Follow these simple steps to provide your friends and family with the ultimate theater experience.
Place the television
Position the TV in the center of the wall. Placing it off to the side would mean some viewers would have to strain their necks to see it. Also make sure the TV is eye level.
Set up the speakers
For surround sound, you need five speakers and one subwoofer.
Speakers sound better when they are on stands or mounted on the wall. The three front speakers should form a line with the TV, parallel to the seating area. The two rear speakers should be opposite each other on either side of the listeners, slightly above ear level. Place the subwoofer on the floor behind the seating area or against a wall.
Stack the gear
Provide at least eight inches between the back of the components and the wall to allow for easy installation. This also will help with ventilation.
Because receivers generate the most heat, place it on top of the stack or on its own shelf. Make sure there is at least 2 inches of space above the receiver for heat to escape.
Label wires and cables
With masking tape and a marker, label each of the a/v jacks with its device’s name, such as DVD, TV, etc.
Connect the speakers
After attaching the speakers to the receiver with 99.99 percent oxygen-free copper cabling, test the sound. Adjust speaker placement as necessary.
Connect the television and other devices
Decide which device to assign to each video channel. Attach one end of the yellow jack to your television’s Video 1 output jack and the other end to your receiver’s Video 1 input jack. Repeat this with the red and white jacks. Test it by turning on the TV and the receiver and pressing the Video 1 button. Make sure sound is coming from all your speakers.
Repeat the above steps for the other devices, keeping track of the video channel each device goes to.
Other tips for wires and cables
Avoid bundling wires and cables or placing them near power cords—doing so will increase interference and diminish signal quality. Keep them as short as possible without coiling them with a twist tie.
Test your equipment before trimming speaker wires, in case you need to adjust the placement of some speakers.
Grab the remote, sit back and enjoy the show.
Soundproof your home theater
This might be helpful if you live in a townhouse or a multi-unit dwelling. Use acoustical or studio foam and a plain acoustical vinyl barrier to sound proof your walls.
Install a dimmer switch Before the movie starts, dim the lights to a comfortable level. Staring at a brightly lit screen in a completely dark room can strain your eyes. A dimmer switch will help you find a happy medium.
Cover the floors Wood and tile floors reflect sound waves, muddying a movie’s dialogue and making sound effects jarring. Install carpeting or put down an area rug to absorb wayward sound waves.
Hang curtains Thick curtains over windows serve a dual purpose—they help absorb errant sound waves and keep out light.
Build a home theater bar Provide guests with refreshments while they watch a movie. Include a microwave, mini refrigerator andpopcorn popper to complete the home theater experience.