How to set up your home cinema

Bring the theatre home


Here's what you need to bring Hollywood home.


Blackout curtains


A well-darkened room is essential for any home cinema experience, particularly when using a projector. Invest in some thick curtains such as Ikea’s Marjun for 399RMB; or just add lightweight Minglu reflector curtains (39RMB, www.jd.com). They lock in heat as well keep out light, so you’ll be kept toasty at night.


Projector

BenQ 1070+ projector


With 3D movies still all the rage in Hollywood, it could be worth investing in a 3D projector. There are plenty to choose from, such as the top-of-the-range Epson 5030UB (16,000RMB, www.epson.com), which offers stellar 3D quality. You’ll need 3D glasses too. For the least hassle, look for those that match your projector brand.


A more affordable 3D option is the BenQ W1070+ (7,499RMB, www.jd.com), an industry favourite. It’s fully HD and wireless, which means you’ll never have to deal with tangled wires again. For glasses, the BenQ 3D Active Glasses (299RMB, www.tmall.com) are a decent choice.


Speakers


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Bigger is not necessarily better for acoustics, since powerful speakers can overwhelm a small space. The most classic speaker arrangement for bringing movies to life in the home is what’s known as the 5.1 channel configuration: five speaker units and a subwoofer, positioned to the front and rear of the room, wrapping the viewer in surround sound. Many brands offer a home theatre in a box (HTIB), which bundles of all the parts required to recreate this effect, such as the Samsung HT-E353K (1,080RMB, www.gome.com.cn)


Projector screen


Pull-down screens are the handiest and most practical, disappearing into the ceiling with a quick tug, restoring your living room to its original state. Projector screens start at around 72 inches and 219RMB (HongXin, www.jd.com). Motorised automatic projector screens are also available and can be only slightly pricier than their manual equivalents.


To keep things hassle-free when setting up your equipment, get the projector fixed to the ceiling, out of the way, so you don’t have to repeatedly put it on a stand and readjust.


Measure up before buying. For a 150-inch screen you’re going to need to put the projector between two and five metres away.


Popcorn maker


You’ll wonder why you ever paid the extortionate prices at the cinema for what is essentially just grains of corn in a bowl, when you can make it yourself in three minutes.


The newest generation of popcorn machines (yes, there are generations of this technology) – the Maxhler MSLAY105 (219RMB, www.tmall. com) – requires only a handful of dried corn, available from the local supermarket, and a sprinkle of flavouring mixed in before it fills to the brim with puffy white balls.


The luxury of this piping hot snack on demand will make you one of the most popular hosts around.


Streaming service


If you’re looking for online services to stream or download films, Netflix and Amazon Prime are obvious choices for access to a wide selection of overseas material (with a reliable VPN service, that is). But there’s plenty of local choice from Chinese providers that are fast-loading and are either free or require a cheap subscription (we’re talking as little as 10RMB per month) for full HD.


Popular platforms include PPTV, iQIYI, Youku and Baidu Internet TV. While a huge library of foreign TV shows is available, their options for Western movies are often limited.

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