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Creating an Immersive Home Theatre Experience

Home Theatre (aka Home Cinema) is more than surround sound and a big screen, it's more than room shaking bass and cracking gunshots and it's more than comfortable seating and popcorn,

Home Theatre is an Experience!
. . . or at least it should be.

Home Theatre - Homeplay Electronics

Whilst all the elements mentioned can go towards creating a great home theatre experience, there are many more elements to consider, some of which are elements to be removed, such as talkative friends & family  "sshhh! I'm watching this".

In general, a good home theatre experience is immersive and draws you into another world, a sports game, a documentary or a Hollywood blockbuster.  It allows you to forget about the who, where & why of your daily life, to simply escape.

In creating an immersive home theatre experience, we have elements that add to the experience and those that detract from it.  Hence, the trend towards dedicated rooms, which allow for a level of isolation that open-plan areas cannot.

This allows many home theatres to provide a better experience than commercial cinemas, noting that many commercial cinemas have fairly rigid seating, poorly calibrated sound and more often than not, other  (not so pleasant) cinema goers.

The first step in developing a successful home theatre is in controlling the environment; this is easier with a dedicated room, but not impossible if you only have an open-plan area to work with. 

Vicoustic - Homeplay Electronics

Home Theatre Design: We need to be able to control:

  • Lighting – Ambient light can be controlled with blinds & curtains and theatre & house lights can be dimmed or turned off.
    Note: Décor is import from a light perspective as light generated from the display will illuminate the room and reflect off of bright, colourful and shiny surfaces.

  • Acoustics – There are two aspects of acoustics to consider 1.Soundproofing to keep the sound in the room and to keep external noise out, and 2. Acoustic treatment for improving the quality of room acoustics i.e. allowing your system to sound as good as it can, yes, the most expensive systems can sound horrible in a poorly treated room. 

  • Climate – Your open-plan area might be well ventilated but an enclosed room particularly with heat-generating electronics like a projector
    will be quite warm mid-way through your movie marathon so air-conditioning and ventilation is important.
Projector & Screen - Homeplay Electronics

With the right environment we then add:

  • A suitable display or projector & screen
    (size of the room especially ceiling height is the most determining factor)

  • A properly calibrated surround sound system
    (distance of seating from walls and screen is the most determining factor)

  • A good movie, sporting event, documentary or TV series
    (by "good" we mean equal or higher resolution than the display and professionally produced)

  • A remote control or touch-screen interface, on your phone perhaps, and comfortable seating now all you need to do is ...Just Press Play.