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If you have searched the internet for, “Home Theater Seating”, or just, “Home Theaters,” you have been overwhelmed with example after example of dedicated home theaters. Many of these listings are “Paid Advertisers.” They are trying to sell you what you probably are not looking for. There is a plethora of beautiful spaces to see, designer fabrications and well-appointed fabric covered walls, theater trim accessories, rows of stunning seats arrayed in tiers facing a giant professional screen. The common man looks with a covetous heart! But does it have to break the bank?

As a 40-year veteran of the A/V industry (http://www.premierehts.com/about/), I can tell you these rooms are more and more becoming a necessity rather than a luxury! Creating the ultimate movie-watching experience at home is more affordable and makes more sense than packing the family in the car and dealing with crowds, high ticket prices, $8.00 popcorn and someone kicking you in the back!

The public movie theaters are seeing revenues drop along with attendance. The movie industry itself is having the worst box office year in quite some time. New seating, alcohol, sushi/fine dining, vibrating/heated seats, new surround systems, high quality laser projectors, and ticket prices skyrocketing to make up for the low attendance. This still doesn’t solve the bigger issue of cost, crowds, security, etc.!

Sadly, the, “luxury seats,” they offer are not much more than the knock-off recliners you find on so many of the web sites offering, “Cheap Seats!” There are couple loungers, seat-side service and even virtual reality theaters. But still the same old experience.

But, despite all that, people are electing to stay home! Why? You can accomplish everything they are attempting to do right at home at an affordable price. No need for a dedicated high-end room, as they seem to be waning in popularity because of cost or a rarely used space. Many spare bedrooms have been converted to a small media room when available or the old fashion, “Den,” is now more practical and affordable. Friends, family and the daily use of this high traffic location keeps everyone together. Unlike a dedicated room—which is usually a totally separate, closed-off space, typically with a single door and no windows—a media room can be in virtually any room of the house. Now, I am not saying that a beautiful theater in your home isn’t desirable, just might not be attainable by everyone.

Every home can have an entertainment den in the new open-concept floor plans we see. Open now to the kitchen, living room and entrance to the home. Media rooms/dens get used far more often than dedicated rooms, which require viewers to actively get up and relocate themselves to a different isolated location, cut off from communication and awareness of what is going on around the home. Media rooms aren’t mainly for watching movies as the dedicated theater room has been.

You can watch TV, listen to music, play video games, view digital images, and stream content in a relaxed and comfortable environment. The key word here is. “Stream content!” Soon (and already), everything will be available right at home. First run movies, live concerts, sporting events, virtual reality and all at the highest 4K video and Dolby Atmos™ Surround Sound. You will never buy a ‘disc’ again… they won’t let you! Video services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, NFL, NBA, MLB and so many more are there now and soon movie studios will offer every bit of their content to you directly.
Targeted movie recliners may not be the answer in this space, but, couches, love seats, and comfy chairs and entertainment sectionals may be a better solution (http://www.premierehts.com/our-products/#sectionals) —all provide perfect seating options for your family or a group of friends. But again, cheap furniture, like poor quality electronics and speakers will be the death of your entertainment enjoyment and comfort! “Nobody was ever sorry for buying the BEST!”

At its most basic, a media room consists of a relatively large-screen TV—let’s say at least 60+ inches—along with an improved audio experience. A quality multi-channel receiver (Denon, Yamaha, Marantz, etc.), front left and right loudspeakers, center sound bar, surround speakers and of course a sub-woofer.

But for the true movie or music lover, quality sound is what makes this a true live experience! Picture size is great, but I have experience concerts and movies on a somewhat smaller screen but with a substantial sound system, that makes it real! Giant picture and poor sound quality will fail to re-create the director’s emotion and point! It has to be visceral!

And don’t think that having a media room in the middle of the house has to mean having stacks or racks of gear like dad’s old audiophile stereo system and speakers the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. There are high quality options available that can deliver a phenomenal experience with minimal impact on your décor and even wireless speakers to make the installation easy and invisible.

What are you waiting for? Contact a quality integrator, not a Big Box store and get a little professional advice. K.I.S.S… “Keep It Simple Stupid!” I can easily design a tremendous system for under $5,000 that will rival any public theater. Five years ago, that was the cost of the 42” Flat screen! The other great benefits for those who have kids… they will be home, right where you can watch them and their friends!

Michael R Laurino CEO/President PremiereHTS  http://www.premierehts.com