Project: Build a home theatre you can hide from sight
Why you'd attempt it: To strike a compromise
Difficulty factor: Medium to Hard
It’s hard to dedicate an entire room to a home theatre, especially as your priorities and circumstances change over time. Many a man-cave has been lost to make way for a nursery or rumpus room. But don’t give up hope.
To strike a compromise, a growing number of people are integrating home theatres into their living area, sometimes with gear that can be hidden away with the push of a button. You might consider a widescreen panel on the wall for watching TV during the day, but a motorised screen and drop-down projector which pop out of the ceiling when required. If you’re keen you can even sink your television into a cabinet, or retract it into the ceiling, when it's not in use.
One of the advantages of building a hide-away home theatre is that you’re not trying to maintain two separate home entertainment systems, so for example you only need one amplifier and one set of surround sound speakers. This means you can focus your budget on building one great entertainment system rather than two mediocre systems. If you’re on a tight budget, you could start with just two front speakers and add others over time.
You’ll probably want the projector screen on the same wall as the television, otherwise your surround sound system won’t line up correctly with both displays. Rather than large floor speakers looming in each corner, the speakers could be discreetly hidden away so the lounge room can still be used as a general entertainment space. Rear speakers mounted in the ceiling are common.
Keep in mind that front floor speakers are designed to pass some bass sounds into the floor, which can help you get by without a sub woofer in a small space. If your front and rear speakers aren’t floor speakers, you’re more likely to need a sub woofer to compensate.
Have you hidden your home theatre? Share your tips below.