No matter where you sit in a home theater, every seat should be the best in the house, due in large part to a dynamic surround-sound system. In a home theater, viewers should be able to hear different parts of the soundtrack coming from different areas throughout the room.
A proper surround-sound system needs two or more speakers in the front — from which the primary sounds emanate — and two or more speakers toward the back of the room, which will fill in background sounds, such as birds chirping, dogs barking or water rushing.
Having a subwoofer speaker strategically placed on the floor or against a wall will help the low-pitched frequencies carry throughout the room.
While there shouldn’t be a lot of ambient light in the room to cause glare on the screen or distractions, a completely dark room may strain eyes or cause a hazard, should someone have to leave while the movie is rolling. Ideally, a home theater should have soft, ambient lighting, which is connected to a dimmer or controlled by a remote.
Pedigo says the best game plan for creating a home theater is to patiently play the waiting game. Often, he says, home theaters can be tailor-made to be part of a “media room” in which people can both watch the big game and socialize at a home bar or play pool. His advice is to consult a professional, try to purchase electronics with newer technology that can be easily upgraded, keep the number of remotes to a minimum and run conduit to contain all the wiring.
“Don’t just jump into a home theater project and piece components together without an overall plan,” Pedigo says. “Know what you’re going to be using the space for and try to plan accordingly.”