We’ve all wanted to have that exciting cinematic experience from the comfort of our own home. But it can be a bit overwhelming with all of the options available, the technical setup of the equipment and the cost of the whole endeavor. It doesn’t have to be. With a little help and careful planning, you could be enjoying your next cinematic experience in a recliner in your personal home movie theater. Follow this guide to find out how to set up a home theater automation system you and your family can enjoy for years to come.
Get a plan together
It might sound silly but the best way to get started is to plan out the design of your home theater automation system. There are some important questions you want to be able to answer before you start drilling any holes or running any wiring:
- Where do I want my home theater to be? You’re going to want a space that can accommodate the size of a home theater and a space that can be home theater proofed (ex. Concrete walls make running cables and wires a bit harder, lots of windows mean lots of blackout curtains, etc).
- What home theater equipment do I want to use? Decide on the screen size, brand, projector features, surround sound and more ahead of time. It will make it much easier to plan for the space you have and the way you structure your home theater.
- How many people does my home theater need to seat? Are you planning to invite others over regularly to watch movies in your home theater? Or will it mostly just be you and your family. Get an idea of the best setup for seating, whether it’s reclining home theater chairs or a few couches, to make sure everyone can fit in your home theater.
- Where do I want to get my home theater equipment? You can save a lot of money by using one store for your home theater equipment purchases. You’ll likely have options to get a discount for large orders on the home theater equipment you’re looking for.
Once you’re able to answer these questions with confidence, it’s time to start purchasing your home theater equipment and getting it set up in your home theater space.
Consolidate your remotes
It’s annoying enough to track down one remote but even more irritating when it’s a remote for the projector, one for the sound system, another for the lights and a fourth for the actual movie playback. Save yourself the headache and consolidate your remotes into one easy to use remote that controls it all. There are plenty of options out there such as Control4 and Savant that will give you the customized control you’re looking for.
Look for quality when considering the price
The discounted surround sound system from 5 years ago may sound like a great deal but try to think long-term when purchasing your home theater equipment. Wouldn’t you rather pay a bit more upfront than have to get a new projector in a year because it wasn’t as durable as the latest model? Go for the home theater equipment that has proven to be the highest quality, most durable and longest-lasting compared to the cheaper stuff and I promise you won’t regret it.
Integrate automated lighting
It can really set the mood when you’re able to dim the lights with the touch of a button as soon as the movie is starting. It also comes in handy if there’s a sudden popcorn spill and you need to see where all the kernels are before you step on them and they end up in your carpet for life. Having automated lighting in your home theater can help round out the cinematic experience you’re trying to achieve.
Hiring a professional could be worth it
When it’s all said and done, you may not feel qualified to properly set up all of this expensive technical home theater equipment by yourself. That’s when it might be time to hire a professional to take care of the custom home theater installation for you. A lot of times, the store you’re using to purchase your home theater equipment will offer professional services. And you don’t have to worry about the tedious task of troubleshooting that we all loath.
No matter how you decide to design your home theater if you plan accordingly and purchase quality home theater equipment, you should be able to get your home theater built in no time.