With the right planning, investing in a home theater can be one of the best enhancements to your lifestyle. Home theaters are great for relaxing, entertaining, and bringing the whole family together.
One important thing to remember in considering your many home theater options is that the sum of the parts is usually greater than the whole. Audio Video has over 9 years of experience putting audio and video together for thousands of satisfied clients.
Media Room or Home Theater
The first step is to plan your space. Will you have a dedicated home theater room or will your system be in a media room? A dedicated home theater is designed specifically for entertainment: enjoying movies, sports, TV, and video gaming. Basements, attics, bonus rooms, or spare rooms are great as dedicated home theater spaces. A family room or bonus room usually doubles as a media room as well.
Choosing the Right Equipment
This is the fun part for most people. Significant improvements in video technology can give you a great picture for a fraction of the cost only 10 years ago. This allows more room in your budget for great sound. Unlike video, audio pricing has held very steady in its cost to performance ratio. Recent improvements in home theater speakers will make your surround sound experience even more fun. Matching all your equipment up is where Audio Video Design expertice and experience will be a big help.
Screen Size and Viewing Distance
The next steps are deciding both the location and size for your video display. Both the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and THX Ltd. (a developer of quality standards founded by Lucasfilm) have recommendations on this subject. This step is very important to get right, and is probably the most difficult one to fix if you get it wrong. Our page on Screen Size will help you make the right decision.
Acoustics and Soundproofing
It’s important to have a great picture, but a movie without good sound is a terrible experience. You must be able to clearly understand dialogue. Great sound immerses you in a film’s sound effects. All things being equal, acoustic treatments (these can be carefully done with normal room furnishings) have a larger impact on the sound than almost any component. Another thing to consider is soundproofing. Will late night viewing disturb others? Should you do something about it? Check out our page on Home Theater Acoustics to learn more.
Home Theater Magic
In many cases, spending a few extra dollars on a great remote control, lighting control, or a popcorn machine can add wow to your creation. We’ve got lots of suggestions and advice about how to create your own personal magic.