- Are you converting an existing room? Or are you in the process of building a new house or a new room onto an existing house? It’s not difficult to convert an existing room, but you may have to compromise on room size, layout, and the location of wires, speakers and lighting. Obviously, a new build will give you much more flexibility in these areas.
- What size is the room? Sound travels best in a rectangular room with uneven dimensions; for example, one that is 9 feet wide by 12 feet long with a 10-foot-high ceiling. Avoid square rooms (e.g. 12 feet wide by 12 feet long with a 12-foot-high ceiling). Room dimensions will also determine the size of the screen you purchase. You don’t want to get a screen that is too big; the image will appear grainy. However, you also don't want to go too small or you'll be disappointed.
- What is the lighting situation in the room? How many windows does it have? If you have a lot of windows, you may have to spend some of your budget on room-darkening drapes. The lighting situation, along with room size, will also influence the type of projector screen you buy — if you decide to go that route. A matte white screen provides the most natural colors and the widest field of view. It works best in a wide, super-dark room. A gray screen will help enhance black tones in a narrow room that cannot be completely darkened.
- Does the room receive any external noises such as excessive street sounds or rumblings from your heating, air conditioning or central vacuuming system? Can you see exposed duct pipes? Those big metal tubes will carry sound from your theater room to other parts of the house.