Choosing the right screen for your private home theater
Installing a private home theater is all about enjoying that big-screen experience. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the latest blockbuster movie, your favorite TV shows or the Raptors game, it’s all just so much better on a massive screen. As you start looking for the best equipment to kit out your new theater – from Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers for epic surround-sound, to 4K Ultra HD projectors – it’s important that you don’t skimp when it comes to your screen. You also need to realize that bigger isn’t always better.
The perfect size screen
One of the major advantages of a private home theater in your Toronto home is those larger-than-life images that only a huge screen can give you, but you need to be careful when you choose the one for you. You want to go big, but not so big that it ruins the enjoyment. There are three main things to consider when thinking about screen size:
1 – Space limitations.
This tends to be more of an issue for height than with width – most people think about screen width, but the height can be more of a problem. You don’t want your screen to go all the way to the floor – you may have a central speaker that needs to sit under the screen, and in bigger rooms the bottom of the screen will be hidden for anyone not sat in the front row. Just as you wouldn’t have a TV on the floor, it’s not a natural viewing angle. You should have at least three feet of space under the screen for optimal viewing.
2 – Seating distance.
You want to think about the length of the room, and where your seats will be positioned. If you’re too close to the screen, the image quality will suffer and may look pixelated. Plus, you’ll have to keep moving your eyes to take in the entire picture – no good when it’s a full-blown action scene with lots to see. For a 120” screen, you should make sure you’re sat at least 12 feet away.
3 – Projector quality.
The bigger the screen, the better your projector needs to be – a cheaper model might say it can handle 120”, but the image won’t be as bright and it can look washed out. Make sure you check with a professional to see which size of screen will work best with your chosen projector.
Finding the right material and color
Once you’ve decided on the size of your screen, it’s time to consider the material and color. Starting with the color, it depends on the lighting of your room. If your private home theater has been optimized to reduce light, then a traditional white screen will be ideal. If you know that ambient light is inevitable, choose a darker screen to aid the image brightness.
Material is only an issue if you want to use a rear-speaker setup, with speakers hidden behind the screen. Choosing a screen that doesn’t let sound through will only give you muffled audio. Instead, look for woven or perforated screens to ensure that every explosion or dramatic soundtrack is crisp and booming.
Extending the functionality of your screen
If you’re investing in a private home theater in your Vaughan home, you’re going to want to get more out of it than the occasional movie night. Your screen needs to be versatile enough to handle TV shows, sports games and console gaming too. These all use a 16:9 viewing format, while movies are usually played on a 2:40:1 aspect ratio. Rather than having two separate screens, or warping images by choosing only one aspect ratio and sticking to it, opt for masking technology, which can add a black border to adjust the screen to the ratio you need.
If you’re ready to commit to the ultimate big-screen experience, make sure you do it right. Contact Audio One to find out which screen would work best for you, and to find out more about professional home theater installation.