Home theatre systems are playing an increasing role in our lives as the recession is driving new trends for staying at home rather than spending money on going out. To quantify this, total user spend on AV (including home theatre systems) in 2011 was approximately 2.8billion. Home theatre encompasses everything from television, DVD players and speakers. However the process of installing a home theatre system remains a mystery to most, therefore we have put together a basic guide to assist you with this.
Home theatre systems can bring a complete interactive audio-visual experience into the heart of your home. It lends itself to endless hours of entertainment. However there is no point in spending thousands of pounds on equipment if it is not installed correctly, therefore this guide to install your home theatre system will help you to get the most out of your new system.
The most important aspect of this process is to plan. Therefore before you have even unwrapped your new home theatre system, decide what room and where you want everything to go.
Health & Safety
Your theatre room must have adequate power to run the home theatre system safely. Therefore it is important that your room is powered by a single pole circuit breaker/ supply as this will avoid the prospect of your home theatre system being overloaded. It will trip before this happens. Each different power outlet can be attached to an extension lead if necessary.
Start your placement-planning by deciding where to locate your TV. The TV should be centralised and people watching the TV should look straight-forward to view it. The height of the TV should be eye level to its viewers.
Central Speaker Placement
Most speaker guides agree on their placement. Firstly, place your speakers in their position before attaching the live cables. The central speaker needs to be located directly over or under the TV.
Left & Right Hand Speakers
Both the left and right speakers should be equidistant to the TV. The top of the left and right speakers should be at the same height of the central speaker.
Surround Sound Speakers
If you choose to have surround sound speakers (highly recommended), locate them left and right of where intend to sit to view your home theatre system. Again these should be equidistant to your position. Point the surround speakers away from your central position, either to the back of the room or to the ceiling.
The subwoofer (a complete loudspeaker, dedicated to the reproduction of bass) needs to be located about halfway between the viewing location and the TV.
Once you are happy with the location of all of your equipment, you are ready to connect the items to the power via the cables. It is worth referencing the instruction manual for this exact process.
If you have any additional equipment such as a DVD player, NAS drive etc. these should be located prior to the power being connected.
Tips & Tricks
For a hassle-free installation, make sure you make note of the following tips and tricks:
- Read the instruction manual. This sounds like an obvious point but if you are tempted to save time by cutting corners, this will hinder the installation. Reading the instruction manual first will save you time in the long run.
- Consider lighting. Do you want glare on the screen of your brand new TV? No. Make sure your home theatre system room has good lighting control either through dimmer switches and/ or curtains and blinds.
- Loudspeakers should be placed away from the wall, and should not be ‘flush' to the wall.
- Don't forget about seating. Once you have installed your home theatre system, you will want to invite people over to try this out. Therefore make sure you have enough seating for everyone.
- If all else fails, employ a professional home cinema installer to install your system. Find someone in your local area with the right qualifications and negotiate an appropriate rate. Make sure you are present during the installation to oversee the process.