Hey everyone, welcome back to my blog. My latest project is setting up a home theatre experience at home in our spare room. I want to make a nice cosy environment where me, my friends and my family can go and watch movies, our favourite shows and play some computer games. I’ve already got the room looking cosy but I’m now in the process of assembling the theatre experience. I bought a nice 4K JVC projector towards the end of last year so I’ve got the viewing side of it well and truly sorted. I’ve got a decent PC that I can connect with HD although I’m not sure how much use it makes of the projectors 4K capabilities. The PC gives me a means of playing movies and watching stuff from the internet that I’m either streaming or have downloaded. I also have a Sony PlayStation for gaming. Really, the only thing that’s probably missing now from the setup is decent sound.
I have an old 5.1 surround system that is designed to connect to the PC’s 5.1 sound card that I fitted but that doesn’t really help when I’m using the PlayStation, only things I’m playing through the computer. I’ve got a satellite box too so if I’m watching TV programs, I’ve had to use a little cheap portable speaker that I’d bought and connect that to the projector. I had recently messed about with the setup a bit and I put a line-in from the projector, through the PC so anything that goes through the projector can then be played via the surround sound speakers, but that isn’t really making use of the 5.1. The best way to get the best experience would be connecting my projector to a home theatre system via the optical port. As the satellite box, PC and PlayStation all go through the projector, the sound would then be played through the theatre system and I’d get a true surround experience.
The Last Piece of the Puzzle
I’m basically then now in the market for a theatre system to enhance my audio experience. The must haves are obviously an optical port that I can hook-up to the projector, An HDMI output, which should come as standard and also some kind of line in would be good so I could easily hook-up my phone or another device to play music through if need be. To be fair though, my projector does have a spare line-in that I’m not using so that’s not essential. I’m not bothered about it having a built-in Blu-ray player as I’ve got my PS4 to cover that. I’ve been talking about 5.1 surround up until now but things have advanced a bit since I bought my last surround system and I may be able to get something higher. The wireless speaker option is also something to explore as one thing that drives me crazy is having to tac wires to the wall neatly so they look as least imposing as possible. With all that hardware already setup in the room, there’s too many cables as it is and I’ve been trying my best to use cable ties and tacks to keep them under control and in some kind of order. If I want to disconnect something and remove it, I don’t want to spend an hour trying to untangle the wires to get it free. So yeah, I think wireless speakers, if the technology is reliable enough now, might be the route to go down.
I’m talking about these lists of demands but this is going to have an impact on the price I’ll be paying so I have to consider what I’m really willing to spend. I haven’t done too much research so far but I have found come across some interesting technology that I hadn’t been considering. I stumbled across the SONOS website and they have some great options that would mean less cables and less clutter. It seems to be all about the sound bars now that create the Cinema experience but without all the extra speakers having to be placed strategically around the room. They just tend to come with a separate subwoofer so you get a good base distribution. Yep, not cheap though, but then these guys are sitting towards the top of the audio market and their hardware does seem top quality. I’ve got a decent budget so I’m considering some of their models. The nicest one’s are way out of my price bracket though.
As always, I like to check out the used market too for a bargain although I am sceptical about whether the equipment is still in good condition and it’s not going to breakdown after a bit of use. I’ve had problems with speaker ports blowing in the past and if you’ve got a surround sound system it ruins the balance of the audio. I’ve found a Phillips used home theatre system for sale at a good price with wireless and an optical port that looks sleek and is still in mint condition apparently. It’s going to save me a lot but I don’t know if it’s worth the risk. I’m going to weigh-up my options and see where my heart lies. This is the last addition to my home theatre setup so it’s not like I need to save money back for anything else but it’s always good to have a bit in the bank to fall back on. My heart is tipping towards a new SONOS system at the moment.