What Makes a Great Home Theater by Keith Brown

You have dreamed of having a home theater in your Dallas area home, but it seems like a daunting task.  There are so many options for screens, projectors and sound systems.  Here are the basic components that you should consider in order to have an immersive home theater experience.


The projector is the foundation of your home theater.  While price may be a consideration, you must also consider brightness, contrast, connectivity and placement flexibility in order to select the correct projector.  Brightness is measured in lumens.  Generally speaking, the lower the lumens, the lower the lights need to be in the room.  Most projectors fall between 1,300 and 2,500 lumens.  Contrast is harder to define.  You will want to compare brands and models to see which one looks best.  Connectivity is determined by all of the components that you want to connect to your projector (cable box, gaming systems, blu-ray player, etc).  At a minimum, make sure that your projector has two or more HDMI inputs and a VGA input.  Placement flexibility is the last consideration.  Most home theater projectors are mounted to the ceiling.  However, they may not be able to be mounted in the ideal location.  You will want a projector that can compensate for this, without compromising the picture quality.  If you cut corners on the projector, you may end up with a less than optimal experience.  Make sure you select one that works in the environment where it will be used.


While bigger is usually better, you also need to consider the size of the room, lighting , seating distance and whether you want the screen in view at all times when choosing your screen.  The main limit to the size of your screen is the size of the room, more specifically, the size of the wall that it will mounted to or in front of.  The general rule for determining the size of the screen is, you want the screen to be a little smaller than the distance from the screen to the front row of seating.  As with choosing your projector, light is also a concern with your screen.  Screens are rated with a “gain” factor.  Gain is measurement of the reflectivity of the screen surface.  Home theater screens are generally rated from .8 to 1.4.  1.0 is the standard screen and is suitable for most conditions.

Sound System

Another critical component is the sound system.  You will want big sound to go with the big screen while watching your favorite movies or sports.  For the ultimate experience, you will want to go with a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos system.  This creates an unbelievable listening experience by surrounding you with sound from the front, back, sides and even from above.  Don’t forget the speakers!  Be sure to invest a portion of your budget in the speakers to get the most out of the sound system.  There are many options to mounting the speakers from the floor to the ceiling.  There are even speakers that match your walls.


The positioning of your home theater seating can be as important as the equipment that you put in the room.  You want to be sure that all of your viewers have the best possible view.  However, you also have to consider the listening experience too.  The best position for viewing and listening depends on the amount of seating you plan to have, the size of the screen and the sound system that you are using.  Aside from a comfortable place to watch your movies, seating also contributes to the acoustics of the room.

Whether you are renovating an existing room or adding a whole new one, a home theater is a great addition to any home.  If you are ready to add the ultimate home movie experience, give Audio Video Innovations a call at (972) 529-4470.  Our experienced staff can design and install the ultimate home theater in any home to fit most any budget.

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