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7 Factors to Consider When Designing a Home Cinema

It can be difficult to know where to start when designing a home cinema. Whilst projectors and surround sound systems are relatively accessible nowadays, these can vary considerably in range and it’s tough to be sure what will best suit your needs.

To help you along, we’ve compiled a list of 7 key factors to consider when designing any home cinema. It’s important that you approach each element of your home cinema individually first so that you can ensure the best possible result. Whatever your setup, a home cinema’s purpose is to create an immersive and enhanced audio visual experience, and this requires in-depth planning.

The Room

Before you even start shopping for the components of your home cinema system, you should be thinking about the room in which you plan to have it installed. Make sure that you consider factors like ambient light, carpets, the size of your room, cabinets, and sitting position.

For example, ambient light can often lead to screen glare or surface reflection so it might therefore be worth either considering a different room or making sure you have suitable curtains. Likewise, your choice of flooring material will considerably affect the quality of sound that you get. An uncarpeted floor can lead to echoes, meaning that it might be worth finding a soft carpet to help absorb unnecessary audio artifacts.

A final thing to consider when choosing the right room is whether there’s space for you to house the actual components of your home cinema. Are you planning on placing them in free space or tucked away in a cabinet? Put some thought into this now and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble down the line.

Video Display

Your video display is one of the most important components of a home cinema system. This can be a video projector or a flat panel OLED, Plasma, or LCD TV. Naturally, however, the size of the screen will be determined by the size of your room. Remember to pick a TV with the capability to display 4k Ultra HD, 1080p or 720p resolution for the clearest possible images.

If you want to take it a step further and really enhance your home cinema experience, you could also consider incorporating 3D viewing technology. To achieve this, you will need a 3D-enabled video projector or TV. Overall, when it comes to video display you generally have to go for the best size for your room which can also produce the highest quality visuals.

Loudspeakers

Loudspeakers and subwoofers will also form an integral component of your home cinema systems. Again, the right type of speakers for your home cinema system will be largely determined by the size of your room. When you shop for your loudspeakers, ensure that you take the time to test out different types and pick the best according to your room size, style and needs. When buying speakers, you might also consider whether you’d like to buy the same brand to ensure a perfect acoustic match.

To complete your sound setup, you’ll also need a decent subwoofer. A subwoofer is a special speaker that only reproduces very low frequencies in audio. With a range of subwoofers available, once again the type that you use will depend on factors like whether the floor is carpeted or not. When setting up your audio system, it’s important that you remember to set up your speakers and subwoofers in 5.1 and 7.1 channel configurations. Perform listening tests until you have the perfect setup and you’re good to go!

Source Components

At the very least, you will need a DVD player for your home cinema. However, it’s also important to consider other source elements like your internet, a blu-ray disk player and whether you want to use an antenna, cable or satellite.

To ensure that you get the best quality visuals from your DVDs, evaluate the upscaling and progressive scan capabilities of a DVD player before buying one. Equally, fast internet will mean high-quality streaming of both music and films without the need to buy DVDs. Dependent on what you’re after in your viewing experience, take the time to assess your source components and buy accordingly.

Control Settings

Managing and controlling a home cinema system might seem like a somewhat daunting task. With so many different components that come with their own remotes, it’s highly likely that you’ll end up with an excess of controls to have to worry about. To get around this common issue, it makes a lot of sense to get a universal remote that will allow you to control every function of your home cinema.

Connection Cables

It might sound obvious, but the most important thing to remember when it comes to cables is ensuring that you have the right types and lengths to ensure that everything is connected. Whether you’re using basic connection cables or more expensive ones, remember to consider the gauge of a cable. For example, if your speakers and amplifier are far apart, you will have to use a thicker cable than you would if they were closer together. For some home cinemas, it might also be worth colour coding cables to help you keep track of what connection ends match what components.

Furniture

With all of your technical components decided on, it’s time to start thinking about the right furniture to complement your home cinema. Though this will vary depending on your setup, you’ll likely need sturdy stands and cabinets where you can place the components of your system. However, perhaps the most important item of furniture is your seating. To ensure you get the most use out of your home cinema, it’s well worth investing in comfortable seating that will keep you coming back to enjoy

We’ve covered a lot, however it’s integral that each of these 7 factors is considered in the design stage of any home cinema. Whilst no home cinema is the same, there are certain things to look out for that will improve any setup and go a long way in simplifying your process.

Finally, though installing your own home cinema is certainly achievable, it’s always wise to seek the advice of a professional installer, particularly for those hoping to create more extravagant home cinema systems.

Henry Shepherd is the Business Development Manager at Cornflake, the experts in home cinema. When he’s not busy helping clients achieve the cinemas of their dreams, you’ll find Henry catching up on the latest releases at his local IMAX

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