Everything You Need For A Home Cinema


Nothing you can do at home will quite match the thrill of a trip to the cinema, but the latest tech means you can get close. With the nation’s movie palaces still closed and new movies going straight onto streaming services, it’s a good time to review your home set-up. SLMan asked Neil White of specialist retailer Richer Sounds for his home-cinema dos and don’ts – and we’ve also rounded up the best gear out there right now.

Neil Says…

DO think about your viewing habits when deciding between a projector and TV. A TV is better for smaller rooms and for regular everyday programme viewing. Projectors will give you a larger screen size, for less money, to help achieve that cinema effect.

DON’T forget to consider the lighting, cable set-up, and the position of a projector before you purchase anything. If you’re kitting out a room for the sole purpose of home cinema – like a spare room, garage or loft space – then you can tailor the products around the space. If it’s an everyday living environment, consider built-in ceiling or wall speakers and screens to help keep things tidy in a multi-use space.

DO think about the seating positions and placement of equipment. For best performance, you would ideally be in a rectangular room, seated centrally to the screen, with space either side of the screen and also behind you for speakers.

DON’T forget that sound and picture are of equal importance. For a fully tricked-out home cinema, you will need a projector and screen, amplifier and speakers – plus good-quality cables to maximise performance from the components. You will also need a subwoofer (or two) to give you the room-shaking bass for those explosive movie scenes. Lots of speakers have these built-in.

DO your research and look at both press and consumer reviews. You can also check out online chat forums that have a host of very knowledgeable consumers who are happy to share advice on products. Ask staff at specialist stores as well: at Richer Sounds we have 53 fully kitted demo rooms where we can showcase the latest and greatest products for all budgets.

DON’T go for a cheap one-box system. These often come with very cheap speakers which really don’t perform that well.

DO spend extra money on cables. Cables are very important to the performance of a system. There is no point spending thousands of pounds on the components if you wire them up with cheap, low-performance cables. I’d recommend reserving 10-15% of your budget for these.

DON’T forget the add-ons. Seating, mood lighting, voice control for screen activation, automatic blinds and, of course, a popcorn machine are all great additions to your home cinema set-up.

The Best Gear Out There Right Now…



Epson EB-S411 Projector, £299.99

With long-life lamps and a vast 350in display, this wallet-friendly Epson projector delivers a high-quality, clear picture. A sleek and simple design means it easily blends into its allocated space.
Visit JohnLewis.com

LG Minibeam PH1506G Nano HD Ready Projector, £259.99

Small enough to fit in your coat pocket, the Minibeam can project a 100in image onto a screen or wall via your phone or HDMI cable. It has a built-in speaker, but can also be connected to a larger sound system, amplifier or headphones for better sound quality. A 2.5hr battery life means it can get you through most movie nights without a recharge.
Visit JohnLewis.com

Optoma UHD65 Projector, £2,499

Hailed as one of the very best projectors out there, the Optoma UHD65 boast 8-megapixel 4K resolution and colour-match technology to ensure only the best-quality picture. An automatic brightness adjustment feature changes the light output based on individual frames and setting. Not just for movie lovers, it has a specific gaming mode to enhance the detail of fast movements and action sequences.
Visit RicherSounds.com

Nebula Capsule Pocket Cinema Smart Projector, £349.99

This smart wireless projector is a solid option if you’re looking to set up a home cinema in the garden. Designed to mirror the size and shape of a drink can, it’s equipped with a 360 degree speaker and can connect to your devices via Wi-Fi or bluetooth. As an added bonus, the four hour long battery life means you can enjoy an alfresco movie night without the need for a plug or extension lead.
Visit Currys.co.uk


Optoma Pull Down Projector Screen, £99

If you have the space to install a pull-down screen, check out this discreet option from Optoma. Made of four different layers to help with colour precision and light balancing, it won’t wrinkle. It can also be adjusted to different sizes and eye levels.
Visit Currys.co.uk

Acer T82-W01MW Tripod Projector Screen, £70

This is the one if you want something that’s transportable and can be used outdoors. It takes up little space when folded and is easy to set up, with a sturdy tripod to keep it stable. It’s a well-priced option that can accompany any portable or full-sized projector.
Visit Currys.co.uk


Sonos Playbar Home Cinema Sound Bar, £499

Designed specifically for home cinemas, the Sonos Playbar brings high-quality, immersive sound to your movie, TV and gaming sessions. Controlled via an app, this speaker can be placed on a flat surface or mounted to the wall, and can be combined with multiple Playbars for a fuller surround-sound experience.
Visit JohnLewis.com

Bose Solo 5 Sound Bar, £179

Bose’s sound bar promises crystal-clear sound. The speaker’s dialogue mode helps to crystallise conversation and automatically adjusts to suit individual scenes, ensuring there are no irritating volume discrepancies. The Solo 5 also comes with a universal remote, making it easier to control every part of your home cinema set-up.
Visit JohnLewis.com

Harman Kardon Aura Studio 3, £279.99

This cool speaker from Harman Kardon (with built-in subwoofer) has a dome-shaped lid with light effects that adjust to the brightness of your room. A statement piece of contemporary tech, it delivers 360º audio and connects to your devices via Bluetooth for easy listening.
Visit HarmanKardon.co.uk

Sony HT-S20R Set, £249

Sony’s surround-sound bundle includes a sound bar with subwoofer and a pair of rear speakers. Designed specifically to bring immersive, cinematic sound into your home, the three-part set can be used in six different modes. Each speaker will adjust to whatever you’re listening to, while the subwoofer offers added control of the sound. Hook it up to your devices via Bluetooth, cable or wirelessly.
Visit JohnLewis.com

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