So, what does the term “home theater” really mean? This is not a trivial question. One of the challenges we find is the ambiguous nature of the term ‘Home Theater’. When a client says they want a home theater it is very important to understand what exactly their expectation is for a home theater. It is our job as the professional theater designer to help our clients understand the possibilities that a private theater experience can provide.
A private theater is experiential in nature, and there are fundamental elements and attributes required to deliver that experience. Just like a high-performance sports car, it is not enough to look fast; it must have the engineering, build quality, and design to deliver.
Many home theater designers are striving for the wrong goals or have positioned these objectives out of order. One example of this is a home theater designed primarily as a reflection of a theme or style without consideration of the design’s impact on performance. Even when attempts are made to properly design a home theater, if specific knowledge, experience, and skill are not applied, the results will be less than ideal.