Build a Home Theater - Comprehensive Guide

Edited by Frank Fazio, Eng, Anonymous

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When you build a home theater, it is important to remember that it is ultimately for you. There is no right or wrong answer regarding the setup of your theater, so whatever you think looks and sounds good is what you should choose. This guide will give you the information you need to make those choices by detailing and explaining every aspect of building a home theater.

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Some of us are lucky enough to have an empty room to work with, others need to integrate their home theater system into an existing living or family room. Either way, your audio and video details will be the same. When you've met your budget and worked through your setup, you should be able to sit in the "sweet spot" of the room and enjoy your favorite movie or TV show.

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The Room

  1. 1
    Dimensions.
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    Anyone who is serious about building a home theater from the ground up will pay close attention to their room dimensions because it affects your sound quality. Sound travels through air as waves, and these waves will tend to behave differently based on how much air is available in a room. The amount of air in a room is calculated directly from the width, height and length of your room. If you do not have the ability to change your room dimensions, you can treat the room with acoustic materials after you're done to compensate. What you should know when deciding on your room dimensions.
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  2. 2
    Equipment Placement.
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    One of the things that people forget to consider is where to place all of your home theater electronics. Sure, everyone knows that the video display goes in the front of the room and we all know where the speakers go, but you must also consider where your receiver and video sources go. If you are trying to reproduce the theater movie effect, then you will not put your video sources at the front of the room since the lights on the electronics will be distracting. Consider these points when deciding the placement of your electronics.
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  3. 3
    Theater Decor.
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    When friends walk into my home theater, they are greeted by a visual feast of movie decor. Adorned on my theater walls are framed movie posters, movie star autographed photos, and dark acoustic paneling. If you're going to spend the time and energy to build a home theater, then go all out and make it look like a real theater. There are many ways you can decorate your home theater walls, but remember that the things you put on the walls can have an adverse effect on your sound quality due to reflection of sound waves. Important considerations for your home theater decor.
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  4. 4
    The Front Wall.
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    The one thing that everyone will be looking at in your home theater is the front wall. This is where all the action will take place. The movie will be displayed either on a big television or on a screen (for a projector). Either way, you want the front of your home theater to be visually impressive. You really have 2 options when designing your front wall. You can go with the flat "everything built into the wall" or the "everything placed up against the wall". I chose the "built into the wall" option and this is how I built the front wall of my home theater.
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Video

  1. 1
    Displays
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    1. Large Screen TVs
    2. Projectors
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  2. 2
    Sources
     
    1. Media Streamers How To Stream Media
    2. Blu-ray player
    3. Sat/Cable box
    4. Gaming box
    5. Home Theater PC
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Audio

  1. 1
    Receivers
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  2. 2
    Speakers.
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    For your dedicated home theater, the speakers can be any size because your room will be designed around them. If you're looking for speakers to put into an existing living area, you will want wireless and/or small speakers because you probably want to hide them around your room.  
    1. Home Theater Speakers. Audio plays a very important role in a home theater setup, and if your speakers are set up properly you will be amazed at the quality of sound you can reproduce in your home.
    2. Home Theater In A Box. If you want to add speakers to an existing room in your home and don't want to spend a lot of money, then you'll want to get a home theater in a box. It contains the receiver and speakers that you will need to properly set up a little theater in your family/living room.
    3. Wireless Speakers. Wireless speakers are the best if you already have an established room and don't want to run wires from your receiver to all your surrounding speakers. Not only is the wireless speaker good for eliminating wires inside the house, you can also get wireless speakers for outdoors. How to choose a wireless speaker.
    4. Soundbar Speakers. A soundbar is mainly used for smaller spaces like bedrooms and apartments. In a normal home theater surround sound setup, you will deal with at least 5 different speakers. A soundbar is a long bar that contains a number of speakers that will reproduce the same sound, without the individual 5 speakers. How to choose a soundbar.
    5. What are Satellite Speakers?
    6. Subwoofers.
    7. Best Speaker Placement.
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Cables

  1. 1
    HDMI
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  2. 2
    Component
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  3. 3
    Optical
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  4. 4
    Cat5e or Cat6
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Seating

  1. 1
    Seating Options
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  2. 2
    Finding The "Sweet Spot"
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  3. 3
    Arrangement In The Room
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  4. 4
    Shakers
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Ventilation

  1. 1
    Heating and Cooling Your Room
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  2. 2
    Cooling Your Equipment
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Paint Colors

  1. 1
    Walls
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  2. 2
    Ceiling
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Lighting

  1. 1
    Automated Lighting.
    How To Set Up Philips Hue Lighting
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  2. 2
    Scones For Your Walls
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  3. 3
    Recessed In The Ceiling
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  4. 4
    Ground Lighting
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Remote Controls

  1. 1
    Universal
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  2. 2
    Use Your Smartphone.
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    There are a number of different remotes you will have in your home theater for a multitude of components. There is now the ability to use your iPhone or Android to control some of those components. How To Use Your Smartphone To Control Your Home Theater
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Miscellaneous

  1. 1
    Equipment Rack
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  2. 2
    Power Bars & Surge Protectors.
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  3. 3
    UPS Backup
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  4. 4
    IR Repeater
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Article Info

Categories : Home Theater

Recent edits by: Eng, Frank Fazio

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