How to install a home cinema with a projector – and how much does it cost?10/22/2020
Movie lovers are still coming to terms with the temporary closure of many UK cinemas thanks to increased lockdown restrictions.
Sure, we can watch all the movies we want at home, but it’s just not the same as going to the cinema.
The big screen, the excited hush as the lights go down, the smell of butter popcorn. You just can’t get that on your sofa.
But, while you might not be able to exactly recreate the collective experience of watching a film surrounded by excited strangers, you can at least recreate some of the magic with your very own home cinema. But it won’t be cheap.
Home cinema searches on Checkatrade surged by 117% the week after the Cineworld closure announcement, suggesting that loads of people are already planning how to replace the missing cinema in their lives – but installing a projector and sound system can cost thousands.
But, as we are looking down the barrel of a winter mostly spent at home, you might just feel it’s a good investment.
Checkatrade have created a handy guide to help you plan your perfect home cinema, and workout exactly what you can get with your budget.
Home cinema installation checklist
- Home cinemas should always be created in places with enough space to ensure a decent viewing experience.
- Look at how commercial cinemas are decorated for inspiration – dark or carpeted walls to help with the transfer of sounds and light.
- Speak to your local home cinema experts for their professional advice.
- Consider the need to add soundproofing and other acoustic treatment.
- If converting a garage or basement, make sure the space is in good condition with the appropriate insulation and electricity supply.
- Shop around for fair and competitive home cinema installation costs.
- Always hire tradespeople with experience and relevant qualifications or accreditation.
How much does a home cinema cost?
The average cost for home cinema installation is around £15,000. Ouch.
But this price can vary massively, depending on the specific setup that you choose.
There are a number of key factors that will influence the total cost, including:
- Size of the room
- Type of equipment
- Spec/quality of equipment used
- Any electrical or soundproofing work needed
- Where you live
The average price of a home theatre is now much cheaper than it used to be, and there are more affordable options for entertainment equipment. To help you plan a budget for your home cinema project, it’s useful to look at the average spec for your equipment.
They are usually split into basic, mid-range and high-end systems:
Basic home cinema installation price: £3,250
If you have a modest budget for your home cinema, you can keep the cost down by using a large TV instead of a screen and projector.
This is a great option if your room is on the smaller side as you might not have the space for a projector setup. This budget generally assumes you’re using an existing room in your home with no conversion or prep work needed.
Mid-range home cinema installation price: £8,450
If you have a slightly bigger budget to work with, you’ll still be looking at using a large TV within your home cinema – you can push this budget up if you want to use a projector.
You might also want to consider in-wall speakers instead of floor-standing subwoofer to really upgrade the quality of the surround sound.
This price range for your home cinema assumes you’re using a specific space in your home, maybe a new or extended area.
High-end home cinema installation price: £17,250+
For those of you with a lot of money to invest your home cinema, there is no limit to how much you can spend.
You can opt for the very latest, top-of-the-range projector equipment and increase the number and quality of speakers.
You could even splash out for a full-on Dolby Atmos speaker system for a truly epic cinema experience.
Other home cinema installation costs
Although the entertainment equipment takes up a large chunk of the overall price of your home theatre, there are a few other costs to consider:
You want to make sure the room you’re using for your home cinema has the best acoustics possible.
Your choice of furnishing will help create the room’s acoustics but it’s often a good idea to get professional advice from a home cinema expert. This includes soundproofing the room to make sure noise doesn’t disturb the rest of the house.
In a home cinema, you want to be able to control everything from the palm of your hand.
An integrated control system will not only let you turn the equipment on and off, you’ll also be able to dim the lights, switch inputs and operate all the individual equipment units.
The cost of a control system varies depending on the processor, handset and type of programming, but you’re looking at a price from around £1,500.
The lighting in your home cinema is important to get right, as it makes a huge difference to the look and feel of the room.
The lights in your home cinema could be remote controlled and dimmable. As well as the main lighting, you can also get task lighting for the seats so don’t spill your drink or popcorn.
The average cost of home cinema lighting is in the region of £750.
One of the most important elements for your enjoyment of your home cinema is the seating you choose.
Whether it’s cinema style seating or sofas, you want to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible – in an ideal world, a motorised reclining function would be a lovely touch of luxury.
The average cost for home cinema seating is about £1,250 per person.
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