A home theater room is not a media room, and vice versa. Although people don’t use such terms interchangeably, they are often confused about their actual meaning, purpose, differences. There’s also the question of whether to invest in a media room or dedicated home movie theater room. Time to clarify some things and help you understand which room is the best choice for you.
Home theater room: what is it?
A home theater room is defined as the space, which is particularly built to meet a certain cinematic experience. It’s a confined space with a number of features that is completely dedicated to cinema viewing only. One word that best describes a home movie theater room is: control. The conditions in such rooms are controlled – the light, the colors, the technology, everything.
One of the main characteristics of home theater rooms is that they are windowless. Since the objective is to provide the ultimate cinematic experience, such rooms lack any natural light and are equipped with special home theater lighting, while the colors chosen are usually dark. If we wanted to break down the distinctive features of home theater rooms, we would include the following:
• Home theater acoustical wall paneling for sound control. The goal is to optimize the cinema sound, while isolating outside noises. There’s no hard material in the room. Like in real cinemas, there’s often carpet on the floor – nothing that will make the sound hit on hard surfaces and be distorted.
• The entire home theater décor is simple so that the attention will be given to the focal point of the room – the screen, the movie. To enhance this experience, the colors are dark and gravity is given to the technology, screen or projector, the entire home theater audio system.
• The home theater chairs are laid just like in the cinema – in rows. After all, this is not a room for socializing and so, the only other furniture that may be found in the room is a bar. Where several rows are built, there’s also a riser platform so that all viewers will be able to watch the screen without any obstruction.
The whole concept around the home theater construction is to create a secluded room, where the acoustic techniques, the sound isolation methods, the colors, the comfort of the chairs, and all features will work together to offer one thing: optimal cinema experience.
Media room: what is it?
A media room may as well be a TV room, although it is often more than that. Media rooms are usually multifunctional rooms. Many basements turn into media rooms. A living room or sitting room may be a media room. Such rooms serve several purposes, not just watching movies as opposed to home movie theater rooms that are built for this and only this purpose alone.
While building a home movie theater takes good planning, focusing on sound isolation, the acoustics, and the absence of light, such things are of no concern in media rooms. Here no attention is given to the lighting, while natural light is also welcome. No focus is given to the acoustic, although the media technology can be equally advanced as that in home theater rooms.
Simply put, there are no restrictions and rules when it comes to media rooms. While there are limitations and rules in the home theater design – just to reach the goal of cinema optimization, you don’t bother about anything in media rooms. You decorate as you please, choose the sofa you like, don’t worry about the light. Media rooms are open spaces where you can socialize AND enjoy a nice movie, while home theater rooms are not used for anything else than watching movies.
Home movie theater room or media room?
And now, there’s the crucial question: build a custom home theater or settle for a media room? It depends on the size and space available in the house, your habits, needs, and expectations, the family budget.
If you can spare a room to build a home theater, go for it. But since the cost is considerable, you need to be sure you afford it and you really need such a room. If you watch one movie every Saturday evening, it may not be worth it. In this case, a media room will do. If watching movies is part of your job or the thing you do often for entertainment and have a space that can be dedicated entirely to a home theater, opt for it. In this case, go ahead and call a local home theater builder.