Friday, May 15, 2015

how to choose what's best for your home theater room

We are in the middle of doing our Theater Room and I have searched everywhere for some kind of guidance on what to look out for and it has been hard to find reliable sources! So I thought I would share the route we are taking and what all I looked into before settling on equipment! I especially didn't want to get sold on stuff we didn't need!

First you need to set out a plan of action and ask your self a couple of things:
What will the theater room be mainly used for? movies, tv channels/ball games, video games, etc.
What is the size of the wall that you will be mounting your screen on?
Wall Color and the vibe of the room are always on my mind too ;)

We ended up going into Nebraska Furniture Mart a couple of weekend ago "just to look" because my husband is kind of obsessed with the idea of this "man room" idea and his dream of having a theater room. Well let's just say we ended up walking out of their show room with an appointment to have a technician come out & look at our theater room to get measurements and go over what would work best for our room. You pay I think it was $90 for them to come give the quote and you can apply that to any order made at Nebraska Furniture Mart.. whether you end up getting the theater room setup or if you change your mind and would rather use it towards furniture, accents, or appliances.

So if you have a Nebraska Furniture Mart near you, they will totally take care of you and guide you in the direction what will work best for your own room, because not all rooms are the same!

If you aren't lucky enough to have a Nebraska Furniture Mart near you don't worry you have a couple of different options.. you could either order online and have a handy man come and install it for you or you could call your local home theater companies and have them come out and quote your space just like we did with Nebraska Furniture Mart! It's always best to go in informed so you don't chance getting "taken advantage of". It can be really overwhelming knowing what will be best so it is nice to rely on honest companies that won't take advantage!

Things you need to know when purchasing the projector for your home theater room:

Know the type of projectors.

There are two kinds.
1. DLP (Digital Light Processing)
The most affordable choice .
2. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)
Because of the advanced technology, the LCDs are more expensive than the DLPs.

Know the aspect ratios available in projectors.

The 16:9 is the choice for most movie enthusiasts because it can deliver a much higher quality image. Blu-ray and HDTV are both designed for a 16:9 system. Unfortunately, when watching an average TV program that is not HDTV, the image will appear small.

Decide which ratio to go with based on the type of videos or programs that will be watched.
The 16:9 ratio is most commonly found in projectors.

Know how brightness affects projectors.

Figure out what type of light is in your theater room. Ours has no windows and is almost completely dark when the doors are closed..

Lumens Range


Under 1,000 Lumens These projectors are the least expensive, but the low output of light means that they have to be in a dark room. These projectors are best on smaller screens.
1,000 to 2,000 Lumens This is a common lumen range and these projectors need to be in dimly lit rooms. This range can handle a small to average sized screen.
2,000 to 3,000 Lumens This range is more flexible with lighting and the projector can be placed in a room with some ambient lighting. This range can handle any size of screen.
Above 3,000 Lumens These projectors are the most expensive and are very bright. These should be in rooms with some lighting. If placed in dark rooms, the screen will be too bright to look at.

You should base your decision on the lighting of the existing room as well as the size of the screen.

A small screen with a 4:3 ratio is considered to be 43 x 57 inches and a large screen is 87 x 116 inches. A small screen with a 16:9 ratio is considered to be 45 x 80 inches and a large screen is 58 x 104 inches. The larger the screen, the more lumens are needed.

Know how resolution affects the Picture.

The higher the resolution is, the clearer and sharper the image will be.



1280 x 720 Projectors with this resolution will provide good DVD and Blu-ray video quality at an affordable price.
1280 x 768 These projectors work well with the 16:9 ratio videos and are particularly good with computer resolutions if projecting a computer system onto the screen.
1920 x 1080 This is the best resolution for high definition formats such as HDTV, Blu-ray, and gaming systems. They are more expensive but still affordable for a household.

Being a photographer I will always recommend the highest resolution. So I would definitely recommend going with 1920x1080 for any theater room.

sources I used when researching:
here & here

The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2D/3D 1080p 3LCD Projector is a good choice!

Projector Screens:
As far as the projector screens go, you need to measure and figure out what size will fit best in your room. The sales rep at Nebraska Furniture Mart mentioned a couple of different things we had not thought about. You don't want the screen to be so large that the seats in the back can't see the bottom of the screen. You want to make sure the screen is visible from the back of the room. For our room size we chose the 92" screen.

We ended up going with the:
Da-Lite Screen 92" UTB Contour-Acid Etched Frame (Black)The UTB Contour
It has an ultra thin bezel frame and low profile. Designed to look like a large flat panel, the UTB Contour can more than double the size of the largest flat panel televisions available.

Other Things to think about when you are looking into a Theater Room:
You are going to need audio this will include speakers, cables, and installation. We also chose to get a universal remote control. All of these cost will add up so be sure to figure out your budget and what all you want and need in your media room!

SO the technicians are coming out to install it next Tuesday so I'll be sure to keep you posted on the process with pictures! When all is said and done I'm going to do a room reveal... so look forward to some before & afters!! We have to figure out a paint color this weekend and the couches & light fixtures will have to slowly be added into the room over the next couple of months! We are getting excited for it all though!

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