How Do I Choose the Best Home Theater Layout?

C.B. Fox
C.B. Fox
A Blu-ray® player for a home theater.
A Blu-ray® player for a home theater.

Choosing the best home theater layout depends a great deal on the size of the room in which the theater is being located and the size and quality of the equipment. A small home theater arranged around a large yet standard-sized television screen can be created in an ordinary living room while a large theater with a projector and a seating capacity of ten or more may need to be set up in a larger room, such as a basement or home theater extension. In order to choose the best home theater layout, a person should carefully measure the space available and then choose equipment and seating that fits that space properly.

Some home theater systems use a projector.
Some home theater systems use a projector.

Once of the most important aspects of determining the best home theater layout is to place the seating the proper distance from the screen. A large home theater screen can be set up in a medium-sized living room fairly easily if the room is longer on one side than on the other. In general, the screen, whether it's a television screen or a projection screen, should go on the short end of the room, leaving plenty of space between the screen and the couches or chairs. Larger screens require more distance in order to be viewed properly.

The overall aesthetic of a home theater should be considered when designing it.
The overall aesthetic of a home theater should be considered when designing it.

Another thing to consider when choosing the best home theater layout is the type of seating to use. Many different seating choices are available, including couches, lounge chairs, and movie theater seats. People who wish to entertain only a small number of friends or family in the home theater can easily make use of couches while those who wish to have movie nights with many guests would do well to invest in some movie theater seats. These seats can also be placed on platforms so that people in the back rows can easily see the screen.

Most home theaters will be layed out to frame the television or projector screen.
Most home theaters will be layed out to frame the television or projector screen.

The arrangement of the speaker system is also important when deciding on the best home theater layout. A small theater with one row of seats can get away with a standard surround-sound system. A larger theater with stadium seating, however, may require additional speakers so that the sound can be heard clearly from all parts of the theater. The best arrangement for the speakers depends on the shape of the room, the arrangement of the furniture in it, and how an individual hears the sound. Some trial and error may be required with speaker placement in a home theater.

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