Your family room brings you together in comfort to provide a place for shared fun and entertainment. Big-budget remodeling plans can include new flooring and furniture, changes to room layout and new color schemes. More-modest budgets can accommodate entertainment technology upgrades and a room tune-up to take full advantage of them. Whatever your means and your goals, you can turn an average room into an enjoyable space that the entire family will enjoy.
If television viewing forms a central part of the activities you plan in your remodeled family room, set the space up so a large TV forms a focal point of the design. When you shop for a new TV, compare the viewing angles of the sets you consider, and choose one that provides a full viewing experience from as broad an angle as possible. Some sets lose brightness and color as you move away from a dead-center position relative to the front of the set, so check demonstration models of the TVs you consider to assure that your full seating area can get a proper view.
From bookshelf-sized small systems and audio docks that amplify personal audio devices to room-filling volume all the way up to full-sized 5.1 and 7.1 surround-sound systems, you can add a concert- and theater-quality experience to your family room with the right equipment. Include Blu-ray and DVD playback as well as music, entertainment and news via broadcast, cable or satellite for a full set of programming options. Integrated with your TV, a home theater system ramps up the quality of your viewing experience and can extend the immediacy with a 3D TV. Some systems combine digital circuitry with analog vacuum tubes for sound amplification that increases audio realism. Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth capabilities help you share music throughout your home, extending your entertainment reach.
Depending on the layout of your existing family room and the budget you devote to your renovation, you may be faced with a need to block external light sources that compete with your onscreen viewing experience. If you can locate your TV away from windows, you decrease the glare that can enter from behind the set, which reduces the clarity of onscreen programming, especially dimly lit scenes. To compensate for light sources that conflict with viewing enjoyment, look for opaque curtains mounted on a traverse rod, so you can open and close them depending on how you use the room.
If you turn your family room into a full-time home entertainment center, the acoustics of the room can help or hurt the sound quality you obtain from your speakers. Audio reflections and echoes can interfere with the sound of program material. To tune up your room, you can add acoustic treatments that help minimize the impact of the geometry of your space. Look to LED lighting for additional improvements, both in your ability to maintain the room's environment and in the cost of keeping it lit. LED lighting reduces the amount of electricity turned into byproduct heat, especially in comparison to incandescent alternatives, which can emit 90 percent of their energy in thermal form. LED lamps offer many times the lifespan of other bulb types and produce comparable amounts of light with less electricity. If your family room consists of basement space, especially without access to natural light, LED lamps can help brighten your view.
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