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Ready, set, action: 5 tips to remember when designing a home theater

(Facebook/Real Home Theaters)

If you’ve moved to a bigger house recently, and you want to have a dedicated space for home entertainment, you may be thinking of installing a real home theater, or even repurposing a room you have in your current house. Here are five considerations to guide you in the process:

1 . Determine your family’s needs: Instead of a home theater, you might really want something else, like a media room or a “man cave” with a larger-than-usual flat screen TV and game boxes plus comfortable seats where friends and family can gather for the big games as well as the movies. It could be a place where you will stream TV programs, movies and music from the Internet. You might also want to eat in that room. You can do all that in a great room or maybe in a dining room or spare bedroom you never use.

2. Designing the space: The price of designing your entertainment space, as you probably know, can range from $10,000 to 10 times that amount or even more. If your budget is limited, shop on the Internet for discounted equipment. Concentrate on getting the best possible video equipment. Sound quality is important, too, but video is often more important. Avoid inexpensive “home theater in a box” systems.

3. Hide the wires: For a sleek, finished look, you want to run the wires for your equipment through the walls instead of having them snake all over the place. If you’re comfortable with doing that yourself, fine; but if you’re not sure how to do it, hire professional help.

4. Determine visibility: If you’re planning to build a real theater with rows of seating, be very careful about the sight lines from all areas of the room. You may need risers to ensure that the back rows of your “audience” have an unobstructed view of the screen. But once you’ve built that riser, it’s tough to change it later on.  Don’t buy too big a screen for the size of your room; you shouldn’t have to move your head from side to side to take in all the action.  When it comes to determining the maximum or minimum television size for your viewing area, we use this rule of thumb:

Measure the distance, in inches, from your seat to the screen, and multiply that by .84. The answer will tell you the largest screen you should buy. Divide that same distance by three to learn the smallest size that will work for your room. – Excerpt from

5. Sound and set-up: A few basics to keep in mind for a real theater: Try to use a rectangular room with the screen and speakers on a short wall; the fewer windows the better. Wall-to-wall carpeting will improve sound; if you have concrete block walls, they must be covered with drywall to improve the movie experience.

For more advice on home theaters, DIY tips and information for all the projects around your house, home, castle or cabin, visit Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice and information at

And if you are in need of a quality contractor you know you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at – Arizona’s most trusted Referral Network.

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