Home theater automation can range from controlling the lights in your home theater (on/off/dimming), turning on/off the media sources and display devices, controlling the blinds, controlling the HVAC system, controlling the recliners, and even the home theater receivers/amplifiers/AV processors.
You can either do it yourself or use some of the more professional but expensive installation options such as Control 4.
However, in this guide, am going to be mainly focusing on the lesser expensive voice assistant options and that is Google Home and Alexa.
With some of the other DIY home automation options, you may have to do most of the programming yourself and this can be very tedious not forgetting that some of us are not that good at programming.
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What will I need for home theater automation?
- Voice assistant such as Google Assistant (Nest) or Amazon Alexa (echo dot) to run your commands.
- Smart lighting options such as smart dimmable light bulbs, smart dimmable switches, smart LEDs, smart optical fibers for a star ceiling, and so on.
- Smart displays (projector or TV) with Alexa or Google Assistant voice control options and media sources.
- Smart AV processors (with Alexa or Google assistant).
- Smart reclining seats.
- A smart air conditioning system (HVAC) for the home theater.
- Smart blinds for the windows.
- Smart power surge protectors and power sockets.
- A smart universal remote hub.
If you have enough DIY skills on how to set up and install the various components of a home theater, you can do it by yourself without needing professional help. However, for the temperature control installation and electrical wiring, it is highly recommended that a professional does it.
Consolidate your home theater system components
After the installation of all your home theater components and devices, you can consolidate all of them in your smartphone, remote, and voice assistant speaker.
Give the home assistant permission to communicate with the various devices from your dimmable switches to every smart component. To do this you need to have the home assistant app installed on your smartphone or tablet and add the devices to the home assistant. After the devices are discovered by the home assistant, you should be able to run everything with ease.
This will reduce the need of having multiple remotes for the home theater and you will be able to control everything using either your voice, clicking on the remote’s button or simply using an app on your smartphone.
Set up your routines on the home assistant
You can set up different routines to control different light, media devices, and so on. An example of this would be “Alexa, goodnight” to turn off all the components from the lights to the receiver to everything.
This will eliminate the need of having to scroll through the various commands for various actions as you can customize your own commands according to your preference.
You can also choose when you want a certain action executed by setting up a schedule. An example of this would be to set the time you want the lights to turn off or on at a certain time each day.
Adding motion sensors to your seats and doors can also be great for triggering certain actions with your movement. A good example would be adding a command to turn on your whole home theater system when you enter your room and to turn on/off certain lights when motion is detected or not detected. You can turn off the lights after 20 minutes if there is no motion and so on.
Your home assistant can also adjust the smart climate control in your home theater using the weather reports depending on how you want.
You can set up your recliner to be at a certain angle every time you are watching a moving. The options are endless.
Hire a professional if you want something more complex or if you are not handy enough
Hiring a professional to set up everything for you could be expensive but it is worth the money. This can be great if you do not plan on using some of the latest home assistant options and want to use systems like Control4, AMX and so on which require some level of programming.
However, considering how much simpler setting up smart home controls have become, doing it by yourself should not be much of a hassle if you understand how the various home theater components work. The satisfaction of setting up everything yourself is also immense not forgetting how much money you get to save.
It is also important to note that smart home theater devices such as smart light, TVs, receivers, and so on can also be quite expensive.
Should I set up home theater automation?
Here is are some of the things to consider when you want to set up your DIY home theater automation;
- Are you willing to spend money on the expensive smart home theater automation equipment?
- Are you technical enough and understand how the various smart equipment work?
- Are you handy to do the installation and any upgrades that you may need later on?
If you said yes to all, then you are good to proceed with home theater automation. However, if you only said yes to the money part, you can either take time and learn about the various components or hire a professional to do everything for you.
You can set up everything slowly as you get advice from professionals without having to hire any of them. The best way to learn is by doing research (using guides such as this one), watching how others do (plenty of online video guides), and asking questions (like in the comment section below).