Investing in a home entertainment system is a good idea. Placing that entertainment system inside a media room is well worth your time and money as well.
Still, you may have some questions about how well a media room could fit inside your home. If not that, you may be wondering how you should even go about putting a media room together. You may also be curious about the specific items that must be present inside your media room.
Those are all important questions, and we will use this article to respond to them. Stay tuned if you wish to learn more about media rooms.
What Is a Media Room?
Before we dive deep into topics related to media rooms, let’s first define the concept itself. Doing so is tricky because a media room is less defined than say, a home theater.
For instance, you do not need to build a new addition to accommodate a media room. That is unnecessary. You can already turn an existing part of your home into a media room after making some key adjustments.
In fact, flexibility is considered a crucial characteristic of media rooms. You should not cut off the media room from the rest of your home. Instead, you should integrate it fully into your floor plan.
Your media room should provide entertainment, but also more than that. The goal should be to create a multi-purpose space where people can hang out and relax whether there is a movie playing or not. Think of it as a living room with high-end entertainment equipment.
Media rooms are common in many households. You may have one already, even though you do not call it a media room.
How Does a Media Room Differ from a Home Theater?
Bring up the topic of building a media room to a friend, and they may start talking about home theaters. That often happens because many folks use those terms interchangeably.
Are they correct, though? Are media rooms and home theaters basically the same thing? After going through the previous section, you have probably guessed that media rooms and home theaters are not the same.
The sections below explain how they differ from one another.
Design plans for media rooms and home theaters are different. As we noted earlier, a media room does not need to be a dedicated room. Your living room or dining area can also become your de facto media room once you add some equipment and move some things around.
Home theaters are different because they must be inside dedicated rooms. You will need to build the home theater from scratch or convert an existing room inside your home. Installing some equipment in an already existing room will not suffice if you want a real home theater.
Layouts for the respective rooms also differ.
When it comes to media rooms, you have more layout options. Arrange your furniture in different ways until you produce something everyone likes. You can even change up the layout frequently if you want.
The ideal layout for a home theater is not quite as flexible. You want the screen in the front and all the seating options facing it. Any other kind of layout will not work for a home theater.
Media rooms and home theaters also differ in terms of the ambiance they provide.
Home theaters are supposed to replicate the feeling of being inside a cinema. The lights turn off when the movie starts playing, and everyone is to stay quiet. The focus is on the movie above everything else.
In contrast, media rooms tend to be more relaxed. You can sit down and watch the movie playing on the screen or do something else. Hanging out in the media room and chatting with your friends and/or family is perfectly fine.
Neither environment is better than the other, but you may prefer one more. If that is indeed the case, then you should consider adding that specific type of room to your home.
We cannot talk about the differences between home theaters and media rooms without touching on the cost.
Home theaters are more expensive because you will need to either build a new addition or convert one of your rooms. Garages and basements are among the rooms most commonly turned into home theaters.
According to Fixr, building a new home theater generally costs between $20,000 and $70,000. If you convert a garage or basement, the final cost will likely be near $50,000.
That is a significant price to pay for your home’s entertainment center. Only you can say if that addition is worth it.
The cost of building a media room is considerably lower. Your list of expenses, if you are designing a media room, will include upgraded entertainment equipment and some new pieces of furniture. There is no need to convert or build a new room.
If you want a new entertainment center inside your home but prefer something that is not expensive, you should go with a media room.
The Elements That Must Be Present inside Your Media Room
For this next section of the article, let’s turn our attention to the items that need to be inside your media room. Check them out below and find out which specific items you should choose.
First and foremost, you will need a video display inside your media room. Your main options here are either a television or a projector.
Projectors are great because they provide large displays. They can also provide high-quality videos.
However, adding a projector to your media room is a bit much. Your media room may not be big enough to accommodate the projector. On top of that, the projector could also obstruct the flow of traffic inside your home.
TVs make more sense if you are building out a media room. Plasma TVs are great for media rooms since they provide higher-quality images. You do not need the brightness provided by LCD or LED TVs because media rooms typically already have ample lighting.
Next up, you need to consider what kind of sound system you want to feature inside your media room. Typically, homeowners like to feature surround sound systems in their media rooms. If you are interested in going down that path as well, you will need to choose from 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound systems.
The 5.1 surround sound systems have three front-facing speakers, two additional speakers at the sides, and a subwoofer. The 7.1 surround sound systems feature a similar setup, but there are two additional speakers near the rear portion of the display.
There are two factors to consider when choosing between 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound systems. Those factors are cost and the size of your media room.
Cost is self-explanatory. Unsurprisingly, 7.1 surround sound systems are more expensive than their 5.1 counterparts. Take that into account when deciding which system to install.
According to Electronics Hub, 5.1 surround sound systems work best in small to medium-sized rooms. Within those settings, the sounds will resonate clearly and crisply. For large rooms, you should look to install a 7.1 surround sound system.
Housing for Your Entertainment System
After figuring out your video display and your sound system, the next thing you should add to your media room is a housing unit of some kind. That housing unit is where you will place your preferred media player, your video display, speakers, and other necessary pieces of hardware.
Entertainment cabinets are great items to use for housing your media system. They typically already come with numerous compartments for your electronics. They are also ergonomically designed to access your electronics easily.
When choosing an entertainment cabinet, you want to select a unit that can hide wires easily. You can always use zip ties and tubes to hide your wires, but it would be nice if it already included these features in your cabinet.
Also, you can get a customized entertainment cabinet if you want something that fits your media room perfectly. Custom units are more expensive, but they will be worth it considering how often you will be using them.
These days, people watch movies at home using streaming services instead of DVDs and Blu-rays. It is easy to see why given how convenient streaming services are compared to the alternatives. Plus, using a streaming service means you do not need to set aside space for DVD or Blu-ray cases.
Unfortunately, you may have a tough time watching movies inside your media room if you are relying solely on streaming services. Watching your favorite movies or shows uninterrupted may prove next to impossible because the Wi-Fi reception in that part of your home is flat-out bad.
The reception in your media room may be bad because there are too many walls and doors between it and your modem. You must get around those obstructions somehow.
Thankfully, tearing down your walls will not be necessary. If your aim is to simply improve internet speeds throughout your home, you can set up a mesh Wi-Fi network.
Connect a router to your modem and start setting up nodes for your network throughout your home. Set up a node inside your media room to guarantee great reception there.
Generally speaking, a mesh Wi-Fi network is a great addition to any modern home. It is an even more useful addition if you want to create a media room.
You can now turn your attention to selecting furniture for your media room. There are no restrictions set on which pieces of furniture you can use inside that part of your home. If you like a particular piece of furniture, place it inside your media room and enjoy it there.
Feel free to choose sofas, bean bags, or any other type of seating option for your media room. Ideally, you want the furniture you are choosing to be easily movable so you can change the layout of your media room quickly. However, that is still not a prerequisite.
Aside from seating options, you can also add tables and other decorative elements to your media room. Connect its design to the rest of your home so you can create something cohesive.
Do you intend to use your media room to host some movie marathons in the future? That sounds like a great idea, but it can put a strain on your entertainment center. You must cool it down effectively to prevent damage.
Sometimes, simply opening up the entertainment cabinet is enough to cool down the different elements of your system. If you still feel like the items inside your media room are being pushed to the limit, you can use well-positioned fans to cool them down.
In some homes, you may find ductwork dedicated to cooling down the pieces of equipment used for entertainment purposes. That kind of cooling system may be necessary for a home theater, but it is excessive for a media room.
Does your media room have hardwood or tile floors? If so, that can be a problem while you are watching a movie.
Those materials are known for reflecting sounds. They could end up muddling the sounds coming from your speakers.
To prevent fixtures from dampening the sound quality of your entertainment system, you should consider adding some sound-absorbing items to your media room. Examples of those items include carpets, drapes, and pillows.
Position those sound-absorbing items throughout your media room so the sound quality remains consistent no matter where you sit.
Are you interested in building your own media room? We at Eco Minded Solutions can help you design and build that part of your home. Contact us today and let’s get to work on your new media room!
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