7 Things You Need to Consider for Your Home Cinema
1. DO I NEED A DEDICATED SPACE FOR HOME CINEMA?
One of the biggest decisions you will need to make for your home cinema will be choosing a location in your home. While many homeowners prefer converting their unused spaces such as attic or basement, it’s also a popular option to transform existing spaces to offer full screen immersion with surround sound. However, whether you want conversion, transformation or new build, there is always a right system available for your cinema room.
2. ROOM SIZE AND SHAPE?
For the best results in home cinema with perfect acoustics, a rectangular room might be your ideal solution. Rectangular rooms offer better advantage in acoustics compared to square rooms.
- A room free from outside light helps create the correct lighting setup for movies. However, if there are windows in your desired cinema room location, you can opt in for window shades that automatically close down for movie mode.
- Although a room for only one door should represent no problems, having a second door to your dedicated cinema room can be safer for entry/exit.
- Retrofitting and existing room with a home cinema can offer advantages such as lower installation cost and fewer construction work.
- Some homeowners prefer building a dedicated home cinema room as an extension to their home. This option might appear costly and complex. However, choosing this route would enable you to created a truly dedicated space with perfect size, shape and acoustics.
3. SEATING OPTIONS
Possibly the most important factor in establishing the seating options in your new cinema room will be the viewing angle. Viewing angle is measured by drawing two lines to the edges of the screen from planned seating positions. For the ultimate viewing experience, an angle greater than 40° is recommended. Any angle lower than 30° will limit your peripheral vision.
Based on your request and room specifications, the seating can be arranged either level or tiered. A tiered seating require higher ceiling height, however it’s also the best way to ensure high viewing angle for all viewers.
Although you can opt in for any seating you want, available dedicated cinema seatings in the market help increase the comfort for your entertainment. Bespoke seats from Fortress, for instance, can be custom-made to offer special leather, arm-rest and electric recline to be cooperated in your home cinema.
4. TV VS PROJECTOR
TVs are able to offer much more crisp images and are less prone to being affected by external lights. However, due to size limitations of the available TV screens, they might not work best at large rooms where the distance to screen is great.
- Plasma screens, although offering much better action scenes, are losing their advantages against newer technologies such as LED TVs.
- 2015 is expected to bring widespread 4K adoption by many manufacturers with 4 times the resolution of Full-HD displays. With more available content, we will be seeing 4K becoming the industry norm in the coming years. Therefore it would be mindful to invest in a 4K display for future-proofing.
For larger rooms where TV display limitations factor in, projectors offer much better viewing angles and screen sizes. Determining your desired screen size could help your installer make the best selection available.
- Light levels a projector can offer is very critical in terms of achieving the true image quality on screen. Therefore an expert help with extensive knowledge for most suitable projector models might be useful.
- Although projectors are highly useful for dedicated home cinema systems, if you’d like to use your screen daily for other purposes, TVs may be more suitable.
With projectors, there is also the option to accommodate a drop-down ceiling mechanism to hide the projector when not in use. Latest projector models offer higher quality images with 4K capabilities.
5. INTEGRATED LIGHTING
With the help of integrated lighting systems, it is possible to attain true cinematic experiences where lighting plays an important part in ensuring true immersion. Automated systems like Lutron enable you to pre-define lighting modes such as cinema, reading, chilling and socialising. For example, the cinema mode can automatically dim the lights and turn on the ambient lights.
If you want an even more personalised lighting experience, you might want to consider fibre optics. Some homeowners utilise fibre optic lighting to create starfield pattern in their ceilings that give home cinemas a theatrical touch.
A perfectly isolated cinema room offers fantastic audio distribution where speakers are well-placed and interior design is carefully crafted to prevent the sound from reverberating around the room.
Acoustic wall panels can appear like a big investment. However, they are one of the best options to soundproof the home cinema. In addition to this, furniture choices such as big comfortable seating, upholstered walls and plush carpets can offer practical acoustic benefits with their soft surfaces.
Another thing to make sure regarding acoustics is the speaker setup and calibration. Regardless of how much you tackle room acoustics, sub-par quality sound systems and bad speaker calibration could fundamentally influence the way you experience movies, TV shows and music on the big screen. Latest technologies such as Dolby Atmos is designed to create true surround sound effects, especially with fast-moving objects in action movies. Investment in such speaker systems could future-proof your system audio.
7. MEDIA AND CONTENT SOURCES
With the availability of online content services such as Netflix, iTunes and Spotify; it’s now easier than ever to have your desired content within reach any time. However, the variety of source options available may also require different component options to have access to these benefits.
For online media, for instance, devices such as Apple TV offer a variety of movie selections with ability to directly stream off the internet at Full HD quality.
If you have a wide DVD/Bluray collection, there are also options that can help you incorporate your movie collection in the big screen experience. You can still use your regular DVD and Bluray player in your brand new home cinema. However, if you want a truly hassle-free experience, Kaleidescape Cinema One might be a better option. Apart from ability to play DVDs and Bluray discs, with the help of extensions, Kaleidescape can either store your DVDs and Bluray disks in its vault, or provide access to their movie server with lossless quality movies. This way, you can play your movies or TV shows without having to manually change disks.
Finally, your home cinema can offer access to cable services like Sky. A home automation system provided by Control4 or Crestron can enable you to switch between content sources, lighting and audio settings automatically right from its dedicated remote or even your iPad.
EXPERIENCED SPECIALISTS CAN GUIDE YOU THROUGH
Installing a bespoke home cinema, although sounds easy in theory, often comes with a bundle of challenges; especially in right hardware choice, system calibration and post-sale support.
We are ready to help you make the best of your home cinema investment. Speak to us today for a FREE first consultation.