Having a private home theatre is now a trend among movie lovers, and thanks to IMAX, people can now get home theaters installed in their house or wherever they want by the IMAX Private Theater Division. But, how much do Imax theaters cost?
Setting up an IMAX home theater costs $400,000 for the “Palais” system, and the “Platinum” system costs $1 million. The service is provided by the Private Theater Division and includes the installation of projectors, screens, chairs, lights, 3D glasses, media server, Blu-ray player, and touchscreen control.
In this article, we will be discussing in detail the cost of setting up your home theater, the steps involved, and the accessories to be installed.
IMAX Home Theater Setup Guide
Setting up a private home theater requires several types of equipment. The IMAX team mainly carries out the process, and a few precautionary guidelines on using the tools that only you can control are taught. The materials needed are:
- Dual 4K projector array
- Adult and child-sized passive 3D glasses for stereoscopic sessions
- Media server
- Blu-ray player
- Touchscreen control
- System control
Step One: Examine Or Create A Space
- The first step to create your private home theater is to create space for it or examine a part of your home where you plan to keep it.
- The minor IMAX home theater is the “Palais” system. It is built up to 75 square meters and takes 15 seats over three tiers.
- The Platinum system takes up to forty guests at once and requires more space.
- The screen’s position, the projectors, and seating arrangements must be considered when planning your private theater.
- It is also essential to note that the space where you will place the screen should be dim, just like in the theaters where they turn off the light, and placing your screen close to a window with a supply of lighting might affect the picture.
- Your projector will have to be set further away from the screen for bigger images, and you must install it on the ceiling behind the seats.
Step Two: Setting Up The Screen
The HD screen will be the center of attraction in your home theater, correct placement is paramount, and you have to identify the perfect position for it.
- To get the best viewing experience, IMAX also uses a wide HD screen and no projection of images directly from the projector to the wall.
- The room must be light controlled and made darker when the movie is on because this affects the display.
- IMAX makes use of a 240 inches curved HD screen for their private theater that provides excellent picture quality and surround sound like a public cinema in both 2D and 3D forms.
- The IMAX screen is typically mounted opposite the sitting area, far from any light source, with the center speakers placed behind it at the center to improve your sound output.
- The projector is placed far from the screen, opposite it, and several test runs are carried out with the projector to ensure that the screen is in its position.
Step Three: Setting Up The Projector
- Your projector should be mounted on a wall behind the seating area, well-spaced out from the screen, and this also helps in masking out the noise from the cooling systems of the projector.
- The first most important thing to note while setting up your projector is that you must test runs from different angles and adjust it to be perfectly centered on the screen.
- The above procedure should be carried out before securing the projector. Make use of an adjustable ladder to increase or reduce the height of the projector’s position until it is well centered and make the permanent position of the device.
- The IMAX projector is a custom-made dual 4K projection system that involves a passive 3D, DCI-P3 color gamut and a throw ratio of 1.26-2.73:1.
- After setting your projector in the perfect position, the next thing to do is to configure the settings, sounds, and picture.
The private theater department of IMAX studios will handle these configurations, but it’s worth knowing what they are doing and being able to contribute.
- The three most basic configuration settings of your projector placement are:
- Zoom Lenses – It is essential to get the image size of your picture correctly. The objects and texts on the screen must be clear and not blurry to the eyes. This setting is adjusted with your home theater’s sitting position and the distance from your projector to your screen.
- Lens Shift – This lens shift configuration is also carried out to place the picture on the screen properly. If your picture needs to move upwards, downwards, or sideways, the lens shift is the process carried out to make this happen. The movement is on the projector’s lens only and not the entire projector.
Once the image is perfectly placed on the screen, making the picture clearer becomes the next step, and that has to do with the zoom and focus controls.
- Image Correction – This process ensures that the images are well centered on the rectangular screen. Keystone image correction is a feature that is used to correct the image proportions.
If the image from the projector is smaller, wider, or more on one side of the screen than the other, then this is done to fix that.
- The final step to take is to select the proper picture mode, it can either be movie or cinema, and you’re done setting up your projector.
Step Four: Setting Up The Speakers
It is a step that you must pay special attention to because your speakers’ arrangement pattern can affect your sound output and probably ruin your movie experience.
The private home theater is always fitted with a proprietary IMAX sound system, version 7.2. Speakers have not been placed anywhere in the theater; they must be positioned in the seats and screen positions.
- There are four levels of speakers to be installed, they all have different positions where they are perfect for, and they are:
- Front Left and Right Speakers – These two speakers are best focused and placed close to the listening position, and this is your seating area. They should be placed at an angle close to the seats directly opposite the screen, moved slightly closer to the seats, and positioned the tweeters at ear level when seated.
Ensure to make proper calculations because your viewing position and the position of your speakers should have an equal distance from the central screen.
- Center speaker – This part of your sound system provides the famous surround sound you get from public cinemas. Your center speakers should be placed behind your screen, and they must be close to it because it enhances dialogues; and they should also be placed at ear level when seated. Under the center speakers, we also have the surround sound speakers;
- Your surround sound speakers should be positioned on both sides of your theater and behind your listening position.
- They should be targeted directly at you for the best sound experience.
- If you do not have enough space to achieve this, the speakers can be placed a few distances behind your listening position and facing forward.
- Surround sound speakers are best enjoyed if they are 2 feet above ear level.
- Subwoofer – Subwoofers are low bass sound frequency speakers, they have no fixed position, and this is because they are omnidirectional. They can be placed by the wall to produce lots of basses, or they can also be positioned at the edge where the rooms come together for even deeper bass.
The best thing to do is to place them in different positions, so you can listen to them, weigh them, and pick out the sound output you prefer the most.
- Second subwoofer – A second subwoofer is usually added to enhance the bass delivery, it helps fill in spaces where the first subwoofer does not get to, and they can also be placed anywhere. However, they should not be positioned beside the other subwoofer.
Step Five: Power Supply
IMAX home theater makes use of 360W per channel – into 8 ohms- amplification and a processor with Dolby Atmos/DTS:X support.
You must ensure the power requirements are met, provide it at a stable rate, and ensure to keep your equipment off when not in use. Sudden power surges can damage your projector, speakers or affect your screen if not correctly maintained.
Step Six: Sources
This step involves getting content to watch on your home theater screen. IMAX’s sources are a Blu-ray player and an IMAX media server.
The private home theater system usually comes with 200 movies preloaded on purchase. They include big blockbuster movies and four input systems for playing 3D and 2D content. When the
Step Seven: Final Check
After carrying out all the necessary steps, the next thing to do is run a final check and make sure that all is in place. Ensure all equipment is aligned, plugged in, ready for action, and in place. Then you can turn on your projector, select a movie, and enjoy.
What Does An Imax Home Theater Cost?
The IMAX home theater is divided into two budget categories; they have different sizes and resolutions.
- Palais Setup
- Platinum Setup
Palais Setup – The Palais setup is the most common of the two because it is currently the cheapest option, and it costs $400,000.
It is set up to take up to 15 seats over a three-tier arrangement, takes up to 75 square meters of space, and there is an extra cost for the set-top box and film rentals. The extra costs depending on your location.
Platinum Setup – The platinum setup costs $1 million, takes up to 40 seats, and is currently the most effective home theater option available. It takes two times the space of the Palais setup and also attracts an extra cost for set-top box and film rentals, depending on your location.
IMAX has announced their plans to provide another home theater option called the “Prestige” setup, and it is proposed to be half the price of the “Palais” setup and half the size.
Therefore, it will cost $200,000 and take a space of 37.5 square meters. A set release date has not been announced yet, but it is said to be underway.
Home Theater Setup Tips
Below are a some great tips to help enhance your home theater experience.
- Before deciding to get a home theater installed in your home or anywhere, ensure you consider the costs of everything and the space required. The costs to purchase the home theater might be fixed, but other small expenses might be involved, such as cables you didn’t think you needed.
- Ensure your room is arranged correctly, set up, and prepared for this change. The bass from the home theater might be too much for houses with weak foundations; make sure you seek professional help only.
- Properly place equipment as told, except on options where preference determines placement. On other equipment, make sure they are appropriately placed.
- Get a professional to handle your home theater electrical wirings. IMAX officials usually take care of this, but it is essential to know that this is a point to double-check and avoid electrical damage to your gadgets.
- Provide proper lighting in your theater, make use of the light control feature, and keep the room dark for a better movie experience.
- Ensure to make use of proper theater furniture suggested or provided by the home theater officials and properly defined your theater’s seating position. The seating positions play a unique role in determining where lots of equipment will be positioned.
- Ensure your floors are carpeted because it controls the sounds in the home theater and absorbs them to prevent reverberation.
- You should paint your home theater ceiling black to reduce light reflections and create a relaxed cinema mood. When lights are needed, you should use the overhead lights.
- Home theater walls can be regular drywall; framed art or pictures should not be placed on your walls, as the bass or sound vibrations can cause them to fall off.
They always reflect sounds like concrete blocks, too, so you should not use concrete blocks either. Simply installing studs and drywall is more than enough, while some people also use acoustic wall panels specially made for home theaters, called sound absorption panels.
- Finally, ensure you strictly follow all guidelines, use all appropriate tools, and ask maintenance questions. It is why it is essential to properly sort out your budget, plans, and expectations before going for the private theaters.
IMAX private home theaters are gradually expanding across Europe and America, bringing the cinema experience to people’s private spaces and allowing them to enjoy movies in their way without rules. Except, of course, maintenance rules. If you have questions or inquiries, do not hesitate to leave a comment below.
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- Morrison, Geoffrey, and David Kartzmaler. “9 tips to set up your projector perfectly.” CNET, 2021, https://www.cnet.com/
- Roberts, Becky. “Build the ultimate home cinema with IMAX Private Theatre.” WHAT HI*FI, 2015, https://www.whathifi.com/
- Sakoui, Anousha. “Want to Watch Imax at Home? That’ll Be $400,000.” Bloomberg, 2016, https://www.bloomberg.com/