Home Cinema Advice

Posted by: sidney on 28 September 2018

Hello I am new to the forum, just looking for advice regarding home cinema. I have a second lounge which I plan to turn in to home cinema room. I am just looking for advice with regards to what I will need exactly in terms of projector, screens, lighting, blackouts and brackets etc. Any advice please?

Posted on: 28 September 2018 by thebigfredc

Welcome Sidney.

Naim dipped their toe into the Home Cinema market and the naughties before bowing out in favour of streaming.

Nevertheless, I am sure there are some knowladgable folks around these parts who will help.


Posted on: 28 September 2018 by Richard Dane

Sidney, that sounds like an exciting project.  How big a room, and what kind of budget?  Are you looking at a full custom install in-wall type system or are you up for using regular speakers (the latter usually sounds better and is much cheaper)?

Posted on: 28 September 2018 by fatcat

If youíre looking for something basic, simple, superbly engineered and a thing of beauty, the EIKI ST/M series is a good option. Not as many features as the likes of Bell & Howell, but not as complicated, therefore less likely to need repairing and nice and quiet. (Relativley). You can probably pick up a good example for under a ton, with another £15 for belts.

For 16mm sound, this is my go to machine. Silent, itís the Bolex G816.



Posted on: 29 September 2018 by sidney

Thank you for your responses, my room is 4x3 metres. When I say home cinema I meant as in a digital system with HDMI input. The EIKI ST/M certainly looks interesting but I'm guessing that is an analogue device of sorts and I wouldn't know where to source the media for that.

Posted on: 29 September 2018 by Mike Sullivan

Thatís probally quite a small room. I use a 3.8m by 5m room as a combined office / media room and play across the shorter length. I use a 65 cm OLED 4K tv and a UnitiCute2/NAP100 with Totem Hawk speakers, no surround sound. It works really well and the totems have a great holographic sound stage, so the audio is really good. I play 4K discs through a Cambridge UDX player and also use a 4K Apple TV, both HDMI outputs to tv, then optical out of the tv to the optical input on the UnitiCute2.

Probally best to think about whether a large OLED tv will work in the space and whether you want a high quality stereo system or surround sound? Good luck.

Posted on: 01 October 2018 by NickSeattle

In a small room, 3.0 or 3.1 can be very good.  Add surround speakers later, if you must.  For video, I find the addition of the center speaker makes an important improvement ó more than a subwoofer and surround speakers do, IMHO.


Posted on: 07 October 2018 by Alley Cat
sidney posted:

Hello I am new to the forum, just looking for advice regarding home cinema. I have a second lounge which I plan to turn in to home cinema room. I am just looking for advice with regards to what I will need exactly in terms of projector, screens, lighting, blackouts and brackets etc. Any advice please?

Frankly you could probably get a pretty impressive 1080p projector simply projecting onto a white wall for under £1000.

What you really need to consider is things like table/rear room or ceiling projection vs 55" or larger wall mounted TV.

You could buy a fantastic projector and then find the projected screen size is limited by placement if the throw ratio isn't right.

Personally I've always preferred DLP vs LCD projectors but there is probably little in it these days, and also consider that older projectors needed/still need high power 'bulbs' vs more modern laser/LED  projectors.

Critically I think you need to block incoming light from windows with blackout liners for curtains at the simplest level.

Once ambient light is reduced the low level black performance of the projector becomes very important so that black looks almost black not dark grey.

Again, if you've never used a projector before almost anything will probably give you the huge screen 'bang for the buck' vs TVs.

What will be your source? Streaming box? Sky? DVD player? BluRay? 4k Blu Ray?  It needn't be expensive but something you have to consider and any streaming system will be better with fast broadband connections, especially if using a service which degrades quality on slower internet connections.

Next think source/AV amp vs display/projector connections  - the source might sit close to the AV amp, but if using a projector you might need a >5m HDMI lead or consider wireless HD transmission.

Ultimately get a good source TV/projector with best in range black levels, sort out blackout needs, then add the surround system.



Posted on: 08 October 2018 by Richard Dane

If you go for a projector, you will need to factor in a few important things.  Firstly, projectors work best in a dark room, so any cinema room should provide a black out, as well as suitable lighting arrangements - floor lighting, dimming, and controls that can be operated from the seating.  Secondly, projectors have different throws - some designed to be used in a large space positioned at the back, others close up or in the middle of the room. Are you going to fix to the ceiling, or use it in a cabinet or on a table nearer the floor?  Depending on where you are looking to position the projector - and the size of screen you intend to project onto -  some may be more suitable than others.  So figure out where the projector is going to be located and how large the screen will be, and then do your research. Where it goes also has a bearing on how much noise from the unit is tolerable, so bear that in mind as well.

And if you are thinking of choosing DLP then check if you can see the rainbow effect.  Some people are more susceptible than others, and some projectors are more prone to this than others.  I used to have an Infocus projector that was supposedly one of the better examples for not showing this, but ultimately I was quite susceptible to even mild forms of the rainbow effect.  A 3 DLP projector or LCD/D-ILA projector is the solution. 

Posted on: 11 October 2018 by sidney

I really appreciate all your advice folks, that has given me some real food for thought. Thanks very much to all.