We’re living in difficult times, where we’re locked at home and can’t have our friends and loved ones physically in the same room.
Going to the cinema is one of the many simple pastimes that has been affected by coronavirus, but it doesn’t have to be lost to it.
Setting up your home cinema lets you watch shows and films with the people you care about.
I’ve drawn on my personal experiences living in a houseshare to explain how to create the ultimate lockdown cinema room – don’t worry if you’re on your own, living with a partner, or at your folks, there are tips for you too.
Pick the right room
Going to the cinema is a social thing – if it wasn’t then you’d watch Netflix on your own in your room, ahhh…
But as you’ve decided you want a cinema experience (instead of a solo Netflix session) you need to buy into the community spirit it demands. What this means is that you need to pick the right room to watch your film and shows in and that it has to be one everyone in your household uses.
If you’re like me, this means that it has to be the living room – ain’t no one watching Big Trouble in Little China in the kitchen, no way.
With your room chosen, you can get on to the important detail of setting it up properly.
Get the visuals right
There are two non-negotiables when you’re creating the ultimate lockdown cinema room (I cover the second later on) and the first of these is the visuals – that’s right, the device you’re watching your films and shows on.
I think you and I can agree that your cinema screen needs to be the biggest one in your house. If we can’t then (honestly) you should have a word with yourself.
Now, I’m one of the many people who live in a houseshare and that means I don’t have a TV. So, every time me and my housemates watch something together it means that I have to bring my PC monitor down from my room.
It’s enough hassle to bring my monitor down. So the PC box stays upstairs and we watch by connecting my smartphone to my monitor via micro USB to HDMI, which (I’ll be honest) is no hassle whatsoever.
Now, if this scene doesn’t ring true for you then it’s because you’re one of the lucky people whose household
- a) has a TV in the communal area
- b) has a good TV in the communal area
Good for you, all you need to do now is get the sound right.
Get the sound right
I feel like I might be talking a little too much about myself here, but hear me out – I’m not unique, there are millions of living in houseshares with friends or associates (we can’t all buy our own places or do so with our partner).
It’s why I’m continuing here by saying that the second non-negotiable of getting the sound right may also involve things from your bedroom going on a trip, specifically your speaker system.
Just like connecting your phone to your monitor, it’s a dream to put your speakers and monitor together. Where problems might arise is if you’re putting someone else’s speakers together with your monitor (or vice versa) or your speakers and the TV.
Ideally, your speakers came with the right cable to attach them to your TV or monitor. If they don’t then the chances are that it just needs a simple jack plug – and who doesn’t have one of those lying around?
Of course, if you already have a good speaker setup and it’s connected to your TV then take a bow – you just need to sort out one thing, you lucky thing,
Pick the right people
It goes without saying that during lockdown you can’t have face-to-face time with your people in the normal way – but that doesn’t mean you can’t have it.
I’ve walked my nan through the process of getting set up on FaceTime. I’ve also got my parents (who are 59 and 61) and autistic younger brother available via Amazon Echo Show.
Having used the Echo Show, I highly recommend adding it to your cinema room, so your friends and family that are elsewhere can be part of the experience.
If you can’t get one or don’t want to then you can still watch films and shows with your friends and loved ones by using the earlier mentioned FaceTime.
Now that you’ve set up your home cinema (and it really takes no effort at all to do so), with its great visuals, clear sound, and ace audience, all that’s left is to pick what your watching – and, honestly, that’ll be the longest task at all (unless everyone’s happy to watch ‘Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.’