We get asked this a lot and the sky is your limit but you can really have a good cinema experience at home and not burst the bank. We often get enquiries as building work is being planned as it's a great time to put cables in walls etc but you can go more freestanding which is simpler to fit or go more into enhancing your overall TV experience.
There are a few factors to consider :
What will you be watching? Is it for a full blown cinema experience or do you watch TV most of the time and watches movies here and there?
Built in or freestanding? Built in can give you a bit more to think about as power, racks and cables will need run compared to free standing which you could do yourself (with a fair bit of thought and research).
How much down the rabbit hole do you want to go? Do you want a TV where you watch movies and the family pop in and out to chat or would you like projectors, furniture and sound proofing for a full on in movie experience?
Full home cinema experience:
Sound proofing & Acoustics :
This really should be the main thought when designing the room. If it's going to be used more as a family room then windows and hard flooring can be an issue here.You may want to consider acoustic floor boards, especially if the room is on an upper level. Obviously above a childs bedroom isn't an ideal position. If it's purely for a home cinema then seriously think about the acoustics. You can buy acoustic plasterboard from places like B&Q and flock wall papers will absorb noise so are good too. If your budget is a bit higher then you can go for something like Artnovion who do an amazing range of acoustic treatments for pretty much any setting from a home cinema room to a high end studio. Carpets are the most obvious choice and they'll reduce any unwanted noise reflection.
This is a good bit, choosing the screen. You can choose between a projector and screen or go for a full large screen TV. A 75-85" TV will cost around £3-5k but make sure that you go for a decent screen quality like a QLED or OLED. If you're wanting that bit extra, the Samsung 8K Q900R 85" will come in at around £14,999. If you'd prefer a projector & screen, then you have the advantage that it's a wee bit cheaper (from a few hundred pounds to a few thousand) and the screen size is much more flexible. We love Screen Innovations as they have a great range in screens. Room size will dictate whether it's a long or short throw projector. Again, the cost doesn't have to be huge as you can get a manual pull down screen or spend a wee bit more and get an electric one and still not break the bank. You also have a large range in sizes too so can really get a custom design. Make sure and measure up at the beginning, taking into account the size of the room and any lighting modifications that you may be making as this will impact on the full experience.
There are lots of options here again from a sound bar to a full 5.1 or 7.1 home cinema array. 5.1 will give you the option of 5 speakers and one subwoofer with the addition of more to get 6.1 and 7.1. If it's just a simple TV with sound bar and subwoofer, then Denon do a fantastic Heos system as well as their fantastic Bar which is expandable into a 5.1 wireless surround system. Otherwise there are many options - we love the Kef E Series which is a classic, British made surround sound system or the Procella Audio range which can be used from a home cinema to a full commercial grade option.
Remember to think about the position of the speakers and any other electrical items before you start to decorate if possible so that you can accommodate any cabling/wiring issues. It's much easier at the start than at the finish!
Think about your style - seating can be done simply or more luxuriously. Rack position also to be considered when working out seating arrangements. What media will you be using and where do you want it to go? A small comms cabinet will not take up a lot of room but if you've got a few more pieces of hardware such as a Sky Box, Blu-Ray or digital media server you might need something a wee bit bigger. Make sure that you work this bit out at the beginning of the design as your hardwiring will need to go back to this so you don't want to leave this until last.
We like Front Row cinema seating as it had a wide range of colours and styles and really feels like your sitting at the movies. You're not going to have bright sunlight in here so you may want to opt for something more atmospheric. Also think about the seat positioning - if the room will be used as a main room which also works as a cinema room then it's going to be set out differently than if it's a single use cinema room. We also think serious consideration has to be put to having a commercial popcorn maker somewhere!
Have a think about all of these factors when designing your home cinema experience. With a bit of research, you can design it all yourself but it is recommended to get in some trades to help out. If it seems like too large a project, just get in touch with us. We can pop out and help with the design, we can install the whole lot or just parts of it if you prefer to project manage yourself. We have installed home cinema equipment all over Scotland from a large screen TV to installations in actual cinemas so we're used to working around all budgets. Get in touch to arrange a consultation!