Cornerstone Blog

Thinking About A Home Theater? Part 3


When it comes to renovating your home to add a room for a Home Theater or remodeling one of the rooms you already have in your house, nothing is more fun that shopping for the visual components of your new theater (expect maybe trying out the types of recliners you want in the room.)

Remember to consult with Cornerstone Builders’ designers before you go shopping, so everything will fit perfectly when the renovation is complete.

Here are a few other things to consider:

TVs: Shape and size are the two things you need to pay attention to when remodeling or renovating your home and selecting a TV for your Home Theater. For movies in a widescreen format, you’ll need a TV with a rectangular-shaped 16:9 aspect ratio rather than the traditional, squarish 4:3 ratio. Sizewise, always go for the biggest one that fits your budget. Consider 27 inches the bare minimum. (We will be sure to measure the door to the room and let you know the biggest size TV that will fit through the opening.) To get the best viewing for everyone in your newly remodeled home theater, the distance between the viewer and the screen should equal about three times the screen size. So a 40-inch TV is best viewed from a distance of 10 feet. This ratio will help us design where your TV should go and where we should fit your seating.

Cathode-ray tube: You might think us old school, but old-fashioned CRT sets sometimes have the sharpest picture and are the best value for the dollar. The new flat screen CRTs get rid of the distortion that is sometimes found on the older models, but they do have their downsides. They might crop the image on a widescreen format and the tubes get too long and heavy to manufacture sets bigger than 40 inches.

Rear-projection: These BIG screen TVs can offer screens up to 80 inches! They can approximate near CRT-quality in a slimmer package (if space is a issue in your renovation) and they are inexpensive, but the image on them can be obscured when viewed from an angle, making them not necessarily right for your remodeled home theater.

Plasma-screens: These are the sets so thin and light they can be hung on a wall. Their depth of 3-5 inches makes them fit into any renovation scheme, but they are expensive and fast-moving images viewed on them tend to blur. Also, if you are watching a football game or any traditional broadcast, there will be vertical bars on each side of the screen. You can use the screen fill function, but it will distort the picture a bit.

Front-projection: Go for the big guns here in terms of size (pretty much unlimited) and price (up to 50K). These are the modern day movie projectors and send the image across the room to a screen. This is what Hollywood moguls put in when they have their home renovated to add a Home Theater.

DVD Players: Get one if you have beloved DVDs (like a classic film collection). Progressive-scan DVDs are worth the extra money. Unlike traditional interlaced-scans, which first paints every other line on the screen and then goes back and fills in the rest, progressive-scans paints them all at once, making for a smoother picture. And if you don’t want an intermission during multiple-disc movies, get a player with a disc changer.

Digital VCRs: DVRs, such as TiVo and ReplayTV, work much like personal computers, recording programming from cable or a satellite dish onto a hard drive. You can even burn copies of a movie or television show using an integrated DVD recorder.

Videocassette recorders: These are soon to go the way of all things, but do get one if you have a lot of tapes (or get your tapes transferred to DVDs). The entertainment companies would like us all not to own any media and have to stream everything from them, but the change hasn’t completely happened yet.

The designers at Cornerstone Builders are delighted to help you plan the remodeling necessary to create your perfect Home Theater. From cabinetry to built-in furniture to installing the right components, we have years of experience in bringing the entertainment experience to your home. Call us today for a free