Home Theater or Media Room? What’s the difference?

Many new movies are being released directly to consumers at the same time they are released in theaters. More than ever, a home theater or media room can be a great way to have the cinematic experience at home. 

So what’s the difference between a media room and a home theater?

Home Theaters

Home theaters are designed to replicate the experience you get at a commercial movie theater. They are typically dedicated spaces, and are often designed with soundproofing (to keep noise from leaking out and to block outside noise). They have little to no natural light (no windows) and with fixed seating optimized for viewing the screen.  There are more options when it comes to image size because you can control the environment in these spaces. Larger screens and video projectors perform really well in light-controlled environments. The surround system in a dedicated theater is typically a larger system (more speakers and multiple subwoofers) for an immersive, professional theater quality audio experience.

Home Theater project currently in the works with our partners at CinemaTech. Mills not only can design the audio and video components for a room, but we can help you design the room too!.  Renderings courtesy of CinemaTech

Media Rooms

Media rooms are typically multi-purpose spaces (often doubles as the Family Room or Den). Because these rooms are generally multi-functional spaces that are a part of the general living space in the home, they aren’t as restrictive in terms of location, lighting (especially ambient light from windows) and outside noise. Given their brightness, a large screen television is usually the main screen in a media room. However, even this is changing.  Projectors are becoming brighter and more compact, allowing them to work in a variety of conditions.  And a new type of technology called “Direct LED” allows for extremely large screens that are also very bright.  The surround system in a media room can be smaller (fewer speakers/soundbar and one subwoofer) and still provide an excellent and immersive experience.

Crystal LED is a modular technology, enabling it to be installed in virtually any desired size and resolution to accommodate consumers’ needs and residential space availability. Image courtesy of Sony

Are you considering adding a media room or home theater? Contact us!