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Stuart, FL
1421 S. Federal Hwy.
Stuart, FL 34994
772-221-8679
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
North Palm Beach, FL
910 North US Highway 1
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
561-626-6100
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
West Palm Beach, FL
2324 N. Military Trail
W.Palm Beach, FL 33409
561-684-3225
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Boca Raton, FL
999 N. Federal Hwy.
Boca Raton, FL 33432
561-391-2012
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Tamarac, Fl
4711 N. State Road 7
Lauderdale Lakes, FL 33319
954-731-8830
Temporarily closed until further notice. Monday - Saturday: 10am-6pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Fort Lauderdale, FL
3740 N. Federal Hwy.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308
954-566-0266
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Dania Beach, FL
1025 S. Federal Hwy.
Dania Beach, FL 33004
954-927-0237
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-6pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Pembroke Pines, FL
13630 Pines Blvd.
Pembroke Pines, FL 33027
954-442-8788
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Naples, FL
15485 Tamiami Trail N.
Naples, FL 34110
239-513-2237
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Fort Myers, FL
4580 S. Cleveland Ave.
Ft. Myers, FL 33907
239-278-4401
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Port Charlotte, FL
4200 Tamiami Trail
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
941-624-3377
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Sarasota, FL
5301 Clark Road
Sarasota, FL 34233
941-923-4200
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Casselberry, FL
1024 FL-436
Casselberry, FL 32707
407-618-8000
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Jacksonville, FL
7760 Gate Pkwy
Jacksonville, FL 32256
904-493-2730
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Melbourne, FL
4260 West New Haven Avenue
West Melbourne, FL 32904
321-872-2377
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Pinecrest, FL (Miami)
7501 S.W. 100th Street
Pinecrest, FL 33156
305-668-8400
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Winter Garden, FL
12105 West Colonial Drive
Winter Garden, FL 34787
407-478-2237
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
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Home Theaters Need Planning, Professional Advice for Best Experience

By Steve Milano, Brand Publishing Writer

Creating the perfect home theater to wow your friends and family requires the right balance of form and function. “Whether you’re on a budget or have tens of thousands spend, it’s important to understandhow technology, furniture and decorating affect the performance and comfort of a home theater. That way, you can create an entertainment space you’ll enjoy for years to come,” says Nadine Katz, design consultant for Baer’s Furniture, a family owned company trusted for almost 70 years with 15 retail showcases throughout Florida.

Entertainment Wall

The Process

“The idea for the perfect home theater is to build a room within a room,” says Julio Rosello, owner of Golden Media Technology of Wellington, Florida. “Everything that you build needs to be isolated from the structure of the home so you don’t have any sound transfer through the walls to the rest of the house.”

To achieve the highest quality theater experience without sacrificing style, technical experts and designers work together to create rooms that fit the home. “With the jobs we do, the homeowner is usually working with the designer on the rest of the house,” says Rosello. “We bring that flow from the rest of the house into the home theater so it looks and feels as if it’s an extension of the house.”

“Designers work in concert with the technical contractors to meet the customer’s needs, and the customer doesn’t have to come into contact with the vendors,” says Katz. “If someone wants to put in a home theater, we have all the resources to take it from an empty room and turn it into a magnificent home cinema.”

Assess Your Room

For the best sound, experts advise putting your theater in a rectangular room, not a square one, and to place your screen along or on one of the short walls. “I’ve seen people put the screen on the wrong wall because they want to seat as many people as they can,” Rosello says. “Unfortunately, then they’ve sacrificed sound quality .” Also take into consideration not only the viewing angles, but ease of access during screenings. People will move about before, during and after movies as they arrive late, need to take a phone call or make a quick trip to the bathroom. Consider putting a door to the side of the room so that when it opens, light won’t shine directly on to the screen. Make access quick for most viewers by centrally locating the door instead of putting it in the back — and look into sensors that raise and lower illumination and provide floor lights so members of your audience can easily find their way in the dark.

Choosing the Screen

You’ll have a dizzying array of screens to choose from, but a pro can help refine your options. For example, bigger isn’t necessarily better. How far away your seating will be from the screen is a key factor in determining ideal screen size. A pro will use formulas to arrive at a recommendation based on the size of your theater and its seating arrangement.

Selecting a Sound System

If you don’t know the difference between bipole, dipole and monopole speakers, what Dolby is or how to select preamps, you’ll need expert advice. You might end up with six or more speakers to place, so guidance from a professional is important. As a rule of thumb, put your main speaker up front, under the middle of the screen, and place your woofer (which provides bass) in front, as well. Don’t plan on debuting your home theater until you’ve watched all or part of a movie and determined that all speakers are properly placed.

Room Acoustics

Remember that your theater can absorb, reflect, distort, diffuse — basically “bounce” sound around — decreasing your enjoyment of TV shows and movies. For the best audio, maximize the acoustics of your theater based on your budget. You can install expensive isolating wall blocks, or purchase more affordable acoustic wall panels made especially for home theaters. “You don’t want bare walls and bare floors, which cause the sound to bounce around,” says Katz. “You want to have a combination of walls and floors that absorb sound and walls that reflect sound for the perfect surround-sound experience, otherwise, the walls will be dead and you won’t get as much sound out of the system.”

Seating Arrangements

Consider tiered seating: Add floor risers so that guests sitting in the back have an unobstructed view of the screen. Decide in advance if you want reclining seats; this determines the number of chairs and how much space will be required between rows. Depending on your budget, you can separate chairs with food/drink tables, or buy chairs with built-in cupholders and areas for placing cellphones, bowls of popcorn or dinner trays.

Old-style recliners point your head up when you tilt back, Katz reminds consumers. “I’m all about comfort, but when you’re reclining in some chairs, you’re staring at the ceiling. Many recliner manufacturers are more cognizant of the fact that you need to be looking ahead while you’re watching TV or movies, and you now have adjustable headrests so you don’t have to wedge a small pillow behind your head,” she says.

If you’ll have plus-size people watching TV and movies with you, add a larger or double seat with an armrest on each side for their comfort, suggests Katz.

Functional Decorating

When choosing colors for your home theater, opt for dark tones that will absorb, not reflect light from the screen. Choose flat paint to avoid light reflection, and don’t place glass-covered art on your walls, which can bounce light and sound. If you’re looking for an alternative to drapes and curtains, try wood blinds or shutters, suggests Katz. “Anything that’s matte and covers is fine. Your home theater doesn’t have to feel like a cave,” she says.

Flooring Matters

Your floor should absorb, not reflect light and sound, so stick with carpet instead of a finished wood. If you’ve used fabric, acoustic wall tiles, curtains and other techniques to “deaden” the room, adding carpet might make the room too much of a dungeon. A thick wood floor that isn’t polished and shiny might work in this situation. “In many homes and professional theaters, you see darker-pattern carpets, which are very good for light and sound absorption,” says Katz.

Wiring the Room

Unless you’re tech savvy, it’s best to have a professional hook up your audio and video components. A home theater pro can help you not only with basic wiring, but give you suggestions for screen and speaker placements for an optimal viewing experience. Ask about technologies that might be coming in the near future — you might be able to install extra conduit or wires in your walls to avoid having to open up drywall when new gadgets become the latest thing in a few years.