A Media Room Is More Than a Family Room
Build a Dedicated Media Room as an Entertainment and Fun Hub
TVs were once these big, bulky things that demanded their own focal point in a room. Do you remember the large-screen TVs of the mid-2000s? Rear projection 50-inch-and-up models came in huge heavy cabinets that competed with fireplaces in your living or family room. And while those TVs had arguably better speakers than today's flat panels, that didn't include the sound system!
As we all know, times have changed. Today's sleek flat-panel TVs can mount on a wall and go anywhere – even above the fireplace with no room-focal redesign needed! And the soundbar didn't exist years ago, which offers a sleeker, slimmer approach to better sound from the TV. But if you have such a setup in your family or living room, does that make it your media room? If that’s what you want to call it, we won’t argue with you. But we will suggest that a media room installation is more than a TV and a soundbar.
Read on below to see how you can create a media entertainment hub in your family room, basement rec room, or whatever space you choose in your Chicago, IL home.
The All-Purpose Media Room
A media room can be your all-purpose audio and video entertainment space. Not only that, it can have other fun aspects too. For example, your media room might have a pool or ping pong table in one area of it. Your family and friends can enjoy these games while keeping an eye on a Bears, Bulls, Cubs, or White Sox game on the screen. For that matter, if you’re a diehard Chicago sports fan (the best fans, of course), you might have multiple flat panels to track different sports or games on a weekend afternoon. Your media room might also have a small kitchen area for drinks and snacks.
One way to make media rooms multipurpose is with seating. Your media room can have sofa and recliner style seating or sofas with comfortable ottomans that easily accommodate different size groups and informal seating. Informal seating and planning for extra space enable mingling, conversation, and casual viewing parties for game days and other events.
Media rooms can have one screen or several screens. Depending on your space, a large flat panel of 90 inches plus in size may work. Or the sports fanatic or commodities trader can watch several flat-panel screens at once with multiple video sources. To convert your media room into a movie palace, perhaps you have an additional projector and screen that motor out luxuriously from a hidden cavity in the ceiling.
Video gaming may be the “killer app” for media rooms. Today’s video games are at the forefront of all the most advanced audio and video technology, from 8K resolution and high refresh rates to mind-blowing (sometimes literally) Dolby Atmos surround soundtracks. Imagine gaming on one flat panel screen and watching Twitch feeds on another (we know only your kids do this), or gaming on a 120-inch screen with full 9.2 Dolby Atmos sound. Gaming adds another dimension to the media room experience.
A great media room should have a great audio system. Everything from sports to movies to gaming sound better with a full sound system. Go for a full surround setup with overhead ceiling speakers for immersive Dolby Atmos sound.
Also, consider a high-end set of front left and right speakers for music enjoyment. Your media room doesn't have to be all about surround sound. High-end speakers – like those from Meridian, James, or Sonance – can turn your media room into a critical listening room for deep-dive music sessions or music video jams. You’ll need the right supporting cast of surround processors, amplifiers, and source components to handle all the things you’ll be able to do in your media hub.
The media room experience goes beyond just screens and sound systems. Lighting is key to creating the right ambiance and mood. With lighting control from Lutron or a Savant home automation system, you can set the scene for sports viewing, gaming, movies, and parties with the touch of a button. Smart control can also make managing all the AV equipment easy, with everything turning on or off at the right time, inputs set, audio settings adjusted, and video settings perfectly tuned for the entertainment at hand.
Create your own custom media room installation that offers a rich set of audio and video entertainment options. To get started, call us at (630) 898-2850 or contact us here with your questions – we look forward to working with you!