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Do’s and Don’ts When Setting Up Your Home Theatre



Quick guide when planning and designing your home theatre.

Going to the cinema and enjoying a movie in all its cinematic glory has traditionally been a pleasure that everyone can enjoy, either with friends, by themselves or with family. However, with health authorities continuing to advise people to avoid crowded places due to COVID-19, there is no better time to bring that cinematic experience into your home.

The addition of a home theatre room is an exciting project that everyone in your family will absolutely love. Family nights in will never be the same as you enjoy some laughs together, cry together, or join in with the suspense and excitement of a heart-pounding action-adventure flick.

Designing your home theatre room, so that you get the best entertainment experience, does need some preparation. To help you to set up a home theatre that ensure you and your family can enjoy your favourite movies, cinema style, our team at Sunstone Electrical and Data have created a list of dos and don'ts to guide you through the process.

How to Set Up Your Home Theatre:

1. Choose a room for your home theatre

2. Limit interference from external light

3. Limit ambient noise

4. Invest in a sturdy, high-quality A/V rack

5. Invest in comfortable seating


1. Choose a room for your home theatre.

Where possible, install your home theatre system in a room that is solely dedicated to that purpose. The best home theatre experience will be achieved if you can build or convert a room within your home specifically for movie viewing pleasures, so you can control the environment to achieve the best ambience and audio-visual results.

2. Limit interference from external light.

Lighting plays a significant role in how you enjoy your movie time. While you may want more natural light in other parts of your home, a home theatre room is the one room in which you do not want any natural light interfering with your viewing experience.

Light leaks from windows or other rooms can diminish the quality of the picture and lessen your enjoyment. Including a purpose-built, windowless theatre room in a new home or home extension or converting a basement into a home theatre is the best way to control ambient light levels. However, if this is impossible, use blackout curtains and shades to block light from entering the room.

3. Limit ambient noise.

Unwanted sounds coming into your home theatre room can ruin your movie experience. Noise pollution from outside sources, such as barking dogs, a neighbour’s party or nearby traffic, while you are trying to listen to what a movie’s protagonist is whispering to his comrade, can be incredibly disruptive.

Likewise, household noises produced by cooking, washing, and plumbing can easily disturb your movie’s audio, and are something that you want to avoid or reduce where possible.

Soundproof your home theatre room by adding a second layer of plasterboard (also known as drywall Gyprock), installing soundproofing or noise reducing insulation, or using sound-reducing wallboard. Replace the door to your home theatre room with a solid one. If you have windows in your home theatre room, use curtains that do not just block lights but sounds too, or consider installing an exterior window shield that will help to block both sound and light.

4. Invest in a sturdy, high-quality A/V rack.

Your audio-visual component rack is the cockpit of your home-theatre room. It is where your DVD and/or Blu-ray player, media streaming device, cable box, home theatre controls and tuner will operate. Your A/V rack must be near an electric outlet and your modem, both for convenience and for aesthetic reasons (to avoid having cables running everywhere).

Invest in a high-quality rack that will safely accommodate all your important and expensive equipment and, of course, choose one that also looks good when the lights are on.

A/V Ventilation.

It is important to properly ventilate your A/V equipment, to avoid damage caused by components overheating. Ensure that the A/V rack is open at the back and the front to provide adequate space for ventilation.

5. Invest in comfortable seating.

Physical comfort is a defining factor of movie enjoyment, so make sure you invest in comfortable and practical seating that helps you feel like you are watching a movie in your favourite movie theatre.

Where possible, each seat should have a place for snacks and drinks and be spaced far enough apart to allow comfort and a little privacy, without being isolated from everyone else.

If your budget and space allow, you could include tiered seating by installing one or more additional rows of seats on raised platforms, to ensure everyone gets the best view and has an unhampered view of the screen.

How Not to Set Up Your Home Theatre:


1. Don’t use light colours for your walls and ceilings

2. Don’t over-complicate your home theatre room

3. Don’t dismiss your lighting

4. Don’t overspend

5. Don’t forget the position of your door


1. Don’t use light colours for your walls and ceilings.

Darker colours are recommended for the floor and ceilings of your home theatre room. Avoid white and other light colours which can reflect the light off your screens.

2. Don’t over-complicate your home theatre room.

It can be tempting to load your home theatre room with all the accessories you see in stores but, in reality, it is best to keep your home theatre room simple. If you want to include posters of your favourite movies or other memorabilia, hang them at the back to avoid distractions and limit surfaces that may reflect light from the screen.

3. Don’t forget lighting.

Dimmers, indirect, recessed and soffit lighting are perfect for home theatre rooms. Just keep most of the lighting behind the audience for a more pleasant viewing experience.

4. Don’t overspend.

When you plan to set up a home theatre room, prepare a budget and try to stick to it. Overspending may leave you skimping on some crucial parts of your home theatre system.

5. Don’t forget the position of your door.

The position of your door can play an important factor in your viewing comfort. Do not have the door near the screens, so people entering and leaving will not disturb your view. The door should ideally be behind the seats to minimise as much disturbance as possible.

Contact Sunstone Electrical for your Home Theatre Needs

Sunstone Electrical and Data is an electrical and communications contracting company based in Newcastle. We service both residential and commercial buildings, and we maintain the highest standards of workmanship in everything that we do. We are compliant with Australian and industry standards to ensure that you only get the best.

Move yourself closer to the ultimate home cinema experience – call us now on 0439 856 898, send us an email at info@sunstoneelectrical.com.au, or fill out our online enquiry form to request a free consultation and quote.