Tech Talk – The Ultimate Media Room
Media and home theater rooms are one of the most popular additions today no matter the size or value of a home. These entertainment rooms, which were once reserved for the elite, are now found in most homes around the country.
Whether you are remodeling your theater room, converting to a smart home or building a new home and want the latest technology, it might seem like a monumental task, but don’t overthink it. There are many options available and anyone can afford to have a media room in their home.Here are the basic things to consider when putting in a media room:
1) Decide what type of room you want and where it will be in the home.
You can choose to go simple and streamlined or over-the-top and build an ultimate theater room. You can convert a small bedroom or a larger living area. Your lifestyle and goals should be addressed in the buying process. Any room can be converted into a media room. Do you simply want to watch your favorite movies and sporting events? Is there a gamer in the family? Is the media space going to be connected to your home network? A room can easily be designed to please everyone in the household and become the most utilized room besides the kitchen.
2) How much do you want to spend?
Everyone knows that technology changes quickly, so you should purchase the most updated technology that you can afford. The quality of projectors has evolved while the price has gone down, making them an affordable luxury. All you need is a minimum of 6 feet from the screen. A small media room can cost as little as $5,000 or more than $100,000, outfitted with equipment used in Hollywood studios. Most home theater components are modular, so as your budget grows down the road, you can upgrade items when you are ready.
3) What technology do you need?
Although the basics for a media room or home theater consist of a projector, receiver, speakers and Blu-ray player, there are more options than ever before with progressive products that are more affordable than ever. You can use an over-the-top player such an Apple TV/Roku device or a Kaleidescape Player, which allows you to digitize your Blu-ray/4K Blu-ray collection as well as purchase digital copies of new HD and 4K movies.
4) Have someone help with a layout.
Know the size of the room you wish to have as your media room. Talk to a knowledgeable salesperson about the things that are important to you, the size of the room and the money you want to spend. Some retailers have online layout guides to help. You can place your screen, seating, speakers, etc., in a layout to get a feel for what it will look like when it is complete. And less is more when it comes to furniture in your media room. Opt for comfortable, quality theater-style seating, including cup holders and small tables. The key is buying comfortable seating specifically designed as theater seating whether you buy something in-stock or custom order.
5) Don’t go overboard on buying huge speakers.
If you are limited on space, make sure you consider where you plan on placing items before you buy. There are space-saving options such as sound bars that hang on the wall below a television, projector screens that hide away at the push of a button or touch of a screen, in-ceiling speakers and more.
6) Consider viewing distance when purchasing a TV or projector with screen.
The preferred distance is a personal choice, but talk to a salesperson about the type of technology you are planning to purchase and the distance between the seating and screen. If the screen is too far away, you won’t be able to capture the details of 4K picture.
7) Cover floors, windows, and even the ceiling, to provide the best movie watching experience.
Things like wood floors and tile reflect sound waves; the same goes for certain types of furnishings and built-ins in the room. Carpet a media room and use upholstered or leather seating to absorb sound. Heavy draperies on the walls can also help absorb sound and darken the room. Too much light in a room increases screen glare or washes out projector picture.
8) Everything can be remote-controlled.
You can control the draperies, lighting, Blu-ray player, TV or projector, sound and more through the touch of a screen or through voice control. Today’s advanced technology includes smart home automation, voice assistants, multi-dimensional sound and even 4D seats that move with the action on-screen.
Many home theater companies today, such as Starpower, have designers on-staff to help you build the perfect escape. Their consultation includes asking some of the questions addressed in this article. They take information on your individual desires, lifestyle, budget and space to make recommendations. A reputable company will also provide support in case you encounter any issues after the sale.
Whether you purchase a new 4K TV or outfit an entire media room, select a reputable company authorized to sell recognizable and reliable brands such as Sony, Samsung, Martin Logan, Sonos and Klipsch, just to name a few.
You don’t have to be an expert to know what you want and what you like. Visit a retailer where you can see, touch and hear the differences in equipment so you aren’t intimidated by the process. Build it and they will come … your family and friends!
David Pidgeon is the CEO at Starpower. There are three Starpower locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area (Knox and Cole, Southlake and North Dallas) and one location in Scottsdale, Ariz.