How to set up a home cinema on a budget header image

Published: 14th Oct 2014

The UK is a nation of film lovers. Whether it's taking a trip to the cinema or relaxing at home, we just can't get enough of movies. 

Indeed, if you're particularly fond of watching films in the comfort of your own living room, it might be worth considering creating your own home cinema system. 

Of course, there is usually one drawback to replicating the cinema experience at home: cost. Big screens, projectors, sound systems - none of it comes cheap, and for many of us it's just not possible to re-create the cinema experience. 

However, just because you can't afford to go the whole hog with a home cinema doesn't mean you can't take a few steps towards making the living room movie experience more authentic. 

Start streaming

The first step to creating a budget home cinema is to have a fast and reliable broadband connection. It's likely the internet isn't the first thing that springs to your mind when you think of the film experience, but it actually has an important part to play in replicating the cinema without breaking the bank.

Thanks to services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, it's now possible to stream thousands of movies online all for an affordable subscription cost. This gives you access to a huge variety of films and means you save on having to pay for DVDs or a Blu-ray player. If you like to actually own your favourite movies, you can always download them and save the files on your computer. 

Streaming is certainly a popular option with Brits, as according to research released by the Post Office and Freeview earlier this year, more than half (55 per cent) of the population use paid streaming services. Meanwhile, a March survey by research organisation Decipher found 14 per cent of respondents had a Netflix subscription.

If you're going to be streaming or downloading films on a satellite broadband connection, make sure you have enough data to do so. Click here to learn more.

Not sure about the prospect of watching a film on your laptop or tablet? You can easily view a streamed film on your TV instead by purchasing a HDMI cable and connecting the two devices. These cables are inexpensive, with many available for just a few pounds. 

When it comes to sound, if you don't have the cash to invest in the latest high-tech system, you can still buy a good set of speakers for a relatively low cost, which will help to improve the film-watching experience.

Finishing touches

Another way to recreate the cinema in your living room is to pay attention to the little things that help to replicate the cinematic experience. For example, why not dim the lights when you watch a film and get some popcorn to eat? You can also decorate the room with posters of your favourite films. Put all of this together and you'll have created a decent little home cinema of your own, without making too much of a dent in your wallet.