Planning your home theatre is the first step to creating the perfect space in which you can relax, and watch you favourite movies, tv shows, and music concerts. In this multi functional space there are many things to consider. we have put together this guide to help you think about some of the most integral parts of your theatre.
1) The Room
Often overlooked in the initial stages of planning your home theatre is the room, think about things such as ambient light and ambient noise, is the room to be carpeted? and if not how will your chosen floor covering effect the sound and light in the space? How are the walls constructed? do they allow for concealed cabling or even in wall speaker systems? does the room require any acoustic treatment to tame any nasty reflections and reverberations that can greatly diminish intelligibility of the sound system?.
2) The Video Display
The next thing to consider is how you plan to watch your content, essentially in a modern home theatre there are two choices, a large flat screen TV or a projector and projector screen.
If you plan on using a TV then ensure you have allowed adequate conduits to run the cables from your AV receiver to your TV, as cables hanging down are unsightly and chasing them into the walls can be a big job
With a projector you will need to consider things such as placement, does the projector lens have the correct throw ratio for the depth of the room versus the size of screen you wish to use? and the distance from the AVR to the projector, HDMI cables have a length limit and you may need to consider a solution such as HDMI to Cat6 conversion.
3) The Speaker Setup
Equally important in your home theatre is how you plan to listen to your content, here there are actually quite a few options, firstly there is the speaker configuration options such as 5.1, 7.1, 5.2.2, 7.2.4, etc etc, these are all surround sound configurations where by the first number is the number of speakers on the listening plane, the second is the number of subwoofers, and the third being the number of speaker for spatial formats such as Dolby Atmos.
4) The AV Reciever
Once you have decided if you are using a projector or a TV and which speaker configuration you plan on using, the next step is your AV Receiver or AVR. How many amp channels do you require for your chosen speaker configuration? how many source inputs do you plan on using? do you require upscaling for any legacy devices you may have? do you require Zone 2 and Zone 3 audio and video capabilities?
5) The Speakers
Hopefully during the room planning stage you will have decided wether you are using flush mounted, wall mounted or free standing speakers. These are important as they require differing methods of cabling and mounting. Options such as ceiling mounted speakers offer the best aesthetics however come with their own limitations when it comes to realistic surround sound placement where the best option is floor standing speakers placed at ear height, where another option maybe flush mounted in wall speakers, but these are only really suitable for stud walls and not brick constructions as found in most WA houses.
6) The Sources
Now lets look at your sources, the two most prevalent sources in any modern home theatre are Blu Ray and some form of streaming device for streaming services such as Netflix and Stan.
Most Blu Ray players can play other formats such as CD and DVD so a decent player is a must.
If you have a 4K capable TV or projector then you will require a Ultra High Definition Blu Ray player in order to play 4K content to you video display.
With Netflix recently introducing 4K and Dolby Atmos streaming to their services you can now experience ultra high definition video and fully immersive spatial audio soundtracks exactly as the director intended.
All electronic devices are susceptible to fluctuations in mains voltage as well as noise on your electrical system induced by items such as vacuum cleaners, washing machines and pool pumps. Therefore you may wish to consider some protection against this by way of surge protectors and power conditioning.
With all these devices in you home theatre comes all their respective remote controls.
Imagine combining all of these remotes into one handy controller, either in the form of a handheld remote or even a single app on you smartphone. This can easily be achieved by adding a control system such as Elan g!, whilst not only adding simple control of your home theatre but also control over your lighting, security, climate control and even your retic.
This is me in my previous guise as a live sound engineer, for over twenty years I toured the world with various bands, taking care of the sound for concerts, festivals and special events.
In a dingy club in Reading, England in 1996, I was to embark on my journey through all things audio. This journey would take me around the world a number of times, touring with some of the most wonderful minds in the world. It is often said that in professional audio you never stop learning, and never a truer word spoken in my opinion.
Sound to me is like an art form, one that spans all disciplines, a perfectly constructed collage, or the most revered oil painting, each has many elements and layers that when put together perfectly can achieve the most profound outcome.
It is my aim to bring my passion for the highest quality audio visual solutions into your home, as well as take you to the next step of comfort and convenience by creating you a true smart home with elements that work harmoniously together, just like the most celebrated orchestra.
Give me a call to discuss your requirements, and let us make your dreams come true.
Sensorium Audio Visual, The Seat Of Sensation!.