If you’ve longed to recreate the magic of the cinema or an arcade in your own home, your wait is over. Setting up a home theater, either on your own or with the help of a professional who can assist with design and installation, is simpler and more popular than ever. But in order to establish a space that features larger-than-life imagery and realistic, high-quality sound, you need the right elements. The following are the fundamentals you’ll want to consider when building an at-home entertainment oasis.
Designing to scale
With some creativity, nearly any room can be transformed into a home theater. But the size of the space you’re working with will impact how large your television screen should be. With televisions available in nearly every size to fit almost any budget, you still need to take care not to overwhelm your audience. If you’re mounting your television on the wall, you’ll have more flexibility than if you were trying to fit it into a cabinet or entertainment center. Still, sitting too close can ruin visual enjoyment. Crutchfield offers guidelines to help you determine the right screen size while accounting for viewing distance.
Immerse yourself in sound
When you think about achieving the ideal sound quality in your home theater, the first thing that comes to mind is speakers. To establish cinema-like surround sound you may want to place speakers in the wall or in the ceiling. But beyond placement of your speakers you’ll also need to look at furniture, carpeting, and décor, all of which impact to how sounds behave in a room. Ceiling and wall treatments also contribute to absorbing and reflecting noise. Look at all these factors to capture all the right sounds.
Be cognizant of lighting
When deciding where to place your television, consider both sunlight and nighttime exterior light sources which may reflect off the screen, making it difficult to see. Don’t set up your television in direct sunlight or across from a large window. If these scenarios are unavoidable, purchase blackout shades or blinds. If you have wall or ceiling lights, make sure they’re on a dimmer so you can adjust the amount of light to a desirable level depending on the time of day. Lamps can also allow you to control brightness and eliminate glare.
Comfort is key
If you’re going to spend hours at a time in this space, you want it to be as comfortable and inviting as possible for yourself and your guests. Whether you’re playing or watching a game, the right seating makes a significant difference. A sectional will offer plenty of room while individual recliners allow you to claim your favorite spot and stretch out. If gaming is your top priority, consider an ergonomically designed gaming chair, which may include speakers for truly immersive sound and even vibrations to provide the most thrilling experience. For younger children, bean bag chairs are portable and pliable, providing a cozy, kid-friendly spot.
Hire with confidence
If you’re seeking professional help with designing your new space, rely on the same procedure you’d follow when vetting any contractor. Ask for references and photos of recently-completed work. Determine the installers’ specialty and find out their professional background before signing a contract. Once you’ve checked that they’re licensed and insured, read your contract carefully, and prepare to enjoy an elevated entertainment experience.