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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Why Living-Room Theaters Don't Suck, Pt. 1

Posted on May 28, 2013 at 3:40 PM

A month ago, I wrote a post called “The Death of the Dedicated Theater Room” that listed all the reasons why a theater in a multi-use space such as a living room or family room makes so much more sense than going with a dedicated room. Multi-use spaces are generally more welcoming and comfortable, don’t require an exodus from one location to the next to watch a movie, and—most importantly—every home has one. (For simplicity’s sake, going forward I’m just going to call any multi-use space a living room.)

Before I begin debunking all of the reasons why you think you can’t put a great theater in your living room, I want to start by saying that if you have the means, budget, space, and desire for a dedicated media room in your home, go for it. This is definitely not a knock on building a dedicated room, and in many circumstances, a dedicated space can deliver an amazing experience.

With that said, here’s why I think you’re wrong when you say you can’t put a good theater in a living room.


1) “A living room lets in far too much light to be a good theater.”

Granted, one of the benefits of a dedicated room is that it often has a single door and no windows, which makes it easy to make the room completely dark. But there is a lot that can be done to make a living room acceptably dark for movie watching. In my room, I have Lutron automated shading on the windows. At the touch of a button, the shades all lower to darken the room. This alone makes the room quite dim during the day and dark at night for movie watching. With the right window treatments, you could make your living room as dark as needed.

Additionally, new screen technologies—like Stewart’s FireHawk, Draper’s High Performance XS850e, and Screen Innovations Black Diamond—do an amazing job of rejecting ambient light, producing an amazing cinematic experience in a fully lit room. I have installed a couple of Black Diamond Screens—the screen surface is literally black instead of the traditional white—and the picture quality with the lights fully up is unbelievable. Equally important, it looks even better when the lights are down!

Click here to read more reasons why you CAN have an awesome theater in your living room!

Categories: May 2013, Movies, Electronics