The addition of a home theater creates a fun place for family and friends to gather and can add value to your home. There are a wide range of options to choose from when selecting equipment and furnishings for your home theater and these, along with other factors, will have an impact on your budget as well as the quality of your viewing experience.
Here at Petitbon Alarm, we’re experts in the technology and equipment needed for home theater design and installation. Through our many years of experience installing home theater systems in Maryland, Washington DC, and Northern Virginia, we’ve learned that there’s more to designing great home theaters than buying the most expensive equipment. If you’re considering adding a theater to your own, keep in mind the following five factors:
There’s a reason most people choose to put their home theaters in the basement. The ability to insulate the ceiling and walls makes it possible to keep out a lot of distracting sounds and avoid disturbing other areas of the house. Controlling light is also usually easier on a lower level because there\’s less outdoor light interference. And because basements often have extra space, home theater equipment fits well without taking up valuable living space upstairs.
Before you begin to install the components of your home theater, it’s important to ensure that your space will support the equipment you’ve chosen and the layout will make for a comfortable viewing environment. Many times there are features to a room that dictate where a home theater can go. Built-in shelving, wall length, size and shape of the room, windows, etc., can eliminate an entire wall or half the room as placement possibilities. The equipment itself often dictates its location. The larger the screen, the farther the distance must be between it and the seating area. Screens measuring 27 to 31 inches should at least have a 6 feet distance. A 32 to 40 inch screen requires a minimum of 8 feet of distance, and screens of over 40 inches should be at least 10 feet from your seating area.
Before the wiring for your home theater system installed, you should develop a master plan. This is your vision for what you ultimately want your theater to be like. Even if you don’t plan to install every feature at once, it is important to wire for everything at the onset. Did you know that installing several dimmers in a row will reduce their total wattage? Is your A/V receiver or HDTV on the same electrical circuit as your kitchen or bathroom? Questions like these are best answered before you put the finishing touches on your new home theater to avoid annoyances and even fire hazards.
Lighting is one of the most important factors that should be considered when designing a home theater. In general, lighting should be adjustable so that it can be adjusted to provide enough light for viewers to easily get to their seats. However, the intensity of the light should be lowered when the movie gets started. Additionally, the lighting should not be directly into the eye line of viewers. The availability of light can be controlled by using a dimmer switch which is very easy to install and use.
Seating can make or break your movie watching experience. Most people are used to sitting on sofas or armchairs while watching movies, but there is now an incredible array of seating options available for home theaters. You can choose from leather or fabrics, individual chairs or modular seating systems, motorized or non-motorized reclining models, and even seats that move and shake with the film you’re watching. You can also find models with cupholders and snack trays, seats with separate or shared armrests, chairs that save space (like “wallhuggers”), are foldable, or can be reclined.
A well-designed home theater will not just be comfortable – it will provide a transformative movie watching experience. Make sure, when designing your home theater, that you consider all of the important factors and not simply the gadgets or technology. But when it comes time for gadgets and technology, be sure to give us a call!