Since the beginning of time men have dreamed of the ultimate Man Cave. And yes, we have sheds and the garage, but what about the "Ultimate Theatre Room"?
In days gone by the Man Cave was a man's haven tucked away from the rest of the world, usually in the backyard and away from the family home. Nowadays, the Man Cave can simply be a dedicated room, an area in the house where even the entire family can enjoy.
This "Man Cave" was created a long time ago - there is better equipment available now!
Today, Home Theatre rooms are just as much, if not more, about the interior design as it is the technology. In fact, the most sophisticated custom installations reveal little to no technology to the naked eye, however, behind the walls or hidden in the ceiling you just might find some amazing state-of-the-art audio gear.
Here are a few tips for turning any room into The Ultimate Man cave!
The first step is to plan your space. Will you have a dedicated home theatre room or will your system be in a multi-purpose media room? Either way can be fantastic. A dedicated home theatre is designed specifically for entertainment: enjoying movies, sports, TV, and video games. Basements, study and spare rooms are great as dedicated home theatre spaces. A media room serves for more than entertaining. A family room or rumpus room usually doubles as a media room as well.
Projector or LCD
Since the room will mostly be used for watching movies, your viewing experience will be the most important feature in the room. Now depending on budget and size, the Home Theatre room can be setup with either a Projector or LCD screen.
A projector-based cinema is the most cost effective option when screen measurements exceed 65 inches. A projector and screen are easier to hide in a ceiling and can provide as large an image as the dimensions of your room allows. The quality of Home Cinema projectors is constantly improving and the images are of an extremely high quality. Tip: Projectors require near darkness in order to produce the best images. A flat screen LCD can provide a good solution if this is a problem.
Plasma & LCD screens on the other hand are both sexy slim, and can hang on the wall. But in spite of the similar physical profiles these two technologies are very different, and each has its strengths and weaknesses and they're not necessarily the ones the sales guy at Harvey Norman will tell you about. LCDs are typically much brighter and make for excellent HDTV viewing and have recently made great improvements to black levels and in many cases have nearly matched the contrast ratio of plasma TVs.
Audio & Visual Gear
This is the fun part for most people. Significant improvements in video technology can give you a great picture for a fraction of the cost only 10 years ago. This allows more room in your budget for great sound. Unlike video, audio pricing has held very steady in its cost to performance ratio. Recent improvements in home theatre speakers will make your surround sound experience even more fun.
Acoustic Treatment & Sound Proof
It's important to have a great picture, but a movie without good sound is a terrible experience. You must be able to clearly understand dialogue. Great sound immerses you in a film's sound effects. All things being equal, acoustic treatments have a larger impact on the sound than almost any component. Another thing to consider is soundproofing. Will late night viewing disturb others?
When designing your home theatre room, don't forget one of the most important parts - the seating. Personal taste plays an important part when it comes to deciding what furniture to add in the Theatre Room, the good news is there’s plenty to choose from. For a more cinema experience a few recliners perfectly positioned in the centre of the room to get that sweet spot would be ideal, or if you like mix it up with a couple of single recliners and a 3 seater lounge.
Let your imagination run wild, after all, cinemas are all about entertainment. Spending a few extra dollars on a great remote control, lighting control, mini bar fridge or a popcorn machine can add the wow factor you’ve been looking for!
Overview of the Ultimate Man Cave
Corner shot - The Ultimate Man Cave
Front shot - The Ultimate Man Cave