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What are the differences between a home cinema and a media room and which one is right for me?

You love the experience of watching films at the cinema, the comfy seating, the incredible sound and most of all the big screen!

Bringing this experience into your own home has become increasingly popular over recent years and dedicated cinema rooms often feature in new luxury developments.

Another popular alternative however is a space designed for watching films and tv which also has other functions such as gaming, entertaining guests or enjoying music, often described as a media room.

To decide which might be right for your project, the most important considerations will probably be space and budget.

Cinema Room

A designated room in the house specifically for viewing films on a big screen. Home cinema rooms feature bespoke specialist furniture, acoustic treatment, a large projector screen and projector and specialist speakers for a true 3D surround sound experience.

If they have windows, these have blackout

curtains or blinds to ensure the room is completely dark for optimum viewing experience.

The latest projectors can deliver 4K or even 8K onto a screen larger than any TV and coupled with speakers built into the walls and ceiling deliver a viewing and listening experience like that you would find in a cinema.

Fixed specialist seating and features such as star ceilings and led strip in floors and ceilings are often used to add the wow factor. All furnishings and wall coverings are designed specifically to ensure the right acoustics for the room.

These specialist features make it unlikely the room will be used for much else than watching films and for obvious reasons come in with a high price tag. The latest projectors and screens can cost from the tens to the hundreds of thousands of pounds. Specialist acoustic treatment and sound design and cinema style fixed seating and furnishing are also costly.

The result however can deliver something which cannot really be achieved in any other way. If the “going to the cinema” experience is what you are looking for and you have space in your property and your budget, this will undoubtably be the route you would take.

Media Rooms

A media room is a multi-purpose space which allows for watching films and TV, gaming and listening to music but also entertaining guests and relaxing.

This could feature a large TV mounted in bespoke furniture as a feature wall, surround sound including speakers hidden in the walls and ceiling and feature lighting.

As this space is designed to suit a range of activities, a variety of different lighting options might be considered including natural light and automated shading as well as the ability to set the mood for different activities at different times of the day.

The ability to use the space for multiple functions will appeal to those who want to enhance their media experience while not limiting one of their rooms purely to watching films on a big screen. Budget-wise too, the comparative costs of the latest TVs and surround sound systems are a fraction of the cost of an entry-level home cinema projector, screen and audio set up.

If you do not have the budget or the space for a dedicated home cinema room or simply want the option of having a great space for enjoying music and tv which is also perfect for other activities, a media room is the choice for you.

With intelligent lighting and integrated audio and video, switching between different moods to suit different activities is effortless and can be used to add a sense of theatre even without the cinema seating and big screen.

If you would like to know more about media and home cinema rooms and advice on which would work best for your project we’d love to hear from you.


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