WORDS: Carol Watson
The days of a chunky TV on a table in the corner of the living room, with a couple of channels, are long gone, replaced with anything from a smart TV on the wall in the family room, to a dedicated room for the sole purpose of watching content on a state of the art screen, populated with every genre of viewable entertainment. Movies, news, documentaries, real-time sport, catch-up drama series, or gaming; the possibilities are endless as we continue to embrace and absorb the wealth of entertainment, readily accessible at the touch of a button.
The result is that we need a place to sit and relax and immerse ourselves in this exciting digital world. For anywhere from A$15,000 to A$25,000, you can create the ultimate TV/media room that allows you to view or interact with the content of your choice in the comfort of your very own home.
Home Theatre technology
Your choice of Video and Sound system is one of the most important decisions and this makes up a large portion of your financial investment, so you need to ensure you choose the system that works best for your room and fits your budget. Will you install a large TV or opt for a projector and screen. A large TV in an existing living room is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye, whilst the projector and screen is often more suited to the basement hideaway.
A 65” OLED UHD smart TV is priced from A$5,000 upwards, giving you the latest TV technology, a pencil-thin screen, bright vibrant colours and a high pixel count. A 65” LED UHD smart TV can be bought for around A$3,000, a lot less for recent technology but not the latest OLED (Organic LED). There is a great variance in pricing so it’s best to shop around, do your research and educate yourself on the existing and emerging technologies and compare the costs between the many brands. Maybe you don’t need the latest model or the biggest screen or a particular brand.
A 5.1 home theatre package will cost between A$2,000 and A$5,000 with three speakers at the front, two at the back and a subwoofer for the all-important bass. If your room is not too big and you don’t need surround sound, for A$500 to A$2,000 you can upgrade the sound from your TV by adding a sound bar. This can be wall mounted or sits just below the TV.
When buying a projector, consider where you will place it, ceiling mount or on a table or shelf. Lamp brightness is important for picture quality, particularly if using the projector in ambient light as opposed to a darkened room, and the all important throw ratio, which will determine if the projector will fill the screen from it’s location. All of these factors contribute to a price range of A$2,500 to A$4,500.
A 120-inch fixed frame projector screen will cost around A$900 whilst a pull down screen retails at less than half that price.
You also need to factor in installation costs to ensure your equipment is set up correctly, and all technologies are integrated. Work is usually charged at an hourly rate of about A$80 per hour and the duration of the job will depend on the complexity of the installation.
Most home theatre specialists offer in-home appraisals and provide a price for the whole package including equipment, modifications to the room, custom cabinetry to house equipment and hide cables and a full delivery and installation service. If building a new home, this is definitely the best way to ensure you have a fully integrated system providing the ultimate cinematic experience.
Acoustics are one of the most important aspects of the home theatre and you can influence this through your choice of fixtures and fittings. Aim for a balance of reflective and absorptive surfaces, so carpet on the floor to absorb sound or simply place a rug on a tiled or wooden floor.
You need to control natural light for daytime viewing and artificial light for evening viewing. The operation of motorised blinds can be tied into your home automation system allowing you to open and close them as the day progresses. Ensure your blinds have block-out so the room can be truly blackened out for the sharpest display.
Comfortable and adequate seating for all members of the family is important. For A$3,000 to A$4,000 you can purchase a 3-4-seater powered recliner lounge for your living room set up or multiples for the basement cinema room. With overhead lights, power and USB charging, armrest storage, illuminated cup-holders and LED strip lighting, your home theatre is complete. Add a bar fridge and snack tray and you’re ready to settle in and enjoy many hours of gaming or binge watching your favourite TV shows and movies.
If you would like to discuss options and ideas for renovation project, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.