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  • G. Stevens

Things to Consider When Planning Your New Home Theatre

A lot more goes into home theatres than just a projector, screen, and seating. The more you want from your theatre space, the more planning and design that is required. It is definitely worth the effort though! Create an entertainment space that is uniquely yours, and the envy of your neighborhood!

"Home Theatres" or "Home Cinemas" are special places. In order to maintain the dramatic content of an artist's piece of work, in this case a move, certain considerations should be made when designing a room for this purpose. This article contains a list of items that need special consideration.

1. You need an AWESOME sound system.

- Speakers: Proper placement and speaker selection are crucial!

  • Main Speakers (front, left, and right) - These are the most important speakers in the system. These speakers create the main stage for the movie because in a two-channel setup they are the only thing producing sound, unless of course you have subwoofer.

  • Center Speaker - Most of the dialogue comes from this speaker. The center should match the mains identically, ideally. This speaker breaks up the main stage into two smaller ones, and this can't be accomplished satisfactorily unless it matches the mains closely enough.

  • Surround Speakers - Matching the fronts is important, but not to the same degree as matching the center to the mains. Placement, however, is quite important. These speakers do not need to be of the same pedigree as the fronts if budget is a big concern.

  • Atmos Speakers - These speakers effectively create the 3D space by generating sound from above. Most new movies are created with height soundtracks. Even older films can benefit from height speakers when equipped with a quality A/V processor or receiver.

  • Subwoofers - Depending on the movie, a large portion of the soundtrack can come from a single speaker, the subwoofer. This speaker is necessary to achieve the correct bass levels.

- A/V Processor or Receiver

  • This component takes the audio data stream from the source and converts it into the sounds we hear and making sure those sounds come from the specific directions necessary to recreate their dramatic effect. Before that though, it selects the audio and video source and sends the video to the display device as well as performing the previously mentioned task.

- Amplifier

  • An amp is required when using a processor. These are used exclusively in higher performing, better sounding systems.

2. Stunning, large-screen picture is the whole point.

The projector, the screen, the A/V processor/receiver, the sources, the cabling, and of course proper installation all play a part. Skimping on any of these could make your theatre less exciting.

"When they look at a beautiful view, most people see their memories, not the view." – Mehmet Murat ildan

3. The room your putting your theatre in needs to be the right room for all the right reasons.

It should be quiet. No other sounds should be heard other than what comes from the media being played through your entertainment system. That includes noise from any of the following:

  1. Unwanted reflections from within the room

  2. HVAC noise

  3. Plumbing noise

  4. Sounds from the next room, room above, or room below

  5. Projector sounds (usually fans)

  6. Sounds from lighting fixtures, transformers, or dimmers

The room design is equally crucial. Here a few important factors you need to be considering:

  • Screen - Size, Height, Type, Aspect Ratio

  • Seating Location - How many seats in each row, How many rows, Riser height, etc.

  • Lighting - Number of loads, Locations, Types

  • HVAC - Vent and return locations, Separate zone, Nois

  • Speaker locations

  • Projector location

  • Equipment/Rack location(s)

4. Unless you love tedium, room control and automation are worth their weight in gold.

It should be easy to enjoy whatever it is that you want to watch or listen to in your theatre. Part of the experience is the integration and automation of different elements in the room such as audio, video, lighting, curtains, temperature, etc.

5. If the seating sucks, no one will be having a good time.

To truly enjoy any time spent in your theatre, you and your guests are going to need comfortable seating that is spaced in such a way that everyone can see and hear properly.

So, now that we've told you all of that, it's time to take what you've learned and apply to your own experience. Of course, if you need help figuring ANY of this, our experts are on standby, ready to help you make a dream into reality!

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