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Turning your living room, den or basement into a home theater isn’t as scary as it sounds. Having a dedicated space to watch movies and TV shows in the highest possible quality requires few components, and you can adapt your system to your needs and space.
Best Projector With Built In Speakers
We’ve put together this guide to explain all the choices you’ll need to make when building a home theater system, including some tips on what equipment to get. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy solution to set up in minutes or a great system you can build over time, we’ve got what you need.
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The first step in home theater setup is deciding where to view your entertainment (eg in your family room, basement, etc.). After that, you will want to understand
Look. For this, consider whether you need a traditional 4K flat screen TV or a projector. Here are the pros and cons to consider
4K TV: There’s never been a better time to put a TV at the center of your home theater system. Most have large screens (typically 55 to 65 inches) with 4K resolution (almost double the resolution of 1080P displays) and support Dolby Vision HDR (High Dynamic Range), a new technology that increases color accuracy .
They’re also “smart,” which means you can access popular streaming services directly from the system, instead of getting a media streaming device. All this technology is housed in a slim bezel that’s light enough to mount on a wall.
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Projectors: Thanks to movies, projectors are the first thing people think of when they hear “home theater”. They can “cast” a large screen (up to 300 inches) on a blank wall and easily move it. But many projectors have not yet switched to 4K and only support HDR-10, which does not reproduce colors as well as TVs with Dolby Vision HDR.
They are also very sensitive to light disturbances: a bright room distorts the projector image a lot. However, under the right conditions, the projector will create a true cinematic experience that television cannot touch.
If you’ve decided to buy a 4K TV, there’s only one I’d recommend: TCL’s 6 Series. The company’s 6 series (known as the P series) has earned a reputation in recent years for providing stellar image quality in an attractive package. I’ve seen TV in person, I must admit.
This TV supports Dolby Vision and uses a technology called local dark zones to brighten the picture intelligibly. It will bring parts of the scene to life and make parts that are not dark, which makes the light of movies and TV shows a reality.
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TCL’s 6 Series TVs feature ports that allow you to easily connect game consoles, streaming boxes, and other home theater devices. There are four HDMI ports, one USB port, one RF port, a set of composite video ports, a headphone jack, optical and Ethernet audio output.
One last feature: This TV has Roku built in, which means you can access major streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and others without the need for streaming. You can download multiple channels through the Roku App Store.
In my experience, the picture and sound quality of TCL 6 series is better. Colors look brighter on the Blu-ray version
And while playing a variety of HD and classic video games. I was also struck by the small bezels around the screen, which almost disappear when the power is off.
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If you’re going the projector route, I recommend Optoma’s HD28HDR, an upgraded version of the HD27 I’ve been using for a few years.
The HD28HDR’s specifications are impressive for a projector in its price range. It has a resolution of 1080P, a maximum screen size of 300 inches (100 inches by 11’3 inches), supports HDR-10, and a maximum brightness of 3400 lumens. These specifications make it ideal for medium-sized rooms with some light pollution, and the quality of the screen will be greatly improved when the sun goes out.
It has several ports: two HDMI, one USB, one 3D Sync and one audio, so you will have no problem connecting to a media stream, a game console and a stereo receiver. The HD28HDR doesn’t have built-in smart features, so you’ll need to connect a streaming device to watch movies or TV shows.
My experience with previous versions of this projector has been extremely positive; Image quality is very stable, even in daylight hours and without HDR. The addition of these two features makes it the best choice for those who want a cinema experience in their home.
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A home theater sound system is as important as your video source – what’s a picture without sound? This is especially important because the speakers on 4K TVs and projectors are not good.
Home audio installation was a major production until recently, but now there are many options, whether you are looking for a boxed solution or you want to choose all the components yourself. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons between sound bars and 2.0 (or 2.1) sound systems and 5.1 sound systems.
Sound Bars: Sound bars have become popular in the home theater world because of their small size, smart features and easy installation. The downside is that while they sound better than the TV’s built-in speakers, they can’t match the sound quality of a large speaker system. Also, because the speakers are grouped together, you get less of a full stereo sound, which makes the sound in movies and video games less realistic.
2.0 (or 2.1) sound system: A 2.0 or 2.1 sound system is the same type of stereo system that you set up if you want to listen to music. It has two speakers and can be paired with a subwoofer for extra bass. It takes up more space than a sound bar, especially if you have a subwoofer, but not as much as a 5.1 surround sound system. The downside is that you have to connect the speakers to a stereo receiver and stereo speakers cannot match the immersive environment experience.
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5.1 Surround Sound: Many people associate a 5.1 surround sound system with the term “home theater”, which makes sense. The surround sound system creates an incredibly immersive environment by simulating the experience of being in the middle of the action taking place on screen. There is nothing like this. But installing surround sound means running cables throughout the room and placing five speakers in the right places, which may not be possible, especially if you live in a small room.
We kept this in mind when we wrote this guide, that’s why the 2.0 audio equipment and the selected sound system can be changed to a 5.1 surround sound system by adding additional speakers. This will give you the flexibility to boot into a smaller system and allow for surround sound as your home theater system evolves.
The Sonos Beam has earned the top spot in our best guide to home audio bars and is the one I recommend based on personal experience. This has been my only home audio system for over a year and I am very happy with it. Take my time with you.
Sonos says the Beam is a “smart, compact sound bar” and that’s a perfect description. At 25.6 x 2.7 x 3.9 inches, it’s slim enough to fit most TVs (most soundbars don’t!) It has Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant built in, so you can use the Beam to control smart home accessories , answer questions, set timers and more using just your voice. Plus, it supports both Bluetooth and Apple’s AirPlay 2 audio streaming standard, so you can stream audio from your PC, Mac, Android phone, or iPhone to it wirelessly.
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As mentioned above, sound bars are the easiest home theater speakers to install, and the Beam is no different. Connect to your TV with an HDMI cable, plug into the wall and perform a quick setup process using the Sonos app (available on iOS and Android). The app allows you to manage all the Beam controls, to adjust the volume, and switch between EQ settings.
That wouldn’t matter if the Sonos Beam wasn’t great, but it is – it sounds really good. Its five drivers (the part of the speaker that produces sound) do a great job of delivering undistorted bass, mids and highs, even at high volumes. Sonos calls the light a 3.0 sound system: two left and right speakers are received to the stereo pair, while