How to setup a Home Theater [Guide]

With my previous posts on buying HDTV and then Tweaking HDTV, with this one I`ll complete the first chapter on HT (Home Theater) Step by Step Guide.

The Reason I stress on this detail is because a properly planned home theater room will give you improvements of sound, and visuals that will be 100% more noticeable difference. And not to forget, years of trouble free entertainment.

You don’t have to be an expert in electronics or home building to achieve the best home theater. One important detail, though, is whether or not you plan to use an already existing room or if you plan to add an addition to your home specifically for the home theater.

How to setup a Home Theater

Let’s get started, The first step is to:

1. Plan The Home Theater Installation Stage:

There are some things to consider before you go ahead and purchase your equipment. Have you planned where your home theater set up is going to be or exactly how you want everything laid out. Believe me, do this now and you won’t regret it. Here’s a few tips in the planning stage:

– Draw a map? You’ll need a rough draft of your home theater down on paper. Look at your room and picture in your mind where everything is going to sit.

– Your map should not just include the equipment placement but also doors and windows. Important to determine if their are going to be obstruction issues.

– Will you be putting in a projection unit? or HDTV ? How much sunlight comes into the room? If it’s a lot then window coverings become an issue.

– How many power outlets do you have in the room?

– Is wiring going to be an issue? Give this serious thought. You want your wiring out of the way. It should be neatly planned to run along the wall boundaries and not across the room.

2. Planning the Room

A Home theater with all the “bells and whistles” is going to use up more power than your average room in the house. Will your power supply be able to handle the load? Ask a professional for advice but most homes will be able to handle the extra power. Power outlets…do you have enough? Again, very important to make sure you have more than you need. Believe me, you’ll need them at some stage.

Circuit boards and safety breakers are also necessary. Power boards with safety breakers in case of power surge and overload are desirable, particularly during thunderstorms.

3. Using A Professional Designer to change Room acoustics
You may very well be a movie nut or a sporting fan and love nothing better than to sit back in the comfort of your own home, watching it in your own special cinema style set up. And in case you are not very geeky on acoustics, not to worry. Home theater installation can be done by professionals. They’ll design the layout from equipment placement to acoustics and even suggest what equipment will suit your home theater. Remember, it’s going to stand the test of time so plan it properly.

While building an entirely new room will allow you to design your theater exactly as you would like it, it is also by far the more expensive option. Using an already existing room can help you save money but it also means you have to work with what you’ve got.

There are many different types of home theater interiors that you can draw inspiration from. Plus, if you’ve hired a professional to help with the home theater designs or setup, then using pictures can help give them a clear idea of what you want.

Once you have the general idea of what you’d like to do down on paper, then it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty details. Doing more specific sketches of certain areas and features of the room will be necessary. These drawings will deal with things like your home theater seating, the home theater speakers (you can’t just rely on the television speaker when you’re building a home theater), the wiring, the home theater lighting, any cabinets you may be putting in and so on. Now that you’ve got your room picked out (or have given yourself the freedom to build a new one), it’s time to do a home theater room design.

4. Home Theater Furniture
One of the first and most essential decisions you will need to make is about the seating in your home theater. What type of chair do you plan to install? A couch? A recliner? A high-backed seat? Where do you want the seats to go? Do you plan to have decked seating? These are important decisions as they will affect all the other areas of your home theater design.

The number of seats you plan to install will dictate how much available floor space you have. The location of the seats will determine just where all your home theater equipment has to go as well as the sightlines to the screen.

Many home theater experts advise against the use of high-backed seating because the added height serves to absorb some of the sound. Additionally, recliners are also not the ideal type of home theater furniture because they allow a viewer’s head position to change. Both of these factors can subtract from your listening pleasure. However, because of the exquisite comfort these seats provide, many home theater owners and builders are willing to overlook this detail.

5. The length of your walls can work with or against you when it comes to the acoustics in your room. Parallel walls are the main reason of trouble. If you’re building the room, then the easiest way to resolve this problem is by building a room with walls of different lengths. However, this might look odd and the worst part, you will have hard-time selling the house (in case you plan to do that). That’s why we would go with an do-able option — Cover your walls and floor with some absorbing material — Decorative curtains,  carpeting, even foam can help keep the sound from bouncing all over your room, and you achieve the purpose quiet well.

6. Home theaters usually have a lot of electronics associated with them. and so are the wires. No one likes to see those wires floating around from one side to the other end. though in market you would find several HT audio systems which are wireless, I won’t recommend any. Wires are good, with wireless audio you lose fidelity. And we love fidelity: Fidelity eXtreme (Remember FX in Taranfx?).

If you’re building the room from scratch, then you have easier solutions by placing some of the wiring in the new walls or even under the floor. In office spaces, even ceiling are used, that’s totally upto you.  Using pvc/plastic pipes or tubing is also a handy way to keep wires and cords neat while also camouflaging them. Try to match the colors so taht they are virtually invisible with your walls, corners. Running the wire clutter under carpet is another nifty option. Cut out small sections of the padding to place the cords in, so tthat you don’t endup making the floor humpy.

7. Theaters are not known for being well-lit areas, so when it comes time to pick the lighting, resist bright light sources. Use indirect lighting, always. Using few CFLs distributed over the room’s ceiling is a good option. Also, when you pick or design a room, go with one that has few windows. Basements are great for home theaters because they usually have small windows or even no windows at all, but it’s often hard to get if you live up in flats.

8. Whatever room you choose, try to pick one that has a minimal amount of exterior noises. Overall, there should be good sound-proofing bothways — What’s inside shouldn’t go out, what’s outside shouldn’t come in. I always missed this one and my dad used to say one day my neighbours are going to kick me out, don’t let that happen 🙂

9. Consider putting in cabinets or shelves that have space for each piece of equipment you plan to install. While many people do it, it is a bad idea to stack your home theater accessories on top of each other. The electronics can build up heat, which can hinder their performance.

10. The Final Speaker Layout

Depending on the room you built so far, try to match your audio setup as in the diagram. By the way, that is from Official Dolby Guide for 5.1 audio. They recommend optimum angles for better and more clear sound.

Try to keep your center channel below your video source. this helps in getting cleaner audio Vocal and Dialogues.

Your front speakers go 24 degrees to 35 degrees from your place of viewing. Make sure they are tilted slightly so that they focus on you. The purpose bean when movie plays those gunshots, they should target you!

Rear speaker good for ambiance and surround effects, go slightly behind your earsmaking a 10 degree difference from the perpendicular.

And last but not the least your Woofer! HTs would be all crap without a good woofer. Best place for a woofer is in the corner. It doesnt matter which corner it is, but keeping the woofer near the walls raises the BOOM effect as much as 100% compared to when kept at center of the room. Don’t keep too near to your sitting area, it may damp other audible frequencies.

So, you should be all set to Rock the room! Plugin your BluRay and watch Transformers transforming your HT experience.

If you dont already own a Audio system, Stay tuned for article on  “Choosing your Audio”.

We write latest and greatest in Tech, Gadgets, Tech Guides, Audio/Video get them all @taranfx or subscribe to us below:

Credits to Repair-home, Dolby, CNET, HTMag, HTGuide.

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  • Thank for the article. I had a local installer do 90% of the legwork for our theater, but the differences of various standards (hdmi, component), etc, made some things difficult. I found the copperbox.com site from a referral from the manufacturer when my installer needed a component to HDMI adapter for my 4×4 hdmi matrix switch.

    Great article — thanks!

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  • you can always find extensions (with no practical signal loss) for your HDMI and component cables.
    @ viewers.
    Never compromise on the cable quality.
    I did once on RGB (VGA) cable 5meters @ $3, ended up in bad quality. Then with mere frustration i chose High quality 2m for $13. Quality was no where comparable and it could detect my FullHD TV in split second. Bad one never switched to full 1080p! Because of CrossTalk between the unshielded cables!

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  • Pingback: Home Theater Design Plans()

  • Buying home theater furniture is one of the toughest jobs and also hardest furniture that you will ever purchase. The reason for bringing home this type of furniture is not only its aesthetic value, but also for experiencing ultimate comfort.

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  • Buying home theater furniture is one of the toughest jobs and also hardest furniture that you will ever purchase. The reason for bringing home this type of furniture is not only its aesthetic value, but also for experiencing ultimate comfort.

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  • This is special total information for complete furniture such Wicker Furniture,Patio furniture,Home Theater Furniture,Nigthclub furniture,tips and triks

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  • When looking to buy home theater furniture the first question that comes to our mind is comfort. We always want the furniture we buy to provide us ultimate comfort especially when it comes to home theater seating because it is the place where we’ll be sitting for a while. Also being a homeowner you would prefer to have a seating arrangement that would be stylish and affordable.

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  • One thing to consider for a home theater to be look more nice and cool is to organize those wires and cable by the use of those wire and cable management products.

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  • Nina Cook123

    This is great news.

    I’ve updated hometheatershack.com to reflect this.

    Cheers!

    This blog attacted a lot of attention in the papers over the last few days…

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