Theater experience at home

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 20, 2015

A movie going experience at the theater can be a great thing, unless you missed the good part during a restroom break or a fellow moviegoer decided to share their phone conversation with the entire audience.

These annoyances may have prompted you to think about buying the equipment needed to create a home theater in your living room.

Setting up such a system can be a bit of work, but it’s manageable and the benefits are immense.

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First you will need a large screen television capable of the highest resolution possible. If you already own a television capable of outputting 1080p resolutions you are halfway there. If you have the cash, 4k and even 8k televisions are available, but they are expensive. If it’s time for a new set, go ahead and invest in one now for the future.

For sound, you will need a receiver with surround sound capability. Systems range from 5.1, 7.1 and even 9.1. Those numbers correlate to the number of speakers connected to system. The more speakers, the more lifelike the surround sound effect.

When choosing a receiver, be sure to buy one with a total harmonic distortion no higher than .08 percent. Less is more in that category.

If you are buying the components for this system separately, ensure the wattage of your speakers matches or exceeds the wattage of the receiver. Blown speakers sound terrible.

As for speaker placement, the center channel, which will handle all dialogue, should be set above or below the television. Front left and right speakers should be placed accordingly at either side of the television, while rear left and right speakers should be placed so they are pointed at the side of the couch where people will sit.

If you went big and bought a 9.1 system, the additional speakers will be mounted behind the couch, pointed the back of the viewer’s head, also in right and left placements.

The subwoofer can be placed anywhere, but keep it on the floor out of the path of foot traffic for the best performance.