A home theater can be an excellent way to entertain families and friends. Between the various streaming offerings from Disney, Paramount, Netflix, and others, homeowners have access to many movies and television shows to enjoy from the comfort of their homes. Consider hiring a professional home theater company to create the perfect cinematic experience in your own home, with top-quality sound systems and immersive viewing screens.
There’s nothing like unwinding in a home theater after a long day and escaping into storytelling while mimicking a silver-screen experience.
A dedicated space can provide an immersive experience without echoing throughout the house. Here are some things to consider when putting together the ideal home theater. You can find a detailed home theater design guide here.
Soundproofing is one of the first things to consider when converting a room into a home theater.
Designers must add proper materials to walls, floors, windows and doors or risk having poor sound quality, taking away from the experience offered by modern systems.
It’s easy to think that the insulation surrounding a home’s walls would be enough for decent sound. However, large speakers can bounce noise off walls, especially if the house is in a warmer climate with less insulation.
Soundproof walls by adding one of the many commercial or do-it-yourself padding or sound panel options, so everything is absorbed by the walls instead of reflected off them. This improves the sound quality by eliminating unnecessary echoes.
Hardwood, concrete and tile floors can also reflect sound, hindering its quality. Designers should consider plush carpeting or area rugs that absorb more noise than they return.
Windows provide natural light and nice exterior views, but they are some of the biggest culprits of unwanted noise. Noise from the street, animals and weather can hinder the home theater experience.
Weatherstripping isn’t just excellent for insulation. It also does a great job of keeping light in and noise out. If the homeowners don’t mind covering windows, adding thick drapes or attaching soundproofing materials will eliminate most of the sound coming through.
Professionals should worry less about doors’ material and more about the gaps that surround them. Interior and exterior doors are prone to letting in air from the outside or another room.
If outside air can get inside, so can noise. Therefore, it’s important to minimize what gets through. Weatherstripping or draft protectors are an excellent option for filling in gaps.
Installing sound panels on the door’s surface helps minimize sound that creeps through that way.
How to wire a home theater depends on the equipment used. Some rooms require more wires than others.
Professionals should neatly wire a home theater to give the best visual experience. It’s also vital to place wires where they can’t become tripping hazards when people enter or exit a darkened room.
- Use cable ties to keep wires close together.
- Use velcro or electrical tape to attach the cables along the natural lines in the room. Place them above the screen or along baseboards.
- Purchase cables that only have a little bit of slack. Loose wires are messier and can cause tripping more easily than tighter ones. However, pulling a line too tightly can lead to damage.
Depending on a homebuyer’s commitment and the house’s structure, a designer could also run cables through walls or ceilings for a genuinely tidy appearance.
The size of sound equipment depends on the size of the home theater. Surround-sound monitor speakers are fantastic for some rooms, while smaller ones can get great sound from a high-quality soundbar.
It’s a good idea for many people to start with a soundbar. Many now have wireless connectivity and can be upgraded with speakers and subwoofers if the bar isn’t sufficient.
On the other hand, an audio-visual receiver lets people with tech experience mix and match speakers for their preferred sound quality. These receivers also come with many HDMI ports suitable for various devices.
Some home theater enthusiasts prefer a 4K or 8K television in their room, but many will want the authentic cinema experience by installing a screen and projection system.
Projectors come in different definitions, but the right screen significantly affects a projector image’s appearance.
A screen’s functionality is also important, especially if a home theater will be multipurpose.
Fixed frame screens attach directly to a wall and become stationary objects. They are available in standard or light-rejecting varieties that can improve image quality.
These screens are the best option for a dedicated home theater space.
A retractable screen can be tucked away when necessary, whether it pulls up from the floor, down from the ceiling or out from a side aperture.
Retractable screens can be electric and automatically come out when someone uses a remote. They can also be manually maneuvered without requiring electricity.
These screens are helpful for multipurpose theater rooms.
A matte screen with a dark backing can make images pop. It should also be centered on a wall at a height comfortable for watchers.
It’s also essential to keep the screen size in mind because one that’s too large can overwhelm a small home theater.
Designing the Right Home Theater
Designing a home theater can be as enjoyable as it is overwhelming. Making careful choices can transform any space into an immersive streaming environment anyone would love to retreat to.
Author: Evelyn Long is the editor-in-chief of Renovated. Her work focuses on interior and architectural design and has been published by Build Magazine, the National Association of REALTORS and other online publications.