Home Theater Seating

Setting up your home theater involves careful planning, testing of different components and finally, shopping around for all of the components at the best price. With all of this to think about, it’s no wonder that many consumers overlook one of the most important parts of the system – the home theater seating! If you get this right though, it makes a world of difference to your viewing pleasure. Think about it – it’s one thing to have the most amazing surround sound system out there, or the biggest, sharpest flat screen TV – but how much good will it do you if you are fidgeting on a lumpy old couch?

Luckily there is a huge range of home theater furniture styles around. Whether you want genuine theater chairs to really recreate the movie experience or are happy to settle for a more traditional lounge chair design with a few bells and whistles like drink and snack holders, it’s likely someone has made the perfect chair for you.

Home Theater Recliners

Think carefully about the type of covering when choosing your theater seating furniture. Leather is usually more expensive but if you plan to enjoy movie snacks or drinks in your new setup, it may be sensible to purchase something a little easier to clean than the cheaper cloth covered models. Vinyl is a good compromise for those on a budget, and can look convincingly like leather while being the easiest of all coverings to clean.

There are a few issues to consider when you are planning the layout for your home theater furniture. Viewing difference should be balanced carefully – too close to a big screen and you may even have to move your head to track action. You will certainly need to focus on separate areas of the screen. Too far away on the other hand, and you may be squinting to see fine details, particularly if you are watching a subtitled movie. As a rule of thumb, you can measure the width of your screen and sit back from the screen 2 to 3 times this distance, subject to your own tastes.

Viewing angle is also important. The ideal viewing angle will depend on your type of TV – plasma is often a little better here – but you will likely see that from side on, changes in colors and brightness make watching your TV less enjoyable.

Importantly, while the viewing distance and angle will both make a difference to your enjoyment of your system, this has to be balanced with the number of seating positions that are going to see common use. It’s all very well to sit a pair of home theater recliners front and center, this won’t be much good if the kids want to watch something with you! The solution here is to either balance your plans, sacrificing ideal positioning for a layout where everyone gets at least a pretty good view of the action, or to settle for moving your theater seats around to accommodate the number of viewers.

Home Theater Seating Layout

Single sofa - note the ideal distance is around twice the width of the TV

A single recliner can be added without altering the angle of either chair

If adding two recliners, you may need to change their angle to avoid viewers turning their heads to watch the screen

Arrange multiple larger theater seat units so that no viewer has to sit on an angle

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