A home movie theater with a TV in the living room

How to Make a Movie Theater in your Living Room

For a movie enthusiast, nothing can be compared to the sheer excitement of a home movie theater. While creating an amazing movie experience is all about art, it is equally challenging when the space serves as your living room. So, how to turn your living room into a movie theater?

Making a movie theater in your living room involves certain considerations in terms of function and style. Move the furniture so that the seating area becomes centered. You can install dim lights or may choose lights that work great with the TV screen. Mount the TV on the wall and get some backlight, if you want.

Turning your living room into a movie theater

Watching your favorite TV show or even movies at home is enticing and convenient at the same time. With the development of technology, home theater systems have evolved a lot. You can even expect high-quality audiovisual that mimics your local cinema. 

And, all you need to do is make some tweaks and introduce items. That way, you can have the perfect movie theater experience right in your living room. So, whether you are looking forward to entertaining guests after dinner or keeping your kids quiet for some time on a rainy afternoon, a home movie theater can suit your needs. 

When you consider your functional and styling needs, you can turn your living room into a movie theater. Keep in mind that your living room can play both roles efficiently and become a star in your house. Here are the different ways through which you can bring magic into your living space.

Positioning the TV in the right place

A TV that’s placed on an elevated location such as above the fireplace takes away the visual appearance of your living room. You may have seen this setup on many homes. While it may work for the décor sometimes, it isn’t the right place to position your TV or hang it from the wall if you are looking for the best viewing experience.

Typically, your eyes won’t fall on the center of the TV and that takes away the excitement. Hence, the position can be lowered depending on the seating arrangement in your living room. However, it doesn’t mean that you should rush out with your measuring tape to get it perfect.

But this is something that you should consider doing because it will pay off later. Positioning your TV in the right place has an advantage that you get over a theater. Keep in mind that a movie theater has a sweet spot but it is limited to a handful of seats. And, the surrounding seats suffer degradations in terms of audio and picture quality.

But this isn’t the case at your home. While the distance from the screens does matter, it isn’t quite important nowadays. The days are long gone when sitting too close to a TV made the image look grainy. And, that’s because of the pixels.

With the introduction of high-definition TVs, you need to get very close to the screen to view the pixels. Technology has made significant advancements and it is evident in the TVs that you see these days. So, the first step is to position the TV in a good place just in front of your seating area.

Arrange for some backlight

Ambient light might mess with the picture in your TV by reducing perceived contrast and causing glare. But you need to know that watching TV in pitch black condition isn’t good either. According to the studies conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, your eyes tend to work harder when viewing a bright screen in darker settings. 

As a result, it causes fatigue. Besides, adding some amount of light behind your TV screen makes the dark part of your screen darker while watching. Apart from that, the darker blacks that you see on the TV increase the contrast and make the scenes crispier. Moreover, the backlight doesn’t have to be fancy. 

You can even buy a cheap LED strip from an online store and that will do the trick for you. However, ensure that you get the right size for your TV. That way, you won’t get any kind of distracting and inconsistent light on the back of your display. 

But if you don’t want the trouble of adding extra light to the TV, you can turn off many lights as you can. Also, you should look out for the lights that appear from the sides of the screen. That’s because these lights throw a glare across the whole TV screen. 

Setting up the sound system

When it comes to having a superior quality sound that you experience at your local cinema, it is not about the volume. To achieve a theater-like experience, you need something that produces a kind of directional or surrounds audio. In theaters, speakers are stashed all over the area. 

They are behind the screen to make you feel great audio and immerse you into a world of sheer pleasure. However, that doesn’t mean that you should go overboard and adorn your living room with woofers. But if you are going to watch top-tier TV shows and first-run movies, maybe you should want more than what the inbuilt TV speakers are capable of. 

So, if you have made up your mind for a surround sound system for your home theater, a soundbar with the Dolby Atmos feature is a great way to start. It is easy to set up and produce directional effects. These kinds of surround sound systems create a bubble of sound and improve the viewing experience significantly.

There is no shortage of amazing soundbars for you to choose from. Even if you are on a budget, you can have one that suits your needs. While soundbars can cost you more, it is not a necessity to spend much cash when upgrading your TV viewing experience. Besides, there are plenty of high-quality multimedia speakers that can provide you with a theater-like atmosphere.

Turn on the cinema mode

If you haven’t explored the different modes that you find o your TV, maybe you are missing something on performance. Gaming mode on some TVs, for example, prioritize responsiveness so that you don’t experience a lag between the controller and screen while playing. Hence, when you are using a gaming console such as the Xbox Series X or PS5 with HDMI connectivity, the gaming mode gets activated automatically.

However, the cinema mode is a completely different one. You will notice that it is more subdued when it comes to saturation and brightness compared to the other modes you use while watching TV. If your TV has motion smoothing abilities, you will notice that the cinema mode disables it.

Motion smoothing might be great when watching sports, but it doesn’t fit well for movies. Furthermore, if your TV has HDR features, the cinema mode provides the most vibrant and accurate colors. That way, it improves the overall TV experience and makes you feel like you are in a theater. 

Refreshments make the best combination

Not that you have positioned your TV in the right spot, installed a surround sound system, and made some tweaks on your TV to improve picture quality, you shouldn’t forget about refreshments. To achieve a theater-like atmosphere, making arrangements for refreshments is what should follow next.

Therefore, incorporate furniture that complements your viewing. As such, you can have a low-height coffee table where you can keep the books most of the time. And, use it as a table for holding a bowl of gummies and popcorn while enjoying a show with your loved ones.

Mix a TV show or a movie and dinner by using a coffee table or use long side table instead. Small tables allow your guests to settle down their treats or drinks. That way, they can have fun while sipping their favorite drinks. If you are more into a soft drink machine or bar cart, you can add them for a full twist right in your living room. 

Set your phone aside

It is tempting for anybody to check notifications now and then. However, you should know that the distraction takes away the ability to enjoy a movie and the surrounding. When it comes to multitasking, most people aren’t good at that. 

Whenever you take out the phone to check something, your eyes need to adjust to the small screen. That way, the relative brightness and distance from the screen make it hard for you to switch between both screens. Moreover, people who are with you in the room tend to get annoyed as well.

So, it is good not to use a cellphone while having some great moments with your family or friends. Keep in mind that a distraction might take away the mood and feel that you had while watching the show or a movie. 

Conclusion

While most people don’t have the requisite space for a dedicated home theater, integrating features into your living room can create a cinematic experience. However, you should never compromise on the existing style of your room, though. So, make adjustments accordingly and you can have a movie theater right at your home.

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