What Sets Home Theaters and Media Rooms Apart?

Until recently, a dedicated home theater was considered the landmark of a luxury home. The cinematic experience could be enjoyed from the private comfort of your sofa. However, an alternative to the home theater is emerging for homeowners who want to give a facelift to a den or game room by renovating it into what is known as a media room. Similar to a home theater, it has a flat-screen TV, surround-sound audio, and plush seating. We design and install both choices here at Evolution Home Theater, so if you’re wondering what sets them apart from each other, continue reading below.

Home Theater

Lighting: You want your picture to dominate the room, so subtle cinematic lighting works best. We recommend covering any windows with automated blinds or light-blocking curtains to prevent sunlight from washing out your image. A simple remote-control dimmer can mimic the fading light in a cinema to add excitement as the movie begins.

Sound: Although your screen takes the visual center stage, your sound and lighting systems are essential in crafting the perfect cinematic experience. When you partition your budget evenly between screen, sound, and room (which includes lighting and décor), you’ll end up with a nice balance. Our team will install your speakers into the walls, floor, or ceiling for maximum space, while acoustic panels and a thick carpet maximize your audio quality to center you in the film’s dramatic action.

Room: Whether you host the Big Game, indulge in a movie marathon, or binge the latest TV series, you want a quality space to enjoy every moment. A home theater is a dedicated room for screened entertainment, so you can be creative with specialized furnishings. Do you want to replicate the Art Deco elegance of a 1920s speakeasy or add heated recliners with cup holders? You get to have more fun with your décor in a home theater.

Setbacks: If you aren’t watching something on a screen, there’s not much else to do in this room. A surround-sound system isn’t the most conversation-friendly option, and if you want to add new screens to other rooms of the home, you may find yourself changing your budget. However, if you’re looking to enjoy an authentic cinematic experience from home, this is the perfect solution.

Media Room

Content Options: There are so many ways to enjoy content through streaming services like Netflix and Spotify. If you’re a homeowner who likes to imagine playing fun music during a board game night, doing a workout with your favorite YouTube fitness instructor, or casually watching a cooking show while you plan out some new kitchen experiments, you may prefer a Media Room for its versatility.

Screen: A media room has a sizable screen big enough to pick up every detail from afar, but not so close or overwhelmingly large that it strains your neck or vision. Our suggestion is to place your seating two to three times the diagonal dimension of your screen for an optimized viewing experience.

Sound: You only need a few quality speakers to sufficiently immerse you in the on-screen video game action, music album, or film score. Most media rooms don’t utilize in-wall speakers or acoustic panels, but solid drapery, fluffy pillows, heavy blankets, and a thick carpet will do the trick.

Room: You have more layout design options with a media room. If you opt for an open floor plan, you can cook dinner from the kitchen while keeping an eye on kids playing games in the media room. Imagine hosting guests for all types of social situations with a moving mirror or piece of artwork that conceals your TV screen, or furniture you can arrange for friendly conversation.  Instead of movie theater recliners, choose between loveseats, L-shaped sofas, or cozy couches that work for every occasion.

Setbacks: Your media room likely blends with the rest of your home unlike the dedicated separation of a home theater, so the audio may disturb other members of the household. With limited space, you may not be able to achieve a surround-sound experience. Lastly, you can’t be as creative with home design since you and your spouse would probably like the décor to match the rest of your home. If you really want to pay homage to your favorite superhero franchise with framed movie posters, a home theater may be a better option.

We hope our guide has helped you better understand the difference between a media room and a home theater, so you have an idea of which setup you prefer for your household. No matter which system you choose, our team at Evolution Home Theater is happy to design and install the perfect setup for your home. Contact us today to begin!

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