By helping you understand the science behind the right seating, we make your home theatre experience more enjoyable, comfortable and relaxing.

As a concept, home theatre or home cinema has been around for quite some time. In the 1980’s, you watched a film from a VHS tape, basic 4 speaker set, a big CRT monitor for viewing, and your regular couches. But as technology advanced, so did the movie watching experience, and the evolution of the home theatre system began. VHS was replaced by DVD, Blu-ray and now fully digital, CRTs gave way to flat screen HD TVs or large projection screens, Dolby entered our lives, and modern and efficient seating soon became the order of the day.

While commercial theatres are seemingly enjoyable due to the big screen and the sound effects, there’s a science behind the seating position. Think about the sound quality, and how evenly distributed it is to each and every corner of this space—this is no accident.

Choose luxurious seating for the best experience

While designing a complete home cinema experience, seating layout requires an extra amount of research and knowledge. While the quality and comfort of the seats is of utmost importance, also ensure you factor in the size of the room and the right number of seats for that particular space. Additionally, the placement of these seats plays a crucial role in order for every single individual to have the best sound experience.

Let’s take a look at important factors that work towards finding the best cinema chair seating position.

Think about theatre layout

While working on the seating for your home theatre, the size and layout of the room is important. This helps determine the number of seats, distance between seats, distance of the screen from the seats and also how large a screen you want to put in. So how do you figure out how many seats you can fit into a space?

How many people can you provide seating for?

If you are building new, you get an opportunity to create the ultimate space. Consider if the theatre is going to be a family affair or if you are going to entertain larger gatherings for the Rugby World Cup. Whatever you choose will determine the number of seats in the area and how large the room needs to be. Also apply some logic here—if your family of four are going to be using it regularly and guests only coming once a year, then design for four with space for five beanbags or a row of bar stools along the back for the rugby.

What is the optimal viewing distance?

Take your screen width and multiply it by 1.5, which provides for a 36 degree viewing angle. However, the reality is that in cinemas, the angle can vary from 26-50 degrees. Where you sit in the cinema does affect how you would layout a home cinema, but 36 degrees is considered optimal.

Spacing for the seats themselves

Just placing the right number of seats is not enough, you need to keep in mind the number of seats per row and the distance between seats. Take the exact measurements of the space and the measurements of your intended chairs. Leave at least 50cm of space on either side of the row for walkways. This allows you to see how many seats you can fit in a row.

Seats should be positioned first and foremost of best frequency response and ensuring (as much as possible), that all seats sound the same. For that to happen seats should never be near boundaries. The increased bass in these areas makes it very difficult to balance out the sound. Often bass is twice as loud at the boundaries! Next for reclining seats you need a min 1800mm from head to head to be able to recline, however we recommend 1900mm.

Wired for sound

The more seats you have, the more speakers you need. The architecture of the room changes how the sound moves, as does the placement of windows and doors. The speakers themselves need to be 120cm away from listeners so that there’s no localisation of sounds. Bass response needs to be equally distributed across the entire room. This can be complex and it’s wise to book an appointment with an expert to help get this right.

So now you know the basics for setting up your home theatre system. If you are uncertain about anything, employing specialist suppliers and designers will ensure your home cinema is nothing short of incredible.