Technology has heavily impacted many aspects of life today. Perhaps its most striking impact is the one it has had on entertainment. People stream movies on their phones, render images in ultra high definition, and game with virtual reality headsets. A wireless home theater incorporates modern technologies for maximum convenience in terms of setup, but it may come with a few drawbacks.
Here, we’ll go over the basic components of a wireless home theater systems as well as some items to be aware of during installation.
What Is a Wireless Home Theater?
A wireless home theater is a home entertainment system that includes at least one element of wireless technology. The vast majority of wireless products are speakers, but there are also wireless projectors and TVs available on today’s market.
Several brands produce wireless speakers, including these top manufacturers:
- Sonos: The Sonos Playbar is a simple soundbar speaker that mounts under your TV and allows for wireless music streaming. However, to play sound from your TV, it does need to be connected via a single optical cable.
- Denon: Denon HEOS wireless speaker systems can connect to your TV and allow wireless streaming to any part of your home.
- DTS Play-Fi: DTS Play-Fi products connect wirelessly to mobile devices and stream music to any connected speakers. They can also be configured to provide surround sound for your TV.
- Yamaha: Yamaha MusicCast 20 speakers connect to wireless-capable receivers, making them great as rear speakers in a full surround sound system.
Numerous wireless TVs, also known as “smart TVs,” are on the market, including brands like Sharp, Insignia, Sony, and TCL. These TVs receive data through WiFi and can stream various shows, movies, and so forth from numerous sources. Even though they use a wireless connection, they are available in 4K Ultra HD, providing unparalleled picture quality.
Many home theaters incorporate projectors instead of TVs, allowing for larger pictures without the need for massive LED screens. Wireless projectors come from numerous brands, and while the best ones can be quite pricey, they produce a much larger visual than you’d get for a 4K HDR TV at the same price. With their wireless capabilities, you also avoid the mess of wires you’d normally have crisscrossing the room.
Advantages of Wireless Systems in Your Home Theater
Wireless home theater systems have one major advantage over wired systems: you don’t have so many wires to deal with. The traditional mess of cables hidden somewhere behind your TV screen is a thing of the past, replaced instead with WiFi or Bluetooth transmission.
This advantage really shines when you’re going for a full theater experience. Rear speakers, for instance, benefit from wireless connectivity since you don’t have to thread long cables all the way to the back of the room. Likewise, projectors, which tend to be mounted in the back wall or the ceiling, won’t have the complicated wiring needs that a wired projector would have.
The possibilities need not be limited to your home theater. Many homeowners have installed distributed AV equipment throughout the entire house, allowing you to stream music to speakers in every room. It’s also possible to set up your system to limit streaming to only certain areas. Coupled with a central hub like Amazon Echo or Google Home, you can play audio to specific rooms using voice commands.
The possibilities for streaming sources present another advantage. You can stream movies from your mobile device, a laptop, or even from the TV itself in certain cases. Roku TVs, for instance, provide you with multiple streaming options, allowing ready access to a vast library of content.
Drawbacks and Caveats
Along with all the advantages are a few drawbacks to be aware of. The main difficulty a wireless home theater may run into is the fickle nature of WiFi signals. While a high quality router and adapter will largely overcome this problem, other environmental factors could still interrupt the signal. Walls can also weaken WiFi signals, so you need to be sure to set up your wireless network for maximum coverage.
In addition, some wireless systems aren’t exactly wireless. Certain brands of speakers, for instance, claim to be wireless, but in reality they just connect by wire to a separate wireless receiver. You still need another receiver hooked up to your sound system to transmit the signal to the “wireless” unit.
A final issue that many homeowners run into is compatibility. Different devices may support one another really well, while others don’t quite synch up. As such, when selecting devices for your wireless home theater, make sure they are all compatible with one another, especially if you want maximum functionality.
Setting Up a Wireless Home Theater System
When setting up your home theater system for wireless connectivity, there are a few items to keep in mind when choosing devices:
- Are these devices (speakers, TV, projector, etc.) compatible with one another?
- Can my WiFi system support these devices?
- Will they work with my smart home hub (Alexa, Google Home, etc.)?
- How large is my home theater? Different speakers and screens will be better for larger settings, while others are ideal for smaller rooms. Bluetooth in particular is best for shorter distances.
Wireless home theater components are fairly simple to set up, for the most part. However, there are professional services that can handle the design and installation for you. Naturally, you’ll end up paying extra for the labor involved, but the results can be astounding.
Wireless home theaters and other home electronics may be covered by an electronics extended warranty. This is available as add-on protection to a regular home warranty, and the coverage is offered through Asurion Services, LLC, a company based in Nashville, TN.