As streaming services continue to dominate home entertainment, more and more people see home theaters as a necessary investment. When movies could only be seen using film reels and giant projectors that required a certified operator, the home theater was the signature of a Hollywood mogul. But now, because of great advancement in technology, the home theater can be a wonderful addition to any home.
Whether you are building a new home or renovating an existing structure, incorporating plans for a home theater is easy and will increase the value of your home while also providing your family with a place to gather and watch the big game or binge your favorite tv shows.
What makes for a good home theater isn’t necessarily cost, but planning. A home theater needs to be properly designed for the space available. In a renovation, the room available will dictate the type of screen, surround sound, and furniture you will be able to have in your home theater. If you are building a new home, the home theater should be designed with considerations for the type of equipment and furniture you plan to use in mind.
Below we will discuss things you should consider when designing your home theater. Keep in mind, we happily guide through this process as part of your renovation or new custom home.
Room Shape and Configuration
The size of your home theater is its most important design aspect. It will determine the size of the screen you can use and the configuration of the furniture.
The shape of your home theater is also important to consider. Furniture configuration and viewing angles will be dictated by this shape and must be kept in mind when designing a new home theater or converting an existing room. Public movie theaters are rectangular for a reason, so that the audience’s attention is focused on the screen. The rectangle shape also helps the theater fit as many seats as they can in the available space. While you typically won’t be maximizing the number of seats in your home theater, you will want to be able to arrange as many seats as is necessary with the proper viewing angles for the screen.
For a true “theater” feel, your baseline is a room that is 20′ x 15′ with high ceilings. A room this size will provide natural ambiance and true immersion in the film or sporting event being viewed. The room should be centrally located in the home and should have as few windows as possible, but preferably none to prevent sound and light issues.
Finally, we mentioned “viewing distance” a few times. The typical rule for viewing distance is: take the length of the TV and double it and that gives you the minimum distance it should be viewed. Screens are different because they do not project light, they reflect it. The recommended viewing distance of a screen is roughly one-third larger than the size; so for a screen that is 100″ the minimum viewing distance is 133″.
A common misconception about home theaters is that they need to be “soundproofed.” Ambient noise coming in is less likely in a private home than ambient noise bouncing around the theater itself. That is why your choice for walls, ceilings, and floors is important.
The ceiling of your home theater should be high to help with its overall aesthetic. The walls and ceiling do not need to be soundproofed, but they do need acoustic treatments that will absorb sound waves and prevent sound from bouncing around the room. The floor of your home theater should be carpeted wall-to-wall for the same reason.
Speakers should be inconspicuously placed and arranged by a professional to get the most out of the equipment and your experience. There are many options for equipment that will fit into any budget. We will cover that in the next section.
Different Types of Equipment
Now that you have your home theater space designed properly for viewing and sound, it is time to choose your equipment. Depending on your budget and your expectations, there is a wide range of options available.
Projectors have come a long way from the early days of home theaters. Now they are available in HD and 4K and they offer a picture that is as crisp and clear as a TV. You do not need to buy the most expensive projector to get the best quality picture. Choose the projector that fits your screen and your budget. As a client, our A/V team will help you choose the projector that makes the most sense for you.
One of the advantages of having a screen in your home theater used to be the size of the picture, but now they make televisions as large as some projection screens. An 85″ TV may be a better fit for your home theater space than a projection screen. Just remember what we said about viewing distance. Always keep the proper viewing distance and angles in mind when you are making decisions about equipment and furniture.
No home theater is truly wireless because each component needs a power source, but many surround sound speakers are now wireless and can be controlled with an app on your phone. We will be able to advise you on the correct speaker configuration for your home theater space and help ensure you buy equipment that fits in your space so you don’t have speakers that are too powerful for the available area because it could ruin your experience.
Hire an Experienced Contractor
Whether you are building a new home or renovating an existing structure, hiring an experienced contractor will help you get the most benefit from your home theater design.
If you end up choosing us for your remodel/renovation or new custom home we will be able to design and build the proper home theater space with the correct equipment so you and your family will get the most enjoyment out of your investment.
For more information, call us or click here to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation consultation.