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.