Building a DIY home theater is many a homeowner’s dream. The lavish room design, booming surround sound system, and giant screen—it’s easy to understand why someone would jump into a home theater project with excitement. Unfortunately, those who are too overeager can fall prey to the common pitfalls of building a DIY home theater.
Here are five home theater mistakes to avoid during your home theater project:1. Mounting the display too high
Proper height of the TV screen is one of the most essential requirements of a good home theater, yet it’s often overlooked as a minor detail or even executed wildly wrong. The most common height mistake is that people often put the TV screen too high—leading to neck and shoulder pain from looking up for extended periods of time. In fact, ergonomic experts recommend positioning the screen so that the center of your gaze lands somewhere at the top edge.
The most common place people mistakenly put their displays? Over the fireplace.To no one’s surprise, fire and electronics don’t mix. Exposing your television to excessive heat can cause the display to degrade quickly and can even sprout metal whiskers, causing shorts within the TVs circuitry.
2. Purchasing the wrong display size for the room
We’re often told that bigger is better. This oft-quoted aphorism doesn’t always hold true when it comes to choosing a display for your home theater. Sure, The Avengers looks amazing on a huge screen—but if it’s too large, you won’t be able to take in the entire image. If your display is too small, then prepare for boredom.
So how do you determine the right size? Check out this calculator from LCD TV Buying Guide that will tell you the optimal viewing distance and TV screen size for your room.
3. Poorly placed or obstructed speakers
Your speakers are what gives your home theater that booming power, so why block them with furniture or put them in places where the sound isn’t optimal?
The idea that speakers need to be hidden is a mistake many first-time home theater owners make. Here are a couple of common use cases of speaker placement gone wrong:
- Speakers pushed all the way into the back of shelving units. To avoid diffraction, make sure to pull out the speakers flush to the edge of the shelf.
- Low coffee tables that sit between the seating and front speakers. The sound from the speakers mixes with the sound coming from the table, making for a suboptimal listening experience.
We could go on forever about speakers, so instead check out this video from Audioholics on how to optimize your front LCR speaker placement.
4. Choosing a room with too many windows
When selecting a room for your home theater, darker is always better. Natural light, as nice as it might be in your kitchen, doesn’t mesh well with a home theater. If having windows in your home theater room is unavoidable, make sure you do not put your TV directly opposite of a window. If can’t even avoid that—then invest in some good light-blocking curtains.
5. Not calling a professional
Doing a DIY home theater project is admirable and rewarding. However, you can still do all the right things and not achieve the desired outcome. You’ve tinkered with the sound levels, tried your TV display at different sizes, heights, etc. But it’s just still not right. So what can you do? You’ve invested all this time and money, so there’s no turning back now.
Instead of going back to the drawing board or sinking more time and money into mistakes, call a professional to help you understand the options within your price range. In fact, calling a professional home theater installer for a consultation is really the first thing you should do before committing to a home theater project.
Even if you want to execute on your own, having a professional come in and assess your specific situation can save you a serious amount of time and money in the long term.
Are you interested in taking on a home theater project? Request a free consultation from Buttonwood!