December 05, 2008
| by Lisa Montgomery
Whether you’re settling down for the evening news or three-hour epic, it’s important that you have a comfy couch or seat to sit in. Specialty home theater seats are made with the right amount of cushion and support. Just as you would a new mattress for the bedroom, test out a few seats before picking a model for your home theater. Pay particular attention to the headrest. If it covers your ears you might not be able to hear the nuances of your surround-sound system. If you’ll be snacking in your theater, integrated cup holders and snack trays can save your seats and carpet from destruction.
Style is also important to consider. Flip-up style seats like the kind used in commercial movie theaters can add authenticity to a theater environment. Or, you can go with an arrangement that’s a bit more casual by incorporating love-seats and a cozy wraparound couch. Reclining seats are another option; some even include heated massage units. You can have your chairs upholstered in any fabric or color, have drawers added for storing your remote and reading materials or pull something directly off the show floor. It’s also perfectly fine to just use the furniture you already own. The money you save could be applied to a bigger TV, additional speakers or perhaps a device that shakes the seat in sync with the movie action. Called tactile transducers, these saucer-shaped (different shapes too) can attach to the underside of almost any type of seat. The transducer connects directly to your sound system, converting low-frequency audio into vibrations that shake the seat. Instead of just seeing a B-52 bomber fly across the screen, you actually feel like you’re riding in it.
Once you’ve selected the seats, measure them to make sure they’ll fit in your allotted space. Depending on the size of the space, you could arrange them in straight rows, place them on a curve or stick with the L-shape arrangement of your family room. You might want to put a couch in the front row and seats behind it. If there’s someone in your family or group of friends who prefers to sit on the floor, leave some space from some beanbag chairs.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.