We're often asked this, but it's not possible to give a single figure. Instead, let's look at and explain the cost ranges.
There are three main elements - system hardware, your choices, and installation works.
That's the sound system - surround processor, amplifiers, speakers and acoustic treatment, and the video system - projector and screen.
The main factor is room size. All these rooms would make a great Home Cinema, but the cost to equip them - to the same standard - varies like this:
3 x 4 x 2.2m, Vol 26㎥
Screen: width 2.8m, area 4.4㎡
4 x 5 x 2.8m, Vol 56㎥
Screen: width 3.3m, area 6.1㎡
6 x 8 x 3.2m, Vol 154㎥
Screen: width 4.2m, area 9.9㎡
The viewing angle is what dictates how big the picture seems - it's the same across all three rooms. It's as if you're two-thirds back in a commercial cinema, where the premium seats are.
Notice how room volume and screen area increase hugely, and how larger rooms need more speakers.
To get these figures we worked everything out, according to film industry standards - the correct speaker positions, enough sound pressure level for all seats, reduced echo (RT60) for the room, ensured enough screen brightness and worked out the sightlines so that everyone can watch in comfort.
You say 'from' - what's the catch?
No catch, just options. These upgrades are worth having if you can:
• Native 4K resolution
• Laser-based projector - comes on instantly, no replacement lamp costs, better blacks and contrast, brightness never drops over time
• High projector brightness - especially useful in a multi-use cinema/media room
• More amplifier power makes the performance more effortless
• Extra loudspeakers for more immersive, convincing, 3D audio
• Aspect masking screen - the black border moves, to match what you're watching.
Stores all equipment safely, allowing good airflow and super-tidy cable management. It's not optional, but the size depends on your system - do you have a Sky box and an Apple TV, or do you also have disc player, consoles, streamers, video matrix and movie server...
A whole home worth of smart technology is often stored with the cinema system - that'll need much more racking.
Fire up the system, dim the lights, switch inputs, operate all the equipment, switch everything off again afterwards - a control system is a must. It's a dark room, so a handset with real buttons is best.
There are different levels of processor, handset and programming - chosen to suit the system size and complexity.
Great lighting makes a huge difference to the feel of the room. In cinema rooms we use lighting for dramatic effect - plus task lighting for seats so you don't spill your drink. Lights should be remote controlled and dimmable.
From £750, plus lights.
Sofas, cinema style seating, or both? 'Cinema sofas' are popular too - stylish, but with motorised head and footrests, really comfortable.
Dedicated cinema seats from £1250 per person.
Home Cinema Installation
The scope of works will dictate the cost.
Running all cables neatly, mounting loudspeakers and screen, rack build, make all connections, check, test and system setup.
Equipment locations, speaker count, wall chasing, and the size / complexity of the system will affect the price.
Cinema room install: three days for senior engineer and technician, including full setup and calibration, from £2250.
We're often engaged as part of a build or refurb. Here we need to plan things out in great detail - usually the on-site electricians will want to run system cabling around their existing plans for the build.
To make sure this goes well, we create detailed documentation - cable schedules and system drawings - to make sure everything is in the right place. We visit shortly after first fix to double-check everything.
Detailed design, cable schedule and drawings: from £750.
Sometimes we need to do a bit more:
• Build strong platforms for tiered seating, projector housing, or a separate projection room and equipment cupboard.
• Install fabric walls or modular panel system to conceal speakers and acoustic treatments.
For these jobs we can work with your builders or bring ours.
From: survey and estimate are needed.
What happens now?
You should have a good idea of the room size, how many people you'd like to entertain in comfort, and anything special you'd like to add.
Armed with the information above, that will give you a feel for the main costs.
To refine further, and if you have questions - or if you'd like us to start planning for your own private screening room - please get in touch.