Gaming has evolved from a simple, fun activity to an entirely different. It has become much more than slashing monsters. Popular game titles offer a full cinematic experience with fully realized characters and storylines. Others are amazing multiplayer activities that you can enjoy with your friends.
If you are an avid player, having a dedicated space for gaming is essential. Setting up your own home theater is a flexible solution, especially if you mostly play on your console. When you are playing on your PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, one moment you could be on a solo campaign and the next, you could be on a football match against your friends.
Setting-up your home theater is perfect if you want to have family and friends over without losing the immersive gaming experience. Moreover, home theater setups can seamlessly transform from a gaming space into a home cinema.
While developing your home theater can get expensive very quickly, we identified important key points that you should consider to ensure that you stay well within your budget.
Home Theater Location
Just like real estate, location is a vital part of your home theater. You will need a reasonably spacious area to accommodate you and your friends. Moreover, you should have control over the lighting around your home theater. Most, if not all games, are best experienced under dim or controlled light.
Gaming can get loud as well, especially if you love playing with your friends. Ideally, you should be able to soundproof your home theater to ensure that you don’t disturb your neighbors. However, not everyone has a spare basement at home. A relatively enclosed space where you can limit the noise output will be sufficient.
Of course, your living room is a logical place for your home theater. In order to enjoy the full home theater experience you should make a few changes to your space. Adjustable blinds are perfect for controlling the bright sunlight. Thick curtains are also versatile solutions that will allow you to limit the light and noise whenever you need to.
Screen – The Focal Point of Your Home Theater
The screen is the heart of your home theater. It is where most of your budget will go, so you need to make sure that you are getting value for your money. The screen should fit both gaming and movie purposes. It should be at least 50 inches with an ideal size of 60 inches or bigger for an average-sized room.
Ultra High Definition (UHD) technology with 4k capabilities are the standard for any screen these. A good example is the Sony Masters series which provides crisp gaming graphics and cinematic experience.
You may also consider a projector for a more adaptable solution. Nowadays, you do not have to spend thousands of dollars to install a projector in your home theater. Be on a lookout for projectors with LCD and LED technology. These options can provide you with topnotch image quality without breaking the bank.
Projectors such as VANKYO Leisure 510 Full HD is perfect for hours of gaming with its 50,000 hours of lamp life. Its large screen can project rich-colors between 44 inches to 200 inches. More importantly, the projector costs less than $200.
If you want to explore more options under $200, check out my in-depth projector reviews
Sound System – Full Cinematic Experience
Your awesome screen graphics will go to waste if you do not pair it with a good audio system. Speakers are often the most overlooked part of the home theater. A high definition screen will only take you so far. Combining it with a high-quality sound system will give you a truly immersive experience, whether you are playing on your console or watching a movie.
Depending on your budget, look for 5.1, 7.1, or 9.1 surround sound options. Having 360 degrees of sound output will take your experience to the next level. Imagine playing Last of Us with zombies creeping up on you from all sides. A good example is the Onkyo 7.1 Ch. THX Home Theater Speaker System.
If you are on a tight budget, a decent soundbar will be a good upgrade from the standard dual speakers. While most will only have 2.0 channels, it is still better than using the built-in speakers on your TV or projector. Soundbars come in different price ranges, but you can find a decent one such as JBL Bar Studio without going over $150.
The Seat – Comfort While Gaming
Now, we’re approaching something luxurious for your home theater. Your reliable couch is still a viable option for gaming comfort. However, if you do have the budget, you may want to take the home theater gaming experience to its fullest. Have the best experience with seats like Seatcraft Delta Home Theater Seating which takes you to the cinema without ever leaving your home.
If you are more into a single-seater, you can opt for a more traditional gaming chair. There are a lot of chair types from budget office options to full premium leather seats. One such option is Secretlab Omega which is perfect for home theater or gaming experience.
Take advantage of your new setup by having the most immersive games for your console. Last of Us, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Until Dawn is just some of the most popular titles for PS4. For Xbox One, consider Halo Series, Forza Racing, and Gears of War.
Whether you are on a limited budget or splurging on your next home theater, keep in mind the basic elements of your setup listed above. Be on the lookout for deals, especially during Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays, and other holiday sales. You just might score your dream screen, sound system, or gaming chair at a fraction of the cost.