Arts and Entertainment Technology

Home Theater Basic Equipment – Part 1, The Display

We have to start with a foundation right?  So, we are going with the very basics of what is needed for a home theater.  Now this is going to seem obvious to many of you and that’s ok, even the experts have to remind themselves of the basics sometimes.  Otherwise, we will be assuming that everyone knows and I surely don’t ever want to do that.

Home Theater Basic Equipment

The way I figure it, there are 4 main components to a home theater and many optional features, details and nice to have gadgets but this is a focus on the 4 essential items.

  1. Viewing screen or monitor
  2. A/V System Controller, often referred to as the receiver
  3. Speakers
  4. Media input device

Yup, that’s is, in my opinion, the home theater essentials.  I guess I could’ve added a few other items but once again, I’m keeping this one simple and straight forward.

Viewing Screen or Monitor – This is where our eyes will be focused on Friday Family Movie Night.  There are many options and technologies that can be used here.  From plain screens receiving the image from your HD projector to a television mounted on the wall using LCD, Plasma, LED to display your High-Definition video, there are many ways to get this essential item.  Our recommendation is to get as much as your budget will allow.

Necessities are:

50″ diagonal surface

High-Definition of at least 1080P

HDMI inputs, multiple are preferred

Options to consider:

“Smart” services

Wireless access to your home network

3D feature

4K or even 8K resolution

When you’re picking out your viewing monitor, a guideline for display size is that the viewing should be 2 to 3 times the actual width of the screen.  This will help you get that immersed feeling.  The closer the ratio is to 2:1 for distance to width of TV, the more you are going to feel that movie theater experience.

So, the best opinion I can give you is to figure out the room you are going to make your home theater.  Measure the distance from the viewing wall to the expected seating area.  Use this to figure out the ideal viewing surface size.  After that, look over the optional items, if any of them are really important to you, ensure you add them to your checklist.  Now, with your budget and checklist in hand, start searching for your TV or screen.  Don’t settle on the first thing from Best Buy or Amazon that fits your requirements, there are many retailers out there that will offer similar products, do a little shopping around.  Also, check as many of the reviews as you can on the items that fit your criteria, some of the brands don’t really cut the mustard when it comes to quality craftsmanship.

I hope that helps you get this part of your process started for the basic home theater setup.  In the next article I’m going to continue talking about the basic four components by talking about the A/V Receiver or A/V System Controller.