If there’s one thing most of us are doing more of now, it’s watching or streaming TV and movies at home. In fact, Nielsen has reported increases in TV watching by as much as 104% for some demographics. With social distancing measures keeping so many people at home, and with movie theaters temporarily closed, the trend will likely continue.

It’s no surprise then that demand is also growing for home theater equipment, including projectors, sound bars, and streaming devices. More people, it seems, are intent on creating their own cinema experience—either with a dedicated home theater room or by upgrading movie night in their living room.

Connection essentials

Before your customers fill their online shopping carts with high-priced audio and video tech, make sure you get some of the basics right first. The wrong connections and cabling, for instance, can drag down even the best equipment.

Start with the HDMI cables. You’re going to need at least a few of them to complete your setup, and chances are you already have a few kicking around in the back of your truck. The client may even have a few that can be reused from their existing setup. The problem? They could be HDMI 1.4—an old standard incapable of handling the higher frame rates and bandwidth needed to deliver 4K video at its very best. The solution: Make sure all HDMI cables for the new setup are compatible with HDMI 2.0.

You’ll also want to educate the client on the value of connecting streaming devices directly to the modem via Ethernet cabling. This ensures 4K video can stream at peak quality and at no risk of downgrades or frequent buffering. Depending on the locations of the modem and streaming devices, this might require some additional structured wiring to execute.

Dedicated home theater room essentials

For clients who have the luxury of dedicating an entire room to their new home theater experience, the sky is the limit for equipment type. Even a simple setup would include a projector, projector screen, A/V receiver, surround sound system, and media devices, such as a Blu-ray player or streaming device.

For installers and specialists consulting on these high-priced setups, the connection essentials we discussed above are particularly important. Taking the time to run dedicated cabling and structured wiring solutions through the room will ensure the best possible experience, and also help futureproof the client’s setup for future tech advances.

Easy living room upgrades

Of course, you don’t need a dedicated room to create a great home theater. Some people simply want to upgrade their living room movie night experience with a better TV, surround sound, and a soundbar. For these clients, delivering the best bang for their buck means getting the most out of their equipment.

If structured wiring solutions aren’t feasible for one reason or another, consider trying a simple plug-and-play powerline adapter. This lets you run a semi-direct Ethernet connection from the modem to the streaming device via the home’s existing wiring. And if the logistics of running HDMI cables from one device to another are too challenging, you can try a wireless HDMI transmitter instead.

Whether the client has a high-priced home theater or a more basic one, the right setup goes a long way to delivering the best possible experience. Make sure you’re educating your home theater clients on the essentials that turn a good home cinema experience into a great one.