A basement home theater will require a significant amount of planning and possibly even some construction in order to be built in such a way that the best performance of the equipment is possible. Concrete walls and floors will need to be covered with a subfloor and framed walls to ensure proper sound quality; lighting will need to be planned properly to ensure the best television viewing; and even furniture will need to be chosen carefully to enhance acoustics. Before purchasing any equipment for a basement home theater, one should first consider the size of the room, how many people will routinely use the room, and for what purposes the room will be used.
Concrete walls and floors can have the single biggest negative impact on a basement home theater. Sound will bounce harshly off the concrete, creating unpleasant echos and other noises. Concrete floors will require a wooden subfloor that will buffer sound and eliminate or at least reduce echos from the sound system. Framed walls with drywall mounted on them will do the same for the walls of the basement home theater. Once the walls and floor are built, one might consider soundproofing the ceiling to prevent stray noise from reaching the upper levels of the house, potentially disturbing other family members or even neighbors. The homeowner should carefully research the different soundproofing methods available and choose the one that fits his or her budget and needs best.
Purchasing equipment for a basement home theater should only be done after the room has been laid out for optimal sound and viewing. The design of the room will have an impact on how well the equipment performs in the space, so consider furniture and layout first. Painting of the walls and creating the aesthetic the homeowner is after can occur before the equipment purchase as well. Research layouts carefully; different equipment systems will require different types of set ups and placements. Avoid mounting speakers on the ceiling or concealing them in drawers or other enclosures to ensure the best quality sound.
Choose a television that fits the size of the room. A television that is too large may be difficult to view at close distances, and a television that is too small can make viewing difficult from far away. Speakers and sound components will probably take up most of the basement home theater budget, as most surround-sound systems include several speakers, cables, and other components. Read any included information about set-up and make sure to place speakers strategically to offer the best sound to the seating area.