Your Home Theater On A Budget: The Ultimate Guide

Lights, camera, action! While this year’s Summer blockbusters may have looked different due to Covid-19, that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on the experience, rush, and thrills that Hollywood has to offer on the big screen. It’s no secret that people want to be safe and not risk being closed in a tight space near strangers. That being said, It’s time to roll the red carpet out at home! Grab that popcorn and dive in to see what you can do to help make the best theater viewing experience from the comfort of your own living room.

Getting the BIG Picture

Bigger is better! These days, large format 4K TVs have drastically dropped in price, making it affordable for more of the population to enjoy. That’s definitely good news! While choosing screen sizes is dependent on your room size, I’d generally recommend to go with a 55” or larger TV to get the best viewing experience. If you’re in the market for a new TV, check out the links below for some good bang-for-your-buck brands that still have excellent picture quality. If you want to save even more money, check out the 2019 models, if available. These TV’s support Dolby Vision and HDR content, which definitely breathe new life into the image with vibrant colors and dynamic range.

The Director’s Vision

Accurate Color and Sharpness

If you really want to tune your television to make sure it is outputting the best quality, listen closely! Many times the default settings from factory are typically overboosting the colors and trying to sharpen the image too much. For TCL brand TVs, you can download an app on your Android or iPhone that will calibrate the image on your screen to make sure it’s giving you an accurate image. I would highly recommend adjusting these settings so that you get the most out of your television. Check out the video below to get into more of the details!

Cancel Automatic Smoothing

When it comes to video, many people think that smoother is better, right? Wrong! Most TVs out of the box have “Smooth Motion” enabled which tries to simulate high frame rate footage by generating new frames into the video signal. Unfortunately, this usually does more harm than good and results in uncanny hyper smooth “soap opera show” style motion. This ruins the true movie look and feel. To highlight how destructive this effect is, Tom Cruise recently made a PSA (below this paragraph) trying to spread awareness about this so that everyone would turn this effect off immediately to best view movies as the director intended!

Control Ambient Light

Another consideration when watching movies from home is to turn the lights down low. Why should you do this? Glad you asked! When displaying media in a bright and open room near windows, your TV simply won’t be bright enough to compete with the sun. The additional lighting will also wash out the colors or produce a glare which will make it more difficult to make out the details in the movie. If watching during the day, close the window blinds to help keep the ambient light in check.

Can You Hear That?

One of the biggest mistakes in most home TV setups is the lack of purpose built audio hardware. While TVs have built in speakers, they are tiny and won’t deliver a full spectrum of audio frequencies. If you don’t have the space for a surround sound system, the next best option is investing in a soundbar. These devices sit under your TV and don’t take up much space, which is super convenient. With Dolby Atmos technology, some of these soundbars can even simulate surround sound by bouncing audio off your ceiling and walls! Check out some of these top rated soundbars and no fuss surround sound systems.

Wrapping It Up

While there are many ways to enjoy movies, bringing the theater home and creating memories with the family is one of the best. No more having to worry about corralling the kids in the car or having to sneak snacks into the theater to avoid the overpriced concession stand!

Speaking about homes, if you’re in the market for a different house with a dedicated space for a media room, or perhaps one with a home office, look no further than Benchmark. Our team of dedicated mortgage professionals will walk you through the home buying process to make that dream of an epic home theater room a reality. Even if you’re not ready to make that jump, we can coach you with tangible goals to help you become a strong home buyer in this competitive environment. Got questions about purchasing or refinancing your home?

At Benchmark, we are committed to listening to your goals and setting you up for future success. To learn more, Contact your local Benchmark branch. Contact us today for personalized information. Call me yourself or request a call from me. WeI would be honored to provide you with our famous excellent service.


Benchmark brings you home.

benchmark circle icon