With a quality home theatre system, you can now enjoy the cinema experience in the comfort of your own home. If you’ve decided to make such an important investment, you want to ensure that you are getting the most enjoyable audio-visual experience possible. But maximising your enjoyment and your new theatre system’s performance is about more than plugging it in and popping a few speakers around your living room. Here are a few pointers on how you can get the most out of your home theatre system.
By simply changing your seating arrangement you can enhance your viewing experience. There is even a formula you can use to calculate the best distance from seat-to-screen. Simply divide your screen size (which is measured diagonally) by 0.84 to find your optimum viewing distance. If you haven’t got a dedicated theatre room or are still in the process of deciding which HDTV size is right for you, this is an important consideration to factor into your purchasing decision.
Many of us place our surround sound speakers according to where they look best or wherever we can fit them in with our other décor. But by better considering your speaker set-up, you can significantly improve the sound quality emanating from your system. There are a variety of online tools and placements guides that offer advice on the best distances and angles for achieving optimal sound, depending on the room’s dimensions. As a general rule of thumb, you should have a speaker to the left, right and directly underneath your television as well as two to four speakers behind you just above ear level.
As much as we all hate doing it, it pays to read the Owner’s Manual. Doing so will give you an understanding of your components, menu settings, and an opportunity to experiment with them. Taking time to go through your AV receiver and TV picture settings pays dividends in better sound and picture quality. For a quick and easy solution, try one of the calibration discs included in most home theatre purchases to assist you with fine tuning the video and audio settings on your system. Many new AV receivers on the market also come with an automatic calibration feature.
Protect your system from power spikes with a quality line conditioner. Using a line conditioner will also improve your sound and picture quality. This is because as well as providing surge protection, these devices filter your AC power, eliminating the noise travelling through the AC line through to your equipment.
Connecting your equipment with quality cables makes the world of difference and you don’t necessarily have to buy the most expensive cables on the market. To maximise signal transfer, connections should make solid contact when plugged together. Good quality cables will stay in place and make secure contact.
Having control over the lighting in your theatre room can immensely enhance your whole experience. Ensure that you can darken your room while watching movies and eliminate any sources of light that may reflect off the screen into your eyes while viewing.