Home Cinema Theater Ideas

Home Theater Ideas

Creating a real home theater is a highly technical and complex task.  By all means I would recommend hiring a consultant to install and set up the components to get the most out of your new theater.  However, this post is designed to give you some ideas on what is possible when you create your own Home Theater Space. We’re not talking about a basic media room, but as close to a real movie theater as you can get, but with all the comforts of home (and no annoying strangers kicking the back of your seat). HomeTheater1

1. You Need the Space:
Finding the ideal space in your home to house your theater is obviously critical in creating the right effect. You should have as much control of exterior lighting sources as is humanly possible.  That means either a dark space with no windows, such as a basement, or a room where you can darken the space with shades.  But the key is lighting control.  Also the room should be large enough to accomodate an oversized screen, comfortable furnishings and possibly a platform to elevate your seating. But we’ll come to that in a bit.

2. Sounds Like a Winner:
Quality sound will play a role in the success of your theater space.  A room with right angles and solid, flat walls can be an acoustical nightmare.  Flat Drywall surfaces tend to reflect sound waves from your speakers.  Standard walls at right angles will create some dead spaces for sound when the reflecting sound waves cancel each other out.  But you can combat this problem with sound absorbing surfaces such as fabric covered walls and acoustic tiles. Wall drapery can also help absorb sound and can give you that real theater look and feel. The floor will also reflect some sound, so its probably best to go with carpeting as opposed to hardwood, tile or finished concrete.


One thing of critical importance, though, is realizing that a movie theater in a home can be a loud space.  If you have a Sub-woofer (and you should), you can have some really good vibration going on.  It is important to consider substantial insulation in the walls and ceiling surrounding your home theater to minimize sound transfer.  Minimally, you would want the walls and ceilings surrounding this space to have a sound transmission class of 50 or higher.  An STC rating of 50 is defined by very loud sounds being heard only faintly or not at all through the wall. A quick internet search of Wall Assemblies with STC’s above 50 will give you some ideas of how to reduce sound transmission.  This way, not everyone in the house will be subject your movie watching experience unless they are in the room.

3. Seeing is Believing:
Since this is a theater, having a quality viewing surface is vital to its success.  There are two ways to go in how you will consume movies in your home.  The first way is mounting a large, flatscreen TV on the wall.  Every year, the technololgy gets better and more affordable.  TVs are getting larger, thinner and the visual definition is amazing.  Whether you want an LCD, Plasma or some up and coming technology like Laser TVs, that is your job to research and decide what is best for you.  But having an amazing widescreen HDTV is a viable option for your home theater, as long as you can get one large enough to satisfy your viewing requirements.  The second option is to go with a very large, high quality, wall mounted Projection Screen and a ceiling mounted, High Definition Digital Projector.  The projector option is obviously best served in a room where you have total control over the lighting.  Windows and light bleeding in from the hallway can lessen the quality of your viewing.
4. Sit Down and Shut Up:
We’re going all out for the full effect here.  If you’re going to put together a theater and make it comfortable you need some really awesome home theater seating. Many options are available from colors, fabrics, configurations, recliners, non-recliners, motorized, vibrating, etc.   You name it, it probably exists.  This is an important choice because its the seat you’ll be planting yourself in for hours at a time.  Now lets take it one step further.  If you want the real theater experience, you can build yourself (or have built for you) a multi-step platform for a stadium seating effect.  As long as an appropriate ceiling height exists in the room, build a wide, deep and multi-stepped platform that can allow you to have one or two rows of comfortable theater chairs.  Or more rows if you have the space.  As a second option, you can have the room step down to create the stadium seating effect.  This is the idea that makes the theater set apart from the rest of the house.

5. Components of Culture:
Selecting your electronics and theater components are as personal as choosing your underwear. I have a friend who spent a year researching a receiver before he made his purchase. So, I’m not going to go into detail on what electronic components are the best. And to be honest, my knowledge of electronics is far less than your standard employee at Best Buy. But after you select your large, HDTV or HD Video Projector, you need everything else that makes it a full functioning theater: DVD or Blu-Ray Player, Receiver, Speakers (minimally 5.1 surround), wi-fi or hardline internet connection for firmware updates. Again, there are professionals who can suggest the best, the newest and the coolest pieces of electronics for your media room and put them all together for you.

6. The Devil’s in the Details:
To get the full movie going experience in your home, pay attention to the little details that can put the theater over the top.  Decorate the walls with framed movie posters of your favorite movies.  Have a classic popcorn cart with little white cardboard popcorn boxes sitting in the back.  The smell of popcorn popping goes a long way.  Charge your friends $8 for a small soda, and you’ll really feel like you’re at the movies.  The only thing really missing is a little guy with a bow-tie ripping tickets as you walk into the room.  But with the economy the way it is now, I’m sure you can find someone to hire to stand in the hall collecting tickets.
The home theater we’ve visually assembled above is definately a luxury for those who have the means and the space. I do not have the means now, though I hope someday to design and construct a space like this. The great thing is, that not only can it be used for Movies, but if you hook up a satellite or cable you can watch sports, or even regular TV in the ultimate media space.  You can stream HD movies online through a DVR.  You can even play video games on a 100in projector screen.  Killzone 2, anyone?  That would be awesome. And they also have the really cool touch screen remotes which can control everything from the TV to the room lighting. Your movie theater is now just like being at the movies, with a few more creature comforts and no little kids running up and down the aisles.  Well, at least not someone else’s kids.

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2 Responses to “Home Cinema Theater Ideas”

  • Excelente información. Adios!

  • i know i have seen this, but i cannot current find a link i opologize. but there is a product that works like this. your antenna plugs into a device that then plugs into a wall outlet. then at any other wall outlet, you plug in a paired device with a filter to recieve that signal. essentially using your house wiring as the cable.

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