Home buyers should be thinking not only of the home they want today but the home they want their families to enjoy many years into the future. This means home buyers should be searching for homes with the latest features so they won’t have to install add-ons to bring homes up to date a few years after they have purchased them. One trendy item to have in new or renovated homes today is the media room.
It can cost a small fortune to install a media room in an existing home so home buyers get a considerable bonus when the space and built-in equipment are already there. There isn’t much doubt that the media room is here to stay; it is not just a passing fad. An older home had a living room where the family gathered and entertained. The ‘recreation room’ was added to homes, leaving living rooms to more formal uses. The home theater came next and, now, the evolution of lifestyle and advance of technology bring us the full-featured media room.
The typical media room functions as a home theater. It will have a super-size video display (that may or may not be included in the home sale) and powerhouse of a sound system for showing movies. But a media room goes far beyond this single use. It can be used for video gaming, TV and Internet viewing and entertaining. Likely it won’t have fixed furniture like a dedicated home theater might have.
The home buyer who finds such a room in a home for sale should consider factors like the media room’s wiring, heating and air conditioning systems, lighting; viewing and gaming equipment and the furniture and furnishings that will be included and excluded in the sale.
Is the room and its equipment going to remain affordable or will the new owner have to buy expensive equipment or parts to finish the room and make repairs over the next few years?
Are the brands of equipment good quality and models of equipment as recent as possible? To assess these values, the home buyers will have to research current brands and model numbers but this is easy using Internet sources.
Was the space remodeled or built into a new home? If the space was remodeled to become a media room, check the quality of the renovation using a qualified home inspector or media room expert. Check to see if flooding might ruin unprotected and expensive equipment in the basement media room.
Sound is one of the basics of a media rooms. Typically, sound will come from five or more speakers and a subwoofer controlled through an AV receiver which is a separate unit from the television set. Speakers near the TV set can be wired but rear speakers or speakers at some distance from the screen should be wireless.
Media rooms may have various sources including a cable box or satellite receiver, DVD player and recorder, video game player and digital video recorder or DVR. The room could be outfitted with satellite radio, computers, cassette tape decks, and other source equipment.
The home buyer will find at least two coaxial cables and a telephone connection and more connections are better. Some things to look for in equipment are High Definition capability, huge hard disk drives in the hundreds of gigabytes to store an hour or so of television and home theater personal computers (HTPC). Also look for the latest game systems on the market and keep in mind most fanatical gamers own more than one type of game system.
If the home seller includes equipment in a media room, consider whether the equipment is up to date. As we all know, the CRT TV set has been replaced in almost every setting by the flat screen TV. In a media room, the TV may be the newer LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) or DLP (digital light processing) type used for projection TV. Other types of TVs used in state-of-the-art media rooms are Plasma, used on flat-panel displays, or LCD (liquid crystal display), used on both projection and flat-panel displays. If the TV is advertised in the selling material as a ‘widescreen’ version, this means it is 16:9 or sixteen units by 9 units as compared with old models that were four units wide by three high. Quite a difference!
The largest TVs you are likely to find in any media room are rear projection 82-inch or Plasma 80-inch models. A front projector with a separate screen can have a display size of more than 100 inches.
In judging a media room, make sure it has proper lighting control. The room should be almost completely dark for watching movies but much brighter for Television viewing. Of course, the room must be without windows or have drapes and blinds capable of blocking all outside light and, ideally, automated. Try out the room before making it a main reason to buy the home.
Built-in furniture a prospective home buyer might find in a media room includes cabinets and/or racks for holding equipment and good seating. Without space for ideal seating placement, the room is basically a waste of space.
Make certain a media room has great ventilation, both for the health of the equipment and comfort of people who may watch several hours of movies or TV programming at a time. Make sure, as well, that the equipment in the room is safe, for instance with good surge protection. And ensure there is room in the racks or cabinets to add components in the future.
A great media room is a wonderful thing to find in a home being considered by a buyer but if it is a major consideration of the sale, the buyer should get a media room that is sized and equipped for well into the future.