Home Theater Design Best Practices


Hi everyone, i’m scott newnam, ceo of audio advice, we’ve designed and installed over a thousand theaters, and this video is part of our home theater design series that covers virtually everything about designing a home theater in this video. We’Re going to be talking about laying out the physical space for your home theater, we’ll discuss all the different aspects of laying out your room and how to handle the elements of your room that you can control and also those that you cannot control. If you want more information on anything covered in this, video be sure to click the link in the description that will take you to our full article on home, theater layout on our site there. You can also explore all of our articles and videos on virtually everything, home, theater related or even design your own home theater in our interactive home theater design tool. Now, let’s get started we’re going to start by talking about general room dimensions and acoustics.

Ask any recording engineer and they will tell you that the physical room dimensions have a huge impact on the sound you’ll, be able to get in a room if you’re lucky enough to be designing your home theater from scratch. There are some ratios you can use to get your room to a great basic shape. The most famous is the golden ratio of 1 to 1.6 to 2.6.

As an example, a room with a 10-foot high ceiling would ideally be 16 feet wide and 26 feet long. We won’t get too deep into this here, but the dimensions are so important because the size and shape of every room causes some frequencies to be amplified and some to be almost completely cancelled out. Because of how sound waves, bounce off the walls and interact in your room, this causes some areas of the room to have overly boomy bass. While other areas have severely lacked bass. No room is perfect, but getting close to the golden ratio and avoiding dimensions that are multiples of each other will ensure your room has fairly consistent.

Bass in the main seating area also try to stay away from dimensions that are close to each other. The worst possible room would be a cube, say 10 feet by 10 feet by 10 feet. Even the best sound system cannot overcome a really bad room if you’re, building your room from scratch and are planning on multiple rows of seating. Remember to count for riser height when deciding ceiling height. If you’re unsure about your dimensions and have the ability to adjust, give us a call or chat with us at audioadvice.

om and we’ll be glad to help on the audio advice website, we have a fully interactive design tool where you can interactively adjust your room dimensions and Different speaker setups and get the optimal placement and design. While there are ideal positions for speakers, oftentimes rooms, don’t allow for placing speakers in the perfect positions at audio advice. We carry plenty of problem, solver speakers that will ensure you still get great sound, even in a less than ideal room. Take a look at our article and video on speaker layouts to get an idea of where they might need to be located before you start adding other elements. If you have the luxury of designing your room from scratch, this process is usually much more straightforward.

The big decision is deciding what speaker layout you want. This could be a basic 5.1 setup or a full-blown 7

2.4 setup, or even beyond this, for more information on what these numbers mean check out. Our article and video on surround sound options or go to our interactive tool and play around with all the different options.

When you’re designing your home theater layout in general, the screen wall will typically be the short wall. Obviously, your seating layout will affect this, especially in family rooms, but at the very least, try to get the screen centered on the seating area, with your speakers, an equal distance off to each side from the video display, if you’re using a front projection system. You also have the option of putting the front speakers behind the screen. You will find that viewing a two hour movie or three hour game will be a lot more comfortable if the screen is at about eye level. A point of reference is to target the bottom of your screen: 30 to 36 inches off the floor.

When flat panel tvs came on the scene, many people started mounting the tv above the fireplace mantel. This setup isn’t ideal for the muscles in your neck, so either mount it as low as you can, or you can use manual or power tv mounting brackets. That will move the tv down for viewing for tips on choosing the right screen size check out our article and video in the link. That explains all of the factors to consider our interactive design tool also will show you what the various optimal screen sizes are for. Your specific room setup, let’s move on to paint and lighting when designing your room, you want to try to prevent light from windows from spilling onto your screen.

If you have windows, consider using some sort of blackout, curtain or shade heavy curtains often provide an acoustic benefit too. If you think about the last time, you were in a commercial theater, you probably noticed there were no windows and the walls and ceiling were painted dark. This is especially important for home theater rooms with a front projection screen most screens reflect light off at a pretty wide angle, and you don’t want that light. Reflecting back off the walls. Dark gray is an ideal color, but whatever you choose make sure you use a matte or flat paint finish when it comes to lighting, you will want to consider task lighting accent, lighting and safety lighting.

Adding remote control to the lighting also adds a super cool wow factor to your home theater. If you watch some of our installation, videos of theaters, we have built you’ll, see how we integrate different types of lighting again, be sure to look in the description for our article that goes much more in depth on the do’s and don’ts of home, theater lighting. If you’re going for a real home, theater experience with a large screen and multiple rows of seating, you’ll need to think about sight lines. Sight lines are the angle and direction. The screen is viewed from each seating position.

When you have more than one row of seating, a riser is needed, so the back row can see over the front row without being blocked in general. You want at least an 8 inch high riser. If you have the ceiling height, you should go even higher a 12 or 16 inch platform is even better for the rear rows. The depth of the riser should be a minimum of six feet to allow for people to pass in front of the footrest on a recline theater chair with a couch or other fixed type of seating. You can sometimes get by with a five foot deep riser.

If you’re thinking about putting a multi-row home theater system into a living room or spare bedroom, you can use prefabricated risers, so you don’t have to do any permanent construction or if you have some carpentry skills, you can make them yourself. If you want that. Third row of seating in your theater, but don’t quite have the ceiling height for it. A cool option is building a bar behind the second row of seats. The bar stools will get people in the third row up high enough to avoid any sight line issues while still being on the same riser as the second row, plus you’ll have a great spot for the big spread you’ll put out for your watch parties.

Hopefully, this overview has given you some insight on some of the smaller details on home theater room layout that are sometimes overlooked when planning a home, theater room. This video is part of the audio advice, home theater design, series of videos that cover all aspects of designing a home theater. In our description, you will find links to all of the articles and videos, as well as our really cool, interactive home theater design tool. If you have any questions or decide to like some help, planning your theater or maybe you’d rather just have someone build it, for you, give us a call or chat with our team at audioadvice.com or if you’re, near raleigh or charlotte swing into our stores and we’d Love to help you out, thank you for watching.

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