Furniture for the Modern Home Theater

I can remember not long ago a true theater experience meant leaving home, standing in line for tickets, eventually sitting in an old sticky chair hoping you were not next to the loud talker. Well the theater of today is better in every way because it can be in your home. As many of you know the electronics market has made tremendous improvements over the past five to ten years and produced more space conscious theater components. The good news is the furniture industry is following suit with improved seating and television/stereo furniture for even the smallest of rooms. Yesterdays game rooms with rarely used pool tables are being replaced with a room the whole family can enjoy year round.
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For the electronics manufacturers the trend has moved to smaller components such as flat panel televisions, in wall surround speakers, and all in one multi channel surround sound systems. New home developers are even offering the convenience high quality pre wiring for those in the building stage. With all this being done on the electronics side, the furniture manufacturers had to follow suit and produce items catering to the growing home theater demand. On the retail level a wide variety of flat panel consoles with room for two or four components have become more in demand leaving the old vertical stereo tower and separate television stand a dying breed. Infrared control pickups are being added to many of the units with wood or metal doors allowing for use of remote controls with the doors closed. Remote pickups can be added if the item you are considering does not have it built in. This simple set up gives you the option of mounting the TV on the wall if desired. This is great because you do not have to look at all the stereo and the wires anymore. Remember to estimate the viewing height you will need when shopping for a stand and a television. Ideally the center of the screen should be eye level to allow for a comfortable experience.
One of the fastest growing areas of the furniture market is theater seating. I have seen so many versions from very good to very bad. Just remember you are going to be sitting for hours at a time so get something comfortable. One line I highly recommend is the Ekornes Stressless line from Norway, it is made for comfort and the quality is very high. Their seating concepts offer a lot of diversity including specific seat sizes and an active headrest for proper viewing angle. The one type I would shy away from is attached seating usually offering cup holders. This offers very little diversity for rearranging the seating in the future and the quality seems to be mediocre in the ones I have sat on personally. Finally accessorize you new creation with some in wall sconce type lighting for a true theater effect. With the rising cost of going out your room will pay for its self over the years. Enjoy!