At CAVE, we’ve successfully helped people construct the ultimate home theaters in their homes for many years. While the technology itself has become more sophisticated, more impressive and more affordable than ever, the tried-but-true “best practices” of putting together your ideal home entertainment space have not.
Therefore, if you really want to build the best possible home theater in your own home, there are a few key elements you’ll want to focus on:
Finding the Perfect Screen Size
Everyone wants a big TV – after all, the screen down at the local cinema is massive so why should the one in your basement be any different?
However, it’s important to let your ROOM dictate the size of the 1080p or 4K television set you purchase. Buying “too big” or “too small” is far too easy to do but with the right calculation, you can make sure you end up with something perfect for the space you have available to you.
If you’re buying a 1080p HDTV, your viewing distance should be approximately 1.5 times the screen size (measured diagonally). If you’re buying a 4K TV, your viewing distance and your screen size (again, measured diagonally) should be roughly equal.
So if you bought a 60 inch 1080p HDTV, your “sweet spot” viewing distance would really be about 90 inches, or 7.5 feet. Any farther away than that and your eye will lose out on a lot of the detail you’re paying for. Any closer than that and you’ll start to see the individual pixels that make up each image.
Likewise, be sure to paint the wall either behind the TV (or that the TV is mounted on) a dark color. Don’t be afraid to embrace an accent wall. When all the lights are off and you’re watching your TV, the set should literally blend in with the wall to create a theater-like view. It’s hard to do that if the entirety of your room is painted in bright colors.
Playing the LCR Game – Left, Center, Right
In terms of the audio side of your home entertainment system, it’s important to keep in mind that you do NOT have to buy every component at the same time. Yes, a “home theater in a box” is convenient. Purchasing a package that comes with your receiver, five speakers and a subwoofer is a fast way to get the job done. But it’s not necessarily the best way to get the job done.
To make sure you end up with a high-quality system in the long run, start with JUST your front left, front right, and front center speakers. Of these three, you’ll want to put most of your budget into the center speaker. When you’re watching a film or television show, the most essential element to focus on is clarity in terms of dialogue. This is where much of that “immersive” feel of a home entertainment system is created. In other words, buy the highest quality center speaker you can afford.
Likewise, not every component in your home theater system NEEDS to be from the same manufacturer… except for these three speakers. Speakers from different brands tend to sound “different” in subtle ways. Because these three speakers need to work together to create an appropriate sound field, you’ll want to make sure their “sound” is as close as possible. Your rear surround speakers can easily be from another manufacturer to save money, but your left, right, and center channels are NOT where you want to skimp out.
If you have any additional questions about putting together the ultimate home theater system, or if you’d just like to sit down and discuss YOUR needs with someone in a bit more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact Cathey’s Audio Visual Entertainment today.