If you’re a movie lover, chances are, one of your dreams is to have a mini theatre in your own home. Nowadays, most of us have streaming service subscriptions so we can watch our favourite TV shows and movies at any time we want to. It is pretty neat that you can catch an episode of your favourite show while you’re commuting to work, but, for a real movie buff, watching a film on a phone or a tablet just isn’t cutting it.
The whole experience has to be much more immersive and that’s where home theatres come into play. Now, turning a room into a home cinema isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. It’s more than just a large TV or a white wall and a projector. There are various things to think about if you want it to feel like a real cinema. That’s why, today, we’ve decided to go over the home cinema building process and see whether you should hire a professional or do it all by yourself. If that seems like something you might be interested in, stick around and find out.
TV or Projector?
First things first, before we turn our dreams into reality, we need to take a look at everything we might need to make it so. Even though it’s far cheaper and easier to do this nowadays than it was just a decade ago – it still isn’t cheap or easy to set it all up. First and foremost, you need to decide on a screen.
The screen is the main feature of every cinema and you have two options when it comes to the home version of it – TV or a projector. Now, there is no clear winner here, as both have their strengths and weaknesses – both experience and set-up wise.
What can you expect from a TV? Well, for starters, the picture quality is far more superior if you decide to go with an OLED, or any TV screen for that matter. A great panel will make things way easier for you as you won’t have to worry about ambient light or wall colour. On the other hand, mounting a large TV can be quite troubling. For instance, an 88-inch 4K panel can weigh upwards of 50 pounds. So, that could be a part of the job that’s better left to professionals. If you decide to leave in on the stand, you can, but just know that you’ll need 2 sets of hands to carry that thing since it usually weights over 100 pounds.
Some just want to recreate a movie theatre experience. A projector allows you to go as big as you want. Do you want a 150-inch viewing area? Shouldn’t be a problem. On the other hand, you’ll sacrifice some crispiness and you’ll lose some details, as even 4K projectors won’t even come close to an average TV screen it terms of image quality. Also, since you’re projecting onto a wall – there’s no backlight. Meaning, you’ll probably have to dye the room pitch black and find some great blinds for the windows. As far as set-up goes, a good way to start would be to visit this website, as many professionals would argue that setting up a projector-based (especially ceiling-mounted) home cinema is a complex process and you wouldn’t want to make mistakes along the way.
Every cinephile on the planet will tell you this – don’t use TV speakers as your main home cinema drivers. A lot of work is put into the audio design and you’ll miss out on most of that stuff is you settle for a subpar sound experience.
With that being said, you will probably need some professional help unless you’re highly knowledgeable about this stuff.
First of all, if you want excellent sound quality and a surround sound system – you’ll have to work for it. First thing you have to do is to find the right speakers. Good thing is, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a highly detailed, studio monitor, but a regular soundbar just won’t cut it.
After you’ve finished the easy part – wiring and mounting enter the scene. You’ll either have to mount the speakers on the wall or into the ceiling. Also, there’s going to be a lot of wiring, believe us. Unless you’re willing to play hide the wire for days, you should probably call for help.
Other and video and audio, you should focus on comfortable seating and ideally painting the room black, which you can probably do by yourself. We believe you don’t need assistance with picking out the most comfortable chair from a furniture store.
DIY Or Hiring Pros?
We’ve briefly mentioned where you could use professional help with the whole process, but let’s look at some other factors that are in play.
An obvious winner here would be to do it yourself. If you’re skilled enough and you’d rather spend extra money on equipment rather than on a crew – do it. If you want to build a home cinema on a budget, it’s better to save on hiring help than on V/A equipment.
If you want this done as fast as possible then DIY-ing is out of the question. Unless you plan on taking a vacation just to work on your home theatre, you’re in for a long project. By hiring professionals to do the work, you can be certain you’ll enjoy a movie night in just a few days.
If you’re looking for a custom experience, meaning you get to decide which piece of tech you want in your cinema – you’re better on your own. In a lot of cases, professionals will build the cinema from the ground up with the equipment they recommend or supply. While you can be certain they won’t install a low-quality projector or a speaker – you may want something else.
Ultimately, it all comes down to how much work you’re willing to do and how much do you know about the whole process. If you’re familiar with video and audio tech, you know where to position your speakers, where to mount a projector, how to wire everything up and hide those wires – there’s no need for you to hire anyone. On the other hand, if you’re just someone who likes movies, but has no knowledge on how to build a home cinema – call for help and think about what’s the first film you’re going to watch in your new favourite room in the world.