Following on from our top 10 tips on how to create the perfect cinema experience in the comfort of your own home, here are the final five steps listed below in our Home Cinemas blog: Part II.
Ideally you want HD or Blu-ray technology that is so clear and sharp even George Lucas would be proud. It is important to note that unless the system is calibrated and optimised you will never get the best out of the equipment. When choosing between LED/LCD/plasma TVs and projection TVs, there are a few things to consider. LED/LCD and plasmas offer exceptional picture quality with vivid colours, sharp resolution, and adequate brightness in all lighting conditions. Projectors, however, often require costly and complex installation but can be mounted on rear walls, on a pedestal, or on the ceiling. This allows the screen size to get much larger than that of a physical television. If you do plan to use a projector on the ceiling, be sure it is mounted at the correct height and distance from the screen. A projector needs to be mounted higher up for two reasons — first it needs to be away from the heads of the people in the seats. Secondly, projectors produce heat and house a fan that helps regulate the temperature. The snag with this is that fans can be loud and distract from the movie watching experience. If correctly mounted, this concern is greatly minimized.
Great sound in your home theatre can only be achieved with the right choice of loudspeakers, electronics, acoustic placement, and acoustic design. Specifying the correct speaker combination, speaker placement, electronics, and room treatment makes all the difference. The basic rule of thumb is to know the code, the most common of which is 5.1 for full surround sound. The first digit donates the number of speakers in the room; the second is the number of subwoofers, although these can increase dramatically depending on your needs even extending to the ultimate professional 3D or Dolby Atmos. Also worth considering is the opposite — lack of sound. Noise-absorbing elements such as thick fabrics and carpeting can go a long way to help quiet reflections from the sound system.
Home cinemas can be installed discreetly, so discretely in fact as to almost disappear.
Alternatively, the design and installation can be tailored to complement your interior scheme and come to life at the press of a single button. Remember, all controls and media gear can be hidden so the room doesn't look like a tech control centre – some remote controls can even “talk” through cabinet doors and walls. A luxury interior designer who understands smart, quality, luxury living, will be able to advise you on how best to orchestrate your layout and what to accentuate and what to hide.
Some of the most phantasmagorical designs for home cinema have included a copy of the Nautilas submarine as seen in Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; a Batcave based on Bruce Wayne's subterranean pied a terre, which comes complete with Batsuits and a Batmobile. Then there's the Titanic design, or Star Wars theatre, a scheme that should you choose it, includes a life-size R2-D2 and C-3PO. Meanwhile, The Evergreen Star Trek media room has Enterprise architecture, motorized sliding doors and intelligent concert-type lighting. It's a home cinema, but not as you know it and has, allegedly, speakers that can blow the roof off. And if you really want to push the boat out, bear in mind you'll have to go a long way to beat the most expensive home cinema, which costs a nifty $6 million.
In addition to the fundamentals, little extras can make all the difference in helping to create the perfect cinema room ambience. Chocolate displays, concession stands, cold drink fridges or a bar area can all be incorporated into your room either discretely or deliberately to be on show to create a feature area in your room. A popcorn machine, meanwhile, will provide that classic look, while the smell of freshly baking little nuggets of film fodder will evoke the perfect movie aroma. Whatever direction you choose to take in designing your home cinema, it is one of the best ways to showcase your character and interests while also implementing that luxury interior design.