Blog Directory CineVerse: Why and how to choose a good home theater system, continued

Why and how to choose a good home theater system, continued

Thursday, March 24, 2011

by Erik J. Martin

Note: This is part 2 of a 2-part article that first ran last Thursday.
For optimal viewing, you must determine the right TV screen size for your viewing space, To do this, simply divide the size of the screen in half, and convert the inches to feet. For instance, a 40-inch TV requires a room that is at least 20 feet long. Keep in mind that extra large flatpanel screens require large rooms and long viewing distances to provide maximum viewing satisfaction.

Planning your home theater setup requires you to play architect. On a piece of paper, map out how each piece will be positioned and how you will hook up all the components (most of your devices will be connected to your A/V receiver). Think about the location of electrical outlets (which should be the grounded, three-prong type) and the wattage you will need to run all of the equipment. Ask yourself whether your circuit breaker and outlet can handle the load. Figure out how long speaker wires should be, how you will hide and fasten the speaker wires, and where speakers should be set.

If you want quality sound—especially if you have a multi-channel Dolby digital receiver—the correct placement of speakers is crucial. Your three front speakers (left, center channel, right) should be placed around the television at roughly equal heights to one another (remember that unless your speakers are magnetically shielded, each needs to be positioned at least 3 feet away from your TV).

Place the left and right front speakers on as close to a 45-degree angle (facing inward) as possible, and be sure the center speaker is not placed ahead of the left or right speakers. The perfect position for surround speakers is roughly 3 feet or so above the viewing area and directly to either side of it.

Your subwoofer is the wild card in the equation. It can be placed anywhere in the room.

Try to keep your set and other components at least a few feet away from the back wall, giving you easy access to connections and ensuring adequate ventilation. If your system does not include an enclosed cabinet, you may want to purchase one, because it will protect your devices from dust (plan on dusting all of your hardware regularly to prevent damage to the internal electronics). Also, home theater equipment tends to generate a lot of heat, so you may want to install small media fans near important components.

With the right planning, you can put together a knockout home theater system that will be the envy of your friends, relatives and neighbors, When shopping for equipment, be sure to test different models and ask the salesperson plenty of questions. Find the ideal system for your room dimensions, budget and existing components by talking to home theater experts at consumer-electronics stores. By doing your homework, comparing prices and gauging quality and performance, your home theater system will be capable of producing a memorable entertainment experience that will keep you satisfied for years to come.

Finally, it's important to realize that, because technology is constantly changing, the home theater system you build today may soon become obsolete. Your components may not be upgradable or compatible with future equipment. Be a smart consumer by researching the latest innovations and comparing brands before you buy.

  © Blogger template Cumulus by 2008

Back to TOP