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Installing a Home Theatre System

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If you love unbelievable graphics, ultra-loud sound effects, and seeing the grit, grime, and sweat of your favorite sports teams in high definition, a home theatre system is definitely for you. Not only can you enjoy your favorite shows and movies with your family, but everyone in your neighborhood is bound to come over to catch the biggest sporting events or reality shows.

Just having the best home theatre equipment isn't enough-- installing the right way will only amplify your experience.


Get a high-quality TV. The television is going to be the focal point of your entertainment system, so make sure it is the best you can get. If you don't want or need a high-end plasma or a huge LCD TV, you can still find a decently-sized TV with a good quality picture for not too much money.

Choose the optimal spot for the TV--the rest of the entertainment system will be arranged around it. Pick a position where the TV can be viewed straight on without a glare. Carefully follow the instructions that came with your TV for mounting and setting it up. Keep in mind that it should be placed at about eye-level to the viewers.

TIP: Check with HDTV service providers in your area. Some will offer HDV or home theater setup as an incentive for using their HDTV service.

Surround Sound

The other major component of your home theatre system is the surround sound. This usually encompasses five speakers (sometimes seven), a subwoofer, and a center console, which connects and controls the system.
  • Each speaker should be labeled according to its position (e.g., FR for front right, RL for rear left, etc).

  • The center speaker should be placed on or above the TV, and the front-right and front-left speakers should be placed at about equal height and at the same distance from the center speaker.

  • The rear speakers should be placed approximately opposite of their front counterparts. More specific instructions will be included with your system when you purchase it.
Depending on your system, you may have the option to custom balance the sound output from each speaker. Some systems can even do this automatically by sending out signals from the speakers to a microphone that you'll have to place in various positions in the room. Follow your system's setup instructions carefully.

A Few Extra Tips

Here are some other things to keep in mind while installing your system:
  • If your speakers have separate positive and negative wire inputs, make sure you connect the right wire to the right terminal.

  • Try to pick a room that has enough outlets to handle everything you'll be plugging in. Surge protectors are also a good idea, since you'll want to protect this expensive equipment.

  • Avoid setting up your system in a well-lit room or one that has a lot of windows that will cause glare. If you don't have another viable option, invest in some thick shades and curtains.

  • You may have to test and rearrange your speakers more than once, so make sure you don't mount anything until you're sure you have the best arrangement.
Taking the extra time to get all of this equipment set up the right way will be well worth it when you sit down to enjoy your favorite TV show, movie, or video game. Having your TV in a good location and your sound system set up properly can make all the difference in your viewing and listening experience.

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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