A trip to the cinema may not be on the cards right now. Here are the home cinema must-haves to help replicate the experience.
If you’re someone lucky enough to have an obscene amount of spare cash lying around, this might not be the article for you. Sure, when someone says “home cinema”, you think of an actual movie theatre screen in somebody’s house. Huge surround sound system, rows of plush seats and a full wall screen, the works. But this isn’t what we’re going to be shooting for here. Think more “building a fort out of bedsheets” level. We’re going to list the essential items and bits of kit you need to roughly recreate a cinema experience in the comfort of your own home.
Now you can’t very well watch a film without a screen. A great option for a lower cost cinema replication is a projector screen. After all, that is essentially what a cinema screen is anyway. There are obviously variations in price with projector screens, depending on how high spec you go. Some things to consider, other than just budget, are the shape and size you want. 16:9 is the industry standard aspect ratio for projectors and screens, so most of the things you are going to watch will be in this ratio too. The Homegear 120in 16:9 HD/3D Electric Motorised Projector Screen is a fantastic option for just $110 on Amazon. With a swanky motorised mechanism, giving it that “cinema curtains being drawn back” feel. However, if you don’t want to fix anything to the wall then there are great fold away options. The Luxburg® 60″ 16:9 Portable Freestanding Floor Pull-up Projection Screen will work with most projectors and give you a cinema experience you can pack away when needed.
It’s the same story with most tech; you can end up spending thousands but do you really need to? If you’re wanting a stay-at-home cinema experience now and then, then you’re probably safe sticking to the lower end of the price range. There are some excellent little projectors out there that won’t break the bank, but will absolutely deliver a great picture. The ViewSonic M2 Full HD Smart Portable LED Projector is a little more on the pricey side for an everyday budget, but it performs. It manages 1080p resolution and can accommodate 3D. It also features two theatre-level Harman Kardon speaker, you can hear that iconic James Bond title music with as much oomph as you would at the cinema. Alternatively, but also from ViewSonic, you could opt for the M1 mini Pocket LED Ultra-Portable Projector. This cute little gadget is perfect if you want to be able to transport the cinema vibe from place to place. It offers 480p resolution, which is common with smaller projectors, and decent built in JBL speakers. For just $199 on Amazon, this is the option with the least commitment if you’re looking for a casual and fun home cinema set up.
Okay so this one isn’t so essential, but it’s fun to consider all the same. I imagine most of you will be sticking with your sofas or beds, keeping it simple. Although, if you wanted to take your set up to the next level you could think about investing in some cinema-specific seating. Get the renovated multiplex feel with this armchair from Yaheetech. Yes, it’s a recliner! Sit back and enjoy your favourite film with your feet up on the integrated leg rest (actually, I’m not sure how many cinemas offer this kind of luxury). Or, embrace your inner child and grab a Jaxx 6 Foot Cocoon, adult bean bag chair. It’s squishy and massive, so you can sink right in for the 161 minutes that is Once Upon A Time In Hollywood – Godspeed if you need a bathroom break.
I’m joking. Sorry, couldn’t resist.
If you’re a filmmaker who wants a home set up to watch your own masterpieces on, then check out Synchedin! A huge library of royalty free music, including cinematic sounds, that you can use on your latest film project.