Here is an article about converting a regular room into a home theater room. There get a lot of questions about how someone could do that, how they can turn any room in their house into a home theater. So I came up with kind of a seven basic steps on how to do that and hopefully this gives you some ideas.. So let’s start. These come from a high end home theater company doing Beverly Hills Home Theater Installation Let’s start with step one.
1. Choose the right room in your house.
Now you might have a Dan, you might have a family room, you might have a very large bedroom that you’re now using, or you want to re-purpose into a home theater. The idea here is try to choose a room ideally that has four walls and that doesn’t open into another room.
For example a lot of family rooms. They opened to a kitchen. So you have no back wall and the sound will go throughout the whole house. It could be annoying to people that are trying to cook or trying to study or whatever. Also, when you don’t have a room with four walls on it, your acoustical environment isn’t as well controlled, so it’s difficult to get good bass response in a room like that. It’s difficult sometimes to mount rear speakers or or back channel speakers, so sometimes you have to go with in ceiling speakers, which is fine if you have no other choice, but if you could start with a basic room and it’s a rectangle with four walls or room that closes itself off so it’s not part of a super room and the rest of the house, you’re way ahead of the game right there. The room makes a world of difference. So that’s the first step I would tell you is to choose the best room in the house that’s suited for a home theater type of environment.
2. Pre-wiring a Room
You got to kind of think about what you want to do before you do it, because in today’s Day and age, you need Ethan at. You need your Kofax for your, whether you’re doing file, so you’re doing satellite in Egypt, prewired for your speakers, so preferably if you have a room that has attic access and you could run some of this or if you’re in a new construction house and he could get and you can get into the walls before the drywall goes up, that’s great. I would tell you to make sure you run a 14, four, 14 gauge, four conductor, speaker cable to all your speaker locations in your room.
That would be the side channels, the back channels. Now you have atmos with the speakers in the ceiling. You’ve got your front channels and your center channel, but don’t forget subwoofers and we’re not just talking one summer for. We always recommend at least two subwoofers and you could watch our videos about that. Dual subwoofers gave you better modal density in the room and we’ll let you control and manipulate the room modes so you get better seat to seat consistency. So we definitely would recommend you put plenty of prewired for subs and that can usually be RCA level or if you’re doing speaker level and you have the amplifier in a rack just kinda think it through before you plan the room and it’ll just save your world of hurt. And you know, another thing you might want to do too is talk to an electrician if they can install a dedicated 20 amp line to where you’re going to be plugging in all your power equipment, your power amplifiers and sub woofers.
It’s better if you have a dedicated outlet for your high power stuff. Otherwise you’ll notice when you’re listening to really bass intense music, your lights might dim in your house if you’re sharing an outlet with, with, with the outlet that’s on your lights and you lose power that way too. So it’s really a good idea if you could do a dedicated outlet for a situation like that. So I mean that covers a pre-wire stuff. The next thing I would tell you is….
3. Fix Your Room Acoustics.
And people don’t realize that. You look at a lot of these magazines and they show you these beautiful home theaters, these beautiful speakers, but they’re in a glass house with tile floor, with vaulted ceilings, and it’s just a reflection nightmare and you’ll you will. No matter how good of the equipment you put in a room like that, it’s going to sound terrible.
If you have a room that has glass doors, sliding doors get really thick, heavy draped curtains that you could basically cover when you’re not going out of that room. Not only would that be better for the acoustics, that’ll get rid of those side reflections that you don’t want, but it’ll also be better for light control, and we’ll talk about a little bit more about that later, but take care of any surfaces that are glass in that room. If you can. If your floor is tile or would get a really thick pad, throw rug at the first reflection point, and we’ve talked about this before, the first reflection point is basically in front of the room. If you put a mirror on the floor and you could see the speaker, that’s where your first reflection point is, but you need a good amount of, of carpet to cover that area.
I have a throw rug that’s 12 by 15. Uh, my first reflection point in my theater room, which has wood floors, makes a world of difference , especially if you put a really thick pad under it. The other thing you could look at doing is get couches like these, like these home theater seats. They kind of act a little bit like a bass trap at low frequencies they absorb. So they help get rid of a little bit of the echo in the room, you know, don’t go crazy making a room to dead. I mean if you can. And, and if the natural stuff doesn’t work out perfectly for you, then you can look at passive treatments that are companies that designed a acoustical panels that you could look at doing. Just don’t go crazy with it. If you’ve got space in the corners of your room, it’s not a bad idea to put bass traps it.
Anytime you do stuff like that, it’ll help out with the base in your room. You know, even if you use a multisoft, you just don’t want to go nuts by throwing like 50 bass traps in a room because then you start becoming. Your room starts becoming inefficient and you don’t want that. You want a good balance, so I would tell you start naturally first star with the throw rugs, that drapery and the couches and all that stuff and if the room sounds good to you and the music sounds good to you, then you probably done. You don’t need to go crazy, but if you want to spice things up a little bit or or make a room a little bit more of a honed in environment that look at doing some professional room treatments. It’s no, it’s never a bad idea to look at that.
So you got your room fixed, you got the right room, you got your prewar.
4. Plan Out Your Speaker and Furniture Positions for Optimal Performance.
A lot of people don’t realize this, you know, they’ll, just get all this great equipment and they’ll put it anywhere. Although put the couches up against walls and I’ve been to so many houses and I’m like, Oh man, you have! You really did a great job with component selection, but you didn’t do that great of a job setting it up or placing stuff. People don’t realize your couches are. Your seats are what’s called Positional Eeq. You don’t want to put a couch up against the back or side wall. You don’t want. You don’t want to put it up against the back wall because that’s where all your standing waves. That’s the pressure maximum.
That’s where you get too much base and it just won’t sound good and you don’t want to put it on a side wall because then you’ll be too close to a surround speaker. You’ll be too far off axis from your center channel and your means. You just lose focus in the sound. So you really want the couches Kinda or the or the theater seats as close to the center center position of the room, about one quarter of the way from the back wall.
Even if you can’t place the subs in an ideal location so you don’t have a rectangular room, you could use the subwoofer crawl method that we talk about. It’s a law of reciprocity and it’ll help you find a good starting point to put a Subwoofer, and that’ll help at least at that one seat. If you do that multiple times with two subs, you’ll widen the sweet spot.
That way all the seats are good seats, so again, pay close attention to speak or positioning and you’re listening couches where you’re sitting. Very important.
5. Controlling Lighting and Noise
External noise to be precise, so whether you’re using a fixed panel display or from projection, you really want to be able to control the natural lighting in the room. You know if you’ve got a sliding door that brings in a lot of sunlight, that drapery will not only help acoustically, but it’ll help block out that light when you want to, when you want, when you want to be critical about what you’re watching on your TV. If you’ve got a lot of reflections in the room, if you’ve got surfaces that, that are shiny, try to find ways to cover that. You want to be able to create an environment that’s almost like being in a bat cave.
That’s the best way. You’re going to preserve dynamic range and contrast ratio of your display. Now the same thing is true with noises in a lot of people have HVAC noises and if you have the air handling in the same room, I’m like, I did Miss Theater Room. I put a door solid core door and I put really thick padding like five, six inches of panning and I cut the noise from that handler down over 10 DB, which is huge. Anytime you lower the noise floor in your home theater system, you increase the systems dynamic range so you don’t have to play it as loud to hear the subtle passages and you know to hear better dynamics and your system. Get that noise floor down by controlling your external noises. That will really do wonders for your video and your audio. So just kinda think about what’s in your room that’s causing these problems and try to find creative solutions to fix it.
6. Configure and Calibrate Your Home Theater.
You know, no matter how good the equipment is, even if you have it all set up in a nice position, if you don’t physically set up all the parameters inside your processor in your project or your blue ray player, if you don’t get that stuff right, that can make or break the system as well. So the first thing you want to do is get your bass management right. You want your speakers playing the right signals, you don’t want, most of the time you don’t want your main speakers and the rest of this because in your system playing bass, that’s what your sub woofers at four. That’s why you have bass management. That’s why 80 hertz is usually …