Turn Your Backyard Shed into the Ultimate Home Theater
Whether you are a movie buff or want to enjoy the occasional movie night with friends and family, a home theater is a perfect way to feel like you are at the movies without ever leaving the comfort of your home. How can you have a home theater if you are tight on space? Many people do not have an extra room in their homes to turn into an entertainment hub. This doesn’t mean your dream of a movie theater has to go out the window. Turning a backyard garden shed into your personal media room is an innovative alternative that is in most cases preferable to having one inside of your home. This is your guide to creating a stunning home entertainment center to rival any movie theater.
First, you have to choose the right style shed for your home theater. You can either buy one, or build it with free shed plans that you can find at Shedplans.org. Take into account how large your theater will be and what kind of amenities you will install. Another thing to take into consideration is the amount of natural light. A small window here and there to allow in fresh air is okay and can be covered up by dark-out window treatments. Theaters are typically dark. You will want to stay away from designs such as floor to ceiling windows that allow in a large amount of natural light.
Ideal Movie Room Lighting
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of your home theater. It not only sets the mood for the movie but allows certain projectors and film equipment to operate correctly. While most people prefer to watch movies in low light, there will be times that you need full light as well. Lighting versatility is a must. It is recommended that you invest in dimmable lighting where you can control the level of light with remote control from the comfort of your seat.
An alternative solution is to hang white string lights or wall sconces that provide low levels of light when the primary lighting is turned off.
Acoustic Treatments Enhance the Viewing Experience
One of the most important aspects of a movie theater is the sound quality. A room in which sound bounces of the floors, walls, and everywhere else does not make for a great experience. You will want to optimize your space for acoustics once speaker placement has been decided. Once you’ve identified the areas where sound reverberates off the wall, you will want to install acoustic panels in these areas to better absorb sound.
Be sure to use absorptive acoustic dark-out curtains to cover glass and window surfaces as they are notorious for reflecting sound. Flooring is also an important aspect of a superior acoustic experience. Carpeting is the best option for home theaters because they absorb sound better than any type of hard flooring.
This is your home theater, so you can have any type of seating you like. You can choose to stick with traditional, vintage style movie seats or opt for a laid-back approach such as recliners and couches. The main thing to keep in mind with seating is not to overcrowd your space. People need to be able to enter, exit, and navigate the space easily. On the other hand, be sure to include enough seating areas to accommodate all of your guests comfortably.
Essential Home Theater Equipment
It is important to figure out what viewing and audio equipment you would like to incorporate into your space. Some people prefer a flat panel television, while others want a traditional projector. Many home theaters have both. The HDTV is used casual use and a projector is great for epic movie nights. Other components you will need to decide on are speakers, source components, a component rack, and remote controls.
Projection Screens and Projectors
Projection screens come in a variety of sizes and styles. They can either be retractable, attached to the wall, or supported by a free stand. The accompanying projectors must be a certain distance from the screen. The exact distance is based on the type of projector
and the size of the screen. Projectors can either be mounted on the ceiling or shelf-mounted in the middle of the room or the back of the room. An alternative option is a hidden floor console that houses the projector when not in use.
Every home theater has a designated area where source component equipment is stored. It may be a closet, cabinet, exposed shelf or a professional audio rack that is designed to cool the equipment with either convection or fan cooling. All the cables in your theater will usually run neatly to the back of the component rack.
The number and type of source components are up to you. You may have one or several. Many consider the highest quality video source for a home theater to be a Blu-Ray player. However, you may have a DVD player, cable box, and possibly a separate OTT (over-the-top) receiver to stream content from favorites such as Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, Sling, and Vudu.
The ultimate home theater will have several different kinds of speakers for a state-of-the-art experience. The most common setup is a 5.1 system with 6 different speakers including:
●Front Left/Right Speakers (2) – They are used to transmit background music and special effect sounds. These speakers typically sit on either side of the viewing screen.
●Center-Channel Speaker (1) – This speaker is used for the dialogue of the movie or show and is positioned centrally above or below the screen for maximum effect.
●Surround Speakers (2)– These transmit surround effects in movies and shows. They are typically placed on the walls behind the sitting area. It is advisable to place surround speakers just above ear level when seated.
●Subwoofer (1) – This speaker is unique from the others in that its only purpose is to transmit low bass sounds.
The list goes on and on as to the number of speaker components you can integrate into your home theater system. The number of speakers will depend on the size of your space and your preferences.
Universal Remote Control
Multiple components mean multiple remotes. Nobody wants the hassle of keeping up with half a dozen remote controls and trying to remember what each one goes to. Instead, invest in a multi-funcitonal remote control that replaces the many remotes you have with the ability to control all of the components of your home theater from a single location.
Last, but certainly not least, decide what kind of creature comforts you would like in your home theater. You will want to install heating and air, not only for your comfort but for the protection of your equipment as well. The addition of a half-bath will add an element of convenience. If you enjoy a cold beverage and popcorn or any other snacks during movies, consider a small kitchenette. It can be a simple design, featuring a refrigerator and microwave or any other appliances needed to whip up your favorite snack.
Incorporate an Outdoor Element
Who says your home theater must be limited to inside your shed? Install an outdoor projection screen or HDTV for movie nights under the stars on nice evenings. Your viewing screen can easily be removed after each use and stored inside out of the elements.
Your Dream Home Theater
Are you ready to enjoy your favorite movies or find new ones that you and your family love? A home theater is the perfect place for the ultimate movie experience. Make use of the cluttered, seldom used garden shed in your backyard or easily build a new one for many years of enjoyment!