top of page

Home Theater Room Design Guidelines

Home Theatre Room

Room Setup

When you are designing your dream home theatre from scratch, It would be important for you to know that the physical room size has a huge impact on the sound you’ll be able to get in that room. Having the right dimensions is crucial in designing a home theater room accurately, in order to achieve the best sound and watching experience. Here are some ratios you can use to get your room to a great basic shape.

Get somewhere between a ratio of 1 to 1.6 or 1.7 and 2.3 to 2.4, you will be well on your way to an ideal home theatre layout. As an example, if you went 1 to 1.6 to 2.4, a room with a 10’ high ceiling would be 16’ wide and 24’ long. Staying within this ratio will ensure your room has fairly consistent bass in the main seating area of the room. The worst possible room would be a cube, say 10 by 10 by 10.

Incorrectly planned room will cause sound waves to bounce repeatedly against each other, resulting in an unclear or messy sound. For this reason, you should avoid square rooms. Stay away from dimensions that are close to each other. Even the best sound system cannot overcome a bad room.

Are you planning on multiple rows of seating, remember to account for riser height. In other words, keep the ceiling at 9’ or greater if you plan on more than one row.

When deciding on how big your home theatre should be, make sure to also take into account space for other things in the room like an Audio Video rack, Speakers, Aisles and Décor.

The Sweet Spot

Consider realistically how often you will have a full house of friends and family over to watch movies compared to how often you and your family enjoy your media room alone. You probably won’t have too many guests very often. So, you need to design the room around “Sweet Spot”.

The Sweet Spot is the seat that you’re going to be sitting in. This is the best seat in the house and it’s specifically for you. Normally the Sweet Spot seat is going to be placed in the middle of the room and depending on your room and TV or Projector screen size, slightly back from the center.

Once you know roughly where you want the seat to be then you can start to figure out the other seats, the right size projector screen, the sound system and the lighting.

Home Theatre Screen

The centerpiece of any home cinema is of course the projection screen. This is after all where the movies will be playing.

How big of a projector screen should I get?

The main factor to determine your cinema display size is of course the dimensions of your wall. Obviously, you can’t get a home movie theatre screen that’s bigger than your wall. That said, your goal should always be to get the largest screen possible. No one has ever said, “I wish I got a smaller projector screen for my home theatre.”

In order to determine how bigger size screen you should get, you need to decide on a few other factors first. How your planned speaker setup will affect the size of your screen. Depending on your planned speaker setup you may want to leave room on the sides or below the screen for your front speakers. Alternatively, you can get an acoustically transparent projector screen and place it in front of the speakers. These screens have tiny holes to allow the sound waves to pass through, without causing sound ripples on the screen or affecting the sound quality.

What is Screen Aspect Ratio?

The aspect ratio determines the dimensions of the screen. So, this can dictate how wide the display will be thus potentially limiting the height. For most home cinema setups there are two aspect ratios, 16:9 and 2.35:1.

16:9 and 2.35:1Cinemascope Screen

You'll need to decide which aspect ratio for your projector screen. If you watch mostly movies, you should buy a 2.35:1Cinemascope screen. If you plan to watch movies and TV program a 16:9 aspect ratio is the best choice.

16:9 Aspect Ratio

16:9 is the aspect ratio most television and streaming services use for their content. So it’s the better choice for people who mainly want to watch TV, sports, and streaming shows. The downside is that when you watch movies you’ll have the black bars on the top and bottom of the display.

2.35:1 Aspect Ratio

For the cinephile, Cinemascope is going to be the better choice since most modern movies are produced in the 2.35:1 ratio, though if you want to watch regular TV, you’ll have the black bars on the sides.

Which screen aspect ratio should I choose for my home theatre?

The width and height of the room can also help guide you for which aspect ratio to get. As a general rule of thumb where the width is limited and the walls are narrower, you’ll want to use a 16:9 projector screen because you're going to maximize the overall screen width for both 16:9 and wider Cinemascope media. When you’re limited by the height of the room you should maximize your screen’s height by going with an ultra-wide screen format like 2.35:1.

Home Theatre Speaker System

What type of speaker system do I need for my home theatre?

For the best surround sound, you’ll have quite a few speakers all over your home theatre or media room. The goal of an in-home cinema is to create a fully immersive media watching environment. The home theatre sound system is a big part of that. A pair of speakers or a soundbar just isn’t going to cut it. You’re going to need a surround sound setup to capture that true cinematic feel.

Surround sound is a speaker setup where the audio engulfs you. This means surrounding yourself and other viewers with speakers in front, on the sides, the back of the room and even from above in some setups. Each speaker provides high-quality sound from all angles like in a movie theatre so you feel like you’re in the middle of the film on screen.

There are arguably 4 types of speakers for a home cinema setup. Centre channel speakers, surround speakers, overhead speakers and subwoofers.

Subwoofer plays only the deeper bass notes. Having a subwoofer as an independent speaker for the bass will stop distortion from the mid and high notes on the other speakers. Some enthusiasts prefer having two or more subwoofers for evenly spaced deep bass sound. benefits of using multiple subwoofers!

How many speakers do I need?

Before we get into how many speakers you will need, we should first explain what the numbers mean when you see a 5.1 or a 7.1 or 9.2.4 surround sound setup.

You’ll often see numbers like 7.2, 9.2.4, 5.1 etc. when dealing with a surround sound system. It might seem complicated but really these numbers are quite straightforward.

The first number defines the number of standard speakers, and the second is the number of subwoofers. Sometimes you’ll even see a third number like with a 9.2.4 surround sound system with the third number indicating the number of overhead Dolby Atmos speakers.

Typically, there are two limiting factors for which set up to get: your AV Receiver and your budget. Regardless of your chosen set-up, all speakers need to be set up in the right position for both your seating location and your screen position. When you set it up correctly, you’ll enjoy incredible sound for years to come.

Home Theatre Receiver

An Audio/Video Receiver is a consumer electronics component used in a home cinema environment to receive audio and video signals from a number of sources, process those signals, provide power amplifiers to drive loudspeakers and route the video to your visual display device like your projector or TV. The receiver is essentially the brain of your screening room, processing information from your source and sending them to where they need to go.

To pick the best home theatre receiver you need to consider key things:

  • You need to identify what you're hooking up to the AV Receiver

  • Have enough audio channels for now and in the future if you want to upgrade your system

  • It should have enough HDMI ports to handle all your needs

  • It should be equipped for wireless connectivity like WIFI and Bluetooth

  • It should be able to work with 4K resolution devices and content

  • You may want to consider getting a home theatre receiver that can handle 8K signals to future proof your investment

  • Get a receiver that comes equipped with Dolby Atmos

  • To future proof you want your system get one that can handle all 3 HDR formats

Home Theatre Projector

A home theatre protector is an ideal one for the movie buffs. It enhances the experience of watching movies, playing games and other entertainment. It is the best way to get the best immersive experience. But to enjoy a superior experience, one has to take the necessary steps and efforts to find the right home theatre projector. Also, the dimensions of the room where you are installing the projector and the other aspects have to be taken into consideration. Only then, it is possible to enjoy an amazing viewing experience as well as a quality time.

Before you actually remodel your living space or invest in renovation, you should first decide if you want to use a home theatre projector. If you are going to opt for home theatre solutions, then you should consider some important factors. Firstly, there are two types of projectors – Digital Light Processing (DLP) projectors and Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) projectors. Both have their own pros and cons but the LCDs are more expensive.

Where do you put the projector in a home theatre?

Where you place your home cinema projector can impact the layout and design of your room. You’ll typically want to place the projector high on a shelf behind the home theatre seating area or mounted to the ceiling above the viewer's head.

Projector Mounting

In an at home movie theatre, you don’t want anyone walking past to interfere with the projected image on the screen, so for regular and short throw projectors you’ll often want to put it on the ceiling. To do this you'll need a projector mount to hold it in place. You must get a projector mount that can support and properly hold your unit.

Placement of your home movie projector depends on two factors, the throw distance and the lens shift.

Home Theatre Seating

If you've invested in a top-of-the-line screening room system, you'll also want to get comfortable media room furnishings that help maximize your viewing enjoyment. When choosing furnishings, such as home theatre chairs, sofas, accessories, you should evaluate your options with three principal considerations in mind: cost, ergonomics, and comfort. As with all types of home furnishings, cost is certainly not the only consideration you should make. When it comes to home theatre seating, comfort is the name of the game.

Ergonomics is crucial when it comes to seating. Sitting in improper positions for extended periods of time can wreak havoc on your body, especially your neck and back. Make sure that your home theatre seats are not only comfortable, but also that they help you maintain good posture and offer adequate support.

Now, the first question about seating you need to ask yourself when building your home theatre is, "How many people do I want to watch with?" After all, no one wants to spend money on extra chairs that hardly ever get used. As with everything else in your home theatre, start with you! Do you plan to mostly watch movies on your own or with your family? Will you be inviting friends to watch movies? Will you want to host parties in your media room? Thinking about these questions will help you decide how many seats you need.

Acoustics In Your Cinema Room

Acoustics refers to the manner in which sound behaves relative to the surrounding space. For example, outdoor and indoor concert theatres are specially designed to optimize sound. While such spaces typically include enhanced and intricate architectural elements which you're not likely to have in your home, you can still apply the same principles to get the most out of your sound system.

Why Sound Matters?

Sound makes a major difference in your perception of a televised program. Crisp, clear, lifelike sound draws you deeper into the action and enhances your viewing experience. If you are really intent on recreating a movie theatre feeling in your home, you'll pay careful attention to the orientation of your speakers and the technical aspects of your sound system -- sound is a major reason a scary movie can make you jump out of your seat, or a great moment in a sporting event can make you stand up and cheer.

What Colour Should I Paint My Home Theatre Room?

You’ll want to paint the walls of your home theatre a darker colour which will cut down on light from the projector bouncing around the space. As long as you go with darker colours, it doesn’t really matter what colour you pick.

Dark reds and burgundy can give your home cinema a classic look. Deep rich greens and blues are great choices. Dark greys and browns can also look fantastic in your media room with a more minimalistic or futuristic look.

Unless you’re going for a certain themed aesthetic, don’t paint your home theatre black as it will give it a depressing cavern-like feel.

We hope this overview of some of the important points about designing the best home theatre for your home has been helpful?


bottom of page