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HomeHomes
Published: Thursday, 11/13/2008

Set Up Your Media Room Now!

BY TRESA ERICKSON

Remember when you were a kid and watching television took place in the living room or den? Back then, TV viewing was so simple. All you needed was a TV and a comfy chair or sofa. With the advancement of technology today, TV viewing has changed considerably and is more sophisticated than ever. For the best experience possible, many people have set up media rooms in their homes specifically for the viewing of TV programs and movies.

While media rooms were once found only in the homes of the wealthy, almost anyone can set up a media room in their home today. To ensure yours is a hit, here are five tips.

Tip #1: Choose the right location.

The best place in the home for a media room is a room with very little daylight. This could be a spare bedroom in the attic or a family room in the basement. Whatever room you choose, make sure it is fairly soundproof and large enough to accommodate everything you need. To enhance the feel of the room, use deep, dark colors on the walls in a matte finish. This will prevent the walls from reflecting light from the TV screen. Cover the floors with plush carpeting and use low lighting. Sconces and recessed lights work well for media rooms, but if those aren't possible, you will definitely want to have a dimmer switch installed on the overhead light.

Tip #2: Get the right equipment.

Budget will be big factor in your choices, but essentially, you will need a basic home theater system consisting of a TV, speaker system, AM/FM receiver and DVD and VCR players. The screen size of the TV you select should be based on budget, viewing preferences and room size. Experts recommend three to six times the diagonal width of the screen between analog TV and seating, and one-and-a-half to three times the diagonal width of the screen between high-definition TV and seating.

Tip #3: Set up the TV properly.

Place the TV in an area away from any windows. Make sure the center of the screen falls at or just above eye level when you are seated. Use room-darkening window treatments to prevent picture washout and add a 10- to 15-watt white incandescent bulb behind the TV to reduce glare, prevent eyestrain and increase the accuracy of the screen colors. Finally, get out a tape measure and make sure there is ample distance between the TV and seating for optimal viewing.

Tip #4: Select quality furniture.

Depending upon the room size and personal preference, you may go for regular sofas and chairs or theater seating. With the former, ottomans will work well as footrests or additional seating, and if the latter is not within your budget, you can always make your own. All you need is to build a platform and add some comfortable chairs in front of it and on top of it to make two tiers of seating.

Tip #5: Think comfort and convenience.

Scatter large throw pillows and blankets around the room for additional comfort and warmth, and consider adding a mini refrigerator and a microwave to the space for snacks. Finally, make sure you provide plenty of tables for popcorn bowls, soda cans and more.

Follow these five tips when setting up your media room, and you should end up with a space that allows for great TV viewing. Hurry and get started today!



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