Designing a home media room can present challenges when you are using that room for something else. A media room not specifically built as a home theater, such as a large hearth room with a fireplace, is going to have many different purposes like playing games and hosting family and guests. The audio and video design will need to be carefully planned around the other activities. Multiple components such as speakers, remotes, gaming systems and source components can make a media room cluttered and unsightly with cords and devices.
The first step is choosing and placing your speakers. You want to position your speakers so they are at the level of the ear when you are seated. This can be difficult in a multi-purpose room, but the kind of speakers you choose can make the task easier. A custom sound bar can attach to the TV and blend in, omitting the need for placing your speakers on bookshelves or stands.
The size of the TV is balanced against the visual design of the room as opposed to a dedicated theater. You do not want a TV that overwhelms everything else, but rather the screen should be sized for an optimal viewing position from your seating, taking into account distance, height and other visual focal points of the room. For a top-quality picture, consider an Ultra HD 4K TV.
Sources: Apple TVs, Netflix and Smart TVs
Your source components depend solely on the content you want. Are you an Apple family? Do you purchase music and movies through iTunes? If you want that media available, you need an Apple TV. A smart TV can stream internet content like Netflix, but not Apple content, so make sure you know which source component you need to watch and play what you like.
Your control system will determine how easy it is to turn on all the media in your room. If things are difficult to start up, your media will become a point of frustration, and you won’t enjoy it as much. Fortunately, almost everything electronic can be automated: dimming or turning off lights, rolling down window shades, preset volume levels and even directly playing your favorite show. An automation brain system can turn it all on for you, controlled by your phone or one remote.
It’s best practice to include an audio/video consultant before it’s time to buy a TV. Getting somebody involved early in the process will maximize the potential for the room, and let you avoid an uncomfortable or clumsy design. For an audio/video expert, reach out to Ray Rice, Digital Sight & Sound.