Inviting friends and family over to watch the big game this year? To help you get your house ready to host, we've compiled a few great tips and projects:
Arrange the perfect TV-watching space
You don't need to build your own multiplex to enjoy a theater experience at home: Your room is only a few electronic components and a comfortable chair away from becoming a media haven.
Consider this checklist of modifications and components to create a room perfect for TV viewing:
Lighting - Install multiple light sources that can be adjusted independently. Indirect accent lights such as wall sconces provide ambient light during viewing. Floor lamps, track lights and hanging pendants can all be great sources of directional task lighting for reading or games. Use a combination of light sources, including natural light from windows, to provide general room lighting. Install room-darkening blinds or curtains to block sunlight if needed and to improve acoustics by covering the hard glass surface.
Sound - Soundproofing retains the sound from the TV and blocks distracting noise from outside the room. You can improve soundproofing by simply adding a second layer of drywall; extensive enhancement may involve rebuilding the walls with staggered stud framing, insulation and special soundproofing drywall products.
Because large hard and flat surfaces are not good for acoustics, your décor choices can affect soundproofing. For the best results, hang heavy fabric curtains over windows, cover hard floors with carpet or large area rugs, and add soft furniture.
Furniture - Ample comfortable seating options are a must. Choose tables with storage to keep items such as remote controls and reading material within reach.
Electronics - Select a screen that is the right size for the room. A high-definition screen (measured diagonally) should be no larger than one-half the distance from the TV to the seats.
Keep floor space open by wall-mounting speakers and video displays. To further limit distractions and clutter, you can hide AV components in a closet, but be sure to provide additional ventilation and air circulation to all enclosed electronics.
To avoid having a basket full of remote controls, invest in a universal unit that can operate all of your components — some models can even control lights and power window blinds. You may need to install an infrared-remote repeater system or use a radio-frequency remote control to allow the signal to reach the hidden components.
The Niles MSU140A is an infrared-remote repeater system that uses a small receiver located in the media room and transmitters attached to each component to deliver the remote-control signal.
A home integration system such as Lifeware software provides on-screen control of AV components, lighting, power shades and even heating and cooling.
Get speakers off the floor and out of sight: Onsia flat-panel in-wall speakers mount flush with the wall surface and are concealed with drywall mud and paint.
Build a classy sofa table for serving appetizers throughout the game. Click here to get the woodworking plans.