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Home Theater vs Media Room?
What's the difference in a Media Room and a Home Theater you ask? A Home Theater or Home Cinema setup is comprised of a front projector and screen typically larger than 92" diagonal, paired with 5.1 or greater surround sound, in a dedicated space with seating for four or more people. While a Media Room is usually in a more open, common space of the home like a den or family room with traditional decor and is equipped with a large 50" to 90" flat panel TV and improved sound, like a soundbar or in some cases surround sound.
Ready for a Home Theater System?
You’ve been considering a Home Cinema Room! An immersive, cinematic experience right in your own home. Well you came to the right place! We offer all the products, services you could ever need to make your dream become a reality.
We offer turnkey solutions including the equipment, installation, programming and accessories in a complete package, as well as a la carte products and services if you already have your components or simply need assistance finishing your DIY project. Whichever the case we’re always here to help.
Designing a home theater system isn’t always as easy as it sounds... There are so many options for equipment like projectors, screens, audio video receivers, speakers, remotes, seating, lighting… and the list goes on, not to mention the prices vary greatly. You can spend anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 — or more on a home theater room.
Just some food for thought before you decide to tackle a project like this for the first time by yourself: One very large online retailer lists over 42,000 results for home theater speakers: Floor Standing, In-wall, In-ceiling, Invisible, Wireless?… AHHHHH! Where do you start with this many options?
You Call United AVS for a little help and how too: We can maximize your entertainment experience, no matter what budget you're working with.. this is why we’re here!
Just look at all the options below:
Home Theater Projectors & Screens
There are hundreds of Home Theater Projectors on the market and only about 20 that really stand out. But, you’d be surprised that there are only about 5 that are really worth having in your home and the one that fits your needs best is truly based on your budget.
There are even more Home Theater Projection Screens to choose from. But, what size do you need? The math is actually very simple! Be cautious of “budget” screens… they use sign vinyl instead of screen material and will make even the best projector look bad and a bad projector look even worse.
Call a pro and get recommendations for projector and screen selections. Just as a rule of thumb: if the projector they recommend is less than $1500 or greater than $3700 ($8000 for a 4k Projector) or the screen is less than $1000 or greater than $2000 ($3000 for large format tab tensioned motorized electric screens) ask a lot of questions or call us for a second opinion. Most screens and projectors of quality fall within these ranges.
Surround sound is a whole can of worms on it’s own… So many formats and speaker arrangements: 5.1 / 7.1 / Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 / 5.1.4 / 7.1.2 / 7.1.4 / 9.1.2. DTS / DTS-HD / Dolby TrueHD / DTS:X…… Have we lost you yet? We hope not!
The bottom line is, every room is different and every customer is different. Room size, speaker placement and aesthetics all come into play when it come to the selection of an Audio Video Receiver, Speakers and Subwoofers for a surround sound system, not to mention budget.
Again, call a pro and get recommendations for surround sound system components. The rule of thumb for surround sound is: quality A/V receivers typically range between $500 and $1600 depending on the number of inputs and the amount of power (watts) they produce. An entry level 5.1 speaker package can be purchased for as little as $950, on the other hand extremely high quality speakers can cost as much as $10,000 each. Try to steer away from those Home Theater in a box deals for home theater surround sound. They typically can’t produce enough audio to create an immersive experience in a dedicated home theater room.
Our opinion is to invest in quality audio. With 1080p signals, even entry level projectors look good. Putting your hard earned dollar into higher quality sound will always give you the most bang for your buck!.
Audio / Video Sources
Now come the time to decide what you want to watch and how you want to watch it. The growing trend is moving away from cable / satellite subscriptions and moving over to streaming content from Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, Vudu, Hulu and other services on devices like Roku and Smart Blu-Ray Players with built-in WiFi. Keep in mind you will need a strong network and internet connection with sufficient speed to make the transition. And, if you already own a Blu-Ray or DVD Disc collection a good Blu-Ray player will still be a good idea to have as part of your home theater system.
Also, consider adding a game system or two to your home theater room design… especially if you have children. Playing one of the popular systems like a Sony PS4 or Microsoft xBox One is an entirely new experience when played on a screen 100” or larger in full surround sound.
Remotes & Accessories
With every new piece of home theater electronics you’ll get a remote… so by the time the system is complete and installed with all the options you select you could have 4 to 8 remotes. Do yourself a huge favor! Buy one more remote! And consolidate them all into one activity based remote to keep the system user friendly and easy to use. The extra you spend now will be appreciated when you press one button and the game is on without having to fumble with 4 or more remotes to complete the same task.
Keep in mind that there are several other items you will need. A good surge protector to protect your new equipment is always a wise investment when building and designing a new home theater. You will also need items like mounts, speaker wire, HDMI Cables, subwoofer cables, and wall plates to keep everything nice and tidy. But don’t worry we include all these home theater accessories in every system we design and install.
Control individual lights or groups of lights, all from your seat. No more getting out of your seat to turn off lights when the movie starts or fumbling around in the dark when you need to freshen your beverage. Now that’s convenience!
Seating & Decor
Seating and decor is an in-depth topic so we won’t bore you with too much detail. The options are endless. We can provide thousands of examples to generate ideas. All you have to do is ask.
Networking & Wiring
A home theater system needs a strong network to work properly due to streaming media sources like Netflix and Amazon Video on Demand. Most systems can use wired and wireless networks to remain stable and reliable. These can be retrofit into an existing home. However if you’re building or doing a remodel, be sure to include networking, audio, video (HDMI) and control wiring into the plan. You'll be happy you did.