With rapidly progressing technology, setting up a great home theater has never been more affordable.  Flat screen televisions that were once thousands of dollars, now only cost hundreds.  Blu-Ray players have driven down the costs of DVD players, and surround sound is no longer exclusive to the wealthy.  Here are some tips to setting up the perfect home theater.

Plan and Design

It is important for individuals to not just walk into an electronics store and start purchasing components.  That gigantic TV the salesman is trying to pitch, works perfectly for the mini-theater set up in store, but could cause all sort of problems in one’s home.  The distance from the seats to a TV when setting up a home theater are crucial to determining proper size, as otherwise individuals might have to keep turning their heads back and forth to follow the action.  This is where planning becomes important, individuals should first measure the distance from the TV to the primary viewing seat. By multiplying that number by .84, individuals can determine the maximum screen size they should purchase.  Using this formula, a distance of 75 inches to the TV, yields a maximum TV size of 63 inches (measured across the diagonal).

Once TV size is determined, individuals can sketch out where they would like the rest of their components to go, speakers, surround sound, DVD player etcetera.

Consider Cables

With the loose sketch in hand, individuals must now measure the distance from where they want things to go, back to the television.  Most electronics come with cables that are not particularly long or only enough cables for a basic installation.  Determining the length of cables needed is important before heading to the store and purchasing the pieces of a home theater.  Once a television is chosen, then individuals know whether they need to be purchasing coaxial cables, HDMI cables, power strips, or whatever else the set up requires.  Also many televisions only have one HDMI input, so, if multiple HD devices are being used, an HDMI switch must be purchased as well.

Install The System

Believe it or not, each device will only have a couple of chords for users to contend with.  The best part about this is that they are designed so that each one only fits into one possible slot.  That being said, individuals should not just begin plugging one thing into another and hoping for the best.  Each device will come with simple and clearly instructions for setting them up.  Using the instructions is a sign of intelligence, not something to be embarrassed about, especially when dealing with hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

To avoid being overwhelmed, it is recommended that individuals take installation one product at a time.  A good order to follow is:

1)      Television – Always needs to be set up first, as everything else will be running through it, however do not put the set in it’s final position, as access to the back will be important for plugging in the rest of the cables.

2)      Speakers/Surround Sound – These are designed so that position actually affects performance, so they are the second most important thing to set up.

3)      Blu-Ray/DVD Player – With the speakers taken care of, these come next.

4)      Video Game Consoles – At this point, most older televisions may be out of inputs, but many adapters are available.  Newer televisions are designed for such set ups and should have plenty of plugs.  If individuals are not purchasing an adaptor, and must manually unplug one to use another, the rule of thumb is to leave the most frequently used device plugged in as a default.