Setting Up a Home Theater
There are many points that have to be considered while planning the layout for the home theater. One of the most important points being, the space available for the whole setup. The number of seats that can be accommodated depends on the availability of the space. Over-stuffing the room with extra seats minimizes the effectiveness of the purpose of the home theater.
The next important concern is where to start the placement of the seats from. The seats cannot be placed at any random distance from the screen. The width of the screen and the angle of vision have to be taken into consideration. As per the Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers (SMPTE) guidelines:
The ideal angle of vision to get the best 2D effect for an HDTV signal, is 30° horizontal angle of view and 15° vertical angle of view, which corresponds to a viewing distance of 1.9 times the screen width, for a single row of seats.
If more than one row of seats has to be installed, then a range is specified for the angle of vision. Horizontal angles of 36° for the front row and 26° for the last row, which corresponds to the viewing distance range of 2.2 to 1.54 times the screen width and the vertical angle not exceeding 35°, specially for the front seat.
The limits on the viewing distance is a minimum of 2 times the screen width, for the nearest distance and 5 times the screen width, for the farthest distance.
Moving any closer to the screen than the specified limits may result in poor picture quality, as the 'image forming structure' i.e. the image pixels can be distinguished easily. In that case, depixelization filters (for LCDs) can be used to overcome the problem.
The seat layout can range from bean bags, regular leather sofas, to something more customary. Generally, leather seats are preferred to maintain the elegance of the room. The seats can either be a joint unit or separated seats. For those who like to lie down and relax, recliners are a great option. A recliner seat has a folding footrest that can be unfolded when required. Since, recliners spread out in a horizontal direction, adequate space is required at the front and back of the seat. If they are to be placed in more than one row, they should be well-spaced away from each other. Again, drinks and eatables are inevitable in this setting. Select the seats such that the armrest has suitable provisions for holding drink cans and packets of eatables.
If the theater has more than one row, platforms can be installed. Seating platforms with risers or steps are essentially used for better viewing from the back rows. Ordinarily, riser levels vary from 6 to 8 inches, but in home theaters, the risers can be up to one foot high. At the same time, they should be wide enough, so that the huge-sized seats can be placed onto them, without toppling over. If that is not possible, another option is to arrange the seats (if separate) in a scattered way to obtain the best possible view.
Home theaters have a lifelike picture quality. Setting up a decent and comfortable seating arrangement complements your hi-tech experience. It gives you an immersive effect.