Things you should know before you begin your basement Home Theater project
The TOP key things you need to know when thinking about getting a Home Theater
NEVER let your contractor pre-wire or run wiring for your Home Theater. Other critical equipment, media wiring and cables are needed that your contractor just will not be aware of or will most likely leave out. Due to constant changes in the Home Theater Industry, always have a certified CEDIA Home Theater company Install your Home Theater. We will work with and along side your contractor to get your project down right, the first time !!
NEVER purchase Home Theater equipment on your own or from a BIG BOX retailer such as BEST BUY, etc. These "Sales people" are just that, sales people. They are only out to sell you what they can make the best commission on. There is such a great learning curve when purchasing Home Theater equipment, you need a professional to help guide you through the entire process. This is like going on a road trip in a foreign place with no map and no GPS and no directions. We will show you everything you need to know about your Home Theater project and give you OPTIONS that will fit your budget and the style you are looking for.
NEVER purchase Home Theater equipment on your own from an online retailer such as AMAZON, etc. Beware of refurbished, (B) stock and counterfeit equipment that are always found on these websites. All Home Theater equipment that we sell is factory direct, straight from the Manufacture and with all warranties Included. Our overhead is extremely low and our exclusive "insider" connections are powerful. This enables us to give you the lowest prices on Home Theater equipment than anywhere else,.......PERIOD !!
When you hire your contractor to frame your basement, this is the time to hire your Home Theater Pro as well
Contact us to pre-wire your Home Theater while your basement is still un-finished. This is very important and will play a huge role to keep your Home Theater wiring and Installation costs low. Call us before the sheet rock goes up !! We can also suggest EXCELLENT contractors that can build, frame and complete your basement. We have worked along side excellent contractors in the past and we can eliminate the guess work in selecting a great contractor. We can help you with our list of excellent contractors.
Do you have customer service or offer Home Theater consultations?
Of course! Our friendly and knowledgeable customer services technicians are available to answer your questions each and everyday, 9am till 9pm. We also offer Home Theater consultations to keep you on the right track, inform you of new technology in the market and keep you on budget !
7 Steps to consider for Your Basement Home Theater project: (Before the Drywall)
Welcome to your basement home theater room. In this post I will cover some of the key decisions you will need to make when wiring your basement for audio / video and choosing the correct type of Home Theater equipment.
- Choose your Screen Wall
- Can I watch CABLE / DISH thru my Projector? YES, Cable or Dish provider Cable must be Installed
- Should I Install Ethernet cable? YES, it`s optional but we can pre-wire Cable for Wired Internet
- Should I have outlets for my equipment? YES, Install Dedicated Electrical Circuits for your equipment
- Can I use any type speaker wire? NO, always use in-wall rated premium Surround Sound Speaker Wire
- What type speakers should I use? In wall or Tower speakers? Always try to Stay away from Tower Speakers
- Install Ceiling outlets for Your Projector
1. Choose Your Screen Wall
You need to choose the wall or section of wall in your finished basement where you will put your TV screen or projection screen (or both!). The major factors to consider are:
- Viewing Distance - will the screen be the correct distance from where you and your family and friends will be sitting? A general rule is 8-15 feet from the screen for a 110-120 inch screen.
- Sunlight - will the screen be facing a large window or door where a lot of sun could hit it. If so, consider using a different wall or plan on installing blinds and or black out curtains. A high contract screen that is excellent at displacing ambient light may have to be an option for you if you have some light in the area. These screens cost a bit more but is well worth the money.
- Games and Such - can you play darts, pool, air hockey, whatever and still see the TV? People! This is important! if you want to, then consider a dual zone system. The Home Theater is zone one and the game area / GYM / outdoor speakers etc will fall under zone two. Each zone can operate independent of each other and you can view and/or listen to separate sources at the same time on one A/V Receiver. That`s right, this is why you need a PRO to open you up to this, and many other options available to you. Just call us for more details.
2. Cable TV or Dish provider Cables (aka RG6, aka Coax)
Whether you're going to use traditional Cable, Satellite, Antenna or all three, they all get carried from your "home run" to your screen wall by coax cabling. We can install 3 separate coax lines. Two for cable or Dish and one for HDTV antenna. But it really doesn't matter - you can use the lines however you want. With 3 lines you can have 3 tvs with three different shows on at once. That qualifies as a small sports bar in my book. Whether we pull these coax lines for you or you have your Cable / Dish provider do it, this will be critical to enjoy Cable or Dish on your new Home Theater.
3. Pre-wire Ethernet Cables (aka Ethernet) Cat6
Internet access is a critical component for any entertainment hub. Almost all video game systems now utilize an internet connection. You can stream hi-def movies through Netflix, Hulu or other systems. Plus there's internet radio and new internet enabled TVs.
I know there's wireless internet and it does seem to get better and better every year, but no wireless setup is as fast and as secure as a "wired" internet connection.
UPDATE 2017: Most, newer, wireless networks are now as fast as wired. They can handle HD streaming. However... I still like having a dedicated wired connection. Wireless networks are still a bit flaky, interference from neighbors networks, overload from a gillion kids in your house. So if you have the time and a few extra dollars - I still recommend wired.
4. Install a Dedicated Electrical Circuit
This might be a little over the top but it would be well worth it. Have your electrician install a separate electrical circuit just for your "Home Theater" electronics.
In addition to the normal outlet circuit in that room we usually have installed two outlets ( 4 plugs ) that do not share their electrical line with any other plugs. They are dedicated to my Projector, Home Theater, stereo, video game systems, etc. This protects those electrical devices from power surges or voltage drops if someone plugs in... let's say... a treadmill, or a guitar amp.
5. Always use in-wall rated premium speaker wire
We will always pre-wire your Basement or Media room for 5.1 / 7.1 / 9.1 / 0r 11.1 / Dolby Atmos or surround sound with premium in-wall rated speaker wire. We will determined exactly where the speakers are to be placed and install speaker wire BEFORE you contractor comes out to hang the drywall. NOTE: If you have a FINISHED Basement, we can still wire your Home Theater but costs will be a bit more. Call us for more details on wiring FINISHED Basements.
6. What type of Speakers should I use? In-wall or Tower speakers?
Well ultimately the decision is yours but we would strongly suggest that you use In-wall type speakers over Tower speakers. There are many reasons for this but here are a few of the most important reasons:
COST- Typically Tower speakers cost MUCH more than In-wall speakers because you are paying for the wood work, the tall gloss black cabinetry & finishing before you even get to the speaker driver itself. With In-Wall speakers your are just paying for the speaker and you can get more quality and "bang" for your buck in comparison to a tower speaker.
FIT & FINISH- In-wall speakers are sleek and blend seamlessly into any Home Theater decor. They are flush mounted into the wall and give a professional custom look every time. They take up no space in your area, unlike Tower type speakers. Tower speakers are clumsy and obtrusive taking up valuable real estate in your home
SAFETY- If you have small children in your home or children that come into your home from time to time, tower speakers can pose a danger of toppling over. With the heavy weight of Tower speakers they can cause injury to small children.
7. Install an Outlet in the Ceiling for the Projector
We will also instruct your electrician to install an electrical outlet in the ceiling at the exact placement for where your video projector will be installed. The projector's "Throw distance" is critical, every Home Theater Projector has a unique and different throw distance.