Home Theater Design Plans

Proper planning and design of a home theater is critical to success. Before the construction begins it is important to have a list of all your features and functionality that you want from your new room. After several months of planning I was able to finalize the features of my home theater which are listed below.
Front Projection: either ceiling mount or in equipment room
Choices in video equipment are vast. Front projection, rear projection, LCD, DLP, LED, etc...I could devote an entire site discussing this. Based on my room layout,I decided that a DLP Front Projector was best suited for me. My plans were to mount the projector on the ceiling intially, but also provide the functionality to mount it in the rear equipment room in the future. Mounting it in the back was my goal, but it did not work out due to the throw distance of my particular projector. At a required distance of 23', I would have had to spend much more money on the unit and I made the economical decision to ceiling mount it initially while giving my rear mounting options in the future. A ceiling mount required a distance of 11' to 13' which worked just fine for my layout.
100" Screen
The screen size is what sets off the tone for the rest of the room. My goal was to go as big as my room would accomodate. Screen size will also determine the placement of the projector.
Sound Containment / Acoustics
We watch lots of movies - usually in the evening. However, it was very important that the room be enjoyable during the day and we don't disturb others in the house with the noise. Sounds travel, especially from the subs. A room that contained the sound, while providing the best sound quality, was another very important factor. The location of the theater was key. The 12" concrete walls gave me a good starting point. By adding sound proofing and proper construction techniques, I was able to accomplish my goals. It's a great thing to be able to watch a movie at full volume while the children are asleep.
Hidden Speakers / Wired for Dolby 9.2
I didn't want to see my speakers. I'd prefer that they be hidden, but I did not want to sacrifice the sound quality or spend a fortune on speakers. I also wanted to start out with a 5.1 setup but future proof it to accomodate new formats in the future. Dolby 9.2? That does not even exist....but when it does I wanted to be ready for it. My initial 5.1 setup consisted of a 3 front speakers (left/right/center), two rear surround speakers, and a single sub. To be honest, I felt that this setup enough for a room this size. However, I wanted to plan for adding additional speakers in the future. Perhaps two additional front effect speakers, two side surrounds, and a second sub. With this functionality in mind I was able to accomodate this into my design and construction.
Rear Riser for 2nd row seating
I wanted every seat in the theater to be enjoyable. Sitting in the back row should have an unobstructed view of the screen regardless of how many tall people are sitting in front of you. A riser platform provided this functionality and it also added to the overall room's appearance.

Continue Reading Part 2...

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