Build the Ultimate Home Entertainment System
Movies, sitcoms, TV shows, music - all of your favorite stuff put together in one place for your enjoyment. Assembling the right combination of technology for your home entertainment system is exciting, but there are some traps that you would want to avoid in order to get the most out of your custom multimedia home system.
Decide What You Want
The first step is finding out the feeling you want that room to create. Is it for an intimate enjoyment? Would it be your own place for seclusion and rest, or a corner where you would have fun with your family and friends? This determines the type of technology you need (screen size, speaker power and such), and it helps you with laying down the budget. We recommend you allocate your funds like this:
- Audio (40%) - 5.1 channel speaker system;
- Video (30%) – LCD/LED television;
- Electronics (20%) – A/V receiver and amplifiers, Blu-Ray players, DVD players;
- Other (10%) – Cables, wiring and miscellaneous
Basic Components – Audio, Video, Amplifiers
When deciding what speaker or TV model to buy, remember that you need match the audio to video quality. A disconnecting combination of a rich and quality sound with second-rate picture will have you disappointed in no time.
We recommend LCD/LED over plasma television sets. The reason is that, even though plasma technologies would give you a slightly better visual quality, in a few years you won’t be able to find spare parts or tech support. Their manufacturing is slowly being terminated due to expensiveness and production delicacy. Grab your local big-box retailer catalog and find out what they have to offer. Be sure to look for and compare televisions of top brand TV manufacturers and avoid cheap and poorly made models.
A television should not face a natural light source so the sunlight falls directly on the screen, because it will have an impact on image quality. If you mount the TV too high, it may cause shoulder and neck pain. TV placement height depends on the height of the seating, but an ideal height would be about 3-5 feet off the floor. Don’t sit too far because you will not notice the details, or too close to notice the pixelation. The ideal viewing distance also depends on the screen size, and can be measured by online engineering calculator tools.
Don’t under appreciate a good audio. Sound is on a par with visuals and they support and complement each other, conveying the atmosphere of a live football match, or mood and emotion of a movie, to your home. A satisfying minimum would be a 5.1 system or a 9.2 for extreme audiophiles. However, if the room is not big enough, it could be more trouble than it’s worth. In that case, a properly placed quality 2.1 speaker system will be just as good! Stick to cabled speaker models and be sure to avoid Wireless and Bluetooth speakers because you would risk lowering the sound quality. For the right speaker placement follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
A/V receiver functions as a link that connects all your devices – TV, Audio system, Blu-Ray and DVD Player, Playstation and others. It provides sonic burst and electronic power, and a reliable and durable system can be purchased for a minimum price of $700. A top A/V receiver should have enough wattage per channel and the required number of HDMI ports for connecting all the devices.
Oscar Waterworth is a writer and a researcher from Sydney. Being a tech enthusiasts, he loves reading about new technological advances and trying out the latest gadgets. While off work, he manages to write up an occasional blog post for High Style Life.