Most of us love watching movies but don’t have the time or the effort to gather up our family or friends and trek to the cinema. Accordingly, we decide to watch our favorite movies on TV. However, the resolution is not always great, and the sound is not as immersive as it would be at the theater. Thus, putting together a home theater system becomes essential. The good news for entertainment fanatics is that technology has made obtaining a dream set easier and cheaper than ever. Thankfully, modern electric interfaces introduced to home theater systems have helped shape them into the amazing platform they are today. Nevertheless, the downside of these sophisticated diverse options is the complexity of getting them all connected. Familiarizing yourself with home theater systems before making the purchase is essential as they can get quite costly, not to mention the variety of display/sound/receiver setups can be confusing. To make this process easier, we have broken it down into basic steps so you can move from there. Without further ado, here is our brief yet conclusive guide on the setup of your home theater:
The receiver is the mastermind behind transforming digital bits of data into audio and visual data, which is then projected by the TV and speakers. It connects the sources, decodes audio, processes data, and amplifies the sound of your speakers. Depending on the type of connection you’d like to use, preferably an HDMI connection, your TV should be connected to the output ports of the receiver. This is the connection that allows the display of visual data from any sources connected to the receiver.
Similar to the video setup, audio can be connected by either an HDMI-ARC or an AUX/input channel. If your receiver and TV both support Audio Return Channel, then it’s recommended to use the HDMI-ARC connection as it’s simpler and better. If it’s an AV receiver, connect the audio outputs of the TV to their counterpart input in the receiver. Whichever method you choose, you should be able to enjoy stereo or surround audio from your home theater system seamlessly.
With countless options to choose from, you’re bound to get lost for a good while. HDR, 4K resolutions, OLED, and Smart capabilities are all options that can transform a traditional viewing experience into a fully immersive session. The first thing you should look out for is the resolution. Massive high-quality TVs are frequently being sold at bargain prices, so you should snatch the opportunity and go for a 4K TV, at least. You don’t have to invest in 8K TVs yet, as they will cost you an arm and a leg. The budget should range from $500 to $900, depending on the resolution, Smart capabilities, HDR, and refresh rate.
On the other hand, OLED TVs are wonderful but they can easily decimate a mid-tier budget since the technology is relatively new and expensive; you can instead settle for QLED options, which are fairly amazing and within budget. If you’re going to frequently use the TV for gaming, then the refresh rate shouldn’t fall below 120 Hz for the best lag-free experience. Also, consider getting a TV stand after you’ve purchased your TV. In addition to their aesthetics, TV stands are perfect for giving you a better viewing angle and plenty of space to store different items . In case you have decided to get something like this for your TV, opt for one that looks elegant while handling the weight of the set. You can use stands that give a minimal vibe to the TV for a more elegant experience in a dark room. A sleek TV stand will complement your home, so look around for one that fits your space perfectly.
If you still have the old habit of watching programs with the help of an antenna, you’ll have to directly connect your TV with this , as long as it has a port for it. Smart TVs don’t need much except for the internet to fully operate. If you’re using cable services or satellite boxes, you’ll have to connect the cables to the box and then proceed to connect the box to your TV. There are two different ways to connect the box to the TV; you can either create a direct connection to the TV through the audio/video output ports on the box or connect the box to the receiver.
The trend of flat screen TVs has left a lot to be desired in terms of audio quality. For a truly immersive experience, you should opt for separate speakers that can provide you with the cinematic sound you long for. The most common audio setup used in home entertainment systems is a 5.1-channel setup. The first number, 5, stands for the number of speakers in the setup, which are left, right, center, right surround, and left surround. The second number denotes the number of subwoofers in the setup. The 5.1-speaker setup is pretty straightforward and shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes. Just make sure that the subwoofer is to the left or right of the set and keep some distance between the speakers.
The 7.1-channel setup is a more elaborate setup that only those who truly appreciate a surrounding and immersive experience go for. You’ll want to place the front, center, left/right main speakers, and the subwoofer at the same distance from each other from the center speaker with a slight 30-degree rotation from the center. The surround speakers are closely placed to the listener’s location. The rear speakers should be placed behind the surround speakers with a 140-degree rotation from the front center speaker.
Media streamers are optional, since they depend on your viewing preferences. If you own a media streamer like Apple TV or Chromecast, it has to have a constant connection to the internet. You can connect them by either directly hooking them up to the TV with an HDMI cable or routing the signal through your receiver. It’s recommended to use the receiver to maximize the quality of video and audio being played on the TV and speakers.
Home entertainment systems can provide an experience that no simple setups can ever come close to. At the end of the day, the home theater setup boils down to your preferences and the budget you’ve set. Make sure to research every component of the system to follow the most ideal and customized setup for you.