The Difference Between Home Theaters and Media Rooms
Several years ago, having a dedicated home theater was a hallmark of a luxury home. Many homeowners want to enjoy the cinematic viewing experience from the comfort of their own sofa. While a home theater is still a popular choice for many, the media room has been making its way onto the market. Many people decide to renovate their living room or old game room with a flat-screen TV, surround sound, and cozy seating. But wait, doesn’t a home theater have all these things too? What’s the difference? Origin Hifi is here to help you determine if a media room or a home theater is right for your home.
Lighting: Replicating the subtlety of cinema lighting will best preserve the picture quality. You'll want to prevent light from falling directly on the screen, so windows or a large light over a bar would be a problem. Remote control dimmers are an ideal lighting fixture to achieve a sense of anticipation when the lights fade at the movie theater.
Sound: While most people want to focus on purchasing a giant screen, it’s vital to save enough money for your sound equipment. We suggest splitting your budget into three equal parts for screen, sound, and room. A dedicated theater can house speakers greater in number and size in your space, even embedded into the walls, floors, or ceiling if you so desire. The addition of acoustic panels and thick carpet can help improve the sound quality, so you feel like you’re in the middle of the final battle or the haunted house.
Room: Dedicated theaters have a sole purpose where the screen is the center of your activities, whether you're hosting for a sports game, having a movie night, binging a show, or playing video games with friends. Having an entirely separate room for this kind of entertainment allows you to customize all aspects of the décor. Arrange reclining chairs in rows like at the cinema, complete with cupholders. You could pick a theme to emulate a spy hideaway or an homage to your favorite space opera.
Setbacks: You can’t utilize the space for much else besides screened entertainment. No one can really talk over the surround-sound system, which some critics note as anti-social, but there are other rooms in the house for conversation anyway. If you want to add televisions to other rooms, you may need to cut your budgets into more parts. However, if you want to turn up the volume in peace, then a home theater is perfect for you.
Content Options: The new Media Room does more than play from a Blu-ray player. With today's technology, you can access streaming services like YouTube, Netflix, and Spotify. Now you can enjoy ambient music during a family game night, look up a workout video to do at home, or watch your favorite cooking show during a night in. Those who seek a movie theater experience can still achieve it within their media room.
Screen: What size of TV isn't too overwhelming? You'll want a screen large enough so everyone can see it from a suitable distance, but you don't want to strain your eyes or neck just to absorb the whole picture. A good rule of thumb indicates that you should be able to sit back from the television a distance of two to three times of its diagonal measurement for the optimal viewing experience.
Sound: While you may not be able to install speakers or acoustic panels in your walls, you can still optimize your sound performance through fluffy sofas, thick drapery over windows, and soft carpet. A few speakers should do the trick of immersing you into the viewing experience.
Room: Your design options vary from home theaters. Having a more open floor plan opens your space to more socialization. You could supervise your children as you cook, clean, or do work, depending on your home's layout. You'll feel free to entertain guests as well by hiding your screen behind a mirror or artwork. You can move furniture to create conversation-friendly spaces or shift them back towards your screen when you’re ready for a video game. Rather than the movie theater rows of seating, you could add loveseats, L-shaped couches, or comfy sofas.
Setbacks: Without four walls to isolate the sound, you may disturb some neighbors or other members of the house who aren’t using the media room. Your creativity with home design is restricted as well; you'd want to blend your décor with the rest of the house, so if you want to design a 1920's speakeasy or your own replica of the Batcave, then you may want to look beyond a media room.
Whether you’ve decided to choose a home theater or a media room, Origin Hifi guarantees the system we help you create will be perfect for your home. Contact us today to get started.