Experience Unparalleled Media Immersion With These Small-Space Home Theater Design Tips

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Experience Unparalleled Media Immersion With These Small-Space Home Theater Design Tips

16 June 2015
 Categories: Technology, Articles

Today's technology allows you to devour media in larger amounts than ever before. Regardless of where we are, most people connect with television, the internet, and music multiple times per day. While your smartphone and tablet likely play a large role in your consumption, there's nothing quite as fun as spending time at home in front of an amazing home theater system. If you've been considering putting together a home theater system, but your living space is quite small, the information below will help you to make the most of what you have. Read on to learn more.

Television Resolution and Placement in Small Spaces

The age-old adage of "don't sit too close to the television," actually does hold some merit, but not for the reasons you might think. While eye strain is possible, you aren't going to go blind if you sit too close--so you can breathe a sigh of relief if that's something you've been doing.

However, there is something to be said about the distance when it comes to visual appeal; there is an ideal measurement that's based on the type of television or display you're watching. According to this viewing distance chart, you can easily identify exactly how far away to sit for the best visual experience using simple math.

As a general rule, older projection television screens and plasma displays will offer full benefits at greater distances than newer LED or LCD televisions. In fact, viewing these closely--for example, at distances of less than 10'--can actually result in a bit of visual degradation. For small spaces, it's far better to choose an LED, LCD, or HDTV in as high a resolution as possible. With a 40"  to 50" 1080p television, you can expect to enjoy ideal visual appearance at as little as 6.5'. If you have a newer 4K television, just a few feet is plenty.

Lighting and Ambiance is Everything

Think back to the last time you visited the theater. What's the first thing that happens when the movie begins? Usually, the lights go down and a hush falls over the audience. This sets the mood and ensures that everyone is focused on the screen--and you can borrow from the concept right at home.

Make use of a remote control dimmer switch to adjust lights on the fly. Use soft, recessed lighting in the ceiling whenever possible, as it is far less harsh than fluorescent bulbs. If you can't modify your lighting because you live in an apartment, turn off the overhead lighting and use tall, thin sconce lamps instead.

Don't forget about windows, either; blackout curtains can go a long way to making your media cave room cozy and snug. After all, there's nothing quite like taking a couple of hours to shut out the outside world while you get lost in a great game or movie. 

Now that you've learned about visuals, it's time to move on to the other half of the picture--audio.

Surround Sound is Still Possible in Little Rooms

Whether you're in a dorm room or a sprawling penthouse condo, surround sound is still possible to achieve. The core concept of immersive audio is that speakers be placed strategically throughout the room, and that they be capable of supporting at least 5.1 audio.

For extremely small spaces--dorm rooms included--it may be better to skip speakers altogether and invest in a pair of high-end headphones. Newer models offer multiple speakers within each ear cup, providing a fantastically layered experience. The majority of these also cancel out exterior sound and prevent audio leakage, making them a good choice for public or semi-public spaces.

If you do have the space for speakers, purchase a system with an amp, subwoofer, and at least four peripheral speakers. Placement will depend on the size of your room, but there are a few rules you should always follow:

  • Ensure that all speakers have clear access to your seating area or the center of the room
  • Place two of the speakers on the left and right side of the room, respectively
  • Place a single speaker on the wall just above your television, pointing back into the room
  • Place the final speaker on the back wall, behind the sitting area itself, also pointing back into the room

Good audio is about balance, so try to ensure that the speakers are placed equally throughout the room whenever possible. If wall-mounting is not an option, it's fine to balance them on end tables or even small crates. 

In a small space, it's always about finding the ideal balance between working with what you have and gaining the performance you desire. With a little guidance, it's possible to turn almost any room into a cozy cave where you can enjoy games and movies freely. For more information on how to make a home theater system work for your home, visit websites like http://www.atechels.com.