Designing Your Home Theater Monmouth County
Den. Basement. Living room. Garage. You'd be surprised how easy it can be to transform these boring spaces into the kind of home theater that'll make you the envy of the neighborhood. ("In your face, Joneses!") All you need is a great TV, the perfect speaker arrangement and the right extras for the ultimate viewing experience. Here's how to design the perfect home-theater space for your house.
For starters, consider the best TV size for your theater. Obviously the bigger the TV, the happier you'll be (unless you're a "Walking Dead" fan, in which case smaller might be better). Don't worry too much about the old viewing-distance rules, especially if you're opting for a 4K TV: its sky-high resolution allows for closer viewing.
Next, decide where the TV is going to go. Many would argue that the ultimate home theater is one with the screen mounted on a wall, just like in a movie theater. But there's more to consider than just which wall to use and whether to hire a professional installer. (Tip: hire a pro.) You also need to figure out how many wires will be coming from the TV (power, cable box, Blu-ray player, game console, etc.) and if you'll be able to hide them. If not, and you're going to need a TV stand to hold all those devices anyway, is a wall mount really worth the hassle?
Furthermore, a TV stand does give you a lot more options for placement, which is important when considering lighting. For example, don't place your TV directly opposite a window, otherwise the glare might drive you crazier than Jack Nicholson in "The Shining." I once reorganized my entire living room just to reduce window-glare.
Of course, just as important as sight: sound. A TV's built-in speakers may be fine for a small room, but in a home theater, you'll want to treat your ears to a sound bar. These typically sit in front of the TV or mount on a wall, though some have dual floor-standing speakers that deliver a more robust stereo effect. If you want audio that really thumps, choose a sound bar that comes with a subwoofer -- preferably one that's wireless so you have more flexibility in where to place it.
Finally, don't forget the decor. Many people focus so heavily on home-theater hardware, they forget the elements that can make the room really special. Head to eBay, Craigslist and other outlets in search of movie posters, floor-standing popcorn makers, theater-style wall sconces and maybe even actual movie-theater seats. And if you like to have guests over, hit your local office-supply store for a roll of tickets you can hand out at the door. That's a small price to pay for making the neighbors seriously green with envy.
Tip #1: Declutter the space
To help keep your room as clutter-free as possible, look for components that can be stored in cupboards and other out-of-sight locations. For example, choose a streaming-media box that relies on a Bluetooth remote, and therefore can be stowed nearly anywhere.
Tip #2: Use a universal remote
Consider replacing your armload of remotes with a single, universal clicker. Logitech's Harmony series, for example, supports every home-theater component known to man. And lots of components now have companion apps, meaning your smartphone or tablet can handle remote duties.
Tip #3: Take advantage of online content
If you have a 3D-capable TV and Blu-ray player (and you should -- they're awesome), look to online sources for an expanded selection of movies. 3D-BlurayRental.com, for example, offers a large library of movies you can rent, either a-la-carte or as part of a Netflix-style subscription plan.
Tip #4: Don't forget the music
Remember that your home theater can also be your home concert hall. Many smart TVs have built-in apps for services like Pandora, while Netflix is home to a variety of concerts from well-known artists.
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