Cinematic experience at home
When the pandemic introduced strict lockdowns and people were confined in their homes, aching for some entertainment, suddenly we realised how much we missed the theatres. As you could not go out to the cinema to catch a movie, it would not be a bad idea if you had that cinematic experience at home. A Home theatre or a Home Audio Visual System reproduces that movie theatre experience.
Why get it?
Lazing in front of Netflix is a popular concept these days. One of the things we regret about watching TV shows at home is that we do not get to see certain episodes with the movie theatre experience. (Looking at you NBC's Hannibal). Having a home theatre setup would allow you to get that experience even with the TV shows and web series. Lately, some studios are releasing movies on streaming services as well and even if you just want to rewatch Top Gun before the sequel is released, why not do it like Maverick?
You are probably wondering if you need a separate room for such a setup. The answer is — yes and no. If you cannot afford a separate room, you can set up a home theatre in any room but you might not be able to achieve the full immersion that a theatre can provide. On the other hand, if you set it up in a separate room, you can almost recreate the entire theatre experience.
There's two ways you can set up the audio-visual system. The first one is to consult a professional. Most providers will sell the system both as a whole setup as well as separately as individual components. If you consult a professional, they will measure the room/setup space and then recommend you accordingly and most providers will install the setup themselves saving you the trouble.
Alternatively, you can choose to set it up yourself. In which case, you should know what you will need for the setup.
What you will need
You will need to acquire a Multi-channel AV receiver, FullHD or 4K TV or Projector, HDMI cables, Surge Protectors and A Surround Sound System. Of course, you might get confused about choices like TV vs. projector and surround sound system. That's understandable. What we recommend is comparing your choices side by side so that you know exactly what one offers that the other does not.
A big TV screen will certainly work and latest TVs, particularly 4K variants, offer unparalleled sharp pictures. But if your aim is to recreate a movie theatre experience then you should probably go for the projector. As for surround sound system, you might be tempted to get a soundbar if you are on a budget but remember — soundbars will not offer you anywhere near that surround sound experience that a multichannel setup will offer. A 5.1 surround sound uses five separate audio channels plus a subwoofer to create an illusion of immersion.
If you are into gaming, you might want to install your gaming console and connect it with this impressive setup. Playing your favourite games on such a setup has to cathartic.
The room that holds the setup can affect your movie experience. If the room has hard floor, then there's a chance that it might reflect sound and cause echo effects that could affect your sound system.
Make sure that the room is carpeted so that the softer surface absorbs the vibrations rather than reflecting the sound.
Same for the walls.
Some acoustic modifications would certainly enhance your experience. Mind the lighting of the room as well. Certain lights can cause glares on the TV and affect the projector's image. Having a dimmer control would surely come handy. And as for seats, get any seating setup that you find comfortable. Couches are probably a good idea and chairs are not recommended because let's face it, nobody enjoys watching a movie sitting on a chair.
For those on a budget, you could probably get a setup a bit cheaper if you buy all the devices individually and install yourself but in order to get a decent setup, you will have to be willing to spare at least Tk 2 lakh.
Places like the Stadium Market, Multiplan Centre, BCS Computer City are your best choices if you are planning on buying individual components but if you can manage it, call in a professional who will provide, as well as install the whole setup.
A home theatre can be a cherished place to have some family time or just chill. Or if you are like me and missed the premier of Christopher Nolan's Inception on the big screen and want to have that experience again, I don't think anyone could blame you.
Photo: SM Intisaab Shahriar
Special Thanks to Sayedur Rahim Bappi, CEO of 'Noise.'