Things to Consider When Designing a Home Cinema
So, you have decided to take the plunge and invest in a home cinema – a wise decision. A home cinema is a solid investment in your home and will undoubtedly give you, your family and friends an abundance of great memories for years to come. Whether entertaining company or simply enjoying quality time with your family, a home cinema is a rewarding addition to your living space and one that will provide your family with a special space to relax and unwind from the mayhem of modern life.
While there are a few things to consider before you start planning your home cinema project, it’s not as daunting as it might first appear and with the investment of time and help from the professionals, your vision will become reality before you know it. Here are a few pointers to consider when daydreaming transforms to doing.
The Room Size and Shape
When it comes to installing a home cinema, size matters, but shape even more so. While there is no ‘perfect’ size for a home cinema, ideally the more size you can designate, the better. However, the shape of the room is more important when it comes to achieving a deeply engaging viewing experience. Ideally, a rectangular shaped room will be more conducive to optimum viewing than a square room. In a perfect world, a room with approximate dimensions of 6m x 4.5m, with higher than average ceilings would be the ideal space but with a few minor adjustments, a smaller room can also work well.
Projector or TV?
Your choice of either wall mounted TV or drop down projector will impact some of the other design aspects within the room, so choose carefully. For example, if you prefer to go with a projector, your light levels will need to be spot on. If you have windows in the room, you will need to choose your window dressings accordingly. Ideally, your home cinema will have no windows as natural light, even in the smallest dose, can play havoc with your viewing experience. Other details that need to be considered are the size of screen you want and whether noise might be a consideration.
Screen Size and Viewing Distance
The size of your screen or projector will dictate the ideal distance between your seating area and your screen. If you choose a TV, then to some extent, the pixel ratio dictates that the further away you sit from the screen, the better. For example, a 40in TV will require that you sit approximately 2m away and for an 80 inch TV, you will need to be sitting around 4m away. For a projector with a screen size of 80in, you should be around 2.5m away and this increases with the screen size. Of course, it goes without saying that your room size will also, to some extent, dictate the optimal screen size for your home cinema.
Soundproofing and acoustics are a really important aspect to consider when it comes to designing your home cinema. Unless your new cinema room is located in your garden (and even then noise levels need to be a consideration), some soundproofing will be needed to contain the disturbance and reduce the impact on the rest of the home. You want the surfaces of your cinema room to absorb the noise rather than reflecting it and there are lots of ways to achieve this. Acoustic boards and tiles on the walls and ceilings are ideal, while thick carpeting on the floors will not only absorb noise, but will create a cosy atmosphere within the room. Soft furnishings and window treatments (browse our range of motorised shades here) can also help while deep, plush seating will not only be comfortable and cosy to sit in, but will also help achieve the perfect cinematic experience.
The speakers that you decide on will no doubt have a huge impact on your overall experience and it’s important to get some good advice before making any decisions. To get a 100% immersive home cinema experience might involve some effort and investment on your part, but in our opinion, it’s totally worth it.
Deciding on the number of channels you need is the first decision that you will need to make and a popular choice is a 5.1 system which includes five speakers, usually two pairs of either floor standing or stand mount speakers with one centre speaker and one subwoofer. A 7.2 system will add speakers behind your seats and an extra subwoofer but to be honest, the sky's the limit when it comes to choosing speakers. Or more realistically, your room size is.
Browse our range of home cinema speakers here.
Consult the Professionals
As with any investment, chatting to the professionals is one way to make sure that you are on course to making your dream a reality, avoiding all the pitfalls in between. Feel free to contact us at any time to discuss all your home cinema needs, whatever they may be.