A thoughtfully designed home theater will make viewing movies, sporting events and TV shows more enjoyable. With proper planning, you will get the most from your investment while enjoying picture and sound quality that rivals your local movie theater. You must select and measure your potential theater space, determine the performance that you want from your system and select components that meet your specifications, such as a flat panel TV, speakers, DVD player and video game consoles.
The room that you select for your home theater should have enough wall space to accommodate your new television. There should be sufficient room for any stands or shelves that will hold other components. Avoid positioning your television within six inches of a window to prevent glare on the screen. You can mount your television on the wall or place it on a stand as long as you can comfortably view the images. The room should be painted in a darker color so that screen images do not reflect off the walls. Connect your room lighting to a dimmer switch so you can adjust the brightness of the room as required.
The screen should be positioned so that people do not have to walk between the screen and other viewers. This means that you need to develop a seating plan. It doesn’t matter whether you select luxury, leather recliners or just reposition a few chairs and an old couch. The goal is to provide comfortable seating. You should have enough seats so that the entire household can watch the screen at one time. You should determine how to increase seating if you want to entertain guests. The furniture should be positioned at a distance from the TV that is equal to two or three times the diagonal measurement of the screen. You should measure a 30º angle from the front of the screen and ensure that all seating is within that cone to provide the best viewing quality.
Along with picture quality, you also need to consider sound quality. You must determine the acoustical properties of your space. Select a sound system and speakers that fit those parameters. The majority of home theaters utilize five speakers. Homeowners generally mount three in the front and two in the rear. These speakers are connected to a subwoofer for the best sound clarity. When testing speakers, you should sit in various locations within the testing room. This will help you select the speakers with the best overall sound quality. Surround sound systems are a wonderful way to enhance the enjoyment of a large, flat panel television. If this is the option that you select, ensure that your amplifiers and speakers are capable of performing the task.
When selecting cabinets or shelving, you want enough space to accommodate all your components and allow for adequate ventilation. When connecting components, you need to use the best type of connection possible, such as RCA, HDMI or S-video. Determine the route that will make these wires less visible.
Your stereo receiver should have enough outlets to connect all your components, such as a DVR, game console and DVD player. If your television is HD, you will want a cable or satellite provider that delivers HD programming.
Determine your budget and then select the best quality electronics that you can afford. If you are on a budget, consider components that can perform multiple tasks. For example, some game consoles can play movies, CDs and display Internet media. Selecting the right components and properly organizing the space will enable you to have the best home theater experience possible.