Creating your home cinema can be a daunting experience but whether this is getting the family together and keeping them entertained or to impress your friends, cinema rooms are a great way to pass the time and have fun!
Below are the 4 key simple steps you need to consider to get that perfect home theatre:
The best place to start is the room. You need to think about where is your home cinema going to go within the house or building. Contrary to what you may think you do not need a huge house or purpose-built space to enjoy the benefits of the home cinema experience. Obviously, if you are looking to create a traditional ‘true’ home cinema room then you will need a dedicated room within the house or garden to create this. It could be a basement space, spare bedroom, contained living room or garden room; anything that can be shut off from the rest of the house. But a home cinema experience can be created in almost any room in the house. Careful consideration of the space, room and help from experts can help any home to achieve the luxury of a home cinema. With expert help and guidance it is absolutely possible to create a home cinema experience directly in your living room!
The size and shape of the room you intend to use as a home cinema will have an impact on what type of screen you choose, as well as the types and placements of the speakers. Technical considerations such as the optimum horizontal and vertical viewing angles will have an impact on the placement of seats and sofas within the home theatre too. Don’t know what your optimum viewing angle for a home cinema is? Read our article here .
Think about what kind of floor you have in the room, this affects how sound is distributed in the room. Hard floors do not tend to be the best surface for a home cinema as they reflect sound, resulting in unwanted echoes. Carpets captivate the sound and result in a better sound quality for a home cinema set up. If you want hard flooring then your cinema sound system will need to be configured to suit the room for optimum sound quality.
Similar to the floor finishes, what materials are used on the walls will have an impact on the sound quality of your home theatre system. For those looking to achieve the purest home cinema, audio acoustic dampening wall panels can be used to absorb echoes and improve the auditory experience of the home cinema. Whatever your wall finishes are your home cinema designer will need to know to ensure that the right sound systems are used for your space.
The last thing you want is a present ambient light reflecting the surface of the screen TV which would disrupt your home cinema viewing. You should think about what lights you will be having, the room and their placement. Obviously, if your home cinema will double up as a multi-use living room you will need lighting but the placement and control of these lights are important to think about.
The next step you need is a floor plan. You need to think about exactly where the features are going to go in the room, as this is a very crucial step in achieving a successful and efficient cinema experience. You need to think about the equipment you are going to be using and exactly where they will be placed in the room. If you are working with an expert home cinema designer then they will do this for you. Your home cinema consultant will need to know:
If your chosen home cinema space has or will have, windows then these need to be included in the plans. Placement of windows may change the placement or direction of the home cinema speakers. You should also consider installing drapes or a drop down blackout blind to stop light entering the home cinema space when in use.
You need to think about what viewing platform would be best for your home cinema. A projector and screen set up is more in keeping with a true cinema experience and offers a larger viewing screen. However, you need a larger wall space for a projecting screen and a suitable ceiling on which to mount the projector. In addition projectors and screens may not be suitable if your space is very small. A TV screen is more suitable for smaller home cinema spaces or rooms that will have multiple uses as both a home cinema and living room. Can’t decide? Choose both! Many home cinema projects include both a TV screen and drop down projector as part of the design. When you want to create a true home cinema experience the projector and screen can drop down in front of the TV screen at the push of a button. This offers you the best of both.
To get the best out of your home cinema the electricals should be carefully planned to avoid any costly alterations later. The best route for your cable runs should be measured and checks should be made in how they will be connected. For instance, if you want to include electrical reclining chairs as part of the home cinema design then you will need electrical inputs where the seating is going to go. Your home cinema media storage should be similarly designed to ensure that no cables or wires are visible.
The sound of a home cinema is often a key element of the design. Creating an immersive experience relies on allowing the sound from your home cinema to surround you. This is the purpose of surround sound systems. A basic surround sound system will offer at least a 5.1 speaker set up however most modern systems will be more. At our home cinema demonstration room, we have a 9.2.2 surround sound system. The optimum number of speakers for your home cinema and the surround sound set up will vary greatly depending on the shape and size of your home cinema room. Believe it or not, there is such as a thing as too many speakers! Your home cinema design consultant will be able to advise on the optimum speaker configuration to ensure you get the right experience without overspending on too many speakers.
Whilst the cinema room is in use a subtle or low-level lighting scheme is best. This helps to create the right cinema atmosphere. Recessed lighting in the ceiling or in the floor may be a suitable option as hanging lighting fixtures may obstruct the view of the screen. If the room has multiple uses (for instance if your home cinema is in your living room) then the day to day lighting needs will need to be thought of too. The help of an expert lighting designer may be very helpful here. Your home cinema designer should be able to include this as part of your cinema design if needed.
The best home cinemas have cosy surfaces in order to be comfortable. You need to consider the number of people that are likely to be using the room in order to determine what kind of seating is required and the number of sofas/chairs that will be used. Those looking to create a ‘true home cinema’; will likely use traditional home cinema seating in tiered rows. More multi-use spaces will include a large sofa with perhaps some comfy armchairs.
A bespoke media storage system is often the best solution for a home cinema space . It can be designed with your chosen screen type in mind as well as the space available and design of the room. These TV units or storage systems will then be able to hide all wires and hardware of the home cinema system whilst creating a cohesive look and feel to the space.
The layout of where the viewer would be sitting would determine the best visual experience. For the full display of viewer’s vision, the viewing angle should be between 36 and 50 degrees. The listener should be at least 4ft away from the surround sound.
Below is a beautiful example of how an unused room turned into the most gorgeous, entertaining room of the house. As you can probably tell the lighting of the room was important for the customer, so an option to dim and change the colour of the LED lights using the light control system was included as part of the design. The space was completed with comfy, trendy cinema chairs that you can really sink into.
Once you have your floor plan and have thought about what furniture and technology you want to include you need to get some quotes for the work. There are many companies that sell furniture, many that sell AV systems, many that sell lights. But in order to create a cohesive and cost-effective home cinema space, it is best if you get in touch with companies that do it all!
A home cinema design company will be able to provide you with a cost for all elements of the home cinema design in one. This often saves time, energy and money in the long run.
If your quotation is out of the budget, to begin with, do not panic. There are always cost reduction options available, especially from the technology. Go back to the company with your budget and see if they can provide you with a home cinema package to match.
For example, the home cinema demonstration room we have here at the IQ Furniture showroom costs approximately £70,000 altogether, including technology, lighting, control and furniture. This includes a very large and comfortable L shaped cinema sofa called Manhattan which costs £11,780. Obviously, this sofa is at the very top end of the sofa range available. To cost engineer this home cinema package one thing we could do is change the seating options to a more cost-effective sofa. We could slightly reduce the number of speakers used. We could change the screen from a perforated true cinema screen to a standard projector screen. All of these changes could help save you money but maintain the home cinema experience.
Once you have a floor plan and a cost then you are ready to place an order for your home cinema. Your chosen company should complete a home visit in order to survey the space and plan the installation. If the room in which your home cinema will be located is not built yet these planning steps can be done via architectural or construction drawings.
Your home cinema designer will then take care of all installation, programming of technology and control equipment and building of home media storage systems. Then all you have to do is sit back and enjoy your brand new home cinema space.
Remember that any space or home can benefit from a bespoke home cinema experience . If you have any questions about how you could create your own home cinema then just contact our experts on 01494 722880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about our Turnkey Home Cinema service. You can also Book a personal showroom visit to view our exclusive home cinema demonstration room for your very own Home Cinema Experience.