Home Theater Room Design
Overall home theater room design is an important consideration when planning your home theater layout. You want the majority - ideally all - of your friends and family to be able to fully enjoy the home cinema experience. That means you'll want your video display of choice to be centrally located and your surround "soundfield" to be deployed so that there is a wide availability of seating positions that have a good view of the screen, can hear the audio tracks clearly and allow surround effects to move uniformly around the room. If you are planning a dedicated room such goals may naturally be more easy to accomplish than if you are incorporating home theater equipment into an existing living or family room.
A Dedicated Home Theater Room is a luxury that not a lot of people can afford.
Those who are not able to have a new home built and designed are destined to make do with available space. If you can set aside an area of your basement or an unused den you have an advantage over those who must incorporate their home theater room design into their living room. I actually prefer the casual atmosphere of our living room theater. Our family spends a lot of our free time at home in the living room and incorporating our DLP projector, screen and surround system is unobtrusively and seamlessly blended into the decor.
There are definitely advantages to having a dedicated theater as well. A dedicated home theater adds to the special feel of movie night. In addition a dedicated room allows for more freedom of home theater room design and layout. An unused basement area or extra bedroom is a fine place to design a cinema in an existing home. You can design your it exactly the way you want and you can start simple from bare walls and then add elaboration as funds and time permit.
Regardless of room size the basic layout of your home theater room design should optimally be rectangular in shape in order to provide the best theater seating and digital surround sound field. Your video display should placed central on one of the short walls in order to allow a better screen viewing angle for all guests. A small square area lends itself to a diagonal home theater room design and is better suited to having the video display diagonally placed in a corner. That allows a greater flexibility of seating distance from the video display with diagonal rows of seating to achieve the optimal viewing distance. I personally prefer the more traditional rectangular layout.
Speaker placement should be as follows...
Your home theater seating area should be centrally located in relation to your screen and no closer than one and a half the width of your display for best viewing.
If your room size allows - you may want to have a couple of recliners and two sofas arranged in a "U" shape. Or if you are planning a dedicated room you could arrange rows of either recliners, sofas or a combination of both or even custom home theater furniture if your budget allows. Furniture selection should, of course, include comfort as a major factor. Options include a visit to the local furniture store for matching comfortable recliners or there a quite a few custom Home Theater Furniture models available nowadays for the ultimate HT seating experience. You will find more detailed information on custom seating in the Home Theater Seating section.
In summary - regardless of your room is dedicated or multi-purpose you will want your video display central on one of the short walls of a preferably rectangular shaped room, your speakers properly placed for the best acoustics and your seating to be in either an "L" shape, "U" shape (or a combination of rows or "L" or "U" for dedicated rooms) for best viewing, listening and for the most effective overall home theater room design experience.