By Kerry Hayes

Defining “home theatre” is difficult, however it can be viewed as an area within the home in which one can enjoy cinema quality audio and visual entertainment. According to Darren Salkow, Managing Director of Electronic Architects: “Home Theatre is popular because it brings the cinema experience to your home.’

A growing number of home owners are in a position to bring the theatre into their living rooms, as improvements in existing technology continually drive prices down, making quality home theatre technology affordable. Neil Zasman, owner of The Sensory Dispensary home entertainment consultants, says, “Much more time is spent at home these days and home theatres provide a ‘cinema’ experience in your home without the need to go out to the movies.”

There are three components that make up a home theatre system, says Rob Arnot of Audio Architects: a picture which can be Plasma, LCD or projector; an array of multiple speakers in a specific configuration; and multi-channel amplifier with surround sound processing and source equipment such as DVD, Blu-ray, DSTV, etc.

The first step to setting up an effective home theatre system, says Anthony Draper, Managing Director of Homemation, is to have a professional look at the room intended for the home theatre system, and offer advice on which system would be the best.

Basics of your home theatre system:

• A large-screen television (at least 27 inches across, measured diagonally) with a clear picture.
• At least four speakers.
• Equipment for splitting up the surround-sound signal and sending it to the speakers.
• Something that plays or broadcasts movies in surround-sound, preferably with a clear picture.