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Sports Media Room for the Sports Fan

Handy design ideas for building a sports media room where you can comfortably watch the big game.

Sports media rooms are designed with the sports fan in mind. Most home theaters aren't necessarily one size fits all propositions. A dedicated home theater isn't necessarily well suited for a family with little children. An all-purpose media room isn't necessarily suited to having a large CRT projector hanging from the ceiling. When it comes to using your home theater to view sporting events, there are several things to consider if you want to feel like you're on the sidelines instead of in the nose bleed section. Let's take a look:

Have a Seat

If you're going to have a bunch of guys lounging around watching a hockey or football game, then expensive dedicated theater seats are a bit overkill. High-end theater seats are designed to maintain your comfort through several hours of movie viewing. They provide good lumbar and neck support. Sports fans tend to be more energetic. :)

In this case, having multiple rows of dedicated theater seats doesn't quite make sense. Furnish your theater with comfortable couches and recliners. Organize them in an arc around the primary screen and throw in a large coffee table, and watch the beer nuts fly.

Wha-cha Watchin'?

Because there is usually more than one sporting event on at a time, many sports fans prefer to use several video displays at once. This way they can watch the big game while keeping an eye on what's happening elsewhere. In this case, mounting several flat-panel LCD or plasmas to the left or right of the main screen is in order. Many sports media rooms are setup so the the extra displays are mounted above the main display. Mounting them below the main display may force the main screen up to an uncomfortable viewing position. This is a personal choice, but one that you must be aware of before investing in furniture or installing your mounts.

If you have several displays, you'll need several video feeds. If you're happy with standard definition video on those smaller screens, then you can rely on their built-in tuners. If you want full HDTV everywhere, you need to know that not all televisions have over-the-air (OTA) HDTV tuners or cable cards. In that case, you'll need a dedicated HDTV tuner for each display.

Listen Up!

Listening to a sporting event doesn't require the same sound fidelity as when listening to a movie. Acoustic room treatments here don't matter as much because of the nature of the broadcast. Movies have subtle sound elements, soundtracks, and dialog that would benefit from an especially quiet room. Sports on the other hand are usually live events which don't have the same degree of sound engineering behind them. In this case, you could install less expensive wall-mounted or in-wall speakers and drive them with a more modest A/V receiver. Sports media rooms just wouldn't benefit from 8.1 surround systems, so invest your money in a high quality 5.1 surround system. Less bass or loud sound effects mean less soundproofing is needed, if at all.

Pass The Beer Nuts:

Nobody, and I mean nobody, likes having to run to the kitchen to get beverages or snacks during sporting event. Even during the commercials, making the nachos or popcorn can take longer than expected or running to the garage to stock up on beer can cause you to miss part of the big game when it returns. A wet bar at the back of the room is a terrific addition to any sports media room or home theater. You can take care of the guys while still watching the action. If you're stuck without the necessary plumbing for the sink, you can still install a small to moderately sized beer fridge with a counter and some bar stools and you're styling.

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