Having a home theater system allows you to have a professional-quality cinematic experience from the comfort of your own home – as long as it’s designed properly. A poor design can be distracting with poor picture or sound quality; even worse, it can make your investment of time and money feel wasted. To help with your planning process, we’ve created this handy guide to help outline some of the most important elements you’ll want to keep in mind while planning your home theater.
Choosing the Right Space
The first place to start is deciding which room you’d like to set up your home theater system in. It’s important to choose a room that will be big enough to comfortably support seating and other types of furniture, plus your AV equipment. Small rooms often feel too cluttered and can be easily overwhelmed by sound; a medium to large sized room will provide better sound quality and allow you to fit everything in without feeling crowded. You’ll want to choose a room that has minimal windows and natural lighting, as these can cause significant glare – even with the use of drapes or blinds. Certain room shapes also work better than others; rectangular and irregularly shaped rooms sound better than square ones.
What Will You Use the Room For?
After you’ve chosen your space, it’s important to think about how you plan to use the room. Do you just want a media room for casual viewing and occasional entertaining, or do you want to have the complete home cinema experience? Are you planning to use it for just TV and movies, or are you also interested in using it for listening to music and playing video games?
Choosing the Right Technology
Choosing the technology for your home theater experience is a big decision, so it’s important to spend a fair amount of time on this step to ensure you end up with the perfect system to meet your needs. A common mistake of many consumers is to purchase the largest screen possible, but this can create viewing issues. A general rule for determining the ideal screen size is that your viewing distance should be 2-3 times the screen size (measured diagonally) of your television. You’ll also want to select a screen with an aspect ratio that matches the majority of what you plan to view on it.
Next, you’ll need to determine the right sound system for your space. It’s recommended you install a minimum of a 5.1 surround sound system, regardless of whether you’re planning a media room or a full home theater. Die-hard media fans will find a 7.1 surround sound system provides a more powerful cinematic experience. If you get overwhelmed by the many choices, our friendly and knowledgeable showroom staff will be happy to provide recommendations to fit your viewing needs.
Décor and Seating
A media room or home theater should be about comfort and relaxation – this is where you go to unwind after a long day or hang out with friends and family. The main pieces of furniture that you’ll want to consider are comfortable couches and recliners, and accent tables to hold drinks and snacks. If your home theater will be in a room with windows, you’ll also want to add some drapes or blinds to block out sunlight and reduce glare. Would you like to be able to dim the lights and have motorized blinds close at the touch of a button? We offer convenient on-site automation. Adding décor like area rugs and window coverings not only helps you incorporate interior design elements into the room but also helps diffuse the sound of your home theater system.
Consulting with the Experts
When it comes to planning the ultimate home theater system of your dreams, it pays to turn to the experts. Not only can AV professionals give you helpful hints, tips, and recommendations, but they can also help ensure that your home theater investment is money completely well-spent. At Lavish Automation, we have extensive experience designing and installing complete home theater systems – and a wealth of knowledge that’s extremely useful to tap while planning your own home theater. From making equipment recommendations in-store to full on-site design or installation, we can be as little (or as fully) involved as you like.
If you have any questions about planning or installing your home theater system or media room, feel free to give us a call at 707-595-2020 or stop into our showroom in downtown Santa Rosa. We’re happy to help guide you through the process.