How to Design Functional Layouts for Home Theater Seating


Home Theater Layout

For many homeowners, unfinished basements are simply repositories for useless items. Unfinished basements, however, offer many possibilities, especially if you need more space. Basements can be converted into dedicated home theater rooms with those comfy theater seats, for example, and become the perfect getaways that can revolutionize your movie watching experience. Many do-it-yourselfers who have tackled home repairs and home projects can renovate their basement themselves for the most part, but the most difficult parts, such as electricity, should be left to the professionals. Today, we live in a world full of readily available information which is free and therefore we have the option to do things like basement renovation on our own. The access to unlimited quantity of information puts us in a much better position than any other time in the past. By doing most of the renovation yourself, you get to keep more of your hard-earned money in that wallet of yours, rather than paying others. Still, some questions regarding home theater seating remain unanswered, like how many seats can fit in that newly renovated basement. If you decide to house more than one row of theater seats, how many rows? How far should you place the seats from the television screen? In a nutshell, how do you decide on the actual layout of the home theater seating?

Home Theater Seating Layout

The primary goal of professional designers who take on a commercial theater seating projects is to deliver the motion picture and the accompanying movie soundtrack to the movie connoisseurs with the least amount of distortion and obstruction. How does one achieve this goal? It has a lot to do with the theater seating design. That’s right. The actual placement of the seats is crucial. We can use those same principals for our dedicated home theater rooms. First, we need to measure the general size of the room in order to work out the number of theater seats, number of theater seat rows (if there are any) and the distance from these rows to the TV screen.

Viewing Distance from Theater Seating to TV

We are all too familiar with the picture quality of today’s wide-screen television sets, the most focal points in our living rooms. Gone are the days of analog TVs. Driven by the enduring digital revolution and well-defined high-definition standards, television performance has taken an enormous leap forward. Today’s high-definition wide-screen TVs offer an almost life-like versions of popular actors. So many consumer out there want to get their hands on the largest screen available; one that they can afford though. However, in reality, there are quite a few constraints that dictate the best television size for the available space. Bigger is better does not apply here. If you sit too closer to the screen than is recommended you will have a poor viewing experience. You will be much more aware of those tiny pixels and for CRT-based TVs, you’ll notice those pesky horizontal scan lines. Perhaps you’ve walked in front of TVs in a typical Best Buy showroom and thought to yourself how poor the image quality is, but have you considered that you are standing right smack in front of the screen. Stand or sit too far from the screen and you loose the overall impact. TV image quality goes hand in hand with visual perception.

The best viewing distance from home theater seating row of chairs to the high-definition wide-screen TV is anywhere between 1.5 and 3 times the diagonal length of the TV screen. If you go closer than or much further than that, you will experience loss of picture quality. For a typical 60 inches wide-screen high-definition television set, the maximum viewing distance is 15 feet and the minimum is 7.5 feet. These maximum and minimum distances will enable to not only figure out the ideal screen size for your theater room but also the number of rows that you can place for the best possible view.

Horizontal Viewing Distance

According to the leading technical society of the motion imaging industry, Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, the recommended rule for the best horizontal viewing angle is 30 degrees. Over 30 degrees and you will experience color fading. This helpful information regarding the horizontal viewing angle will enable you to determine the number of seats each row should have for the best possible viewing angle. Remember to leave enough room on either side of the theater room to accommodate and isle for the movie buffs to easily and safely get out and into their theater seating. Don’t go overboard either by placing way too many theater seats in every row which will never be utilized. If you decide to house more than one row of seats, the recommended distance between these rows is 42 inches.

The size of the theater room will determine the number of theater seats, theater rows, as well as the screen size for your dedicated theater room. We are all on a tight budget in this failing economy so use common sense and purchase the suitable home theater seating for years of enjoyment not only for you and your family but your guests as well. I’m sure they’ll be frequent ones when the theater room is fully finished.