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Though it is possible to convert any area of your house into a home theatre, it can depend largely on your requirements and budget. Typically, the garage, backyard, spare bedroom or the living room are the most suitable areas for setting up a home theater.
However, creating a media room requires a considerable investment of money as well as time. So, it is important to understand the different benefits and challenges involved in transforming each of these areas into a fabulous media room.
So, let’s look at the various options one at a time. So, you can choose what suits you best!
Basements are arguably the best places for setting up a Home Theatre. It not only provides complete isolation from outside noises, excessive light and disturbances but also reduces the chances of the neighbours getting disturbed! So, with minimal fuss, one usually can turn this space into a stellar movie theatre!
The benefit of the basement is that generally, all 4 walls are up and one only needs to lay down flooring and do paint work to get the room functional, in most cases.
Here are a few tips and tricks to ensure that you get the best out of the basement theatres…
You need to protect the concrete floor from dampness and mold as you are going to spend a lot of time in the media room. We recommend that you cover the floor with wall-to-wall carpets. Thick ones!
Insulation and Acoustic Treatment
Speak to a professional like me and get the most scientifically tuned acoustic treatment. This makes all the difference… The best equipment sounds ordinary without the right touch.
Work with the professional and choose a colour that suits your groove. Use a dark colour palette as dark colours work best in Home Theatre rooms from a cinematic performance perspective.
- Choose the type of screen that meets your requirements and fits in your space.. We recoomend going as large as the space will allow… You could choose between a LCD TV or a Projector with screen…
- Projectors are in various forms… A professional will be able to guide you better depending on the room and usage… But off the cuff, I recommend the latest laser projectors. They are really great at colour accuracy. Also, the newer models can play in lit rooms. Since your basement will mostly be doing Home Theatre duties, and there will be virtually no ambient lighting, a projector with 1000 lumens will also work perfectly.
Now this consists of amplifier receivers as well as speakers. For choosing the right amplifier one will have to evaluate the size of the room and then suggest a 7.1/ 7.2 / 11.2 /13.2 amplifier. The speakers will follow the choice in amplification. However, for speakers, we can choose between concealed (in wall), On wall or the more traditional box speakers. It all depends on your aesthetic!
Perhaps is a very considered choice.. And would make all the difference in the level of your cinematic experience. So, choose wisely… Make sure the arrangement suits your purpose. For example, three to five high-quality leather cinema loungers are your best bet if you are going to entertain friends frequently. Do reach out to me if you need help choosing the right chair from the right vendor…
A spare bedroom can be a great location for a home theater. If you have more than one room available, choose the one with minimal windows and doors. The room should be rectangular in shape, self-contained, and quiet. When in use, it shouldn’t interfere with the rest of the household as loud music and movies can disturb others in the house.
Turning your spare bedroom into a Home Theatre does have some challenges that would need to be considered…
- The stuff from the current room will have to be repurposed somewhere else as the equipment required to run a Home Theatre would need that space.
- Wiring is another major concern. Almost all wiring in this room will have to be redone as the lighting and equipment would need a great amount of customisation.
- Choosing the right seats for a home theater can be a challenge too because of the limited seating area.
- Installing the right type of home theater equipment, including a display screen and a projector can be tricky especially if the room is too small. This applies to home theater seating as well.
- We recommend either a short throw projector with a fixed screen or a large LCD TV for small rooms.
- You can use a 5.1 or 1 or 9.1 surround sound system depending on the size of your room. For very small rooms, however, a 2.1 surround sound system concealed in the wall or ceiling should suffice.
Seating in small rooms should be comfortable without being bulky. So, ideally, bulky recliners are a huge no-no! Instead one can look at the various sofa options… for a more detailed solution please do reach out to me! For a wider room, use narrow recliners or traditional cinema rockers, as shown in the image above. These chairs save a lot of space when compared to fully reclining loungers.
Backyard / Rootop / Swimming Pool
Watching a movie outside on your roof or an outdoor location can be a really exciting option! However, setting up a home theater in such a location certainly is the most challenging of the lot! But, as challenging as it is, it is the most satisfying and useful solution. Certainly, it will endear you to all your friends!
Turning your outdoor space into an outdoor cinema comes with several challenges. So, you may have to do the following:
- The biggest hurdles that stand between you and an exceptional movie experience are the noise restrictions – for this we can suggest certain sound dampers for the boundary walls!
- One of the major snags always is the electrical and speaker wiring. We need to ensure that not only is the wiring concealed but is also done in a way that there is no short circuits.
- The sound system is also one of the most critical elements of an outdoor home theater setup. The sound system needs to have extra punch and bite – hence the speakers and the amplifiers have to be chosen with great care.
Nothing beats the excitement of watching your favourite flick right in your backyard, especially in the summer. Here is what you need to do to make it happen.
- We highly recommend modestly-priced retractable and weatherproof display screens for a better viewing experience.
- We recommend an LCD or DLP projector with high-lumen output, to ensure that there is minimal interference from the ambient light coming from traffic and street light or buildings all around. We recommend projectors with at least 2,000 lumens.
- All-weather outdoor speakers are your best option if you are looking for a permanent setup. These speakers can be easily pre-wired throughout your backyard. They can be concealed or mounted on existing structures such as walls. They are capable of projecting sound over a large area.
- Blankets for kids and lawn chairs for adults is the most common seating arrangement for an outdoor home theater setup.
- You can also use your outdoor chairs or even a cozy loveseat for the evening.
The living room is one of the favourite locations for setting up a Home Theatre for many of us. The reasons for this are numerous- the most obvious one being – we anyway converge in this zone for all ‘together time”.
However, this space has its own set of issues…
As great a location as your living room is, it poses a huge challenge for the cinematic immersive-ness. But, none of the challenges are impossible to overcome...
Here are a few to be aware of:
- The décor. Setting up a Home Theatre will require certain modifications. Now one has to employ an extra-sensitive installer to ensure that the aesthetics and usability are not compromised.
- The seating arrangement needs to be flexible to meet the requirements of both, a living room and a movie theater.
- Controlling the ambient light could be an issue, considering that most living rooms have huge windows and natural light sources! So one has to work around these to ensure acoustic and visual immersiveness.
With proper planning and the right equipment, your living room can function as a home theater as well. Just make sure to take into consideration the different styles and requirements of both, a living room and a media room before making the changes.
- Use dark-colored curtains to block ambient light coming through the windows.
- A dimmer switch can be used to control the lighting in your living room. Conceal the lighting in the ceiling or the walls.
- You can also paint the room in dark hues such as burgundy or navy blue to enhance the viewing effect.
- Use motorized ceiling-mounted screen that can be pulled down with a remote. Retractable screens can also make the transition from a living room into a media room smooth and nifty.
- If you are using a fixed screen, make sure to mount it on a wall instead of placing it on a cabinet or an entertainment unit. Wall-mounted screens can add an aesthetic look to your living room.
- Alternatively, you can hide the screen behind a remote-controlled shelf or a cabinet.
- Concealing the projector is essential from an aesthetic point of view. Book cabinets, tabletops, and the ceiling are the common places to hide one. You may need to use a motorized lift to retrieve the hidden projector from the ceiling or a tabletop.
- As a living room is usually larger, you can use the 7.1 or the 5.1 surround sound system for an authentic movie-watching experience.
- In the case of limited space or budget constraints, you can install a couple of speakers right behind the viewers’ seats in the media room for a balanced sound.
- If your budget permits, use wireless speakers to avoid cluttered wiring. However, you can also pre-wire the sound as well as the lighting system into the dry walls and ceiling.
- Conceal the speakers in a bookshelf or a cabinet box to hide them from plain view when the sound system is not in use.
Here is a diagram that explains the arrangement of speakers for 5.1 systems.
- When it comes to integrating a home theater in a living room, consider buying furniture that can transition from living room furnishing to comfortable seats in a media room.
- The sofa or couch to be used as the home theater seating should face the screen from an optimal viewing distance.
- More often than not, a living room can benefit from a flexible home theater seating arrangement. You can opt for stadium chairs, loveseats, or recliners that can be moved out of the living room when not in use.
A home theatre setup might not be an easy task, but it certainly is not impossible. No matter what your space is. You just need an expert who will, with careful planning ensure that this demanding process, becomes easy for you. Hopefully, the above tips and ideas will help you achieve the desired results. Or for a free consultation, do feel free to reach out to me! Manav 7011450519/