Having a dedicated media room surely is a dream of every music and film aficionado. When the opportunity finally arises it is important to follow a number of steps in order to get the best results from the equipment you plan to install, as well as acoustic and other important characteristics of the room you plan to use as your dedicated media room. Both of these matters, the equipment and the room characteristics, play equally important role in obtaining the best possible results and that is why everyone would benefit from useful hints on how to set up a truly awesome media room. Here they are.
To Each Its Own
There is one initial decision that you absolutely need to make, as you can either go for a music oriented media room or want a home theater. True, movie fans usually have no complaints about listening to their favorite music through a movie theater system as long as their watching experience is undisturbed. On the other hand, dedicated music lovers will never have that touch of perfection unless their home system is uncompromisingly dedicated solely to listening of their beloved tunes. Therefore, first choose the world and then start building it. Let us deal with home theaters first.
When it comes to choosing the most suitable screens there are two approaches, either you will use an LCD screen or a projection screen. The former leaves several options when it comes to positioning: it can be hung on the wall or positioned on the dedicated stand, depending on the size of the screen itself and the space you have on your walls, as well. When it comes to projection screens, the best results are achieved by hanging them on the wall, or using a roll down ones that are fixed to your ceiling and used when required.
Whichever you opt for, in this case you will need to have a projector. Naturally, as with the LCD screens, the highest the resolution it provides, the better viewing experience you will have. Luckily, the choice that lies ahead of you is almost infinite and the only limiting factors are your budget and aesthetic preferences. In case of projectors, pay attention to the life expectancy of their lamps too; the longer, the better.
Speakers and Receivers
Choosing a 5.1 or a 7.1 speaker system would be the smartest choice, and which would be better depends on the size of your media room and what you expect your surround system to play. The principal difference is that 7.1 system divides surround and rear channel signals into four channels, compared to two in 5.1 systems. To make sure your room can support them, do check these diagrams before making a final decision (5.1 and 7.1).
After settling the speakers matter, move onto receiver choice. Obviously it needs to support the speaker surrounding system you choose and match it in power. All major manufacturers offer surround system receivers and the best way to choose is to try them on your speaker system in your media room. Major vendors will surely make this possible and this is a step you should not skip.
Separate Audio System
If this is your primary choice, the same home theater route avails you, only with audio oriented devices. The biggest difference is in the field of speaker options. The best music listening experience is achieved by using stereo setup, i.e. using at least two speakers. The sky is the limit here, when it comes to budget and your initial choice would be bookshelf or floor standing speakers, again depending on the size of your room. When it comes to stereo amplifier choice, once more the match between it and the speakers is what determines the overall sound performance and once again home tryout is the way to go. Acoustic treatment of the room can do wonders when it comes to sound quality and you should look into this matter as well.
Outside Media Room
Having a media room totally separated from your house is a great way to improve the solitude of your listening or viewing experience, something that we often dream about. A container customized to your needs is a great easily installed solution and a more affordable one compared to building a separate room. However, do not forget to perform acoustic treatment in order to get the maximum out of it.
As you can see, this is a vast topic that needs to be carefully studied, accompanied with several try outs before making a final decision. Still, it will all be worthwhile once you play your favorite song or see your favorite movie.