The movie theater has always felt like a magical place (except for the price tag!) and bringing that experience to the home has always been a dream for a lot of people. Today, more than ever, we have the cutting-edge technology to create a truly magical home theater system. A home theater room can provide a lot of benefits to home owners including an enhanced movie and sports watching experience, increased quality time with family members and even an increase in home resale value. But there are a number of pitfalls that can cause your home theater dream to quickly become a nightmare. We are going to discuss some of the major items you should consider when planning your home theater installation so you can avoid these missteps and create a truly great home theater.
Give Me Some Room
When planning a home theater, the room you choose can make or break the end result. First the size of the room is important as you must account for the size of the display (TV or projector) and the seating arrangements. Also, odd-shaped rooms tend to create problems creating a properly tuned sounds environment. Next, you should consider the outside light in the room. You'll want a room that can be made very dark so typically you don't want a room with a lot of windows. The flooring is also important as hard floors (wood, tile, etc.) tend to reflect sound which is undesirable so a carpeted floor is best as it can absorb the excess sound. Last thought is regarding the wall materials themselves. Drywall is most common and preferred wall material as it's less reflective of sound than something like wood paneling. Keep in mind though you may want to consider sound insulation and/or acoustic treatments to truly achieve a great sound experience.
Lights. TV. Action!
Lighting is perhaps the most important environmental component when it comes to a home theater experience. The lighting in most "standard" residential rooms is created purely to illuminate the space. However, when you're talking about lighting in a home theater room, you must take into account a whole different set of criteria. You want lighting that doesn't create a glare on the screen. That can be adapted, even automatically, when the TV or projector is turned on (vs. when it's turned off). You want lighting that creates a movie theater experience and that compliments the room, perhaps with wall sconces or "up lighting" that's integrated into the ceiling. And all of this has to come together to create the perfect compliment that blends into your home theater room.
Seating is a Science
You might think seating is the least complicated decision when it comes to a home theater but you'd be mistaken. Choose the wrong seating option and you'll be left with a potentially uncomfortable viewing experience and a very expensive empty room! First, the location and size of the display screen must be determined in order to then calculate the size and location of the seating arrangements. This will ensure your viewers will always have a perfect view of the screen and no sore necks. Also, depending on the amount of furniture desired, you may need some custom construction to create stadium seating in order for every seat to have a great view of the screen.
Choose the Right Pro
If all of this sounds complicated and scary, well it kind of is but that's why choosing the right professional to install your new home theater is paramount. The right professional can ensure a smooth and painless home theater installation. Some quick things to check are that they are insured and certified to sell premium home theater equipment. Make sure they have extensive experience in home theaters and that they stand behind their work (make sure you ask about warranties on both materials and labor). Last, do your research and always check as many of the referrals as possible. A trail of happy customers is always the best sign you're working with the right home theater professional!