Silver screen: essential kit for the ultimate home cinema

From £22,000 projectors to seven-speaker surround sound systems, here are the best gadgets for movie buffs

Projectors

Sony projector $30k

(Image credit: Sony)

Film lovers looking for the perfect home cinema experience may want to invest in a high-quality projector.

To get started, you’ll need a bare white wall or a roll-up projector screen as displaying an image on a coloured wall can hamper picture quality. It’s also best to have thick curtains or blinds in order to lock out as much light as possible as a dark room will substantially improve the clarity of projected images.

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Movie buffs on the hunt for the ultimate all-in-one system with 4K picture quality need look no further than the Sony LSPX-A1 short throw projector [pictured above]. With a price tag of $30,000 (£22,000), the LSPX-A1 is among the most expensive projectors on the market.

The device is housed in a stylish wood and aluminium cabinet that resembles a coffee table, making the projector look more like a luxurious piece of furniture than a hi-tech gadget. Along with the projector, Sony has fitted six speakers into the cabinet. These deliver 360-degree audio that replicates sounds coming from different directions.

Mid-range projectors, meanwhile, offer incredibly crisp image quality at a fraction of the price of an all-in-one cabinet like the Sony LSPX-A1.

Popular choices include the £3,999 JVC DLA-X5900, the £2,999 Optoma UHD65 and Epson’s £2,600 EH-TW9300.

TVs

If space is an issue, or you prefer a more streamlined set-up, you can choose from a host of hi-tech 4K TVs. Finding the right television can be a challenge as there are countless models on sale, all with different features and apps.

One of the market leaders is LG, the makers of the OLED TV range. These models offer rich colours and stylish designs, as well as an ultra-sharp 4K image resolution. Most come with HDR, too. This bolsters contrast ratios for more lifelike lighting effects.

The most recent LG TVs, such as the £7,499 Signature model, are compatible with Dolby’s Vision and Atmos modes. Dolby Vision enhances the colours and lighting effects of certain 4K films. Atmos, meanwhile, tweaks the audio of a film to maximise the output of your speaker set-up.

Dolby Vision is currently exclusive to LG models using the in-built Rakuten streaming service app and the improvements it provides compared to a standard 4K HDR image are noticeable. Dolby Atmos, on the other hand, can be found on a variety of TVs and gadgets.

Speakers

The perfect home cinema isn’t just about the image quality of your TV or projector. From the high-pitched screeching of tyres in a car chase to the loud bangs of an explosion, the right surround sound set-up can drastically change the way you experience a film.

Smaller 5.1 surround sound systems comprise five speakers and one sub woofer. These include the £1,699 Kef T305, [pictured top] which comes with three forward-facing speakers. An additional two speakers are located behind the viewer, as is one sub unit.

Film lovers wanting to fill their room with sound may opt for a larger system with seven speakers, along with one or two sub woofers. These are similar to 5.1 systems, but the additional two speakers can be placed either at the side of the viewer or mounted in the ceiling. Most speaker manufacturers, such as Kef, sell additional speakers that can be added to your existing audio 5.1 system.

You’ll need an amplifier, such as the £1,499 Denon AVR-X6400H, to connect the speakers to your TV or projector.

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