The Basics of Home Theatre
Home theater is the use of a surround sound speaker system and large screen TV to recreate a movie-going experience at home. It can also be used to play games and other media content. Many systems are able to connect to the Internet and stream video-on-demand, which can offer many different entertainment options. The home theatre setup usually includes a high-resolution media player, a TV with multiple inputs and outputs, an audio receiver, speakers and a subwoofer. A centralized media control hub that provides either physical or wireless connectivity to other home entertainment devices is often included as well. Home theatre systems are typically controlled with a universal remote or a smartphone app, though smart speakers with built-in voice control can be used as well.
Most home theater enthusiasts will choose to purchase a media player with high-resolution movie media outputs, such as Blu-ray Disc or DVD players. These media players can usually access content from the Internet as well and some are designed with features that allow for more advanced home cinema setups like 3D viewing and a surround sound audio output. Some home theater users may also choose to add an HTPC (home theater PC) and a media center software application to their setup.
Choosing the best home theater speakers will also be an important consideration for most home cinema enthusiasts. Depending on your room size, available space and budget, you can select a home theater system that uses bookshelf or floor standing speakers or one that offers a 7.1 arrangement with a mix of both. A subwoofer that can produce low frequencies is usually included as well.
For those looking for an inexpensive entry point into the world of home theatre, a simple soundbar is an excellent choice. These systems provide a dramatic upgrade over the stereo sound produced by most TV sets and are easy to set up. They can be upgraded to a more expensive home theater system later on, which is often a more cost-effective option than buying an entire new TV.
More sophisticated home theater enthusiasts may choose to create an actual screening room, complete with a projector and large projection screen and a dedicated media control area that includes comfortable seating and specialized storage for movie decor and equipment. These more sophisticated installations can even include acoustic design elements that isolate sound for improved listening quality and sometimes mimic or even exceed the performance of commercial cinemas.
Many retailers offer home theater packages that bundle together a media player, TV, audio receiver and speakers into a single package for a lower price than purchasing these components separately. Some examples of these are Blu-ray Disc players, 4K media players and smart set-top boxes. These home theater components can be connected to the Internet so that users can watch video-on-demand services like Netflix(r) or listen to music through streaming audio. They can also be integrated with other home entertainment devices, like gaming consoles and smart speakers, to provide a seamless integration of entertainment throughout the house.