When you’re keen on a serious movie night it’s amazing how easy it can be to arrange. The kit list isn’t very long. In our man cave we transformed a normal room with a TV and XBox One into a serious home theatre.
Our equipment list included:
- Optoma EH320UST ultra short throw projector
- Onkyo HT-S5805 home theatre system
- Terminator Genisys on BluRay
- XBox One (existing)
The new gear was not small and was a bit of an effort to lug home. The Optoma projector was our pick of the crop because of the short distance to the wall that was required. Essentially it meant that we could move the TV out of the room, put the projector in its exact place and shoot a 110inch image onto the wall. Anyone able to buy a 110inch TV? Didn’t think so. The other advantage of short throw is that there are no shadows, if you get up, you won’t block the projection as you’re sitting behind it. The wall we projected onto wasn’t exactly ideal either, it was an army green, ideally it would be white. Fortunately the projector has great keystone capabilities to your whites still look white and you wouldn’t even think for a second that the wall it was projecting on was green, it is very impressive.
The Onkyo home theatre pack was the system that brought this all together though. An amplifier with plenty of inputs, even a slot specifically for devices like a Chromecast, all the speaker inputs and capable of handling 4K out of the box. The newest feature in this home theatre pack for me though was the introduction of Dolby Atmos. This is a new audio standard from the sound engineers of the world. It adds another element to the sound in movies and uses two inputs on the front L & R speakers essentially firing audio directly to you and above you. The speaker pack which went with the amplifier were moderate in size yet blew me away when they were used. They packed a real punch!
The system was all wired up within an hour or so. XBox connected to the Onkyo system with the output to the Optoma projector. The Optoma projector required a slight amount of focus adjustment, the amplifier required a sound configuration and the new bluray of Terminator Genisys went into the XBox. Tip for those using an XBox or any bluray player; make sure you allow the player to pass through the audio as the movie is intended. Some players will code the audio themselves sending the audio as a set format (Dolby Digital for example). If you leave it set that way then the true Dolby Atmos sound won’t be experienced.
We are watching Terminator Genisys because it is coded with Dolby Atmos sound. We wanted to ensure we were making the most of all the new technology. It was our first time seeing the new movie and we don’t think it was anything short of a cinema experience. The screen was extremely huge for a normal room, the sound was incredible and the movie was actually pretty good too!
Later, we played some games on the XBox (FIFA and Forza to be exact) and found that experience to be insane, playing FIFA on a huge screen is just amazing and the crowd heard through the speakers puts you in the game. The XBox also has the apps for things like Netflix so we enjoyed other shows also. One thing we also enjoyed was that the Optoma projector had enough power to perform really well in the middle of the day, with light breaking through the blind we didn’t have any issues enjoying the projector.
If you were to pay retail pricing for this kit here is the breakdown:
- Onkyo home theatre $1,699RRP
- Optoma projector $2,999RRP
- Terminator Genisys $25
- XBox One $449
When you consider how much we could spend on a new TV, $2,999 is not unreasonable. If you are going to setup a room for movie nights, gaming or a good night of TV then setting up a room with projector is a very compelling option. The home theatre pack we tested was an amazing deal. The speakers and amplifier are high-end and provide amazing sound right out of the box.
Living in Sydney his entire life, Geoff has always had a close eye on technology. Through school and immediately after, tech held his focus. Attending University later in life, Geoff began his IT career immediately after leaving high school and has been in the industry ever since. In his spare time he launched a YouTube channel focused on consumer tech that had millions of views. This led to work on community radio talking tech every week and has now stepped him into the studios of 2GB / 4BC every Saturday helping people with tech problems and reviewing the latest gadgets.
When Geoff is looking away from the screen he can be found holding a glass of red wine, spending time with friends and/or watching the Formula 1.