1Can I create a good quality cinema on a budget?
Yes you can! As is the case with many technology driven industries the price has come down allowing quality into the mainstream. Indeed we recently fully installed in the rear lounge of a normal family home a 5.1 projection cinema with 100" screen for £4,2000. However this isn't all you got for your spend, for this included an additional 100" translucent screen and two outdoor waterproof stereo speakers that created an outdoor cinema on the garden threshold using the equipment you had already purchased inside!
2Can I reduce the number of remote controls required to operate my cinema?
Of course you can, simply by introducing to your smart home a whole house control system, such as control 4, that can be programmed to control a multitude of devices at the touch of one button. Pulling together your projector, automated screen, sky box, amp and audio system by simply pressing cinema on on your phone. For the hard work is done for you so you don't have to.
3Is it easy to retrofit a cinema into an existing finished space?
It is if you have the know how and you have some luck on your side! The projector that is usually located on the ceiling will require cabling to from the gear that is more than likely located in a unit within the room, the screen of automated will require power cabling to it and the speakers whether they are floor, wall or ceiling mount will require cabling also. This will be made much easier by the ability to gain access from above by lifting floors and getting underneath the floor below. Next it will be trying to assess wether their is an obvious riser to route cable between floor and ceiling without chiselling out walls. However if there is no alternative it is about picking your spots to minimise damage.
4How do I get one of your outdoor cinemas designed into my property?
The easiest way to achieve this is on your patio threshold as all the gear can mount inside and act as an indoor cinema, then with a press of a button the image can flip be back projected through an additional translucent screen with the help of two in-line wall mounted stereo speakers, with additional speakers available as an added extra. However we have found the majority of people are more than satisfied outside with the stereo speakers.
5Should I give up a room to be dedicated to a home cinema?
You only need to give up a room to home cinema if you have got one up to give! After you have considered all the other essentials to a family home. For an integrated cinema into a lounge or second seating area is nearly always more than sufficient. However if you are blessed with a cellar or basement you can never deny the sheer pleasure of a 'boy's toy' luxury hideaway space of your own cinema dressed as such. The ultimate escape from the world!
6Is shade always needed with an outdoor cinema?
Yes the only other thing you have to consider is shade with an outdoor cinema. That being both inside and out with blinds over velux's internally and natural shade or awnings externally. This will obviously take the sun off the screen but will also give you a more protected, cozy arena in which to view.
7Do I need home cinema seating?
If you are going all out and created a dedicated home cinema room it is the correct final touch. For you more than likely already have two lounge/sitting areas and the seats further define it as something different rather than just a third lounge in your basement. However it is worth mentioning that a mixture of one person and two person seats might be preferable to make it that bit more intimate and social at times. We also sometimes encourage an element of bench seating somewhere to cram them in so to speak, if there is a big footy game on or alike.
8Fixed screens over retractable?
This question is completely location dependent with the rule of thumb nearly always being retractable screens for integrated lounge cinemas and fixed screens for dedicated cinema rooms, with the odd exceptions being when large TV screens instead of projection are being used in lounges, bedrooms, gardens and even dedicated cinema rooms.
9If I have to focus the budget what would you prioritise: sound, control or vision?
If you are working to a tight budget the first thing that loses priority is control to keep the sound and vision in tact. This will however result in a number of remotes required to use your system, something that in our rapidly growing mainstream affordable Cinemas is often not considered an issue. After this has been cut the choice between sound and vision quality is simply personal preference as to where to pitch the level of your projector and surround system to suit your needs and what you value the most in your viewing pleasure. The one thing we would point out is if your room is prone to excessive light prioritise more of the budget to the quality of your vision.
10How much of a difference does the correct type of speakers matter?
A Cinema will always work best acoustically with the speakers mounted at ear height whilst seated, which invariably means floor standing speakers on mounts or wall speakers. However whether you are installing a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker system the room can start to dictate that this simply can't always be the case and other avenues may we'll have to be explored. With such solutions as ceiling speakers for mid's or rears, acoustically transparent screens with the three front speakers mounted in wall directly behind them being solutions to furniture and walkways being in the way of the perfect location. If done correctly with good quality alternatives the impact of a secondary solution should not be that detrimental to the overall impact and could just require an increase in spec in another area to compensate overall.
11Can a cinema work in a small space?
Of course it can, yes it may limit speaker locations and mean more may have to be in wall behind the screen and in ceiling, or that the screen may have to automate over a window or doorway in a multi-purpose small area. Each time it is about good design and the correct knowledge driven decisions at the start in the conception phase, that when combined with imagination helps unlock spaces for Cinemas and the immediate fun they can bring!