4 Things to Consider in Designing Your Home Theater
It’s Not All About the Equipment
How do you design the ultimate home theater? Well, to start, it should be the ultimate home theater for you and your lifestyle. Whether your theater is evocative of the movie palaces of yesteryear or a sleek and modern multimedia space, it should fit your lifestyle.
While your home theater will benefit from the best equipment, the truth is that the best gear alone may not make for the engaging media experience. That’s why it pays to work with a professional home theater designer like GHT Group. We have been building home theaters in Metro Atlanta since before home theaters were a thing! Along the way, we've learned a thing or two about how to construct home theaters (and media rooms) the right way. Keep reading to learn about four critical considerations for your next home theater design in your Canton, GA home!
Can you put a home theater in any room? Technically, yes, but some room layouts are better than others. Square rooms, for example, are not good for home theater audio. It has to do with the way sound reflects off walls, and you might be surprised to know that a rectangular room works best, with the screen on the short wall. Roughly, a 4:3 ratio of length to width will work well.
What about ceiling heights? Very large theaters with tiered seating might have very high ceilings. For today's three-dimensional Dolby Atmos sound, ceilings shouldn't be too high, as they might limit the effect from overhead speakers. That said, it's all about the room's overall size, and more powerful ceiling speakers and amplification could mitigate the impact of a very high ceiling.
Is a bigger screen always better? That will depend on your seating and room. One mistake we often see in home theaters is screens placed too high in relation to seats, causing neck strain. It's like those front-row seats nobody wants at your local cineplex. Generally, you want the screen to be mounted 2 to 3 feet up from the floor and 1.5 to 3 times the screen height as the distance from the seats. These guidelines will depend on your room layout, seating type and number, and other factors.
Seating plays a huge role in defining your theater. If you’re building a room from scratch and have leeway in moving walls, your number and type of seating can dictate the room layout. No matter the seating, it’s essential that everyone have a clear view without craning or being blocked by the head in front of them. You should also allow for walking space between rows and on a side or two.
Sound is an important piece of the theater experience. Surround sound can go from basic 5.1 setups to 7.1, 9.2. 11.2, 13.4, and even more in the most elaborate systems. The basics involve a front stage with left, center, and right speakers and two surround speakers in the back. The additional speakers in these configurations add side surround speakers, ceiling speakers, and additional subwoofers. These configurations will depend on your performance objectives for theater sound and the room layout, seating, and size. Most theater rooms also benefit from acoustic treatment, as seats, materials, and configurations often create sound refractions that can be fixed with acoustic materials installed in the right locations.
Look for a home theater designer that has seen and done it all. GHT Group has been building home theaters for over three decades. Contact us here, or click the chat box below to quickly connect with one of our home theater experts. We look forward to working with you!