When you are preparing to convert a room in your home into a home theater, there are many things to consider. It is important to know the dimensions of the room you will be using, along with the amount of light in the room and the location of power outlets. Many home theater installation companies will meet with you at your home to discuss your home theater needs. They will offer suggestions based on the dimensions and layout of your home and will give you an estimate on the cost of equipment and installation.
Planning Your Home Theater Layout
One of the most important things you need to do before installing your home theater system is to make a plan for how large each component will be and where they will be placed in the room. There are several computer programs that allow you to move components around a virtual room with the same dimensions as yours, or you can draw a floor plan on a piece of paper and use paper cutouts of each component to create a layout you are satisfied with.
Before purchasing your components, you should have a good idea of where the cords will need to go so that they are as visually obscured as possible. It’s also a good idea to mount speakers on brackets so that they don’t get knocked down frequently. Use wall mounts that are capable of handling at least 15 percent more weight than the speakers because they will be less likely to bend or break after installation.
Every home theater is different; some families need nothing more than a comfy couch and surround sound while others want to recreate the genuine theater experience. Here are the main components to keep in mind:
- Large flat screen TV or projector and projector screen
- Comfortable seating: couches, chairs, or traditional theater seats
- Audio system including surround sound
- Storage for movie collection
- Fun extras: popcorn machine, fridge with drinks and snacks, and space for your favorite movie posters and memorabilia on the walls
Every component in your home theater will require power, so you should make sure that there are enough electrical outlets in the room to handle the number of components you decide to install. You should also check the circuit breakers in your home to ensure that adequate power can be supplied to the room without overloading your electrical system. You should be careful to place your home theater system on a different circuit breaker than the rest of your home so that power to other rooms will not be affected if an overload were to occur. Consult with a professional electrician to ensure that your bases are covered on the electricity front.
Lighting is a big consideration when you are installing a home theater system because you need to ensure that there is adequate lighting in the room without having it be so bright that it overshadows the entertainment. Placing thick, dark shades over the windows to completely block out the natural light adds a nice touch of ambience to the overall home theater experience. Indirect lighting is best for home theaters, and many people install dimmer switches on every light in the room so that they have more control over the amount of light. Some dimmer switches can even be controlled with a remote so you and your guests can relax and change the scene with a touch of a button.