4 Tips to Make the Most out our your Home Theatre
A normal living room may need some tweaking to make it perform best as a home theatre. Or, you may want to dedicate another room in the house. This makes things easier, as you can plan from scratch and not interfere with the multiple functions a family room asks. Check off these basics and see where you stand.
The room should be as dark as possible, with only dull spot lighting on while you're enjoying a movie. This is particularly important if you're basing your theatre around a projector, which work adequately, at best, with any degree of ambient light, but really come into their own in a darkened room. A wise first step many take, when creating a home theatre, is replacing their curtains with dark heavy material. Better still, have your home theatre in a room with no windows at all, as big curtains soak up sound meant for your ears.
Build it in
The best home theatres will have all the gear integrated into the room itself. That means cavities for the speakers, or have them built into the wall itself. A projector screen that descends (or rises) from a custom cavity adds real 'theatre' to the occasion, and really, having a screen on a stand doesn't cut it relative to the trouble and expense you may invest elsewhere.
If you're using a TV screen, flat screens make it easy, just wall mount it. Rear projection screens most definitely deserve to be built-in, or, built around to create a 'wall of video'.
Take a seat
Everyone runs for the best spot at the cinema. Your home theatre should offer the best viewing position to everyone. Many LCD screens look poor when viewed from side-on. Living rooms usually have an amphitheatre ring of seats, which may not be ideal. Custom home theatre installs have tiered rows, with everyone getting a great view.
A cluttered living room has a drastic effect on sound quality, as sound waves bounce off whatever they hit, diminishing the overall effect. This really comes into play with surround sound, doubly so if you've invested in expensive gear. Good speaker placement can overcome some of this, but a true home theatre will have nothing but chairs, with the walls as 'clean' as possible.
Shag carpets hurt too. A simple thin and cheap carpet, in this case, is much better than a thick one.
If you're going the whole hog with a dedicated room, you couldn't do better than to pay a few dollars to have a home theatre consultant visit and help with your acoustics.