Do you have a home theater? Perhaps you designed it yourself, had help from a specialty store, or maybe you combined forces with a skilled tradesperson to get everything hooked up. And after choosing what you wanted – the screen, components, their respective qualities – the major hurdle that remains is the installation. Unless you’re very handy, consider hiring a professional to help you create your perfect home theater room.
If you don’t yet have a home theater but are in the market for one, here are 7 considerations when designing your home theater system:
- Location: Have you picked out the best room in the house for your system? Whether large or small in terms of its square footage, when considering which room your home theatre will go in, evaluate items like the amount of ambient light, whether or not carpeting is in the room (or needed), how the walls are constructed, and even if there’s space to tuck away the components. Will there be in-wall or in-ceiling speakers? Also think about where you and your family will be sitting in relation to the screen.
- Viewing: What kind of display do you want? Large probably goes without saying, especially if you have the room for it. But will that be LCD, Plasma, OLEG, a video projector… or perhaps some combination? You’ll probably want a High Definition (HD) device, but in considering that, ask yourself if you’ll be viewing anything from an older, analog machine (a VCR or even laser disc player). You’ll need compatibility. Do you want a 3-D enabled device?
- Listening: Almost as important to many will be the audio components. Great, crisp audio can make a huge difference. Perhaps you love to watch concerts? Some components – such as an AV Receiver – might have much of what you need: AM/FM, HD Radio, XM, or even Satellite Radio. You’ll probably need a pre-amp. A Preamplifier controls which audio and/or video source is selected, and processes the stereo or surround sound. You’re going to want several speakers; to get the depth of sound required for a full theater experience.
- Components: Several source components will be needed. You most likely have a DVD or Blu-ray player. Do you still have a VHS collection? Do you have media in other formats you want to play?
- Internet: There are many other considerations in terms of designing or developing your ideal home theatre system. For example, most new devices – including televisions and Blu-ray players – can connect directly the Internet! This is a boon if you love your Netflix, or are addicted to YouTube. Most devices can be connected and online in a few simple steps.
- Protection: One of the components most-overlooked is a surge-protector. While none are 100% dependable, you’ll understand their value the moment a storm or some other force spikes your home’s voltage.
- For Consideration: Other considerations would be things like the wire used, the kind of wireless pick-up and protocols in place or available in your area, or even the question of how many remotes you want to deal with.
There are many great resources out there in addition to local experts. Home Theater Review has a great starter article that can help fill in some of the gaps. You can read that here.
Planning, planning, planning … it’s kind of like location, location, location. In truth, orchestrating a great home theater system does include location. Take your time with this, consider calling in a local expert for your Monterey Peninsula home. And once everything is in place, enjoy some spectacular entertainment at home!