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Planning The Perfect Home Theater

No crowded theaters and cinema-goo on the floor for you; and who needs to leave home and plunk down $50 for the privilege of sitting next to a stranger with questionable hygiene? You like to pop some microwave popcorn, pour yourself a beer; hunker down in your pj's under a cozy throw and binge on well, anything you want. The latest series, a classic movie, the newest reality show; whatever Netflix, Hulu, or cable has to offer.

The perfect home theater will offer comfort, convenience and viewing/listening capabilities that will ensure you never miss that big screen at all.

1. Pick a room. For optimal viewing, the fewer windows in your theater room, the better. If you can't get away from windows, choose black-out style curtains or drapes that will seat out the sunlight. If you have a choice, a rectangular room is a better choice than a square shaped one; this makes for better sound.

2. Take some measurements. Figure out how much space you have for seating and other furniture. Create a basic layout on a piece of paper or utilize a furniture layout website like Plan Your Room to see how furniture will fit in your space. If you are in a rectangular room, choose a shorter wall for speakers and screen or television; this will facilitate the best sound projection. Take note of where your outlets are as well; this will make a difference when you are adding electronics or are using electronic recliners.

Rule of thumb for planning the distance from the screen to your seating is pretty simple.

Measure the width (horizontal, not diagonal) of your screen x 2 = the minimum distance for your seating

Measure the width (horizontal, not diagonal) of your screen x 5 = the maximum distance for your seating

3. Find some inspiration. Check out websites (familyleisure.com Home Theater is a good place to start), design sites, Pinterest and other spots that can offer you some inspiration. Look for styles that appeal to you; consider colors and the way you would like to see your theater room take shape. Decide if you want to reflect the other decor in your home or if you want to make your theater room it's own distinctive space. One note; don't decorate your home theater room using framed art with glass; glass is reflective of light and sound.

4. Choose your seating. Theater seating runs the gamut from simple to spectacular; contemporary to classic; transitional to technologically advanced. Leather, microfiber, fabrics; there will be something to suit your budget and your vision. Consider deluxe innovative features like power options, memory buttons, USB chargers, in arm storage, built-in speakers, ground lighting, lighted cup-holders and snack trays. Again, familyleisure.com is a great place to look. ;-)  

5. Room with a view. There are an incredible array of high-def video and audio options for home use, from flat panels to projection systems; surround sound, internet-connections and Blu-ray disc players. If you are not sure how to approach the technical aspects of your home theater, consider hiring an expert or consulting a sales associate who can lead your through the features and requirements of various features and components. Some specialized home theaters may involve built-in components, rewiring, hidden wiring, remote controlled lighting, etc. Be sure to hire a reputable contractor to help with the tasks that are beyond DIY capabilities.


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