Sunday, November 14, 2010

Putting Together a Home Theater

Home theaters create the perfect atmosphere to enjoy movies, TV and music. They can be simple, or very complex, but even the simplest home theaters require good planning and careful installation to work properly. Whether you spend thousands of dollars on the most high-tech devices, or you just want to get the most out of your existing equipment, you can create a home theater system that will give you hours of pleasure without expensive installation teams. Before you begin, enlist the help of a friend or relative to aid with the heavier lifting, and to hold various components while being installed.

Plan your room before you begin moving equipment, and furniture in. Put drapes over windows to cut glare during daytime viewing. If you plan on having many gadgets, or know your current electrical system is overloaded already, hire an electrician to run a dedicated electrical circuit from your breaker box to the home theater room so you have plenty of power and it does not interfere with other aspects of the house.

Plan the placement of your entertainment center considering how much space there is in the room. The bigger the screen on your television, the more space you need from front to back of the room. How much room is available may also dictate the size of the TV you should buy. The seating must be at least six to ten feet away from the screen for a 27 to 31 inch TV, eight to twelve feet from a 32 to 40 inch screen, and more than ten feet away from a screen over 40 inches for optimal viewing experience.

Place the television screen at eye level with the seating area of your home theater for the best viewing level. Install all cable connections, phone connections and Internet connection in the area where the television will be. Do not hang a television, or heavy speakers on drywall. If the wall where your larger speakers will be, place them on speaker stands instead of directly on the wall.

Unpack all of the equipment and sort out the remote controls, and necessary gear. Place batteries in the remotes. Collect all of the warranty information and put them in a safe place to fill out later.

Lay out the cables in a common area where they are easy to access when working. Attach your speaker cables to the surround sound receiver, and the receiver to the television.

Place each device on your entertainment center, or stand. These elements vary from user to user, but traditionally include a DVD player, cable or satellite box and possibly a game system. Follow the directions of each piece in attaching them to the television and each other.

Install the cable or satellite system connected directly to the television so that if you want you can avoid turning everything else on in order to simply watch TV.

Sit in a comfortable place and test the equipment. Turn on the TV by itself and judge the sound levels and picture quality. Adjust according to the instructions in the surround sound system, and the television manuals. Place a DVD in the player with a lot of technology and action to best judge the picture and sound through the DVD player.

Collect all of the excess wiring and loop it behind the entertainment cabinet, or television stand. Hold it in place with plastic ties.