Having a home theatre is self-indulgence at its best. It is a perfect excuse to throw a movie night for friends or family, or simply just kickback and watch your favourite film by yourself. It initially might seem like a costly investment, but in actually creating your own home theatre shouldn't break the bank! Technology has come a long way, and although the wide variety of sound and projector systems are somewhat overwhelming, if you hunt hard enough you can definitely bag a good deal. Furthermore picking the right layout and materials to fit your budget and achieve paramount cinematic experience can be tricky, but with my help you'll save cash and achieve your perfect home theatre.
Step 1: Room Selection
The first thing to do is consider where it'll be, and the layout. Good rooms to choose in the house include anywhere from a living room, basement or kids rumpus room. The main features to include are good sound projection, ability to see the screen from all angles and lack of light.
Good sound projection depends on the shape of the room: a rounded or rectangular room has advantage over a square room. Next a room without windows is ideal as it not only deals with the issue of unwanted light, but will also improve the quality of sound and hence viewing experience. If you can't find a windowless room, mitigate the problem with curtains and shades. You can even opt for DIY soundproofing projects to dodge overspending.
Step 2: Maximise Sound Quality
In order to get that next-level audio you might want to consider using acoustic wall panels specifically designed for home theatres. They serve to buff the echo, and modulate low and high frequencies. Although, if you're looking for a cheaper alternative a simple dry wall should still prove sufficient.
When it comes to flooring, a wall-to-wall carpet always does the trick. It absorbs the ambient sound, and instills a sense of cosiness. Finally, the overall of the walls and carpets should be dark, as to avoid reflection of light which may interfere with your cinematic experience.
Step 3: Divide and Conquer
The positioning of your speaker systems within your home theatre is of the utmost importance. A typical home theatre has 5.1 surround sound which is composed of five full-range speakers, and one subwoofer which is responsible for the low-frequency bass sounds.
For surround sound you should position:
- one speaker directly under or above the screen
- one to the left of the screen
- one to the right of the screen
- one to the left of the seating arrangement
- one to the right of the seating arrangement
- subwoofer either to the left or right of the screen
Step 4: The Royal Treatment
The crown jewel of your home theatre is of course the projector screen. Usually, the bigger the better in this case! But beyond the display size, you also need to consider the viewing angle. The experts from the Universal Home Theatre argue that the best angle is between 30 to 40 degrees. It allows you to take in all that is happening on the screen without putting too much strain on your eyes. As for the optimum distance of the seating areas, it should be around 1.5 to 2.5 times the width of the screen.
Before you kick back and relax it is important to keep you budget in mind. Start with spending on the audio and visual systems, and if need be shortcuts can be taken to save spending on other aspects.
Overall its important to take time whilst designing your room in order to achieve the best possible viewing experience. So get planning because your perfect home theatre is just around the corner.