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Which Room Is Right for Your Home Theater?

15 Mar Posted by in Blog | Comments
Which Room Is Right for Your Home Theater?
 

Location, Location, Location

It’s the biggest decision you will have to make when you start to make plans for a home theater.  Of course, the best time to plan for a home theater is when you are in the initial stages of designing and building a new home.  Most of us are not that lucky to build a new home that meets all of our wants and expectations.  If you are planning to create a home theater in your existing home, you will face some design and construction challenges as you revamp an existing room.  If you do not have a room or existing space available, and depending on your personal budget, you might want to build out your basement or garage.  If that is not a workable solution, perhaps you might consider building a new addition to your home.  No matter where you choose to create your home theater, be sure that there is enough room for comfortable seating for family and friends.

As you are designing your home theater, remember that you and your family members will want to be able to access audio and video content from a variety of different sources including:

  • Satellite or traditional cable services
  • Network TV
  • The Internet
  • iPods/iPads and other portable devices
  • CDs and DVDs
  • Blu-ray Discs
  • Digital and video cameras

Your family members will want the ability to get content from virtually any device or source available (especially if you have teenagers living at home), therefore it is important to consider all possibilities in the early planning stages.  Of course, once all the devices are located together in the chosen room, the next important step is to make the connection plans; since all wires and most devices will be hidden, you will want to be sure that they can be easily accessed or changed around in the future.

The next step is to consider the location of the room and your construction options.  After you identify the room to be used or the room you will need to build, you’ll be able to make a basic diagram of the room with the layout of seating and placement of equipment.  As you are designing your perfect home entertainment space and filling in your home theater diagram, consider these questions:

  • Is the room large enough for your desired seating?  Will there be enough space between the seating and the screen to ensure a comfortable viewing experience?
  • Will the theater’s sound be isolated from other rooms and neighbors?
  • If you are planning to mount a projector on the ceiling, is the ceiling high enough to avoid the heat and noise that the equipment produces?
  • Do you want the room to be free from outside light? (The ideal home theater space does not typically have any windows)
  • Is the home theater going to be located in, or over, a basement since running wires is easier from a basement as opposed to a concrete slab or crawl space?
  • If you will have multiple rows of seating, do you want or need tiered flooring for better viewing positions in the back of room?

There are several benefits associated with remodeling an existing room, such as fewer major construction requirements and lower cost.  Unfortunately, the chosen room probably will not provide the ideal theater layout; windows and doors could present a problem, and theater noise could become an issue throughout the rest of the house.

If you are building a new home or building an addition to your home, be sure your home theater is a window-free room that is large enough for your family’s needs. You will want to also ensure that the walls have thick drywall for adequate soundproofing and that ample ventilation is available.   When you are drawing out the floor plan for your home theater, include floor electrical outlets and ambient lighting strips in the diagram. In addition, make plans upfront for the speaker wiring and other lighting needs.

There are no hard-and-fast rules for what size room makes the best home theater, nor are there specific rules about what turns a room with a TV into a completely awesome “home theater.”  For an electronics buff, it is probably all about a bigger, better picture with bigger, better sound.   Families are upgrading their home entertainment areas for a more engaging cinema experience as well, thanks to the affordable options available for nearly every budget.

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