Imagine that you own multiple gaming consoles and a decent flat-screen TV. You are pretty satisfied. Then, one day, while you are playing Horizon Zero Dawn, realization hits you: I need a home theatre for my console gaming needs.
Well, in that case, I welcome you to a fun, stress-free guide on how to build a home theater for console gaming. Sure, you might think that this is a complex process. However, that is not necessarily true if everything is planned. So, before anything else, put down that electric drill, get a cup of coffee and read on to learn how to build the home theatre of your dreams for your console gaming needs.
Phase One: Asking the right questions.
Before jumping the gun and buying the newest LED TV, it is essential to know what you want first. Here are a few questions that you need to answer to get everything started.
Where Will I Put it?
First things first, where is the optimal location for this entertainment nook? Know that home theater can range from small to cinema-like rooms. If you already have the exact location in mind for your home theater, then you will be able to plan the set-up accordingly.
Also, decide whether you are going to repurpose an existing room or build another one. Both options have pros and cons. If you opted to use an old room, it would be cheaper and save you additional construction costs. But you will be restricted with the layout as the place is already there. On the other hand, if you decided to have one built, you will have more freedom with the design and room size but prepare to stretch your budget more.
What is the Finished Product?
Have the ending in sight. Visualize how will it look and formulate a theme. You don’t need to draft like a pro, but laying it down on paper is useful in having the end goal in mind. Imagine the outline. Where does the TV go? Do I mount the speakers or not? What is the best distance away from the tv to place the couch or gaming chair? The plan should be clear, drafted, and concise.
How much am I willing to Spend?
The budget is essential in any project like this. After all, it will dictate the limitations and constraints of your decisions. To formulate a budget, you must sit down and imagine the end product. If you want everything from high-end interiors down to surround speakers, then prepare to shell out a lot. But if you are budget-conscious and a minimalist, you might want to slow down on the splurge. What’s most important is that when you decide on a budget, you stick to it no matter what.
What Should I Buy for the Set-up?
The final question is what purchases you should make to enhance your gaming experience. After all, nothing beats immersive gaming. Basics might include an excellent sound system, a fantastic flat-screen TV, reliable cables and comfy chairs.
Make a master list of all the necessities and don’t stray away from them. Stick to the plan to avoid unnecessary problems. Also, make sure to canvas prices first and be on the lookout for promos and discounts. By doing this, you can compare prices and get the best deal.
Here is a Sample List:
- Home Theater Receiver or Surround Sound Receiver
- TV or Video Projector with screen
- Speakers (Soundbar, surround speakers and subwoofers)
- Connection cables
- Gaming couch or chair
- Table or cabinet for consoles
- Acoustic Panels (optional)
- Shelf for games (optional)
- Dimmable lights (optional)
- Blinds (optional)
Phase Two: Building the Set-up
Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to start working. Grab the plan that you made earlier and go pick up that electric drill.
You already have your room, and you have the theme in your mind, the next thing is to prepare the room for wires. Before painting or hanging wallpaper, make sure that you already have the cables in place.
Gamers hate bad wiring jobs which is why wireless gaming gears are gaining momentum. We can’t eliminate wires, but we can organize them. You can put up a faux wall behind the TV to hide the cables, or you can creatively mount the cables on the wall. Speaker wires and the connection to your home theater receiver must also be well hidden. Whatever you decide, make sure you already have a plan before you paint, or you stick the wallpaper permanently.
Mounting the Display
If you decided on a flat TV for your primary display, make sure to use a good quality wall bracket. Don’t compromise quality over price as the TV is one of the expensive components of your set up. If you are not handy around drills, employ the help of a professional.
Also, consider getting a 4K TV as a display. Nothing beats gaming with Ultra HD resolution. If you have the extra dough you might want to check out LG OLED65C7P. It has excellent picture quality and accurate colors, plus its sleek yet minimalist design will fit any set up wonderfully.
Don’t worry if you are tight on cash, as you could still get yourself a good display. The TCL 55R617 won’t break the bank but will still produce stunning visuals. It has superb picture quality that rivals high-end brands. Aside from being HDR-compatible, it also has a 4K resolution.
If you want to step it up a bit, there are projectors around to make your gaming experience better. Contrary to popular belief, projectors are not super expensive and you can get one at a reasonable price.
You can consider the GooDee Video Projector. Its native resolution is 1280×800 and packed with 3200 lumens, it’s overall quality and cost efficiency is worth it. If you want to know more about it and other budget-friendly options, you can check out this review for more details.
However, if you don’t mind splurging a bit, the Optoma GT1080 Darbee is a good choice for you. This projector mainly targets gamers because of its low input lag. Though visuals are our main concern, not compromising gaming performance is a huge plus.
Sound System Set-up
High-quality audio makes a good game even more epic, so it is essential to put extra care on this one. If you are planning to achieve the perfect surround sound experience, then you will need to pay attention to the speakers’ placements. Remember, how you organize the speakers will have a significant impact on how the system will sound like.
To achieve the perfect audio, you might want to install the center channel above or below your display. Make sure that it is lined up with the midpoint. If you can, you may tilt it a bit to direct the sound to ear level. For the surround speakers, the most suitable place is on the left and right sides. It is best if you can mount them for better sounds. Fortunately, subwoofers won’t give you too much problem since bass frequencies are generally omnidirectional.
Setting up the Home Theatre Receiver
Set up your home theater receiver well, as it functions as the control room to all of your audio. The home theater receiver, or also known as the AV receiver or Surround Sound Receiver is the core of a home theater system. It provides most of the inputs and outputs connections of everything. Invest in quality wires as this will save you money in the long run.
What did you get? A lazy boy chair or a comfy couch? Whatever it may be, placing it in the most optimum spot is crucial. After all, this is where you will be, so this spot must be correctly set.
From your TV, you must be at least four to five feet away. You would not want to damage your eyes in the long run. The surround speakers must be around you too. Place them on the edge of the room facing you. Just make sure that you are in the center of it all.
This is a home theatre and gaming room combined, so some sort of style and design is in order. Invest in a cabinet that you can use as a shelf for your games. A small table for your consoles is also a nice touch. If you want, you could also invest in some acoustic panels to make a soundproof room. It will not only curb away outside noises, but it will also help your surround system produce better audio as it will minimize echoes.
Phase Three: Testing the Set-up
The fun part, you will now reap the fruits of your labor and experience how this project has turned out.
Testing the Visuals
Play a game, see if your distance away from the TV is reasonable. You may also adjust the height of the TV if you want. That is why, as I’ve said, make sure to invest in a quality bracket. Some brackets can be tilted and moved in different directions. Picking one with these capabilities will prove to be useful.
You can also adjust the lighting in the room as this will directly affect the display quality. Invest in dimmable lights and blinds as this will help you control the lighting condition in a room.
Test the Audio Quality
Strain your ears and tweak your audios. Make sure that your audio settings are fine-tuned. Play games with excellent musical scores to help you in pinpointing potential issues. The audio must help you with game immersion, so take your time in calibrating your sound system.
Tweak your home theatre receiver, make sure that the audio profile is perfectly balanced and is aligned to your tastes or games that you play.
We game to relax, and sometimes the extra mile that we put, in the name of gaming can go a long way. However, building your very own home theatre for console gaming is a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Avoid the compelling drama by planning carefully and jotting down layouts. Don’t go over your budget and have a solid idea of what you want. If you can do this, then you are on your way in having that brand-new piece of entertainment heaven.
What do you think? Do you have a home theater setup for console gaming? Do you enjoy console gaming or PC gaming better? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, or Facebook. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.