Have you always dreamed of having a home theater? Product selection and installation is no small matter, and you may wonder if your home’s construction is suited for such a project, or if you can even afford it. It’s hard for the average homeowner to ascertain what type of audio and video equipment may or may not work out for their individual situation and needs. This is the time a professional consultation and estimate is called for.
Space and Seating
Most every home can accommodate a home theater — if it’s a priority for the homeowner. The most popular location is the basement, due to its lack of windows and troublesome ambient lighting, but attics, garages and spare rooms also work well. It’s best to start out with a large space, if possible. The minimum number of seats usually installed in home theaters is four, but many homeowners opt for more. You may be able to fit in extra seating if you purchase seats specially designed for this purpose, rather than using generic recliners or other overstuffed chairs.
Calculate Ideal Distance
If you plan to install a projection TV, you will also have to account for the additional space needed between the front row of seats and the screen — something that isn’t necessary with a flat-screen TV or a front-projection screen. Exact optimal placement of the screen and the seats is based on a formula for recommended distance and maximum viewing capacity. This can get a little tricky, so you might want the advice of an expert before making this decision.
The height of your ceilings isn’t generally a huge consideration, unless you will be installing projection equipment up there — then you’ll want to make sure you have enough space. If your basement is already finished and your ceiling is installed, it’s a good idea to paint it black in the area that will serve as a theater, to cut down on bothersome glare that may interfere with the resolution of the picture.
A wall-to-wall carpet on the floor is recommended to absorb some of the sound — the recommendation for home theaters is that 50 percent of the room’s surface should be covered (in carpet, drapes or other material) to absorb the right proportion of sound. It’s important, however, that the other half be left bare — this will aid in achieving the optimal acoustic environment. Getting the right balance of absorptive and reflective materials can also be a challenge — you may want professional advice regarding this aspect as well.
Theatron Home Theater and Smart Homes is Virginia’s premier dealer and installer of high-end home theater and audio equipment. Their trained professionals have outfitted some of the most upscale homes throughout Washington DC Metro area. For a free consultation and estimate on your planned home theater, call Theatron today.
Home Theater Design
The true home theater design experience can take you away to another place. You become so immersed in the film you feel like you are part of the movie. This is what happens when you create a real home theater room, dedicated to surround sound and great video!
The Film Experience
The goal is to create exactly what happens in a movie theater, with the image from a high quality projector reflecting to your eyes from a large film screen. In our blog on screen size, you will learn how to choose the right size screen for your room. Your screen size, its height off the floor, and how many rows of seats you have are factors to account for in your theater room design. The key is getting the sight lines right. You want all viewers to enjoy the entire picture without having to look over or around someone’s head, and you don’t want viewers to have to stretch their necks to see the screen. Theatron’s experts can help with this, laying out in CAD format almost all of our dedicated front projection home theatres. Line of sight is a tricky subject and can make or break a room where more than a couple of people will enjoy the film experience.
In designing a dedicated home theater room, you should not have to worry about anything other than making things perfect for sight and sound. (That’s why you made it a dedicated room!) We can help you with screen layout, plus projector, speaker and component placement. Other important considerations are how it will look and how the room can be treated for acoustics. Many magazines and web sites can give you ideas for the architectural look of your theater. Theatron also has decorators and designers we work with on theater appointments. We cannot stress enough how big a difference the proper acoustics approach will make in the enjoyment of your theater.
Acoustics and Soundproofing
In designing a dedicated home theater, speaker placement is extremely important. By far, the most important track in a film is the dialogue track. This is produced through the center channel speaker. If you cannot understand dialogue, the impact of the movie is greatly reduced. In theater rooms with multiple rows of seats, hearing dialogue clearly can be a challenge.
In designing a dedicated home theater, speaker placement is extremely important. By far, the most important track in a film is the dialogue track. This is produced through the center channel speaker. If you cannot understand dialogue, the impact of the movie is greatly reduced. In theater rooms with multiple rows of seats, hearing dialogue clearly can be a challenge. Not only should your family and guests be able to see all of the screen, they need to hear all of the speakers. No speaker is more important than the center channel. It’s fairly easy to get sound right when there is only one row of home theater seating, but with two or more rows, the location of the center channel becomes critical. Our experts will help you with your design to optimize the center speaker position.
There is a good rule to follow for the best separation of the left and right speakers. We like to see them at about a 45 to 60 degree angle with the main seating position. Use a 45 degree position if the main use of the room is movies, spread the speakers further apart if you will also be enjoying concert videos or audio. Our staff can help you plot this out.
The subwoofer (the speaker providing deep bass effects) can usually be hidden under the screen. Again, we can help with design options. Remember that the worst spot for a subwoofer is in the middle of your room, the best, close to a corner. And the more subs the better – four is ideal!
Surround Speaker Placement
Finally, surround speakers can be positioned to your sides and on the rear wall. You should have one or more pairs of side speakers and one pair of rear speakers. Their placement will be related to how your seating arrangement works out. We can offer lots of advice here.
In most dedicated home theater rooms, equipment is housed outside the room to minimize noise. It is critical for the life expectancy of components that they have adequate ventilation. Your amplifier or receiver will put out some heat, but the cable box, satellite box, or video game radiate a great deal of heat. If you use an existing cabinet, passive ventilation by drilling holes is not sufficient to exhaust hot air. Synergy typically installs a ventilation fan in the cabinet to exhaust the hot air, and using a remote mounted thermostat controlled fan is even better. We can mount one of these in your crawl space so you never hear the fan noise.
Controlling All The Equipment
If no one can figure out how to turn the system on and make selections, its obvious the enjoyment factor will drop! A well thought out remote control can make all of the difference! Reliable options now exist so you can hide all your components and get signals to them perfectly. We offer you a wide range of options.
Theatron The Ultimate Home Theater
Imagine an area of your home decorated with a cinema theme, perhaps with a vintage popcorn machine and concession area setting off the area outside the screening room. Your invited guests gather here for wine and conversation before the movie begins. At the scheduled time for your film, your lighting control system automatically dims your lights as programmed, signaling when you and your guests should move to your theater to enjoy this week’s latest Blu-ray movie release. When everyone is seated, a single touch to your personalized touch screen controller dims the lights to viewing level, activates your projector and starts the movie.
During the film, images have almost three-dimensional vividness, and you are enveloped in the music and effects of the soundtrack, clearly understanding everything that is said. When the movie ends, your friends comment that the experience is so much better than a movie theater, they can’t imagine why you would ever leave home! Is this your ultimate home theater dream? Whatever yours happens to be, our design team can help your dream come true.