Get the cinema experience in your own home

The suspense. The surround sound. The atmosphere!

The cinema is an exciting and totally immersive experience that until recently could not be replicated. With today’s technology though, we can capably recreate the big screen experience in our own homes with the added bonus of home comfort.

Here are some top tips and essential gadgets to  if you want to create the ultimate cinematic experience in your own home:

The cinema room

Firstly you need to make sure you have your room prepared. In an ideal world this would be a sound-proofed room separate from the other rooms, perhaps in the loft, a converted basement or a garage. A separate room will allow you the space to have a larger TV, speaker system and gadgets integrated around the room. If this isn’t possible though, a living room will be more than sufficient as your cinema.

When preparing a room for a home cinema, consider your available space. You don’t want a TV that’s way too small for the room and you’re squinting to see, and equally you don’t need a completely overpowering sound system designed for a music festival! Take measurements of the room and draw out a plan of how you see the furniture being arranged.

Paint the room a darker colour if possible (this is why it’s a good idea if your cinema can be in a separate room so it doesn’t impact on your living area) so that it makes the room darker when the lights are out.


You absolutely need to have a 3D cinema TV – one of the new ones from LG that comes with built-in Sky is perfect. The NOW TV app allows you to have subscription-free on demand films, sports, catch-up TV and music. If you go for a slim-line 3D smart TV, you can get a wall mount from Currys to hold it in place.

When picking an audio system, make sure it’s compatible with Dolby Digital for the ultimate surround sound experience. It works by delivering audio through 5.1 channels rather than two like stereo for a completely realistic sound.

A comfortable sofa or some arm chairs are also a must – there’s nothing more distracting when watching a film than not being able to get comfortable in your seat. A reclining armchair or one that comes with a footrest is best for optimal luxury.

To make the experience completely immersive like the cinema, you want to make the room as dark as possible. Get some blackout blinds like these to eliminate any light trying to creep in through windows or door frames.


Once you’ve got your essentials, if your budget will allow you to splash out on some extras, there are some great ways to enhance the room. You could install a popcorn maker (if you choose one that cooks with hot air it’s much healthier than cooking with butter or oil) and reclining cinema seats with cup holders – this article has a list with some options.

In terms of audio, if you’re going all out, you really need a THX system. Pioneered by George Lucas, the technology sets standards for room acoustics, and a dedicated team will install it to ensure the speakers, screen and seats are in the optimal positions as well as providing the best viewing angles, lighting levels and so on. The price tag may mean it’s just for the die-hard film fans, but if you can afford it –  it’s worth it.

If you want a no-expense spared professional home cinema installed in your home, visit Cinema Rooms at www.cinema-rooms.co.uk.

Click here for how to video

With a home cinema theatre installed, you can watch the best current films without even having to leave the house. Simply sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

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Three must have holiday gadgets

With dark miserable January days upon us we can be excused for allowing our minds to wonder, picturing ourselves on a white sandy beach with a cocktail in one hand and a good book in the other. When we finally take the plunge and book our yearly break we need to make sure we have the tools at hand to make our travels as relaxed as possible.

From the best in entertainment to those little gadgets that make life easier; here are a list of some of the must have gadgets to make your holiday run as smoothly as possible.

CallUma Tag’n’Traq

Now there is no worse a feeling than being stood at the baggage carousel at the airport anxiously waiting for your luggage to appear. At first you’re calm, but when half an hour has passed and the crowds have dispersed and all that seems to be circling the carousel are a buggy and a few questionable boxes you start to panic. Now I have never been unlucky enough to have lost my luggage whilst travelling (touch wood) but I was once the last one to be reunited with my bag when travelling with a party of 20 and it was certainly nerve wracking.There’s no way to avoid the stress that it would undoubtedly cause if your baggage were to go missing but the CallUma Tag’n’Traq can help to put your find at ease a little.

Simply attach one of the tags to your luggage with your unique tracking number and if your luggage doesn’t turn up call CallUma with the number and they will do the rest, keeping you updated via text or email as to where your bag has got to. A great way to keep your mind at rest that if your luggage were to go missing it will be back with you as quickly as possible.

Wi-Fi finder

We’ve all been there, we’ve just stumbled across the best view we have ever seen or we happen to be at the most exciting tourist attraction and we are desperate to share this (show off) to all our Facebook and Twitter followers. But overseas in an unfamiliar place it can be difficult to know where we can get Wi-Fi. With the Wi-Fi finder you just point and click this little gadget and a series of LEDs will tell you where your nearest Wi-Fi hotspot is. Perfect AND easy to use.

Sony Bloggie 3D camera

When we go away we want to be able to capture the images we’ve seen in the best way possible so we can re-visit them again as many times as we want when we get home. The Sony Bloggie 3D camera allows us to capture images and view them back in 3D – what could make you feel more like you were back in your holiday paradise than watching it back in 3D?!

The light-weight pocket size camera has two screens and offers dynamic 1920×1080 3D HD video, you can even view your videos back immediately in 3D without the need for 3D glasses.

The camera also has the capability to take videos and still photographs in 2D should you prefer and is a must have for those who want to remember and share their holiday in as much detail as possible.

Top Tip

If you are planning on going away this year with these or any other travel gadgets, make sure you take out an adequate travel insurance policy. There’s nothing worse than facing a hefty loss if any of your more expensive possessions were to be lost or stolen whilst you were away. Price comparison sites such as MoneySupermarket.com can help you find a great deal on your travel insurance so it doesn’t have to cost the earth to protect your favourite holiday gadgets.

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LG unveils glasses-free 3D for mobile devices

LG Electronics (LG) announced today it will showcase a 4.3-inch glasses-free 3D display for mobile devices at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. With a first look at the latest in 3D innovation, LG sets the pace for mobile 3D displays and secures its role as a forward-thinking technology leader in the mobile market.

Featuring a WVGA touchscreen and 480×800 pixel resolution, the 4.3-inch 3D display offers the optimum screen size for watching 3D on a mobile device. Viewers can watch videos or play games without straining their eyes with the display’s immersive 3D technology that provide exceptionally bright and flicker-free images.

Making 3D glasses a thing of the past, LG’s 3D display uses an applied parallax barrier technology, which delivers a series of light-blocking slits attached to the front of the LCD panel. The slits, or barriers, ensure that the left and right eyes see different images, creating an illusion of depth and a thoroughly convincing 3D effect.

Working closely with LG Display, LG has also drastically reduced crosstalk. The new display has straighter, more upright barriers that are very precisely aligned to the LCD panel. This technological advance not only means smoother, brighter, crosstalk-free images, but also a wider viewing angle than on previous parallax displays.

Bringing 3D technology into consumer’s everyday lives, LG will be demonstrating its mobile 3D display throughout CES.

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Gadget of the Week: Aiptek 3D Camera

Whether you’re loving 3D or still hooked on 2D the new Aiptek 3D camera is a great way to get into to 3D filming as it’s affordable and easy peasy to use. It’s a funky looking, compact 5megapixel camera and even better It uses two separate lenses and image sensors to record sensational videos in 3D.

You can playback your recording immediately on the device, upload it straight to YouTube 3D using the embedded USB connector and 3D glasses (included), or watch it on your fancy-pants 3D TV, through the supplied HDMI cable. The Aiptek battery will last for up to 1.5 hours and has an expandable memory suited for 32GB SD cards.

If 3D isn’t really your cup of tea then the Aiptek camera will also record in high definition 2D and take stills too. This camera really is more than just a camcorder, 3d is pretty much the future of technology. Woohoo!

The Aiptek 3D Camera is available now from www.Firebox.com priced £199.99

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