Movie Room Or Media Room? How To Decide Which You Really Want

Posted on: 27 January 2016

Thinking of adding a home theater to your house? It can be a great way to create a space everyone can enjoy and where you can entertain guests for years to come. But before you start planning or buying, be sure you understand whether you really want a "home theater" or you really want a "media room." While many people think of these terms interchangeably, they really provide two very different experiences.

What is a Home Theater?

A home theater is, as its name would suggest, a way to recreate the theater experience in your house. This dedicated "movie room" is often a space that requires a larger renovation budget than a media room due to more specialized equipment, structural changes to the room or more unique furnishings. For a proper home theater, you will likely want the ability to drastically reduce the lighting in the room as well as blacking out windows and sound-proofing the walls. Achieving theater-quality sound and picture may also require a large projector system and a high-quality sound system. Seating is usually fixed -- laid out in theater-style rows -- and tends to be large and plush. 

What is a Media Room?

A media room, on the other hand, is a more flexible space. Seating is often mobile -- including sofas, love seats, recliners and bean bags -- so it can be moved depending on the needs of the guests. It may also include areas designated for other activities like video games and serving food while entertaining. Depending on the size, you may still want to use a projector in a media room, but a large-screen television tends to work as well. Quality sound systems and the ability to reduce lighting are still important factors, but they are tempered by the fact that media rooms tend to focus on movie-watching as a social activity rather than a purely cinematic one. 

How to Decide

To understand which type of entertainment space fits your family and style best, consider these questions before planning:

  • How versatile do you want the space to be? 
  • Do you have other spaces in the home for activities like gaming or entertaining?
  • Are you looking for mainly a social experience or a visceral one?
  • What is your budget for altering the room itself?

Answering these questions will help you understand what you're really looking for in your new room and be able to communicate that to your home theater installer. Both home theaters and media rooms can provide ample fun and room for friends, so there is no wrong answer. But by considering your wants and needs up front, you can save yourself time and money while knowing you will end up with the perfect new addition to your house. To learn more, contact a company like The Good Guys