Home Theater Design Guides
Updated: September 9, 201

Towards a
Successful DIY Home Theater Design

A step-by-step process towards
Designing and Building your own Home Theater

Are you thinking of building your own home theater? Would you like to know what it takes to build and design a home theater that is capable of delivering an enjoyable cinematic experience?

We have prepared a series of practical home theater design guides and informative articles aimed at the DIY home theater enthusiast. We cover all aspects of home theater - from design to implementation - to help you build a home theater within the limitations of space and budget.

Let's get started...

Klipsch Reference II Home Theater Speakers
Klipsch RF42-II Home Theater Speaker Solution complete with 300W powered-subwoofer

A solid built home theater speaker system from Klipsch comprising 75W rms left, right and center fronts, and 50W rms surrounds; included is a matched Klipsch 8-inch 300W cont. powered-subwoofer.

This is one of the few full size speaker systems that combine excellent natural sound with an aesthetic design.

Fire your system, drop a new DVD, and dim the lights...

Almost instantly, you get immersed into a whole new world!

It is this home theater magic all of us are after when setting up a home theater — whether that being a dedicated room such as a basement home theater, or using a shared space in the house such as a bedroom or living room home theater.

Getting the home theater magic is not difficult but a correct home theater design is crucial for this immersive experience.

At the same time, it is impossible to be successful in your home theater design efforts unless you have an understanding of the various aspects of home theater, from AV receivers and speaker systems, speaker placement, projection screen or TV screen size, viewing distance, home theater seating, room decor, etc.

Definitely, some basic technical knowledge on the subject of AV systems would surely be an asset in this high-tech world. Luckily enough, there is a lot of information — especially on the web — to guide you in your home theater design approach. A word of caution though: When it comes to online content, try to check the website reputation to ensure the validity of the content you are reading.

We are not underestimating the fact that when it comes to a dedicated home theater room design, the whole process may get pretty complex. In such circumstances, a trial and error approach is not the way to go; professional help is therefore advisable to avoid costly mistakes. But even so, it is always desirable to have an understanding of the concepts surrounding a good home theater design. This applies independent of whether you hire a home theater design expert to help you realize your dream home theater, or decide to take the do-it-yourself route. Both options can be a way forward.

At the same time, we cannot but remark that if you are the DIY type of home theater enthusiast, home theater design represents a most challenging yet welcome task as it brings with it a truly rewarding experience.

Article continues after this advertisement.

Installing a home theater is a big decision and an investment in itself; if planned carefully, it will provide you with years of good quality entertainment.
NYC Theme Home Theater

New York Style Home Theater - by Glen Hoffman
For more information, visit our Home Theater Pictures Gallery

In the discussions that follow on home theater design, we will not be dealing with equipment selection. This is all covered in detail under the respective sections (accessible through the site navigation on the left) on Practical Home Theater Guide.

Instead, this series of home theater design articles takes a deeper look at the various aspects of home theater room design.

Topics discussed include space and budget requirements, room setup, equipment placement, home theater wiring, room lighting, home theater furniture, home theater seating, and overall home theater room decor.

But our discussions do not stop there; we also cover a number of related topics; these include correct TV viewing distance for your screen size - essential for an immersive movie watching experience inasmuch as is your speaker placement, the use of tactile transducers in home entertainment to better feel the shake, equipment racks to help protect and keep you gear organized, and the use of movie posters to enhance the dedicated home theater room and bring out the Hollywood magic in your home.

We hope the information contained in these guides will help you - through a step-by-step process - achieve a successful DIY home theater design.

Home Theater Design Guides

Detailed Index of articles appearing under this section

Home Theater Design is a vast science. The articles featured below discuss at great length the various aspects of home theater - from initial design up to final implementation.

This information should help you plan the whole process in a structured manner. Plan your home theater carefully before you buy and your choices will become easier. Plan before you start your home theater installation and you will avoid costly mistakes.

Editor's Note: If you are new to home theater, we suggest that you follow through these articles in the order listed below.

Home Theater Design Basics:
Advanced Audio Video, LLC of Franklin, NC - a great example of a dedicated home theater

Installing a Home Theater (1) It all starts here...
Independent of the home theater installation you plan to undertake, available space and budget will determine your approach. What can you do with the available space and how much will it cost to transform that space into your dream home theater?

Home Theater Room Design Basics (2): How BIG is Your Room?
A small bedroom, a shared living room, or a dedicated room for your home theater? The size and nature of your home theater room play a determining role in your home theater experience.

Home Theater Room Design Basics (3): The Dedicated Home Theater Room
For the ultimate in home theater design - a dedicated home theater room specifically designed for watching moves, videos and TV is the way to go.

Home Theater Room Design Basics (4): Equipment Placement
Just as important as which equipment to buy, is deciding where to put your gear. The correct placement of system components is a major contributor towards that much-desired magical experience in home entertainment.

Home Theater Room Design RoundUp:
Home theater design is definitely complicated science — hence the need for the detailed guides under this section, yet there are a few simple things to consider that can transform your home theater experience from ordinary to extraordinary.

Directly tied up with the issue of equipment placement in home theater design, is the viewing distance, speaker placement, the necessary home theater wiring to tie up all system components together, and equipment storage racks.

We discuss these topics in detail in the following guides:

TV Viewing Distance
How does your TV or projection screen size and image resolution relate to your viewing distance for a truly immersive viewing experience?  Discover more in this detailed TV viewing distance guide here.

Note: This guide deals with 2D TV viewing; for 3D HDTVs, please refer to our article 3D TV Viewing Explained.

Speaker Placement Guide

Home Theater Speaker Placement
Correct home theater speaker placement plays a critical role towards achieving that seamless ‘enveloping’ sound so important in the overall home theater experience.

Note: More guides on Home Theater Sound appear under the Home Theater Sound section of the site; these cover Sound Formats, AV Receivers, and Home Theater Speaker.

Home Theater Wiring - A step-by-step approach
A correct home theater wiring approach is important for a successful home theater installation. In this guide, we discuss the basics of home theater wiring - from planning to implementation; in the process, we also look at speaker wiring and in-wall wiring requirements.

Guide to Audio Video Equipment Racks
Related to the issue of equipment and speaker placement is the use of equipment racks in home theater installations. These come in all shapes and sizes, and are great to help you keep your gear well organized and safe. Yet there is more to AV racks than a storage space for your home theater gear. More information is available in our guide here.

In the process, we also discuss AV Rack Solutions such as the AVRAK rotating rack system, and home theater furniture such as the Maria Yee line of media cabinets for that unique finishing touch in the home theater.

Enhancing your home theater experience! Having a set of speakers and a big screen is not enough for an enjoyable home theater. There is more you can do...

Home Theater Acoustics and Soundproofing
Discussing ways to improve the room acoustic performance, use of acoustic treatment and soundproofing. Is soundproofing of your walls always necessary?

Use of featured light fixtures in the home theater

Enhancing Home Theater Lighting
What can you do to enhance the room lighting? What about the use of lighting control systems and X10 devices to control the lighting in your home theater?

Feel the shake! Tactile Transducers in Home Entertainment
Add the sensation of tactile sound and discover a totally new dimension in your home theater experience without the need to pump more power to your subwoofer!

Guide to Home Theater Seats
Do not underestimate the importance of proper home theater seating in your home theater design; the design and layout of home theater seats play a determining role in your home theater experience.

Home Theater Decor Ideas for a Great Home Theater Ambience
Would you like to capture the Hollywood magic and enjoy your home theater in style? Details are what make the difference. The overall home theater decor plays a determining role towards achieving an enjoyable cinematic experience.

Miscellaneous Home Theater Guides:

Home Theater Pictures - A Visitor's Gallery
Let see what others have done! This is not a guide but surely, having a look at what others have done to build their home theater masterpiece will help trigger the creative part in you when it comes to designing and building your own home theater.

Poster Light-boxes for that unique movie magic!

Movie Posters - a great way to relive the movie magic in your home
Related to your home theater decor is the use of movie posters to decorate the walls of your home theater room. Movie posters do provide a great way to relive the movie magic in your home. However, the fascinating world of movie posters is more than just a beautiful picture hanging on your home theater wall promoting a favorite film. Discover more in our Movie Poster Guide.

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Home Theater Pictures Gallery

Show-OFF Your Home Theater - click to submit your home theater pictures to be included in our gallery.Do not forget to visit our Home Theater Pictures Gallery before leaving out site.

This will help trigger the creative part in you for some great home theater design ideas.

You may also submit pictures of your home theater to be featured on our site.

Please refer to our Picture Gallery page for more details.

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Reviews published on Practical HT Guide

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Plasma TVs may be at the end of the line, but the latest 2013 plasma TVs have definitely made it to the very top when it comes to picture performance.

2013 LCD TV Reviews Update
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Covering the most appealing LED HDTVs for 2013

2012 Rear Projection TV ReviewsRear Projection TV Reviews
2012 Update

Best HDTVs: A 2012 RoundupBest HDTVs for 2012

Best Video Projector Reviews: 2012 Roundup - covering the best projectors for home entertainmentBest Video Projector Reviews

Covering the best projectors for home entertainment

Home Theater Guides

Recommended Technical Reading

HDTV Installation Guides:

TV Installation Basics

Choosing the Right TV Mount

Installing a TV Wall Mount

Installing an HDTV over the Fireplace

Wiring Channels in HDTV Installations

Home Theater Books

Recommended Home Theater Reading

Great Escapes
A unique source of ideas, and interesting designs

Entertainment Rooms
Loads of great pictures to help you create a great entertainment space in your house