There’s nothing like having your own home cinema system.?Just thinking about it conjures up images of perfect sound and video. Add some blackout curtains, and you don’t have a reason to go to the movies ever again.
However, if you want to get the perfect viewing experience, you’re in for some surprises. If home theater systems were plug and play, there wouldn’t be so many technical guides for them, would there?
While there are several personal specifications you can set for your system, there are some solid, proven ways to help you get the optimal viewing experience.
How to get the most from your home cinema system
We know, we know: you’re super excited about your new home cinema system.
You can’t wait to curl up on the sofa with a big bowl of popcorn and settle in for a marathon of your favorite movies – without the high prices of the physical cinemas.
However, any home theater system isn’t going to work to its potential right out of the box. There are some tweaks you should do prior to snuggling up for a binge-watch session.
What are the key things you should take care of with your home theater system? Read on for a few solid tips.
When you go to the movies, where do you immediately head to once you get to the theater? You try to scope out a seat directly in the middle, right?
This is because it gives you an optimal view of the screen while you feel the ultimate effects of the sound.
You don’t have to give that up just because you’re at home. Organize your space so that it strikes a balance between the video and the sound.
Balance also gives your home cinema system some symmetrical flair that’s aesthetically pleasing and looks very professional.
If you want all components of your home cinema system to work seamlessly together, you’ll want to ensure that you’re using the same drivers across the board.
What are drivers? You may know them as software components that allow a device to communicate with another device, but we’re specifically referring to speaker drivers.
Speaker drivers are transducers that work like a loudspeaker. They work by converting audio signals into sound waves to be emitted.
You want to make sure that the drivers you use are the same, particularly for your speakers on the front lines (literally the front speakers).
If you use the same drivers, this lets sound and other effects move between the speakers seamlessly and flawlessly. Size doesn’t matter: as long as the design and materials are the same, you’ll get the best sound quality possible.
Place your speakers properly
You may not think that sound matters much in your home cinema system. Of course, it matters: you need to be able to hear the movies you’re playing, right?
But it may not seem like the sound source matters much as long as you can hear it. However, for an optimal home theater setup, you do need to pay attention to speaker placement.
Keep them at the same height to keep from having any variations in sound. As for actual placement, you need to pay attention to the way the speaker is made.
If your speakers have a back-facing bass port, you need to keep them a few inches from the wall, for instance.
Choose the right speakers
Speaking of speakers – you need to make sure you pick the right ones. You may think you should automatically gravitate to the set that promises the highest quality, but you need to pay attention to the best choice for your room.
A big speaker isn’t going to live up to its full potential in a tiny room, for instance. Additionally, small speakers aren’t going to do much good in a large room.
Why wouldn’t you get the biggest possible for a small room? And what’s wrong with tiny speakers in a big room if it’s for personal use? The size of the room affects the sound.
The size of the room affects the sound. Large speakers, in particular, can sound over-filled and bloated, and the sound can even seem like it’s slowed down. That isn’t what you paid for, and you won’t be satisfied with the end product.
Remember what we said about striking a balance? It goes for screen placement as well.
You’ve more than likely carved out a place for your TV and your home cinema system. However, if you’re just getting started and haven’t gathered all your equipment yet, there’s actually a rough mathematical equation to find the perfect viewing distance for your TV.
The easiest method is to measure your TV diagonally. Take that figure and multiply it by two. Your TV should be that far away from your seating area.
Ever run into color issues with your TV? You try to turn it on right out of the box and people are looking a little orange? Issues with saturation and contrast can be chalked up to screen calibration.
It’s important to calibrate your home cinema system TV because it won’t give you the best video quality out of the box. After all the money you dropped, it’s the least they could do, but hey – we don’t live in a perfect world.
It’s possible to do this manually, but there are various different calibration tools you can use, particularly DVD-based ones. There are also programs you can download, and you can find some solid options for free or cheap.
Finding the perfect setup for your home cinema system isn’t an exact science. A lot of it comes down to personal preference and needs.
Still, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t steps you can take that are perfect for improving your all-around experience.
If you want the perfect home cinema setup, follow these tips, and you’ll be having regular movie nights in no time at all!
Interested in home theater systems, or have a ton of questions? Not a problem! The experts are here to help.