Long gone are the days when people flocked to a movie theater in droves. Nowadays, everyone can watch movies (even some that haven't been released) from the comfort of their own home. Because of this, the movie theater experience is lost. That's where home theaters come into play. But if you've never set one up, you may be wondering where to begin. You must consider the cost and technical aspects of your home theater components. Since the electronics market is flooded with options, this may be harder than anticipated.
We're here to make your home theater addition easier. Read below for more information on amenities and the subtlety of placement.
Before you run off to your nearest electronics store, first you must consider which room will cater to your home theater needs. Since square rooms tend to distort sound, opt for a rectangular room with few windows. Windows and even framed art with glass reflect sound and lead to sound distortion.
If you're setting up in a basement with concrete walls, consider installing drywall or acoustic wall panels to reduce echo and regulate sound absorption. As for flooring, wall-to-wall carpeting absorbs ambient sound and adds to the coziness factor.
In terms of speakers, go with a 5.1 surround sound system which includes five speakers and one low range "subwoofer." Your subwoofer handles all those booming, low-frequencies, while your three front speakers take care of the dialogue. That leaves two rear or side speakers intended for ambient sounds.
Now that you've taken care of your speaker situation, you can move on to the visual components of your home theater system. Try to buy the biggest screen you can afford along with a video source like a blue-ray player, or HD streaming device, if your programming options don't suffice. The best placement for your screen is to have the center of the display at eye level. When it comes to distance, use this handy distance calculator.
As for the viewing angle, experts recommend that the optimum viewing angle is between 30 to 40 degrees. What does this mean? It means that the angle from the tip of your nose to both ends of the display should form a 30 to 40 degree angle. This prevents you from having to scan from end to end as if you were watching a tennis match.
Also, consider window placement and wall colors. Besides distorting sound, windows can create an annoying glare. One way around this: curtains or shades. Bright wall colors (especially gloss or semi-gloss) also reflect light onto your screen. To skirt this issue, choose flat, dark wall colors.
What would a home theater be without comfortable seating? Since movies typically reach the 2 hour mark, comfort is crucial. The best seats feature a reclining mechanism, built-in drink holders, and are made out of durable and easy-to-clean material. In case you have tiered seating, mount your seating to the floor for safety. Also, make sure seats can recline all the way back without any wall interference.
Now you've created a grand home theater experience, but you're still missing some finishing touches. In order to emulate the unrivaled theater experience, deck out your home theater with rich red velvet curtains, a vintage popcorn stand, and even a theater marquee that displays what movie you're screening.
When setting up your own home theater, there are plenty of variables to consider. Your budget, ultimately, determines your home theater experience. That's not to say that you can't set up a basic home theater with a limited budget. Regardless of your amenities, even a basic home theater dramatically improves your home's comfort and entertainment level.