a cutting edge TV screen to add to complete the A/V experience. Right now, the Sony 3-D TVs are some of the best models on the market. You may also want one with WiFi capabilities so you can access your Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu accounts right on the screen.
5) Build your library
There are several great online movie services now that will cut down on the space you need to store DVDs or BluRay discs. If you’re old school, you can order cheap used DVDs for Amazon.com or check DVDCopycat.com for great deals.