How to Build a Home Theater

Want a movie-theater experience in your home? Learn how to build a home theater with step by step instructions from the pros at HGTV.com

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Step 4: Pre-Wire a Video Projector

For a realistic, large-screen theater experience, you'll need to pre-wire a projector system. This involves just two cables:

? An HDMI cable to carry high-definition video to the projector
? A CAT5 control wire for accessing the projector with a radiofrequency (RF) remote.
This will let you start your movies without pointing at the projector.

One end of these cables should extend from the ceiling at the rear of the theater, where the projector will hang. The other end should connect to your equipment hub. Be sure to pre-wire the hub with your cable or satellite feed, as well as high-speed Internet for streaming video.

Step 5: Pre-Wire Lighting

Appropriate lighting is essential for creating a movie theater atmosphere. This includes recessed lighting in the ceiling and sconces along the side walls. Run basic electrical wiring to each of these locations. Connecting the lights to an RF dimmer will let you control them with the same RF remote you use for the projector. You can even set the lights to auto-dim when you press play.

If you plan to have stadium seating, you'll also need floor lighting along the steps. One option is to pre-wire low-voltage lighting that can be left on all the time.

Step 6: Install Drywall and Sound Barriers

When hanging the drywall, make careful incisions through which you’ll route all of your pre-wired electrical and audio cables. At this stage, you'll have two main options for additional soundproofing:

? Use specialty drywall, such as QuietRock Soundproof Drywall. This is a very effective
sound barrier, but can cost eight times as much as standard drywall.
? Use ordinary drywall lined with sound-dampening materials, such as high-density vinyl.
? Whichever way you go, be sure to hang a solid-core door for optimum sound reduction.

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