Once you’ve determined the best location in your house, it’s time to consider your home theater’s technical, audio-visual, and design needs. The ability to connect the space for lighting, video, audio, and internet access is the first item to look at in your venue. Lighting, audio, and video wiring are required, while internet connectivity is optional but encouraged and included in most modern home theaters. Homeowners are more interested in streaming television via the internet or set-top boxes and connecting for multiplayer gaming or online browsing on the big screen. In terms of wiring, make sure you can conceal the wiring for lights and electronics in the walls or in discrete tubes around the room—a wild nest of wires is probably not the design you’re aiming for, and it may also be an electrical danger.
After you’ve examined the wiring, you’ll want to focus on the audio-visual and electrical equipment you’ll be installing for your home theater. In terms of expense and complexity, your options are nearly limitless, but one guiding element you may use to get started is the size of your home theater space. The dimensions of the room will help determine things like the size of the TV or projection screen necessary, the number of speakers needed for your sound system, and the lighting system. Other AV, lighting, and electronics considerations include whether you want to operate the complete home theater system with a single universal remote, wirelessly by smartphone or tablet, or via an existing whole-house automation system.