Building your own home theater is an exciting endeavor! There are some who find the process of building a home theater to be completely complex and mind boggling. We understand, and we’re here to help!
In essence, building a home theater is complex if you don’t plan ahead and know what you need. Before mounting these different gadgets that make up an ideal home theater, there are basic steps that you need to take into consideration.
Taking the First Steps
Ask Yourself: Where Will I Put a Home Theater?
First, you must choose a location or position in your house. There are home theaters that can fit in small locations and there are others that require large rooms. Figuring out the precise location of your home theater will enable you to get the right location of the system. Getting the location and basic map of your room setting enhances the setup process. As you do this, it’s a good idea to establish whether the home theater will be for individual usage or family gatherings. If it is for you as an individual, then it might not require much. You just decide the location and mount the necessary devices through with a plan. However, if it is for family gatherings, you need to establish the devices and room arrangement so that it can accommodate more people.
Before you start designing your home theater, make a decision whether to use a room in your home or to build another room specifically for this purpose. Even though using a room in your house would be cheaper, you will have to bear with the room restrictions. In-built home theater components and a system can create a realistic theater feel. Building a room with a home theater system in your mind provides you with the opportunity to choose the right acoustic materials and hide any unappealing cables in walls and custom cabinets.
Get The Right Devices
Decide which devices will enhance the quality of your viewing. These might include good quality speakers and subwoofers, home theater receiver, a good flat-screen TV, cables, power protection, and the right furniture. Fixing and connecting different gadgets should go hand in hand with an outlined plan. This will help you to avoid cases and situations where the television is located in an uncomfortable location or you have an issue with cables crisscrossing in the room.
What to Consider When Building Your Home Theater
Here’s a rundown of what you should consider when building your very own home theater:
What’s Your Home Theater Budget?
First, consider how much you want to spend. Do you want a home theater that has a big flat screen television and a Blu-Ray player, or do you want an entire room with the works, including surround-sound speakers? You can maximize your movie experience if you spend a little or a lot, and it all depends on your personal preference.
Speaker Placement is Key
The average home theater has five full-range speakers and one woofer to create 5.1 surround sound that accentuates the theater experience. All of the speakers should be at ear height when seated and at least 20 inches from the walls. For the center channel, you can use two center channels on either side of the television. Be consistent with your speaker placement. Firefold has everything you need, from speaker switches, volume controls, and ceiling and in-wall speakers.
Of course, one of the main attractions of your theater system is the HD screen. Bigger is sometimes better when it comes to the screen, but you need to consider the size and the viewing angle. It should not take an effort to view the entire screen, so choosing the right combination is key. The best viewing angle is between 30 and 40 degrees, and the optimum distance should be about twice the diagonal width of the screen. The center of the display screen set at eye level ensures the best viewing height. If you choose to mount the screen onto the wall, you can find plenty of mounts, including low profile TV mounts, ceiling mounts, and accessories.
What Do You Need For A Home Theater?
These days, there are so many technological advancements in entertainment devices and systems. Many people consider a home theater as the pinnacle of in-house entertainment, mainly because of the surround system feature offered by these units. Ideally, surround sound is a term used to describe a process that enables a listener to experience sound from all directions irrespective of the source of the sound. The individual sounds from the main source are seamlessly integrated into one that has equal pitch in almost all points of the room.
Installing surround sound might sound like a difficult concept that should be left to professionals. This might be true in some way, but you can also do it yourself. You only need to understand the underlying facts about surround sound system put them into practice. Concisely, it is all about positions.
Here’s what you’ll need in order to create your own surround sound:
A Home Theater Receiver
This is the heart of any audio process in a surround system. It serves to process the sound, amplifies it, and relays it to the speakers. All home theater receivers come with a built-in sound system decoder that converts all inputted sounds like stereo audio into surround sound. The good thing is that a home theater receiver can be connected to different sources. From there, you can remotely select from which source you would like to listen to.
When it comes to digital entertainment in your house, HDMI cables are the universal connector because they can perform up to the standards of high-performing equipment. Most home theater components do not come with an HDMI cable, so buy a high-quality one for the best sound quality.
Speakers and Subwoofers
In order to create a premium wraparound sound, you should have at least five voice-matched speakers along with a subwoofer unit. You can certainly have more speakers, but voice matching is primary in getting an unmatched surround sound. There are pre-matched speakers. However, you are only required to voice match them by yourself in the event that you will be setting up the whole unit by yourself.
There are many different types of surround sound speakers to choose from. Here are a just a few:
- Bookshelf speakers-These speakers are for you guessed—bookshelves. They are smaller in size and can handle midrange and high-end frequencies. They take up less space and you can also mount them on the wall.
- Floor-standing speakers-They can handle a full range of frequencies, and they come in different sizes. You can even get floor-standing speakers as tall as you!
- In-wall speakers-Similar to bookshelf speakers, in-wall models uses the wall’s enclosed nature as its very own enclosure. They stay tucked away, but they are very important to surround sound quality.
- Subwoofers-They have large drivers and are made for low-frequency use. Subwoofers are bigger and heavier than bookshelf speakers.
The subwoofer is the simplest speaker to set. Since it produces unidirectional and low frequency sound, you can place it anywhere provided its location is convenient to the receiver and poses no bottlenecks when linking it to the other components of the system. However, avoid placing the subwoofer on recessed areas or corners. The speakers should be placed at a height close to your elevation when seated. Anything too high or too low will definitely ruin the sound particularly when it’s from an audiovisual source.
Choosing the Right Speakers for Your Home Theater
Thanks to the rapid advancement in technology, it is now possible to get high-end audio or video equipment at an affordable price. The choice of speakers is now wide, and it can become confusing when buying. However, with some tips the buying process might become much easier when it comes to choosing speakers for a home theatre system.
Consider the size of the room
First, it is important to select the style of your speaker with your room size and layout in mind. For a small room, consider small, low-cost satellite speakers that could be well mounted on the wall brackets. You could also have the large mini-speakers that can be mounted on stands or put within a wall unit.
For a larger room, consider the in-wall speakers because they look awesome when combined with a flat panel video unit. You can also consider on-wall speakers which always sound great. Simply choose a speaker that matches your interior décor and will be appropriate for your room size and layout.
Carry Out a Sound Test
It is paramount to carry out a comparative listening test in order to determine the best sounding speaker. If all the speakers in the surround system sound the same then you have no doubt found the perfect speaker system that will offer you the best coherence of the sound field even with the most complex of movie soundtracks.
Check The Midrange Clarity
You will find that most speakers have wide variations when it comes to volume levels from bass, midrange, and treble frequencies. In most cases you might find that the midrange of speakers from even some of the best electronics brands lack clarity and presence. In this case, it is always important to listen to your favorite music through them for you to be satisfied of the bass response or the treble smoothness.
Check The Bass Response
What’s speaker without a great bass response? The answer is that it is not a speaker at all if it fails to offer a satisfying bass response. It’s best to avoid any mistuned bass-reflex designs and instead opt for either the legendary transmission line designs or the sealed systems. Also note that the transmission line design uses a port to broaden the bass response.
Consider The Treble Response
You will find a lot of speakers have different dome materials ranging from the soft materials like fabric and the hard ones like metal. Hard materials are known for their sharper response and sound great on transients; however, their excessive response can become tiring. This makes the soft-dome tweeter easier to listen to for a long time. As much as the soft dome tweeter has been criticized in the past for lacking sharpness when it comes to transients, this has changed. The modern ones now have bridged the space between purely hard sounds and the soft sound quality, thanks to the stiffening coating of their synthetic material.
Setting Up Your Surround Sound
If you are going to set up your surround sound yourself, there are some things you should about the speakers and their placement. First of all, speakers themselves are fairly easy to understand. There is an enclosure where the speaker drivers are attached and the large surface area of the drivers move back and forth to make sound. Drivers themselves come in all different sizes. The larger the driver, the lower the frequencies it was made for. Two-way speakers have a woofer and a tweeter in one enclosure, while three-way ones have a woofer, tweeter, and midrange driver.
Now that you know a little about the speakers involved with surround sound, let’s take a look at how to set the system. Basically, it all starts with a center speaker. It serves as a connection between your right and left speakers. Each speaker is of equal importance to the surround sound system, and they should be similar in size, preferably coming from the same manufacturer.
The left and right speakers should be arranged at ear level and they should be full-range speakers. They should also be of the same performance capability of the center speaker. Again, it’s best that the speakers all come from the same manufacturer for the best listening experience.
The surround speakers add another dimension to your audio system. As far as placement goes, people have differing opinions. Many prefer the diffuse sound that bipoles and dipoles provide. But if you primarily watch Blu-rays or DVDs, it’s best to choose direct radiating speakers for the surround sound speakers.
Home Theater Tips and Ideas
Home improvement projects often offer both challenge and reward. Building your own home theater is one of the most rewarding do-it-yourself projects. Whether you intend to start building your theater room from scratch or add a surround-sound system to your current entertainment room, there are lots of home theater options to fit your plans. Below are some tips and ideas to help you with your project:
Upgrade The Components From The Beginning
You may have old components such as an old DVD player. Even though these may still work well, you can avoid possible remodeling and incongruities in the future by upgrading to a newer technology such as Blu-ray. It is a good idea to make your home theater system ready for the future, and you can easily achieve this using the latest technologies.
Consider The Room Acoustics
The shape as well as the construction of your home theater room can affect your home theater system’s sound quality. You can improve the acoustics by making sure that about fifty percent of the room surfaces are sound absorbent. For instance, the placement of carpets or rugs on the floor and curtains over the windows can help reduce the amount of reverberation and echo you experience.
Consider The Details
If you really want to design your own home theater, you may want to consider a marquis, candy counter, drapery, and authentic plush theater seating. Alternatively, you may consider including different rooms and areas in your general home entertainment by adding more wiring and cables. This will help in connecting any number of speakers or television so that you can enjoy your home entertainment system from any room within your home. Also consider the huge array of projectors and accessories to choose from!
Test The Setup
As you connect the devices, ensure that you test them as you go along. Also test the different views of the screen from all various angles as well as the sound system. If you are not really sure on how to connect your home theater according to what is in the manuals, then you can always go online and get more information.
Quality viewing in your home theater comes with good investment and planning. Take your time and do your research if you want to set it all up yourself. With some hard work, your home theater will be ready for you to enjoy hours upon hours of quality entertainment.
Don’t Spend a Fortune on Cables
While audio cables and video cables are important, you do not have to spend a lot of money on them. Moderately-priced cables will work just fine. You can even consider making your own cables if you like. There are plenty of resources online that can guide you with building cables that sound just as great as premium ones.
These are just some of the tips and ideas you can use while building and designing your own home theater. There is a lot more to consider, and you are likely to run into a couple of problems in the process. That is why you should do thorough research and plan well before you start your project.
There are so many options to choose from when it comes to building a home theater. FireFold has everything you need to bring your big screen dreams to life. We are here for you if you have questions or need help along the way!