Like any other remodeling project for your home, creating an outstanding home theatre doesn’t just happen. There is a lot more to getting the home theatre you want than simply installing a large screen television. It requires some careful planning—and of course, excellent execution. And while there are a lot of details you’ll want to consider, here are two essential elements you’ll want to think through first: The room itself; and the equipment.
How will this room be used? Will it be used exclusively for watching movies, and television, or will it also be used for other social activities? Do you want the room to look and feel like a theatre? Or do you want a more “homey” feel to the room.
How many people will normally watch? Is this a space that will be primarily used by just a couple of people, or are you planning on having guests watch with you? That will determine how much space you need to devote to the room, and what kind of furniture you’ll want to include.
Lighting, of course, is a key element in creating a great home theatre. You don’t want glare to impair your ability to watch a movie. But that doesn’t mean your home theatre has to be dark all the time. The photo you see here illustrates just one way to create a room that’s comfortable and airy when you want to use it for conversation. At the same time, the window coverings and lighting can create the perfect setting for watching a film. Again, it all depends on how you plan to use the room. If you want to create a “movie theatre atmosphere,” you might go in a different direction.
Here’s where a home theatre is different than any other room in your Naples home. The components you choose really do make a difference, but once again, you’ll want to tailor your equipment to your needs and desires. Let’s look at a few different pieces of equipment that can really make your home theatre outstanding.
The size of your room plays a huge role in determining what size and type of display you want. You want to maximize your view experience. You’ll have your choice between flat panel LCD, or OLED in a variety of sizes and definition quality. While 720p screens are still widely available, your get better resolution from 1080p or 4K Ultra HD resolution displays. There are also video projection screens available. Generally speaking, larger is better. But if your room isn’t particularly large, you can actually overwhelm the room with a screen that’s too big (and actually hamper your viewing ability—like being too close to the screen in a theatre).
If you choose a 1080p HDTV, the optimal viewing distance should be roughly 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 times the screen's diagonal measurement. If you choose a 4K Ultra HDTV, you can actually sit a bit closer (1 to 1-1/2 times thediagonal screen measurement). Here’s a comparison chart.
These are approximations, and of course there are a wide variety of sizes available, but this at least gives you a sense of what size room will accommodate a particular screen size to deliver the best viewing experience.
Those who are aficionados may want to select separate components (preamp/processor, tuner, and a multi-channel power amplifier for the best audio and visual results. That gives them the flexibility to upgrade individual components as they wish. To be honest, however, most homeowners will find that a good receiver will meet their needs. Getting good speakers is essential for the “theatre experience.” You’ll definitely want a sub woofer to add that “bottom” sound (and feel). Here’s a review of some of the best surround sound speaker systems available today.
You’ll also want to consider how/what you’ll be watching. If you have a collection of favorite movies, you may want a traditional DVD player or a Blu-ray disc player. You’ll also want to consider whether you’ll want cable or satellite connection for live television. And increasingly, homeowners are connecting to the Internet through media streamers (Apple TV, Chrome, Roku, Fire TV, etc.).
Of course having the right equipment is important, but how you arrange it can be just as significant when it comes to enjoying your new room. That’s why it makes sense to talk to a designer before you start your project. That way you can make the best uses of your space (including things such as creating spaces where your components can “live” when you’re not actually using them, and even planning wiring and placement of furniture. It may seem like a lot to deal with, but you have help! Here’s a look at how a design/build remodeler can help you keep all of the details straight.
So buy the equipment that will deliver the performance you want, but make sure the room you create is comfortable and convenient for your private screenings.