Home Theater System Setup

Written by Serena Berger
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Setting up a home theater system can be a daunting task if taken as a whole. There are several connections that you will have to make between different components of your home theater. Additionally, you will need to determine where you will position your speakers to create the most effective surround sound environment.

Positioning Your Speakers for Surround Sound

To begin, you should figure out where is the best place to put each of your speakers. Optimally, the center channel would go either on top of or in front of the television, directly in line with the primary viewing location. The front two speakers should be placed off to the sides of the television and aimed at the same place--where you will most likely be sitting. The surround speakers, or rear speakers, can be placed on the sides of the room facing where you will be sitting, or slightly behind you. Ideally, the speakers would sit approximately a foot higher than ear level. The exact positions will require fine tuning once you have everything connected, but you will need a rough idea of location when you begin to cut your speaker wire.

You will also need to connect the various components of your home theater system together. This will require an assortment of cables, the quality of which should be in line with the quality of your components. Be careful when connecting all of your components and plugging in the power cords, as these electrical signals can interfere with each other. That said, you want to minimize the contact between cables when possible. Quality noise shielding will prevent a lot of interference, but you should do what you can to minimize it, as well.

You will then need to connect your speakers to the receiver. If you have purchased components individually, you have probably also purchased a spool of high quality speaker cable that you can cut to appropriate lengths for each one. When connecting the wire or connectors that have been attached to the wires to your receiver, be sure to match the polarity. Many audio and visual components help you out by color coding both banana plugs and inputs with red and black so that you have a quick visual reference for which goes where.

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