Most dedicated home theaters are based on a projection system, much like commercial cinemas on a smaller scale but not everyone likes to sit in a cave just to watch TV. I mean, you have to live in this space too so the space has to be enjoyable because not everyone wants to be in a cave.

    We get so wrapped up in our big screens we forget that a decent TV can offer a serious movie-watching experience. Sometimes we need to make compromise when trying to create a nice balance between optimization and livability, plus the truth is very few people have either the space, budget, or desire for a dedicated theater.

    A lot of home theater hobbyist would argue that a TV Room should not be considered as a theater because a theater would have treatments to absorb light from the display but we believe that a dedicated viewing room does not have to be a "dark man cave" void of the look of more traditional living space. it doesn't have to look like a Batcave where you couldn't see your hand in front of your face, nothing to take attention away from what's on the screen. Because theaters are not just about the movie, they are a social space too.

    So why can't someone knowingly make tradeoffs to get the right balance of budget, performance, and aesthetics for the room? Is that no longer allowed? We all know the key to this hobby is "Know thyself" and design goal is "Cozy & livability" we don't have to second-guess the choices each person makes for their own room needs due to space, budget, or some other limitations.

    This is just to clear the air for some other potential home theater enthusiasts to show to their significant others that "there is nothing that says a home theater must have a projector".

    Here's Jeff TV Room / Home Theater, My first thought when seeing this room was: “This looks like the perfect room to go straight to with the family after a long day at work.” I’d be watching HDR demo clips all day (and night) in there!


    Jeff's theater looks somewhat minimalistic but elegant and is a testament to compromise and practicality, making the best of the limitations facing him—including a tight budget plus it's a 100% DIY.

     TV room setup tips

    Our only rules when it comes to designing a tv room is that the room must be dedicated to viewing and listening to video content. We decided to include Jeff's room to show how he dealt with his problems and, hopefully, give others some ideas about how they might use a flat panel instead of a projector and overcome any problems with the space they have.

    Keep scrolling for some tips on how to setup a modern tv room for a great movie night with your family. 

    1. Have a plan, have a design goal

    Having a good layout design plan, knowing what you are working hard to achieve not just in your mind but well drawn out on paper is good practice and a very vital step to get you off a solid starting point.

    2. Make an equipment priority list

    The video display - the centerpiece of any system - is a good place to start thinking about equipment. " The environment will play a key role in selecting the right type of television,". There are three main technologies: LCD, LED and plasma. Generally, LCDs and LEDs are brighter, making them ideal for a room with more natural light. Plasma displays are not as bright, but provide high contrast and great black levels, creating a rich image. They also typically have better viewing angles, providing maximum flexibility for rooms with wider seating areas. 

    OLED - the latest in display tech - promises to be thinner, brighter and more energy efficient, but is still in its infancy. For the most cinematic image, we recommends positioning your seating area at a distance of 1.5 times the diagonal size of the display from the screen. if you have a larger room and want a picture above 95 inches, consider a projector and screen combo.

    2b. Don't forget about sound

    For a true media room, the built-in speakers that come with your TV simply won't do. A 5.1 or 7.1 surround system - that's five or seven speakers plus a subwoofer - offers the most immersive experience. The biggest challenge homeowners face here is hiding wires, making it a good idea to wire for sound before drywall goes up if possible. You'll also nee a receiver, which will power your speakers and handle switching between your various sources, such as a Blu-ray player and a DirectTV receiver.

    For the design-minded homeowner, in-wall and in-ceilling speakers are great alternatives to freestanding or bookshelf speakers, Homeowners are increasingly opting for wireless speakers or simulated surround from a " sound bar" that sits below your TV. Both are nice aesthetic solutions, but beware of quality, which can vary wildly from model to model. 

    3. Put it all together 

    Finally, you may need a sturdy piece of entertainment cabinetry to house all your components. Look for plenty of spots for equipment, plus wire management and proper ventilation. A solid universal remote control or more robust control system is also a must for operating your system with ease and eliminating superfluous remotes from various devices.

    Last, but certainly not least, a solid wireless network is increasingly important in the media room to stream audio and video to any Internet-capable device in your system and download movies from devices like AppleTV, Roku, Slingbox and Google TV-enabled devices. Many home entertainment components, like your receiver, Blu-ray player or gaming console, also connect to the Web and offer popular Internet services like Netflix and Pandora radio.

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