Common DIY Home Theater mistakes and things to consider:

So you’re thinking of finishing off that last unfinished space or possibly a remodel for your new home theater. Keep in mind the below mistakes are also made by some so called professionals so don’t feel intimidated, just follow the basics.

Room size and dimensions:

Stay away from rooms that are square shaped. This tends to cause refraction and reflection issues.
Use a more rectangular shape typically stay within the ratio of length 1.2 to 1.4 times the width of the room.

Don’t choose lighting that sends light directly towards your viewing screen such as wall sconces, floor lamps, table lamps or flood lighting. Instead choose several narrow beam in-ceiling dimmable LED lighting.
Also choose multiple zones of dimming to dim or turn off the lighting near the screen and then you can keep your seating area well lit without washing out your screen.

Speaker placement:
Don’t mount your speakers too high. Keep speakers especially the front speakers as close to ear level while seated as possible. Surround speakers can be slightly 1 foot above your listening position. Also choose surround speakers that have a wide dispersion patter such as a bi-polar surround speaker.

Sub-woofer placement:
Don’t tend to place a single sub-woofer in the corner. This may work for underpowered subwoofers but in most cases will create a boomy sounding bass. The best recommendation is away from the corners and if possible multiple subwoofers equally placed will yield the best balance for bass. If possible also purchase a subwoofer with a constantly variable phase control for proper sound alignment with your other speakers. You may need to also consult a professional on the proper technique for subwoofer/speaker settings as this can make a world of difference.

Screen Sizes surfaces gain and seating distance:
Don’t project your image on uneven surfaces or textured walls as this can cause pixels to refract unevenly for a poor viewing experience.
Make sure your screen size and projector match the proper gain based on the overall size and light output of the projector. For example: a small screen with a bright projector would require a lower gain or low level of screen reflectivity and a very large screen with a lower light output projection system would require a higher gain.
In regards to the screen size and view distance you would select this based on the resolution. For example an HD 1080p picture typically would be around .65 times the screen width for a viewing distance. So 10ft back from the screen would be a 6.5ft wide screen. A 4K image would be closer to a ratio of .93 or 10ft viewing distance would be 9.3ft wide. Keep in mind these are recommendations so one cannot see the pixel detail and if you can be further away this will yield an even better experience.

Room ventilation:
Don’t forget to keep fresh air flow in your theater room.
Keep in mind the heat from several people, electronics, and a projector can create a hot stuffy environment. Keep it cool with an air handler or proper airflow planning.

There are many more things to consider but the above listed basics are common mistakes. If you need help, or simply don’t feel comfortable with everything that is involved, let our experts guide you! We can make your project run smoother, and make sure you get the results you were after in the first place!

Tyler Blackbourn

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