There’s the teen who refuses to turn off her cell phone, the toddler booting the back of your seat and the $5 bucket of popcorn that tastes like it’s been around since the silent era. Isn’t going to the movies supposed to be fun?
If you’d rather watch movies at home than go to the theater, you’re not alone. About 73 percent of your fellow movie-lovers feel the same, according to one Associated Press-AOL poll. The majority of respondents said they would rather watch movies at home, citing crowds, uncomfortable seats, expensive tickets and costly concessions among the aggravations of going out to the movies.
No wonder building a home theater is one of the hottest trends in home improvement, and electronic items like home theater systems promise to continue as hot sellers this holiday season. If the idea of having your own home theater is appealing, you don’t have to pay pros to do the job for you. You can enjoy a home theater experience without the expense of professional installation by doing it yourself.
Here are some basics for building your own home theater:
Have a Seat
First, decide where your home theater will be. If you have a basement or spare bedroom you can convert, bravo! If you don’t have a spare room, a little improvisation can make a home theater work in your family or living rooms. In wide, open spaces like the basement, consider investing in authentic movie seats, complete with tilting backs and cup holders. If you’re setting up your theater in the family room, a comfortable sofa and a few recliners will perform well.
Whatever type of seating you choose, remember to position it so that everyone has a good view of the screen.
Screening the Possibilities
A true movie screen – available in various sizes, fabrics and prices – and a projector may be the essence of the movie experience. But if those items are outside your budget, a flat-screen TV makes a great understudy for pricier projection screens. Prices on high-definition plasma or LCD TVs have been dropping over the past year, and retailers are sure to offer some great deals in order to entice buyers this holiday season.
If you’re ready and able to invest in a fabric screen, you’ll have plenty of choices. High-end cloth screens can roll up and down at the touch of a button. Or, you can find the free-standing square screens similar to those your high school teacher might have used. The type of projector you buy will play a role in deciding what kind of fabric screen you purchase.
Mounting is Paramount
Proper mounting of all components of your home theater system is important for both aesthetics and safety. You’ll put a lot of time, thought and some money into pulling together your home theater, so you’ll want a better way to store components than to precariously perch them on an accent table or – worse yet – leave them sitting on the floor.
If you’ve purchased a projector, a ceiling mount will give you the best theater experience. Sanus Systems, a leading manufacturer of mounts for audio-visual components, makes a Universal Projector Ceiling Mount simple enough to be installed by the average do-it-yourselfer.
If you’ve opted for a flat-screen TV, Sanus also makes a variety of TV mounts that will allow you to put the screen on the wall and angle it to meet your needs. Audio components like speakers also perform best when wall mounted. And you’ll want to consider placing components like the DVD player and satellite receiver on the wall too, possibly with a mount from Sanus’ line of Vertical Foundations furniture. Visit www.sanus.com to see the range of mounts available for all components of home theater systems.
Once the technical aspects of your do-it-yourself home theater project are taken care of, plug in the carnival-style popcorn popper, pour on the butter and settle down to enjoy the movie theater experience in the comfort of your own home.