6 tips for the perfect home theater set up so all you need to do is remember popcorn

Having the perfect home theater set up means being able to watch the latest movies in audiovisual style

home theater set up
(Image credit: Future)

Popcorn at the ready for how to create the perfect home theater set up. As more of us are looking to create a cinematic experience within our homes, there are just a few tips you'll need for getting it right. Whether in your living room or basement, having a dedicated space to stream 4K movies or binge Netflix’s newest series can be enjoyable for your family and any guests you have over.

Sound systems and TV technology have advanced in the last few years, meaning you can integrate the latest models into your home to rival a movie theater experience. It could be that what you want is one of the best surround sound systems, or you might not be thinking about going that big right now. Either way, this expert advice will have you the home theater set up of your dreams.

Home theater set up - what to consider

It’s estimated that the home theater market has a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.3%, meaning it will be worth $13.4 billion by 2025. 

There’s a growing demand for enhanced audio systems, such as soundbars and subwoofers. More people want smart homes with several interconnected devices to make their lives easier and reap the benefits of technology - the best smart speakers are now big business. 

You can make a significant renovation to your home to include a theater, but there are other methods you can use to achieve your goal of building a cinematic experience. 

You shouldn’t have to break the bank when wondering how to create a home theater, as it’s a modern-day dream many homeowners would like to bring to life. 

Consider these tips for a home theater setup.

1. Pick the Right Location

It’s critical to choose the right location to build your home theater, whether you live in a small house or a huge mansion. Choosing one dedicated room to stream movies on the big screen is your best bet. 

This could be a guest bedroom, basement, den, or living room. Having the room close to the kitchen, your kid’s bedroom, or the garage can take away from your viewing experience. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a place that is at least 20 feet long and 12 feet wide to offer the best sound quality - this will also make it easier if you're considering soundproofing a room.

2. Incorporate Ambient Lighting

Most home renovations include adding light to your space, but your goal with a home theater is to limit the amount of light entering the room. It can cause glares or unwanted reflections on the screen, which can be annoying and frustrating. 

You may need to purchase blackout curtains or blinds to cover up windows. You might want to consider buying automated lighting you can control from your phone. Additionally, LED light strips are good options, as you can place them on the back of your TV to give the setup some extra flair. 

3. Invest in a Projector or Suitable TV

Projector for Home Theater

(Image credit: Jeremy Yap from Unsplash)

A core component of any home theater setup is a reliable projector or a large smart TV. Projectors can provide a larger viewing area. In contrast, smart TVs usually come preloaded with many popular streaming services, like Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max. 

If you opt for a projector, you’ll also have to mount it to the ceiling, which may require some extra effort. However, you may also want to affix your TV to the wall. Thankfully, there are plenty of the best projectors to choose from, and many local retailers sell smart TVs for an affordable price.  

4. Use a Quality Audio System

A key element of a home theater setup is a well-rounded audio system. One of the best yet most complex options is a full surround sound. If you want to recreate the sounds you hear in a movie theater, it would be wise to purchase a subwoofer. The best subwoofers deliver top-tier bass frequencies that can enhance your viewing experience.

You will be wondering whether to go for a soundbar or surround sound system. Where you place your speakers plays an important role in your system’s sound quality. A standard surround sound system is a 5:1 configuration with six channels that provides a comprehensive experience and is fairly simple to install. 

5. Add an AV Rack

An audio-visual (AV) rack will be the central point for all your home theater components. Essentially, it controls any entertainment-related activities in your designated space. A cable box, streaming device, or Blu-Ray player are all examples of elements in your AV rack. 

You can make your own AV rack DIY-style or opt to purchase one that can be assembled out of the box. It can prevent cables from getting intertwined and keep your components organized. No one wants to spend time untangling wires, so use an AV rack to save future frustration. Be sure it has proper ventilation to prevent excessive heat buildup.

6. Consider Your Furniture Setup

Television with Netflix and remote

(Image credit: Image from freestocks)

It’s vital to have plenty of comfortable seating for you, your family, and your guests to sit back and relax when watching movies or TV shows. It would be challenging to mirror a real movie theater seating arrangement, as it would likely be too expensive. Consider how close you want to place your furniture and ensure everyone can view the screen easily when sitting down. 

You may need to play around with your furniture set up, but feel free to move couches and chairs around to see which arrangement works best for your home theater. Look for furniture options that include USB ports and cup holders for a better viewing experience, whether you prefer theater-style seating, sofas, or reclining chairs. 

Create a Home Theater for Your Viewing Pleasure

Home theaters are becoming an increasingly popular feature for many homeowners who already have bought from one of the best TV brands. They can also add value to your home if you ever plan on selling it in the future. What homebuyer would refuse an in-house theater? Use some of these suggestions to create the ideal setup for your house and enjoy watching movies to the fullest.

Shannon L. Flynn is a Philadelphia-native technology freelancer with experience writing about consumer IoT, entertainment and cybersecurity. You can see her bylines on Lifewire, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf and ReHack. When she's not writing, you can find her playing video games, watching her favorite Twitch streamers, and lounging with a good book (most likely a Mac).