Online streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime have enjoyed a wider audience and subscribers in Kerala in the last two years. Even some big-budget movies have decided to go the OTT way as theatres in the state are unlikely to open anytime soon, owing to the pandemic situation. Now, the houses are being turned into mini-theatres where the families can enjoy movies, without missing out on the technical brilliance. As the culture of cinema viewing is undergoing a drastic transition, people do not mind arranging a home theatre by shelling out some extra bucks. However, there are certain factors, both financial and technical, that need to be kept in mind while arranging a modern home theatre in your house.
The room or the area where you intend to arrange the theatre is vital. A rectangular room could distract the course of the sound waves. The screen should be installed on the smallest wall in the room, alongside the main speaker. There is no need for the home theatre room to have windows as they may create echoes. Moreover, the light that comes in through the windows may fall on the screen, causing a distraction for the viewers. Using small cartons in which eggs are stored is the cheapest and easiest way to control the sound effects.
Even though the ordinary walls can control the sound effects, free spaces should be filled in using wooden planks. Else, you could also use the sound absorption panels that are specially made for home theatres.
A regular home theatre requires 5.1 sound speakers to ensure amazing sound quality. In such a case, three speakers and the woofer should be arranged in the front. The remaining two speakers should be installed on both sides of the sitting area. The speakers must be fixed at least 20 inches apart. Make sure that the seats or chairs are designed to provide an optimum view angle. Besides, the seats should be placed at the stipulated distance from the screen. For instance, in a theatre that has a 60-inch screen, the seats should be placed at least 7.5 feet away.
This is the most vital channel in a home theatre and is available in multiple variations. 2.1, 5.1 and 7.1 are some of the popular channels that are commonly used. The first digit indicates the number of speakers and ‘1’ denotes the sub-woofer. Subwoofers are required for low-frequency yet strong or intense sounds. A 5.1 home theatre would have two front speakers, two surround speakers, one center speaker and a low-frequency effect (LFE or subwoofer). So, a home theatre system like this one would have a total number of six channels.
Many types of speakers like the center channel speaker and the tower speaker are available in the market. However, they should be bought depending upon the size of the television and the subwoofer. There is no point in having huge speakers when the subwoofer is small, as you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the desired sound quality. Similarly, there is no need for tower speakers if the size of the television is smaller. You could use carpets, curtains or drapes to prevent echo when the sound reverberates off plain walls.
Home theatres worth Rs 15000 to Rs 5 lakh are available in the market. The general facilities in your house, size of the room, requirements of the family and the budget should be considered while purchasing home theatre sets.