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Creating a Home Theater for a Smaller Space

Blog - May 03 2021 - Header

Creating a Home Theater for a Smaller Space

May 03, 2021/Home Theater

You may have seen photos of state-of-the-art home theaters with the full works; recliners with cup-holders, colorful lights that dim just like the real theater. Such luxury could feel out of reach for the size of your home and budget. But with the help of SounDesign’s team of experts, you can convert any spare space into a home theater perfect for your lifestyle.

First, you need to consider the size of your space, which could be a large walk-in closet, a nook in your home, or a spare bedroom to determine the best equipment for your home theater. You don’t want to end up with a projector that’s too close or an image that fights with the sunlight. Consider these five things as you determine your space’s dimensions:

Seating distance

The appropriate screen size for your home theater can be determined by multiplying your seating distance by 0.84. For example, if you'll have approximately 6 feet (72 inches) between your seating and screen, then you multiply 72 by 0.84 to find 60. Therefore, a 60-inch screen is a great screen size that will immerse you into the movie's action without overwhelming your vision.

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Number of speakers

Your next task is to estimate how much space you can spare for speakers so you can figure out your wiring setup. Most home theaters opt for 7 speakers, but with a smaller home theater, five speakers should be plenty. There’s always the option to embed them in the walls and ceiling to optimize your available space. In case you are considering the potential to expand your speaker setup in the future, we suggest you go ahead and install wiring for 7 speakers; it’s easier to do it now than later.


The good news is that it's much easier to envelop a petite home theater with immersive sound! You need a receiver, which supplies power to your speakers and sets the volume range. When you’re looking for a speaker, ask about the unit’s power supply so you choose something with just the right level of audio for your home theater.

Display type

Nowadays, you aren't limited to giant screens for HD or 4k quality; you can purchase smaller screens with a crisp image and cutting technology too. When selecting a screen, consider the ambient lighting in your space. An LCD TV constructs a vivid image even you have windows that shine into the home theater space. If you have no windows, you could opt for a projector, which offers a crisp image perfect for a smaller budget.

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If you decide to go for a projector, you don't even need a screen. Instead, a white wall will work perfectly! Here are some options on projector specs that you should consider for your home.

Lens Shift

Simplify installing your projector by selecting one with higher placement flexibility, which is determined by the lens shift. For the best home theater setup, we suggest choosing a projector with both vertical and horizontal lens shift.


You'll find an auto-iris on the majority of projectors which functions to brighten lights and deepen blacks in the image. If your home theater has total light control abilities, you don't necessarily require a projector with auto-iris, but if you have windows present, we strongly suggest going with the auto-iris. Some cheaply-made auto-irises can result in a noisy projector, so make sure to do your research beforehand.

ANSI lumens

Your overall projector brightness is represented by the ANSI lumens; the higher the lumens, the brighter the image. Most projectors have 2,000 lumens, but home theater units below 1,500 won't be bright enough for a room that sees natural sunlight. Once again, evaluate the lighting situation in your home theater space before you select a projector.

No matter how big or small your home theater will be, it’s necessary to properly plan out every step of the way. As you use these five areas as a starting point in creating your home theater, our team of experts at SounDesign can help you design and install a home theater that’s right for you. Contact us today to get started.


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