- Determine the amount of space you can allow for a home theater
- The location in the home where your system will be set up
- What if any home theater furniture would be most appropriate
- the budget set aside for your home theater system investment
There is more than one aspect of space to consider. The first consideration is the size of the place you live in. The second, is how much space do you want to dedicate to your home theater design? These two variables can be very different depending on your taste and floor-plan, regardless of the size of your living space.
Lets use a small apartment for example. You might want to keep the home theater confined to a corner or one side of the main room. A separate dining area, a home theater area, and a home office space, each taking up a third of the space of one large room would be an example. There are so many great home theater systems that are small enough to enjoy without overpowering a confined area, but offer large theater like sound without compromise. Many 'home theater in a box' solutions are an ideal choice for this application. A compact audio system coupled with the appropriate size flat screen HDTV will make your movies at home simply breathtaking.
Depending on your taste, you may take that same room, but elect to have a system that uses the whole room. Imagine a retractible screen on one wall and small speakers beside it. On the opposite wall, small surround speakers. A subwoofer hidden in a corner. A home theater projector on the ceiling. If the speakers are wall mounted and small in stature, when your movie screen is up and away, you might not even know a home theater system exists here. Dim the lights and get comfortable on your sofa and be transported to another world when your system comes to life. This home theater design is ideal for both a house with a dedicated room for a home theater system, and the small apartment setting as well, provided the floor plan allows for the screen, speaker, and projector placement as described.
Although the topic of space and location can overlap each other, they are not the same. Where are you going to install this stuff? To get the maximum pleasure out of your home theater design, it is important to consider your surroundings (besides the awesome sound that will be surrounding you).
Do you have a baby sleeping in the room next to where you want to watch movies loudly? This is an important consideration, even if a baby is on the way, because installing the best home theater system, and then uninstalling it is not so much fun. You may not need to enjoy your movies at high volume levels, but babies are very sensitive. Why take a chance?
Another consideration is the people around you (particularly in an apartment or condominium setting). Is there someone's bedroom right below your subwoofer? This is sometimes hard to avoid, but if it is possible, set up your home theater system in a location that does not disturb other members of the household or the neighbors.
Will the sun be shining through the window right on to your picture that is so bright that even the blinds can't cover it all? The glare can be very distracting and lessen the impact of the beautiful picture on your TV or screen.
Is the area you are considering prone to high traffic where people will have to cross in front of the screen often? (This may be unavoidable depending on your space, but it can be very annoying) If you have another option, all the better. Of course if your living situation, including yourself, consists of just one or two people, then it shouldn't be too much of an issue.
Ah the furniture! Now don't worry, your existing stuff might be just fine. No matter what furniture you use, it will not affect the sound or picture quality. The right choice, however, can affect the overall experience when enjoying your home theater system. Click here to learn more about home theater furniture including equipment furniture as well as home theater seating and the role they can play in your overall home theater design.
This is something that should be determined as you plan your home theater. Remember, you do not have to spend an exorbitant amount of money to get a good system. Also note that if you desire higher end gear, then you can build it piece by piece, over time, as your financial situation permits.