For those new to the world of Home Cinemas, we have conducted a short Q & A with our Senior Designer, Andre Pollard, to give you some insight on building a custom Home Theater:
I am new to the world of Home Theaters, yet I would like to begin the process of creating one in my home. Where do I start?
Firstly, decide on your end goal for the Home Theater. What is the main purpose of your Home Theater? Then, you should perform an internet search to get familiar with some of the technologies involved in Home Theaters. Finally, you must contact a qualified technology integrator to get the design process underway.
I have a small space, how big does a room need to be for an adequate Home Theater?
Contrary to popular belief, your designated room does not have to be huge in order to support an adequate Home Theater. Have a guest bedroom or kid’s playroom? Either of these may be suitable for your Home Theater. There could be some elements that you may lose out on in a small room, however you can build an adequate Home Theater in almost any room that is 10’x12’ or larger.
How many different professionals need to be involved in the building process?
A qualified technology integrator is essentially a “one-stop shop” and can coordinate all of the different professionals needed in the process of building your Home Theater. Aside from the integrator who will design the theater; you will need a builder, carpenter and an electric contractor. This should cover all of the elements used in the space. If you desire additional elements in your theater, your technology integrator should be able to coordinate with the necessary professional(s) to make it happen.
Should I use a TV or a Projector?
This will depend on the size of the room. Most TVs (with some exceptions) go up to 98”, while projectors have a maximum screen size of 100 to 200 inches, depending on the model. Therefore, if you have a larger home theater and are sitting further away from the screen, you may opt for the projector. In smaller home theaters, a TV screen may be better suited. In terms of image quality, TVs usually have the edge but not in all cases. Another thing to consider is the aspect ratio. All TVs sold today have an aspect ration of 16:9, which causes you to lose some of the picture when watching movies that are shot in 2.35:1 aspect ratio (the format in which most movies are shot). For a true cinematic experience, you will need a screen with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, where none of the picture will be lost and everything intended to be shown on the screen will be present.
How are all of the different technologies that go into my Home Theater integrated together to ensure the most favorable user experience?
The technology integrator is tasked with bringing all components of the technology together to function seamlessly. Behind the scenes, the integrator will work with the individual professionals and choose a system to unify the different technologies used in the Home Theater. As a result, you will have one interface where you can control every element (lighting, video, sound, etc.) of the theater with the push of a button.
As an experienced Home Theater Designer, what is the most common mistake you see people make in regards to building a Home Theater?
In my opinion, the most common mistake would be not listening to the advice of the A/V designer professional. This involves going to big box stores (like Walmart), major online retailers (like Amazon.com), etc. and attempting to buy elements separately. This will cause issues later down the road when trying to integrate the elements together to work seamlessly, as they may not have been built to do so. Clients should trust their A/V professional to assist in creating a truly tuned and immersive cinematic experience for their Home Theater.