home cinema

Home Cinema Installation

Beyond the entry-level home cinema setups — a flat-screen TV and basic audio system, whether it’s a simple soundbar or something more robust — there are abundant options for dedicated home cinemas. Advances in sound and image delivery technology can make your home cinema an even better experience than going to the cineplex.

A qualified CEDIA member integrator can work with you to design and install the ideal home cinema system to fit your specific entertainment needs. When consulting with a CEDIA professional, it is important to have an idea how your home theater room will be used. Will it be an exclusive place for viewing movies? Will it be a multi-media room with cable or satellite connection, a gaming console, and high-end audio components? A customized home theater system has numerous possibilities.

Another concern: What’s around the cinema? Most homeowners want sound isolation in their home cinemas, so that outside sounds stay out, and the Hollywood sound effects don’t bother others in the home.

A dedicated home theater has three fundamental components: a display unit, speakers, and source components. There are also structural issues that need addressing when it comes to a quality home cinema.

Cinema Design

Your CEDIA integrator knows how to design a home cinema properly, from creating proper sight lines to adjusting the lens and projector perfectly to speaker placement and calibration that ensures that every seat in the room provides an exceptional experience. Speakers can disappear behind acoustically-transparent wall treatments. Lighting will be designed so that the image isn’t diminished – but you can still find your popcorn. And CEDIA cinema designers know the latest construction techniques that will create a room that’s truly “sound isolated.”

Source Components

Audio receivers, Blu-ray players, streaming devices, and other components deliver the picture and sound to your speakers and display. These components need to be carefully chosen, cabled, installed, and cooled properly for optimal performance and long life.


Speakers can both enhance and blend in with a room’s décor. Optimal placement and calibration of your speakers will ensure clarity of dialogue and powerful yet balanced sound, transporting you into the on-screen action. Current audio formats range from what’s now a fairly common “5.1” surround setup to immersive audio that includes overhead speakers that provide sound from nearly every direction.


Simply put, this is what you watch. Options range from a simple flat-screen TV (and many of the 4K and 8K screens available provide stunning images) to a projector/screen setup similar to those you’d find in a commercial theater. Digital laser projectors and acoustically-transparent screens (which allow center-channel “dialogue” speakers to be placed behind them without any loss of audio quality) can match or surpass what you’d see at a cineplex. Projectors can generate their own noise with fans and so on, but a CEDIA integrator can isolate these devices properly.

Set up your speakers for Dolby Atmos


Dolby Atmos® has revolutionized the cinema experience with immersive sound that puts you in the middle of the story. Now you can enjoy the same multidimensional experience in your home theater.


Dolby Atmos speaker setup

There are a few ways to bring the overhead sound of Dolby Atmos into your home:

  • Ceiling speakers
  • Speakers enabled with Dolby Atmos
  • A soundbar enabled with Dolby Atmos

Ceiling speakers and Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers or modules deliver equivalent performance. Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers direct sound upward and reflect off the ceiling to produce incredibly lifelike, overhead sound. There are two kinds of Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers:

  • Integrated units that also include traditional, forward-firing speakers
  • Add-on modules, containing only the upward-firing elements, that sit on top of your current speakers or on a nearby surface

A soundbar enabled with Dolby Atmos includes upward-firing speakers.

While two Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers, modules, or overhead speakers will deliver a compelling experience, we recommend using four if possible. This will deliver more precisely located and realistic overhead sounds. Whichever you choose, our setup guides will show you how to arrange your speakers for the best possible experience.

Dolby Atmos speaker layouts parallel the 5.1 and 7.1 setups for surround sound.

  • A 5.1.2 or 7.1.2 system uses two ceiling speakers, or two Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers or modules.
  • A 5.1.4 or 7.1.4 system uses four ceiling speakers, or four Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers or modules.
  • A 9.1.2 system adds a pair of front wide speakers to a 7.1.2 layout.