More and more people are deciding to treat themselves to the luxury of a home cinema system and are renovating a room for this purpose. If this is something you would also like to do, here are 5 things you must consider before going ahead with this type of project.
A dark and windowless room, in the basement for example, is perfect for a home cinema, but thanks to heavy blackout curtains, you can set it up in any space.
1. The Right Spot
A home theatre consists of an audiovisual system dedicated to recreating the sound and video experience of the big screen in a private residence. Viewing movies in a shared open room, like the living room, can negatively impact your enjoyment as it is more difficult to control ambient light and noise. The ideal situation is to have a closed room, in the basement, for example. An empty spare room can equally be used, but it must be long enough since a projector requires approximately 14 feet of distance between the first row of seating and the screen.
2. Light and Sound Controls
Contrary to most other rooms in a residence, a room fit for a home theatre will be as dark as possible because large windows and lots of natural light are detrimental to the quality of the projected video images and to the overall experience. Blackout curtains or even a windowless room will provide the right amount of needed obscurity. To stop outside noise from coming in, install soundproofing panels in the walls and a solid door. The same heavy curtains that block light will also muffle sounds from outside the home.
3. Required Tech
The audiovisual equipment is the critical aspect of this room as it is the foundation of your movie-viewing experience! You will need, for example, a Blu-ray/DVD player, a cable set-top box, or a media streaming box so that the components can properly function. It must be located near an electrical outlet, and you must be able to connect it to the Internet. Ideally, you will also set up a 6-speaker system:
· Two in the back for background sounds
· One in the middle for dialogue
· Two in the front for overall sound
· A subwoofer for lower frequencies and deeper sounds
For the screen, the suggested size varies according to how much space you can leave between it and the seating. For example, if your room is small, a 42-inch screen should suffice. However, a very long room—more than 15 feet—offers enough space to accommodate a more than 65-inch screen.
4. Finishing Touches
For an optimal viewing experience, paint the walls and ceiling in a dark colour. At best, it should be neutral in tone and matte to avoid mirroring during a projection. Even if you don’t usually favour carpeting, this is the best type of flooring for a home theatre as it absorbs sound waves. For the decoration, stick to a simple and subdued ambiance. After all, the lights will be off most of the time when you will be in this room anyway. Be aware that any decorative elements you hang on the walls—albeit the posters of your favourite movies—will be a source of needless distraction while you watch what is on the screen.
You don’t need rows of chairs like in a real cinema to have a great experience: if there isn’t enough space, simply use a sofa.
5. Comfortable Seating
While you will be in a seated position for several hours at a time in this room, there is no need to invest in the type of specialized furniture that one finds in commercial theatres! Comfortable chairs and couches are perfectly adequate. Don’t forget to choose low back seats so as not to block the view of the people in the back row, if this is the case. If not, opt for high ergonomic backs. If there will be more than one row of seating, it is relatively easily to construct a wooden platform, covered in carpeting, to elevate those seats. A height of six inches to sufficient to ensure an unobstructed view.
This space undoubtedly has the potential to become your family and your guests’ favourite spot in your house. If your property is large enough and the home theatre will occupy a spare room, it could even be a desirable feature for potential homebuyers when the time comes to sell your residence. Enjoy the movie!