Dallas Installer Pro offers home theater design consultations in Dallas, TX. Call 469-810-9393 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Home theater design runs the gamut from budget setups in an existing living room or den to elaborate dedicated media rooms that run in the tens of thousands of dollars. No matter what your budget or which room you want to turn into your home theater, the factors that influence design decisions remain the same.
The basics of the room can’t be changed, unless you are building new or entirely renovating an older room. Still, it is important to understand how the space affects home theater design and what can be done to turn obstacles into opportunities.
Room Shape: A rectangular room is ideal, with the screen and front speakers along one of the short walls. Rooms that are square, round, or other shapes can distort sound, but careful speaker positioning can overcome most of the issues.
Windows: Windows reflect sound, which can distort audio, and they let light into the room, which can produce reflections in the screen. You might consider heavy blackout curtains that also dampen sound reflection.
Walls: Drywall is good, though sound absorption panels are better. Use furniture or drapes to break up long, flat walls. Avoid artwork in glass frames, which can reflect both light and sound. Concrete walls echo, distorting sound inside your home theater and causing it to carry to the rest of the house. If you have concrete walls, plan to cover them with something softer.
Flooring: Wall-to-wall carpeting with a thick pad is best, though a collection of area rugs or rubber floor tiles will do.
Paint: Neutral tones in dark shades are the best option. Pale colors reflect light, while bright colors can affect your perception of colors on the screen. Choose flat or eggshell paint, rather than glossy, reflective sheens.
Speaker setup has become both an art and a science. A 5.1 (five speakers and a sub-woofer) surround sound system is the minimum for a full home theater, and many families choose 7.2 (seven speakers and two sub-woofer) systems.
You will need to decide whether you want your speakers hidden in the walls or sitting out in the room. Both options have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Whichever installation you choose, though, it is incredibly important to match the speakers to the room for optimal sound quality.
Choosing the right screen and placing it for optimal viewing can be challenging. The prime viewing angle is 30 to 40 degrees, assuming all seats are directly in front of the display. The viewing angle narrows for chairs that are off to the side. The optimum seating distance from the screen is roughly double the diagonal width of the screen—again assuming that all seating is centered on the display. The best viewing height places the center of the screen at eye level, though this can also be achieved with a tilted elevated screen and reclining seats.
Professional Design Consultation
With so many factors that can influence your home theater design, it is best to consult with a professional home theater designer. We have done lots of installations at varying price points, in rooms of all shapes and sizes. We will assess your space and give you our professional opinion on how best to lay out your home theater. If desired, we can also perform your complete home theater installation.
Call Dallas Installer Pro at 469-810-9393 for more information or to schedule an appointment.