A media room is a multi-use space that can be used for watching movies, playing games or just relaxing with your family. It can be thought of more like a living room with high-tech upgrades to the sound and screen, than a dedicated cinema room. Media rooms have a lot of uses and benefits for your family and are a good option if you are on a budget or pressed for space.
Why should you consider a media room?
It’s more versatile.
This is the biggest advantage of media rooms versus home theatres. Rather than rows of theatre seating in complete darkness, the idea behind a media room is that they accommodate a variety of seating arrangements and uses. This means they can even work for games that take up a lot of space like home golf simulators or immersive dance and workout games. This is something you can’t do in a home theatre with built-in seating.
They have a better return on investment.
Depending on the neighbourhood and market, a luxury addition like a home theatre may not add much at all to the selling price of your home. A media room, though, offers more useful options and is more appealing to a wider range of buyers, and that can give your home’s value a good boost. This is especially if your media room is built into otherwise unused space, like a den, or extra bedroom.
It encourages socialization.
The vibe in home theatres is supposed to be as close as possible to a movie theatre. That usually means no talking or doing other things while you watch. A media room, on the other hand, is perfect for kids’ playdates, viewing parties, and family hangouts. For most, this means you’ll get more use out of it than a home theatre.
How do you set up a media room?
Setting up a media room needs to be done with quite a lot of planning and forethought. Every aspect of it needs to work together to create the perfect space for your family. Specific equipment needs to be installed, and although you can do it by yourself, using a professional is recommended as it takes all of the stress and hassles out of the build. Our guide below will give you a great idea of the steps needed to set up the perfect media room
1: Optimize your environment
One of the most important factors in your media room’s performance is actually the room itself. If you have the luxury of specifying room dimensions, think rectangle. In terms of surfaces, materials like tile and hardwood are not ideal because they can bounce sound around the room. Opt for absorbent surfaces, such as carpet, to prevent the room from sounding like a basketball court. If hard surfaces are unavoidable, you can always temper reflective materials with rugs, pillows and even acoustic treatments. Take note of the amount of both natural and artificial light in the room, as this will set the mood for your room both when you are watching TV and using it for other activities.
2. Get the perfect picture
The centrepiece of any media room system is your visual setup. Both projectors or TV screens can be used, although TV’s are more popular in multi-use rooms. Your visual setup is a good place to start when you are thinking about what equipment you want to use in your media room. There are three main TV technologies to consider: LCD, LED and plasma. Generally, LCDs and LEDs are brighter, making them ideal for a room with more natural light. Plasma displays are not as bright but provide high contrast and great black levels creating a rich image. They also typically have better viewing angles providing maximum flexibility for rooms with wider seating areas.
3. Don’t forget the Audio Take
For a true media room, the built-in speakers that come with your TV simply won’t do. A 5.1 or 7.1 surround system, which is five or even seven speakers respectively, plus a subwoofer is pretty vital and offers the most immersive experience. The biggest challenge homeowners face when installing audio is hiding wires, making it a great idea to use a company like Simpletech, which specializes in seamless builds. You’ll also need a receiver that will power your speakers, as well as to switch between your various sources such as a smart box or a DSTV decoder.
4. Tieing it all together
The last piece of equipment to consider is a sturdy entertainment cabinet to house all your components. Look for plenty of spots to put things such as decoders and other devices as well as wire managementwire management and proper ventilation. Most smart AV setups in media rooms can be controlled with your smartphone, but it’s always worth getting a universal remote as a backup.
In South Africa, demand is growing for dedicated spaces designed to entertain us and keep our families connected. Choose your media room space carefully, preferably making sure that it is away from bedrooms and other high traffic living areas. Keep in mind that bigger rooms mean more speakers and can potentially cause issues around ensuring good quality sound. The fewer windows you have the better, particularly if you plan to use a projector. You should also be prepared to invest in acoustic insulation in both your walls and ceiling and possibly even underfloor if your media room is on an upper level.
Media Room low down
Luckily, more affordable technology is making media room customization simpler and less expensive. In today’s digital age, the sky’s the limit when it comes to installations. Amazing new technology is coming out all the time, so be sure that whatever you choose to build is future proof. Mistakes can be costly, so it is always a good idea to get advice from professionals before you begin to build anything. Both digital audio and HDMI visuals can be very unforgiving so be sure that you get it right from the start. At Simpletech, we love what we do, and a big part of that is creating beautiful media rooms. We make sure that you get access to the best brands to create the perfect sound, amazing visuals, and a media room that your family loves.
Contact us today to find out how we can build you the media room of your dreams.