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Home Entertainment

Home Entertainment 101

Ever wondered what to do on a limited budget with the unused space downstairs by the cistern? One option is to consider a home theatre, which is ideally suited to the dark and quiet space below. All you need is a 10’ x 12’ space and you could be watching movies on a high definition 102” screen with surround sound for under $15,000.

Here are the in
Controlled light and sound
The most important features of a good theatre room are controlling the ambient light and sound. No windows will help keep the light out, and painting the walls a dark colour will help control the reflected light from the screen. Soft furniture and a carpet will help absorb the acoustic reflections and prevent the sound from distortion.

Keep the sound inside
Also, remember to try to seal all the air spaces to prevent the sound from leaking out to the rest of the house. Noise will travel most efficiently wherever there is an air gap. A true home theatre is literally a room built within a room. All the walls, ceiling and floor are physically detached from the outer surfaces for acoustic isolation. However, unless your budget is over $100k for just this room, chances are you’ll live with the added vibration and thunderclap in the kitchen while someone is watching the latest Bond film in 3D below.

Projection vs TV

Normally in the Caribbean, a bright TV will outperform a projection screen because of the high level of ambient light, but in a dark room with no windows, projection becomes a very good option. Especially in a small space and on a budget, you could be looking at a 102” HD screen at a very reasonable price. Much less, in fact, than a TV of the same size.

Installation considerations

• The projector needs to be ceiling mounted, at the back of the room, and will need clean power and a way to connect the video cables.

• Speaker installation needs to be thought of at the beginning to keep the cables out of sight. If you’re building a new home, you have a chance to get the conduits in to the concrete. If retrofitting, then there are some good solutions to hide the cables.

• Consider a piece of media furniture that will help to keep the equipment safe and manage all the cables neatly.

• If you have cable or satellite TV, remember to allow a path to get the cables in to the room
If you’ve ever felt there were too many remote controls in your life, and turning the TV on is a challenge in its own right, you might explore the option of a simple automation system which turns the process of selecting the correct button sequence on several remotes, to just one click on a single remote.


The room should be air-conditioned but should not have a ceiling fan. Recessed lighting, dropped ceilings and sheet rock walls are very useful for running cables and integrating speakers. Filling the cavity between the sheet rock wall and the concrete will help to absort the soundwaves and prevent unwanted reflection. The basic rule of acoustic treatment in a theatre is that the lower half needs to be very soft and absorptive of soundwaves; the upper half needs to be diffusive—somewhere between totally absorptive and reflective.

The basic rule of acoustic treatment in a theatre is that the lower half needs to be very soft and absorptive of sound waves; the upper half needs to be diffusive, ie. somewhere between totally absorptive and reflective.



Electronics Equipment:
Surround AVR – $900
Speakers – $1500
Projector – $3000
Screen – $1500
Bluray DVD player – $300
Cables – $200
Media furniture – $900
UPS – $600
Professional installation and programming – $3500
HD Satellite TV installation – $1200
Automated control system – $1000
Total – $14,600

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