Beware of these 10 deadly mistakes for a home theatre design

  1.  Cabling works
  2. Layout Design plans
  3. Renovation works
  4. Types of cables to use
  5. Location of the speakers
  6. TV or projector
  7. No of the channels do they matter? What do they mean 5.1.2?
  8. What standard to choose? Atmos or Auro 3d, how about DTS
  9. Soundbar can do the job?

  10. What is the minimum screen size

1. Cabling works

What are the kind of cables available that we need to using?

Speaker cables, subwoofer cable, hdmi cables and power cables

2. Layout Design plans

Obviously, not everyone will have the option to completely reshape a room, but if you’re building your home theater in a space such as a basement or garage, you will have some flexibility on shape. If you start with a square or rectangular room, you can easily modify the shape using drywall or other construction materials. Shape will have a big impact on acoustics, so here are the best choices for a home theater.

3. Renovation works

For any home theater, you need to be aware of the quality of sound and the amount of sound leaking from the room. Family members in other parts of the home and your neighbors should not be disturbed by what you’re watching, so soundproof the room as much as possible. There are two ways to do this:

1. Use acoustic sound-deadening drywall (zero-sound drywall).

2. Use sound dampening materials such as sound panels, drapes or carpeting.

For new homes or full remodeling, it is best to install zero-sound drywall. It absorbs sound, is thick, and since the drywall is the sound barrier you can decorate the room with normal paint and materials.

For existing rooms not going through a full renovation, the use of light blocking/insulating drapes helps with sound deadening, along with carpeting the floor. Carpeting has ratings for sound dampening, so look for carpeting that helps soundproof a room.

Another option is to mount acoustic panels on the walls. The panels are made specifically to isolate and absorb sound and to improve the acoustics of the room. The drawback of acoustic panels is that they are not very attractive, although some are available in different colors or have art or photos silkscreened on them.

4. Types of cables to use

Speaker wire might seem like such a dull subject, right?

I mean, who cares about those annoying wires that just make your room look a bit messy? The fun stuff is the amplifier and speakers!

So, you just buy the first speaker wire you come across in your hurry to get on with the show.

Well, you might be surprised to know that there are loads of exciting things to learn about speaker wire.

Yes, as with many things in the world of home theater, there’s plenty of technical stuff to get your head around.

And, some people get very over-excited about this subject. Which is fun!

So, if you want to understand more about the thrilling world of speaker wire, strap yourself in and enjoy the ride.

5. Location of the speakers

  1. Initial placement. Decide roughly where you will be positioned when listening, then place your speakers so that they form an equilateral triangle with your listening position.
  2. Speaker separation. Try to get about 4 feet of separation for bookshelf speakers or 8 feet for floorstanding speakers. If your speakers are too close, sounds will blend together and become muddy. If they are too far apart, there will be a gap between the two halves of the stereo image (more on this later). 
  3. Speaker height. Position your speakers so that the tweeters are at roughly the same height as your ears. (Tweeters are the small drivers on your speakers. They are responsible for handling the high-frequency treble range.)
  4. Wall proximity. Move your speakers at least 2-3 feet away from the nearest wall. This will minimize sound reflections, which can negatively impact playback clarity.
  5. Adjust speaker angle (toe-in). Angle your speakers inward so they’re pointed towards the listener – more specifically, at a point directly behind the listener’s head. If you want good sound across a wider listening area, then decrease toe-in. Increase or decrease the angle of your speakers a few degrees at a time until you hit that sweet spot! 
  6. Room arrangement. Make sure no objects stand between your speakers and your ears. Strive for symmetry in speaker and furniture arrangement. The goal here is to minimize sound reflections as much as possible.
  7. Isolate your turntable. Your turntable should always be isolated from speaker vibrations. It’s best practice to keep your turntable on a different surface than your speakers (though some desktop speaker stands let you cheat on this a bit).

Achieving great sound with your speakers involves some trial-and-error. If you make an adjustment and notice that a song’s parts have suddenly “locked” into place, then you’ve probably found your sweet spot.

Why do these steps matter? It all comes down to controlling stereo imaging and sound reflections.

6. TV or projector

It pains me to say it, but for most people TVs are now a better option than projectors. This was somewhat true when I said the opposite a few years ago, but it’s definitely true now. Unless you’re willing to make sacrifices to your living situation, the slightly smaller screen of a TV is going to be easier to live with. And in the case of OLED and many of the best-performing LCD and QLED TVs, the image quality will be significantly better too, especially with HDR. 

These days projector ownership means sacrificing a variety of things, like image quality, livability, possibly price, all in the name of the largest possible image. Don’t get me wrong, a huge image is awesome, but it’s a lot harder to justify now, given how much better and cheaper truly huge TVs have gotten.

This isn’t to stay projectors have stagnated. They continue to get brighter, and their contrast and color capabilities keep improving. Models using lasers and LEDs, while still often behind in performance compared to their UHP-lamp siblings, keep getting better and dropping in price. 

Projectors aren’t going away any time soon. It’s just that their value compared to TVs has shifted. For those of us who still aren’t satisfied with 75-, 85- or even 98-inch screens, projectors are the only way to go. At least until MicroLED drops in price.

7. No of the channels do they matter? What do they mean 5.1.2?

When you’re setting up a surround sound system, you’re going to run across numbers like 2.1, 5.1, 7.1, 7.1.2, 9.1, and beyond. As you see them over and over again, you may begin to wonder what they are.

What do the different speaker channels mean? When it comes to surround sound channels, the first number defines the number of main speakers. The second number defines the number of subwoofers, and the third number defines the number of “height” speakers.

Let’s dive into the details of the different speaker systems and what their channel structure looks like. To quickly jump to whatever sound setup you’re looking for, 

8. What standard to choose? Atmos or Auro 3d, how about DTS

The advancements in entertainment technology have made surround sound installation one of the most essential components to getting the most out of your home theater experience. It’s not just great for movies, though, because you can enjoy hearing all of your favorite audio come alive in this format.

Also, not only can you view movies in three dimensions nowadays, but you can now surround yourself with an entire world of sound enhanced to really put you in the moment. Two of the leading immersive surround sound formats are Dolby Atmos and Auro 3D.

 

Dolby Atmos – Moving Audio

With Dolby Atmos, the sound moves in a three-dimensional space instead of being restrained to specific channels. This adds an overhead dimension. Through the height of the sound, you’ll feel like scenes are occurring around and above you. This makes the viewing experience of films even more realistic and immersive because it envelops you. Think about movies where jets are flying overhead or a thunderstorm is raging from above. This technology can “place” these sounds in more realistic locations, thus providing 360-degree sound.   

To get this overhead sound in your home theater, there are a few different options: ceiling speakers, Dolby Atmos enabled speakers, or Dolby Atmos enabled sound bars. These Atmos enabled speakers are designed to direct sound up, where it can then reflect back off the ceiling. This is a huge benefit over traditional surround sound systems, which can only produce sound horizontally.

Auro – Layered Sound

Auro Technologies is a European company. Their latest surround sound technology is called Auro 3D. Auro approaches multi-dimensional audio through a layered format – almost like stacking one sound system on top of another. Their format uses two layers of additional sound with one above the traditional front and rear speakers and another on the ceiling.

Which is Right for You?

When deciding which technology to use for your home theater, there are a few key factors to consider.

Compatibility

Dolby Atmos technology is already built into a lot of new devices – like sound bars, televisions, and speakers. In fact, Dolby Atmos has a wider range of compatible media and hardware available in the U.S.

Height & Space of the Room

Dolby Atmos technology is spatially efficient. You can get a great immersive experience with just two Dolby Atmos enabled speakers or overhead speakers. Auro 3D, on the other hand, requires adding four extra bookshelf speakers to the surround sound system.

Also, Dolby Atmos enabled speakers and sound bars provide the best results for rooms with flat ceilings. This has to do with the upward firing of sound, which reflects back down. However, in-ceiling speakers can be used to overcome the challenges of a non-horizontal ceiling. Auro 3D provides a little more flexibility with non-flat ceilings, since you are adding layers of speakers. However, you do need enough ceiling height for Auro 3D.

Test/Demo the Technology Yourself

The best way to determine which one appeals to your ear would be to find a retailer who can demonstrate them both in typical settings. Quality audio is crucial to the impact of an unforgettable video. Choosing to upgrade to the cutting edge in sound production is a relatively simple process that high-end audio dealers would be able to get you set up with. The remarkable difference in the dimensions to the audio you’ll be able to finally notice for the first time will bring new life to everything old and new.

9. Soundbar can do the job?

Soundbars, essentially, are easy-to-install speaker systems that are typically placed right underneath a TV. They work by replacing a TV’s built-in speaker system with a better external speaker. Make sure you do your research first to make sure they’re right for you.

A lot of users question whether a simple soundbar, like the Sonos Playbar (on Amazon), for instance, is enough to replace a surround speaker system, in fact, we’ve already explored that question before. While a soundbar is a great way to drastically improve your home theater without a lot of work, a dedicated surround sound system is still a lot better. Regardless, there’s a lot to learn about soundbars and whether they’re right for you.

10. What is the minimum size

Projector screens essentially follow the same calculation ratio as TVs, but you also have to factor in something called your eye’s subtended viewing angle. This is basically the maximum angle at which your eyes can take in information without having to move.

Math aside, the two main recommendations are 30 and 36 degrees. To save yourself some tricky formulas, use this simple calculator. An example to give you a feel for distance is that for a 120” screen, you should sit between 13.4 and 16.3ft from it. This will mean you’re able to see the whole picture without having to move your head or exhaust your eyes.

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