Best Home Cinema Entry Criteria

Home Cinema rooms are gathering spaces with one main purpose: watching movies. Additionally, a Home Cinema can support other media uses such as music, gaming, and broadcast TV.

Whether used as a dedicated space or a multi-purpose space, a properly executed home cinema should be able to faithfully reproduce the picture and sound content, demonstrating minimal compromise within the given budget.

An award-winning Home Cinema is a space that should, therefore, be designed and installed using sound engineering principles and according to defined standards of industry best practice.

To determine which of the home cinema categories to enter, the costs should include anything you brought to the project i.e. equipment, finish, build, furniture. If you were not involved with the final decor for example, this would not be included in the cost.

In all instances, the judging panel will be looking for design and installation excellence and innovation which demonstrate intelligent value engineering.

Home Cinema categories specific design and engineering criteria:

1. LCR Speakers should ideally have a base width corresponding to angles of ± 22.5° to ± 30° relative to the center loudspeaker and the central listening position. Left and right speakers should ideally be equal distances from the centre speaker. The centre speaker should be located between the left and right front speakers on the centre axis of the screen. The LCR speakers should be at equal height. If not equal, they should be within 10º vertical of each other relative to the central listening position.

2. Surround Speakers Position: If there is only one pair of surround loudspeakers they should be placed within the angular range ±110º to ±120º relative to the centre axis of the screen. If there are four surround loudspeakers, the side loudspeakers can be placed symmetrically within the angular range spanning ±60º to about ±100º, and the rear loudspeakers within the angular range spanning approximately ±140º to ±160º. The surround speakers should be located at a height of 0.6m above seated ear height.

3. All full-range loudspeakers should have an unobstructed sound path to all seating positions, with distances as identical to each other as possible.

4. Listener’s heads should not be positioned at or near the null points of the low order (1st, 2nd and 3rd order) axial length or width standing waves unless multiple subs are used in order that such null points are cancelled out. Listeners ears should be positioned more than 18” away from any un-cancelled nulls.

5. Amplifier power must be sufficient into the specified speaker load and efficiency at the primary listening position to allow for sufficient volume to be reproduced (<100db. Ideally 105db) for each speaker.

6. For front projection screen environments, light output measured at the screen centre should be between 114fL and 25fL.

7. Screen size and location should be such that the middle of the screen is at seated eye height or no higher than 15° above that.

8. Picture size should subtend between 30° and 36° of horizontal viewing angle for high definition applications (based upon a 1.78:1 aspect ratio) at the prime seating location.


Please include accompanying high quality, high resolution images with your entry. These should include as a minimum requirement:

1. A view of the screen and LCR speakers as seen at the primary viewing position.

2. A view of the projector (ideally showing its relationship to the screen)

3. Photographs showing the position of any surround speakers relative to the primary viewing position.

4. Any equipment housing or racking. Preferably showing detail of any cooling provision that has been made.

5. An overall view or views showing the space at its best and demonstrating the execution of the overall design.

Views showing work in progress may also be useful for the judges. Images submitted must be available as high resolution JPEGs.

Video footage may also be supplied in addition to photography.

For more information, please contact CEDIA EMEA office at or call +44 (0)1480 213744.