Setting up a media room in your home can be tricky. It’s simple to stick a TV and chairs in a room and turn the lights out, but if you want to do it properly – and make it more appealing to friends than just watching films or playing games in their own homes – you’ll need to control every aspect. You won’t need to break the bank, but you need to plan and construct it with care. Effort put in at this stage will really pay off.
Choosing the right screen The days of the projector as a home entertainment device are over. When you factor in the cost of replacing bulbs, electronic screens are cheaper and give you a better viewing experience, as well as taking less time to set up. Three-metre screens are now within the price range for the average family, and you can get them bigger than that if you have room to mount them. Remember, if you’re going to attach your screen to the wall, a thinner, flatter one will be easier to secure. Consider whether you want to invest in 4K technology, and remember that, at this scale, the depth of colours is much more apparent. Look for a screen that can deliver a deep black.
Setting up your sound system Most televisions still don’t deliver good audio. With this in mind, you should buy one with an output to separate speakers. Ideally, these are mounted high in each corner of your room with a bass speaker on the floor. The floor is best carpeted; use a thick, textured wallpaper to keep the sound from bouncing around.
Controlling the light In an otherwise darkened room, even a thin crack of light can be distracting. Shut it out with a set of classic window shutters, which are more effective than curtains. Flat wooden surfaces can distort sound, so you’ll get the best effect if you combine them with curtains or apply baffling directly to the panes, which is easy. You’ll also need artificial light in the room. Using remote control bulbs allows you to get everything ready and then switch off the lights as you switch on your entertainment.
Making it comfortable Set up comfortable seating, but remember if you’re using the room a lot, you need good back support. If you want people to be able to see over each other, one option is to have sofas at the back and bean bags at the front.
The finishing touch When you’ve dealt with the basics, it’s time to make your media room look good. Why not add some of your favourite film posters to the walls? Giant promotional cardboard standees can also look great and double up as good sound-baffling if placed at the right angle. Your media room is a great place to keep film memorabilia or figurines from your favourite games, so get creative and put together a space that reflects the things you love.
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