Monthly Archives: August 2015

Watching a movie on the big screen contributes dramatically to the special effects. Moreover, if it can be enjoyed in the sanity of the house, it would be an absolute bliss. Home theater systems have made it possible for us to view movies on the big screen, without having to go to multiplexes. And then, a good seating layout takes the comfort level one notch higher.

Setting Up a Home Theater
There are many points that have to be considered while planning the layout for the home theater. One of the most important points being, the space available for the whole setup. The number of seats that can be accommodated depends on the availability of the space. Over-stuffing the room with extra seats minimizes the effectiveness of the purpose of the home theater.

The next important concern is where to start the placement of the seats from. The seats cannot be placed at any random distance from the screen. The width of the screen and the angle of vision have to be taken into consideration. As per the Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers (SMPTE) guidelines:

The ideal angle of vision to get the best 2D effect for an HDTV signal, is 30° horizontal angle of view and 15° vertical angle of view, which corresponds to a viewing distance of 1.9 times the screen width, for a single row of seats.
If more than one row of seats has to be installed, then a range is specified for the angle of vision. Horizontal angles of 36° for the front row and 26° for the last row, which corresponds to the viewing distance range of 2.2 to 1.54 times the screen width and the vertical angle not exceeding 35°, specially for the front seat.
The limits on the viewing distance is a minimum of 2 times the screen width, for the nearest distance and 5 times the screen width, for the farthest distance.

Moving any closer to the screen than the specified limits may result in poor picture quality, as the 'image forming structure' i.e. the image pixels can be distinguished easily. In that case, depixelization filters (for LCDs) can be used to overcome the problem.

The seat layout can range from bean bags, regular leather sofas, to something more customary. Generally, leather seats are preferred to maintain the elegance of the room. The seats can either be a joint unit or separated seats. For those who like to lie down and relax, recliners are a great option. A recliner seat has a folding footrest that can be unfolded when required. Since, recliners spread out in a horizontal direction, adequate space is required at the front and back of the seat. If they are to be placed in more than one row, they should be well-spaced away from each other. Again, drinks and eatables are inevitable in this setting. Select the seats such that the armrest has suitable provisions for holding drink cans and packets of eatables.

If the theater has more than one row, platforms can be installed. Seating platforms with risers or steps are essentially used for better viewing from the back rows. Ordinarily, riser levels vary from 6 to 8 inches, but in home theaters, the risers can be up to one foot high. At the same time, they should be wide enough, so that the huge-sized seats can be placed onto them, without toppling over. If that is not possible, another option is to arrange the seats (if separate) in a scattered way to obtain the best possible view.

Home theaters have a lifelike picture quality. Setting up a decent and comfortable seating arrangement complements your hi-tech experience. It gives you an immersive effect.

You walk into an electronics mega-store and you're floored by the sight in front of you. It's shiny, it's sleek and it's the newest thing to hit the market. The latest and fully-loaded DVD home theater system on display leaves you spellbound. In a zillionth of a second, you've already made up your mind to buy this new baby home. Many go ahead with their buyer's instincts and purchase it then and there.

Purchasing is quite easy, but installing it is something totally different. Hooking up a home theater system is a vital task, because an incorrect installation can lead to inferior output quality and can also damage the system.

Read the Owner's Manual
This may seem to be the most basic of instructions, but often it is the most overlooked one. Reading the owner's manual thoroughly is the first thing one should do while installing a home theater system. More often than not, this will help in avoiding fundamental problems at a later stage.

Placement and Positioning
Study the dimensions of the room in which you wish to install your home theater system. Visualize and plan the way in which you would like to place the various components, such as the speakers, sub-woofers, etc. Proper positioning of the system components is directly related to the quality of the output, and it is largely dependent upon the size and area of the room.

Cables
Purchasing and using the right cables for all your connections is vital. Avoid going in for cheaper cables as they are most likely to be of sub-standard quality and may prove to be costly in the long run. The cabling should be clean, it should be concealed appropriately, cables should be marked with colored tapes for easy identification, and there should be proper ventilation to ensure that the cables are not exposed to extreme temperatures.

Power Outlets
Home theater systems consume much more power than other home appliances. Naturally, it is imperative that you have the right power outlets for it in terms of the number of sockets, technical specifications, and compatibility. It is also advisable to use a surge protector to protect the system from voltage spikes, which can otherwise cause internal damage to the components.

Balancing Speaker Levels
In a typical home theater system, each speaker is meticulously designed to play a specific role in terms of sound production. Balancing the individual speaker volumes to produce an overall optimum level is a tricky, yet achievable task. Insert your favorite audio CD, and using the instructions given in the owner's manual, tweak the audio settings for each speaker until you reach a satisfactory level of acceptance. Certain inbuilt tone test features are a good way to preview the sound output during the process of balancing.

Get Professional Help
If you feel that the process is totally out of your reach, do not fret. There are hundreds of companies and vendors who provide professional home theater installation services. It may cost you a little extra, but it will definitely save you from having to spend a bomb on repairs in case you damage the system during self-installation.