How to Set Up a Simple Home Theatre System: A Beginner’s Guide

How to Set Up a Simple Home Theater System: A Beginner’s Guide

What’s better than getting comfortable with a bowl of popcorn and putting your favourite films on? Doing it with a home theatre system that truly brings the movies to life.

I can hear you now, saying it is too expensive and complicated, but this isn’t a time when home theatre systems have only just been introduced.

They have been around for a while now, and there are both simple and affordable ways to set your own up at home – all you need to do is look at this handy beginner’s guide. 

Things to Consider 

When you are planning your home theatre system, you should make sure that you take everything into consideration before you go ahead with the project.

After all, precise planning often leads to a smoother and more satisfying installation. To help you out, we have gathered a few of the factors you might want to think about before you set everything up:

  • How much space do you have, and how big do you want the system to be?
  • Will you have classic speakers or in-wall ones? (Latter is best for dedicated rooms)
  • What kind of budget do you have, and does it cover everything you want?
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    What kind of speakers do you want, and will you be buying a subwoofer? 
  • Are your television and tech up to date and good enough to show the latest films?
  • Will you be setting it up in the living room or creating a dedicated room for it? 
  • How technical do you want to make it, and will it be flexible for future upgrades? 

Once you have answered these questions, you are ready to move onto the next step and start gathering the things you need for your system. You can find our list in the next section. 

What You Need

Now that you’re ready to get started, here are the things you are going to need in order to get your home theatre system up and running in an efficient manner:

  • Receiver and amplifier (surround sound/home theatre)
  • Either a good Blu-Ray player or an HD/4K TV for streaming movies 
  • Good internet connection if streaming movies 
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    An excellent set of speakers 
  • Subwoofer for bass 
  • Connection cables to hook it all up 
  • Wire stripper (may or may not be needed for connection)
  • A sound metre (also optional as depends on personal preference)

This is just our list of things that are needed for a simple home theatre system, and as it is your creation, you are welcome to add or subtract components from it at any point.

You can make it as simple or technical as you want, but for the simple setup check out our steps in the next section. 

Setting Up Your System

At last, we are here, the final section that teaches you how to get it all together and set things up. There are only four stages, and each of them is quite easy to follow and implement. Even if you do get a little stuck on the way, the end results are so worth it. 

#1 Connect it All Up 

Make sure everything is switched off and unplugged from the mains. Then, take all of the relevant cables and connectors and connect them up to the speakers so that everything is ready to go.

In this step, you may need the wire stripper to ensure that each cable and connector can be put in place correctly. Ensure that the receiver and amplifier are also hooked up so that it can begin the tuning process in the next section. 

#2 Tuning and Tweaking 

In this stage, you need to let the receiver search for stations and signals for a little while. It shouldn’t take too long, and most receivers have an automatic function so that you just need to press a button and wait.

However, you may need to do some manual work as well, so familiarise yourself with the accompanying manual just in case this is necessary. After tuning (and possible tweaking), you can get ready to place the speakers. 

#3 Arranging the Speakers

This is the fun part, and if you don’t have an ideally square living room (or movie room), it can also be a little tricky to undertake.

So, if you want to make the most of your speakers and enjoy the best movie experience, there are a few rules you should try to follow during the placement process.

Front Speakers: In an ideal world, these should be placed one metre to the left and right of the television and facing the sofa or seating area.

Centre Speakers: These should be directly below the television, and as close to it as possible for an optimal level and quality of sound.

Rear Speakers: You should place these at opposite corners of the room, while also ensuring that they are facing the side and the rear of the viewing area.

The rear speaker will make it feel like the sound is coming from behind, while the side speaker offers a good balance of sound.

Subwoofer: The perfect location for this is the middle of the front wall, but if this is not possible then the nearest spare corner will work just as well. 

Also Read: Installing Sound System for Car

#4 Setting it Up 

Now that everything has been connected up and placed in the ideal positions within the room, you can finally get down to setting the whole thing up.

When programming the system, make sure you know exactly how far away each speaker is so that you can ensure the best possible sound, and give it a few tests so that you know it is just the way you want it.

You will also need to make sure that the speakers all sound like they are at the same volume, which will mean individually adjusting each of them until you achieve that perfect balance.

You may also need to fiddle with the position of the speakers as furniture and room shape can have an effect on the quality and the way the sound plays. This is probably the most time-consuming part, but the results are so worth it. 

To Conclude 

Now you should have a good home theatre system that allows you to watch the movies and TV shows you love in a way that really makes you a part of the world you are experiencing.

We all deserve an immersive experience, and one that allows you some time to escape from the realities around you. Our steps and process are really simple, but also allow you the opportunity to mix things up and make them a little more complicated if you want to later.

Hopefully, it is something that you found useful, and if you decided to follow our little guide, we would love to know how you got on with things. We always look forward to hearing from you, so feel free to leave us a message in the comments below. 

About the author

Tim Rhodes

As well as being Chief editor here at - Dan is a freelance writer and blogger, as well as tech, loves a chilled weekend river fishing with his mates.