Things to consider when designing an outdoor media room

Phantom Screens / August 3, 2016

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Enjoy the comfort of your outdoor living spaces while engaging in fun activities by building a media room in your yard. More homeowners are creating unique features outside because it’s a simple way to add room to your home. An outdoor media space will give you access to entertainment while you breathe fresh air in a beautiful setting. However, designing a functional outdoor room complete with a television and sound system can be difficult. Be sure to account for these factors when planning your building project.

Light management

Sunlight is the greatest challenge you’ll have to overcome when designing an outdoor media space. The sun can cause glare on your television screen, making it nearly impossible to watch. Avoid this issue by placing your media center in covered outdoor spaces outfitted with motorized retractable screens. Choose a mesh that blocks ultraviolet rays, such as solar (blocks up to 75 percent of UV light) or privacy (blocks up to 90 percent).

Though dark lighting is optimal for watching the big game or a movie, you do need to add fixtures for night time use. Consider can lighting, in which the bulbs are recessed into the ceiling of your covered outdoor spaces, to illuminate the area in a flattering way. You can also install a hanging light fixture for a more unique outdoor room – keep it out your line of sight so it doesn’t block the screen. No matter what you prefer, you may want to put the lights on dimmer switches so that you can control the intensity settings during a movie or television show.

Environmental considerations

Protect your media and electronic systems by placing your outdoor media space in a three-season room or covered veranda. While the ceiling will cover the devices from rain, you should still inspect products before you buy them. Some televisions and sound systems can withstand a certain amount of heat and humidity while others cannot. Consider the climate you live in when purchasing a new device and ask the sales representative about the various features of the item, such as the maximum and minimum temperatures it can handle. Avoid purchasing products that are not fit for your climate.

Get a sun sensor along with your retractable screens. The sensor will automatically deploy the screens when it detects a certain amount of light and keep your outdoor media room cool. The screens will also allow a natural breeze to pass through the space.

Designing for comfort

You’ll want to include comfortable furniture in your outdoor media room if you plan on using this space for entertainment purposes. Seek sofas and chairs that are comfortable and safe for yard use. Consider purchasing end and coffee tables so you can set down snacks. If you have guests, they may prefer to use your new outdoor media room to watch a movie, so you’ll need enough seating to accommodate them.

A media room is a great addition to other outdoor living spaces, such as fireplaces. Design your area to include both a television and a fireplace so you can get cozy while enjoying your favorite film.

Install with care

When you install a new sound system, configure it to the space. Otherwise the soundscape of your movies will be off. All of your speakers should be placed at certain distances, depending on how far your sofa is from the television. Read the guide that comes with your surround sound to properly assess the correct location for your speakers. Once all the devices are in place, you’ll have to run a sound test that helps the receiver identify where the speakers are and which signals to send. Refer to your product guide for information on how to run the test.