How to Setup a Home Theatre System in your living room?

Ever wondered why we enjoy a movie in the cinema theatre more than watching the same on our regular TV at home?

Well, the whole concept of cinema theatre is designed to present a motion picture more grandly. The big screen, the surround sound, and the comfortable seating enhance the entire experience of watching a movie.

However, the only movies that you can watch in movie theatres are the upcoming releases. There’s no way you can watch your favorite movies or TV series at the cinema house. Well, not anymore!

Now, there’s an option of setting up your home theatre system in your very living room. The idea isn’t new, but it is easily affordable today as the electronics market is booming and there are plenty of options to choose from when you set up a home theatre system in your living room.

Step by Step Guide to Set up a Home Theatre System in Living Room

The reason why it’s called a home theatre system is the fact that it converts your living room into a mini theatre set up. Before setting up a home theatre system, you must decide the ideal place. Typically, it’s the living room where you entertainment set up is. However, if there’s a spare room other than the living room, you could use that too.

Once you have finalized the room, it’s time to set up everything.

Choose the Right TV

There’s a boom in the market when it comes to the diverse range of options for television. The CRT powered display units sound medieval nowadays. We are living in the age where thinking about a non-HDTV is a crime or injustice to the entertainment world. On top of that, there are also options in the display panels such OLEDs, Curve LEDs, Plasma, etc.

Always think ahead of the time when you plan to buy a new electronic item. Remember, the technology is upgrading rapidly, and if you opt for soon-to-be old products, then you will end up regretting. Hence, check the latest technologies and decide the ideal TV unit for your home. In this world of 4K display, you must at least invest in a quality HDTV with internet connectivity options and 3D compatibility.

You can always opt for a 4K TV with the right budget as most movies and TV series today are shot in 4K or even higher. Whichever the TV unit you choose, it must have HD display, internet connectivity to stream online services like Netflix, and must support 3D.

Setting up Surround Sound

Based on the acoustics of your entertainment or living room, you must set up and place your home theatre sound system ideally. A typical home theatre unit will comprise of five surround speakers, a subwoofer, a 5.1 channel A/V receiver and a Blu-ray disc player.

The speakers are the lifeline of any home theatre system, and ideally, a complete home theatre system will come with the required number of speakers. However, you can always increase or decrease the amount of speakers based on the size of your room.

Types of Speaker Systems

A typical surround sound system is a 5.1 channel which is the most widely used surround sound systems across the globe. The 5 represents the number of speakers while 1 refers to the bass channel. A subwoofer is also included in this set up to enhance the effects of loud explosions or other special effects.

Besides 5.1 speaker setup, you can also choose a 7.1, 9.1, or 11.1 channels for your home theatre system. The 5.1 speaker setup is ideal for small space or a typical living room consisting of a TV and a Sofa unit. You can upgrade to larger speaker set based on the area you have.

The 5.1 speaker setup consists of one left and right speaker each, a center channel speaker, and two rear speakers along with a subwoofer separately.

How to Place the Speakers in the Living Room?

Always place the subwoofer near the TV unit and arrange the two left and right speakers on their respective side of the display unit. Place these speakers slightly pointed towards you while you are watching.

Place the two rear speakers behind your seating. It shouldn’t be close but ideally placed to offer you the surround sound. Depending on the type of the speakers, you can either stand them behind the sofa or put them in the two corners directly opposite to the TV unit.

You should place the speakers facing you at an elevation. The speakers work the best when the sound is coming directly to you or from the above just like a movie theatre. Setting up the speakers at an elevation above you will give you a three-dimensional sound environment.

The fifth speaker or the center speaker can be placed right in the middle just above the TV display, or if it’s a soundbar then you can put it below or above the TV unit. While the left, right, and rear speakers create the surround sound effect, the center speaker is basically to localize the dialog to the screen.

That’s it. Just connect everything and start entertaining yourself. You will find all the wires and cables included with the equipment you purchase for your home theatre system.

Mistakes to Avoid While Setting up a Home Theatre System

If you are new to home theatre setups, then you must consider the following things to avoid any errors. Setting up a home theatre system is a costly affair, and any mishap will lead to unbearable loss at times.

Also, the whole idea of setting up the home theatre system is about entertainment and the experience. Irrespective of how much you spend on a home theatre system, if you don’t enjoy watching movies, then it’s not worth it.

In short, you must try and avoid these mistakes while setting up the home theatre system:

Not getting the right elevation

The elevation is the key when it comes to setting up the TV unit. Anything that makes you look up will be a pain in the neck in a literal sense. Ideally, we are not designed to look up for a longer time. Hence, placing the TV unit at the eye level is a healthy choice.

Assess your seating arrangement and fix the ideal place to position your TV unit. It should be at a level where you can watch the movie looking straight on the monitor.

Not keeping the ideal distance

To enjoy a movie, we often choose the rear seats rather than the front row ones. The screens at movie theatres are enormous and you can’t get a clear vision when seated right before the screen. The same principle applies to the home theatre setup as well.

You must keep the ideal distance between the display unit and the seating. You can get the best viewing experience only when you are seated at a perfect distance which not too far or close to the screen. Keeping some distance will also help you get the right feel for the surround sound environment. Considering that your display unit is 40 inch or above, an ideal distance between you and the display must be at least 6 feet.

Letting sun affect your viewing experience

There’s a reason why it is dark during the movie screening at the theatre. You get the best viewing experience when you are focused on the screen, and there’s no shadow or bright light reflected onto the screen.

The same applies to your home theatre system as well. If your living room has too many windows projecting sunlight directly throughout the day, then ensure you have curtains to block it. You can always turn off the lights during the night but the only way to stop sunlight from entering the living room during the day is preventing it. Blinds or blackout shades are also ideal if you have the right budget.

Forgetting surge protectors

A home theatre setup requires a lot of power, and it is crucial to use surge protectors to ensure the safety of your equipment as well as your house. Most people invest a fortune in a home theatre setup but miss out on quality surge protectors. All their investment goes to waste if there’s a power surge or fluctuations due to varied reasons.

Ideally, the quality surge protectors will cost as much as 10% of your entire home theatre system budget. You can secure all the equipment just by powering all your electronics through surge protectors.

A Final Word!

Stay within your budget and decide the right home theatre setup ideal for your living room. Don’t overdo and buy fancy stuff that you don’t need. Design your home theatre system and get the setup that suits your entertainment room or living room.

Also, ensure that the room is a bit isolated from the rest of the house as you don’t need a lot of foot traffic while you enjoy your favorite movie or TV series.


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