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Custom Home Theater Tips & Tricks

written by: Claudine Baugh•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 5/18/2011

Add the final touches to your den by improving video and sound quality along with creating comfort and an impressive layout. Here are some fantastic tips and tricks to help create the ultimate custom home theater.

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    Apart from the standard requirements for creating a home theater, here are a few tips and tricks to customize your home theater to not only feel and look great, but also perform at a very high standard.

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    Sound – Strategic Placement of Speakers

    speakr placment The placement of the speakers in your home theater should be of significant consideration. Ultimately, home theaters should have surround sound and the best way to achieve this in your custom home theater is to gather at least five (5) speakers and discretely set them up around the room – place two in front at equal distances on either side of the big screen television or projector screen (front left and right speakers), one in the middle of the room (center channel speaker) above the big screen TV and two in the back (left and right surround) toward the corners of the rear wall. In addition, you will need a subwoofer that will deliver a low-frequency signal throughout the room. Home theater speakers range in the desired number and as such, more speakers will be required for larger spaces.

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    Acoustics - Simple and Easy Window, Floor & Wall Treatment

    Acoustic treatment for your home theater should facilitate three very important factors; these are absorption, reflection and diffusion. The best materials to absorb unwanted sound (e.g. echoes), and reduce audible reflection & diffusion are drywalls for your wall treatment, carpets for your floor and curtains or fabric finish blinds for your windows. Applying carpet or fabric to a drywall surface will reduce the reflection significantly at very high frequencies. In general, a balance of these three elements is required to create quality and organized sound in your custom home theater.

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    Decor Advice - Placement of Furniture and Appliances

    Ultimately your home theater should have a big screen TV or projector screen installed directly in the middle (top and bottom &HT chair arrangement  side to side) of the front wall of the room. The front wall of your home theater should be on the opposite end of the entrance. Although, placing the TV or projector screen on the adjacent wall from the entrance can be tolerated. DVD players, cable boxes and other control devices should be placed under the TV or projector screen. (See speaker placements above).

    You can decide to have either multiple seating or standard living room seating (i.e., full three seater sofa, love seat and a single chair) in your custom home theater. For multiple seating you want to create a cone shape design with the narrower arrangement closest to the screen. For example if you have a dozen chairs, you would want to consider placing five chairs at the very back, four in front and three ahead of those. The best recommendation for this multiple single chair arrangement is to use comfy reclining chairs. Remember to leave a considerable amount of foot space between each row. For the standard living room design you would want to arrange all the pieces in a semi circle directly in front of the screen.

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    Cohesive Appliance Brand Matching

    To add authenticity to your custom home theater, it is recommended to match the appliances not only by device edition and color but also by brand. To obtain cohesive brand matching, each piece of equipment i.e., television screen or projector screen, complete home theater speakers, DVD player, projector, etc. should be made by the same manufacturer. If you choose to purchase a Sony plasma screen TV then try to also buy Sony speakers, DVD player, and so on.

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    Modern Equipment & Appliances

    custom-home-theater If you want to achieve the ultimate home theater experience where video and sound quality are concerned, then buying the most recent versions of high quality equipment and appliances is the answer. Very popular home entertainment equipment brands are Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, LG, Pioneer and Philips. The manufacturers for these brands are constantly updating their products and are unanimously the most competitive distributors of home entertainment appliances and equipment today. Choosing any of these brands for your custom home theater is sure to add superiority to your design.

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    Final Tips & Tricks

    Other tips and tricks you should note when setting up your custom home theater is to use wood-finished furniture instead of glass, plastic or ceramic. If possible, you may want to consider covering certain pieces of furniture with cloth to increase the noise reduction coefficient (NRC) in your home theater.

    Also, lighting in your home theater should be very dim to none during screen viewing sessions. Try to install adjustable light switches in your home theater space so you can turn down the illumination during a movie and turn it back up for preparation, cleaning and other purposes.

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    References

    An Essential Guide to Home Theater Speaker Placement -http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/34579/129023.html

    Acoustic Treatments - http://acousticinnovations.com/acoustictreatments

    Exploring the Best Home Cinema Systems of 2009 -http://www.squidoo.com/best-home-cinema-system

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    Image Credits

    Art Deco Series Cinema Chairs - Home Theater Furniture - http://www.vegasslotdistributing.com/cinema-chairs.asp

    Panasonic Plasma HDTV - Blu-Ray Home Theater System - http://www.bose-speakers.org/2010/08/23/custom-home-theater/

    Surround Sound Layout - The Basics for Surround Sound - http://www.game-room-decorating-ideas.com/home-theater-speaker-placement.html