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Home theater systems have blown up in popularity recently. Big screens have gotten cheaper, download speeds have gotten faster, and movies have become easier to access than ever before. Today, you can set up a theater at home that gives you an immersive experience akin to a movie theater. But to do it properly, you’ll need all the help you can get.

There are many essential elements to a home theater system that you may not deem important. In this guide, we help you choose a screen and a sound system for your home theater. Let’s get started.

Choosing a Screen

The screen is the most important part of a home theater system.You can choose from a wide range of options, each of which has its own set of features and limitations.

Here are some of the features and qualities you should consider when buying a TV for a home theater.

Screen Size

Generally, bigger screens are considered better for a home theater as they cover more of your visual field. However, adding a few inches to the diagonal length of a TV drastically increases its surface area, making a bigger screen considerably more expensive.

If you’re on a budget, you can make a home theater work with a 55-inch or smaller screen. All you have to do is place the screen closer to where you’ll be seated so it covers more of your visual field. Doing this can also give you a better experience than a bigger screen if you’re nearsighted. The TV won’t be as blurry when it’s closer even when you’re not wearing your glasses.

Screen Resolution

The screen resolution is the total number of pixels on your screen. Right now, the highest screen resolution we recommend is 4K or 3840×2160. Many movies and TV shows are available in 4K formats.

You may be tempted to get a screen with 8K resolution, but we would advise against that. From the ideal viewing distance, 8K video is indistinguishable from 4K video for most people. There’s also little to no content available in 8K. So unless there’s a specific reason you need an 8K display, stick to 4K.

Refresh Rate

The refresh rate refers to the frequency at which your screen updates the frame. Higher framerates are better and look more natural. Most screens have a standard refresh rate of 60 Hz, which may make fast-moving objects look blurry. Get a refresh rate of 120 Hz if possible.

HDR

Most screens have a standard dynamic range, which refers to the range of hues, contrast, and brightness it can display. Ultra HD formats have a feature called HDR which has a higher dynamic range than a standard TV. HDR looks more natural, improving the overall experience.

Technology

LCD and OLED are the two main technologies being used to make TVs today.  OLED TVs generally have a better picture quality than LCD technologies, but they also cost a hell of a lot more. LED LCDs are the most popular screens right now as they’re cost-effective and have a good enough picture quality. QLEDs are somewhere in between LED LCDs and OLEDs in terms of both price and quality.

The choice of technology only depends on your budget. If you have enough disposable income to get an OLED TV, go for it. If you don’t, modern LED LCDs are pretty good too.

Choosing a Sound System

A decent soundbar or even built-in speakers are good enough for casual viewing. However, when you’re setting up a home theater system, you can’t settle for anything less than a 5.1 surround sound system.

Let’s look at some specific features you should consider when choosing a sound system.

Number of Units

As a rule of thumb, speaker systems with more individual speakers produce a more realistic surround sound. A 5.1 surround sound system has 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer, which allows it to produce more immersive sound than a 2.0 stereo system with only two speakers.

By this logic, a 6.1 or 7.1 system may seem like a good idea but you may not find supported content. 5.1 surround sound systems are the best choice for most.

The Subwoofer

The “1” in “5.1” refers to the subwoofer. Subwoofers can produce low-frequency sounds that speakers can’t. The sound produced by subwoofers is not very audible, but it’s still vital to the experience. This is because low-frequency sound can travel through our bodies, which we can feel. It’s the subwoofer that makes your stomach vibrate every time a Darth Vader appears or a dinosaur roars. Make sure the subwoofer that comes with your system is powerful.

Sound Quality

If you’re buying from a brick-and-mortar shop, test the sound quality extensively before making the final purchase. If you’re buying online, do your research and read customer reviews to make sure you get the right product.

Choosing an Internet Connection

You’ll need a fast and reliable internet connection to stream movies and TV series in Full HD and 4K. CenturyLink Internet offers speeds up to 940 Mbps with 99.9% uptime and unlimited data. CenturyLink works on a month-to-month policy, so you’re not bound by any contract to continue their service. Visit buytvinternetphone.com to learn more.