Saying 'Meh' to Media Rooms

Fifteen years ago, I wrote a story for this publication about how consumers were showing off then-new big-screen televisions in their then-new basement media rooms. Many spent thousands—some hundreds of thousands—to outfit these new status symbols with the best sound systems, leather recliners and vintage movie posters.

But now, media rooms elicit a big "meh." A survey of 4,000 consumers released earlier this year by Better Homes and Gardens concluded that "consumers aren't interested in media rooms." Another survey of 700 Coldwell Banker real-estate agents found that only 1% of the home buyers considered a media room the most important feature of a house.

Yet the surveys shed no light as to why media rooms have fallen so far out of favor.

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