Home Theater Setup Basics

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Home Theater Setup Basics

Time to turn an area of your home into an entertainment area? Tune up your house with a home theater by following these basic steps.

1. Determine where you would like your system set up: in a family room, an entire basement level or only one section, etc. Grab a pencil and some graph (or other) paper and get to work with a blueprint. Don’t leave this to “notions” or things get messed up – and quickly. Pencil in (a) your focal point – usually a television or other huge screen or home theater personal computer (HTPC) (b) seating (c) other main screens – projector and table / speakers and amps / computer / gaming consoles / DVD player, cable box and VCR (d) storage – shelves / remote and guide organizer (e) misc. – do leave some empty space. Cramped quarters are no fun!

2. Next, research your family needs. A home theater can incorporate: video game playing with any of the popular console systems like from Xbox, Nintendo or Playstation; it can feature a computer, DVD player and other recording and playing devices. Plus it can feature fancy audio equipment with multiple speakers. Add seating, lighting and screens into the mix. And plan ahead, too, looking to the future a little to prepare for the unexpected and for growth. For example, add extra outlets (for phone hook ups / computers / power supplies / cell phone, battery and other chargers, etc and leave extra space for the unexpected – extra shelves, equipment add-ons, storage for DVDs, CDs and remotes, etc. Grab your blueprint from above and pencil in your ideas.

3. Then comes set up time! Begin with your focal point and consider that your projector can reach to adjust distance from the screen for maximum effect. Test equipment at this stage before adding everything else into the area to make sure you get the results you like. After visuals, add audio into the mix. Set up your surround sound amp with plenty of video and audio inputs for all your fun systems. Then add the speakers and test again.

4. Then arrange other items (if you have a media center computer, many of these may already be part of the system): VCR, DVD player, gaming console and other equipment. Then round out everything with seating, lighting, shelves, storage organizers, etc.

Party time! Invite your family, friends and neighbors over to enjoy and celebration. Have fun!

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