Pieces Parts Components and Sound
Pieces Parts Components and Sound it also includes Speakers–including a subwoofer–and a source (DVD, laserdisc, VHS). The cause of much financial difficulty, but for many people it is worth it to be able to blast your neighbors. The sound in a home theater system is as important as the big screen TV. A good stereo TV sitting all by itself sounds better than a bad home theater system installation. Boom (or nonexistent) bass, no audio detail, and/or muddy, inaudible dialog can make a movie unwatchable. (“Home theater – Everything2.com”)
When planning a home theater, remember that the physical geometry of the room is as important as the equipment in the system. Poor room acoustics can cause soundstage and bass-response problems that will significantly detract from the viewing experience. With a few exceptions, one usually cannot control the shape of the room available to use. (“Home theater – Everything2.com”) An irregularly shaped room can be compensated for by creating a “theater zone” within the living space.
The key is to create a sound field that centers on the viewers’ seating area.
A system sounds best when there are few or no echoes. A standing wave is created when a sound wave’s echoes reinforce themselves, amplifying a specific tone. Another nuisance is when an item in the room starts to resonate to a specific wavelength(s) in the sound from the speakers. This can be dealt with by adding damping items or rearranging things like moving the couch, adding drapes and/or rugs. A hard-core audiophile can even buy damping panels and vertical tube-shaped corner treatments to damp echoes. (“Home theater – Everything2.com”)
You need to match the sound to the image, so one does not overwhelm the other. “Speaker laminates, grill covers, and other cosmetic considerations should be dealt with at this time.” (“Pieces Parts Components and Sound | Self Made Home Theatre”) “How much speaker wire are you going to need, and what kind?” (“Home theater – Everything2.com”) If you are going to run cables under the rug, you need flat cables made for such use, as regular wire will not only cause ugly bulges, but also may cause a trip and fall hazard and eventually wear through in spots and create short circuits.
“A home theater requires at least five speakers: Front left, front right, and center (placed directly over or under the screen), in the back, left and right rear, and in a corner, a subwoofer.” (“Home theater – Everything2.com”) This layout is also known as a 5.1 system. Whether you use full-range speakers for your front channels or not, the subwoofer is needed because movies have deep bass tones not normally found in music, especially for visceral effects like explosions.
The center channel needs to go immediately above or below the TV screen, the front speakers need to be in the front corners of the listening area at the same level as the center speaker, and the rear speakers need to be at the rear, preferably firing sideways towards the listening area. Bass can be adjusted by moving the sub into and out of the corner it is placed in. It does not matter much which corner you use, as the human ear cannot locate the source of low frequency sound to any great degree. (“Home theater – Everything2.com”)
Many speakers are sold in sets especially for home theater systems, but you can also pick out your own components. “This applies mostly in cases where one already has front speakers and only wants to add to them.” (“Home theater – Everything2.com”)
“The important thing to remember is that a set of speakers sold together is designed to work together, with tonal quality and crossover points that match one another.” (“Home theater – Everything2.com”) If the speakers do not sound the same, it can cause jarring differences when audio effects travel from speaker to speaker.
There are several types of surround sound. The most prevalent are Dolby Pro Logic (analog) and Dolby Digital (also called AC-3.) THX Cinema is a signal enhancement developed by Lucas Film that in addition to modifying the signal, mandates power minimums for each channel for proper sound reproduction. (“Home theater – Everything2.com”) Simply hooking up an add-on surround speaker system to your basic TV/Stereo VCR/DVD can make a basic HTS
“There are many such add-on systems out there, in varying levels of sophistication.” (“Home theater – Everything2.com”)
Most add-on speaker systems intended for HTS upgrade have a built-in surround sound decoder in the subwoofer, which saves on hookup complexity and clutter. “As far as the surround mode is concerned, most basic systems only decode Dolby Pro Logic, but that is more than enough for a basic setup.” (“Home theater – Everything2.com”) It is always wise to spend a little more on speakers, then sort other parts later.
Professional Installation or Sweat Equity?
One of the top challenges that will surface after you finalize your purchase of a top of the range sound surround theatre system is whether to oversee the set-up work yourself or consulting the services of an expert.
The answer to this question may depend on the degree of sophistication of the system itself and your grasp of the physics and electronics involved. Many of the prepackaged tools on the market today are easy to set up and could be mounted quickly (by a few hours course) even by nonprofessionals such as myself.
If you are purchasing a big home theater or sound surround system that comes with very rigorous requirements to give you optimum performance equivalent to what you paid for it, then it just might be wise to invest in the services of a professional. REMEMBER that home theater kits come in all sizes, shapes, and price range. (“Home Theater Orange County | Home Theater Tech OC | Home Theater …”)
Being able to install a $600-30,000 tool kit does not mean that the home theatre is going at a price more than that amount to let us say $20,000 is as an easy matter to install (though such a price might be for a self-installed system). The point here is that if you have spent a lot of money for a home theater or sound surround system you absolutely want to ensure that you are getting your dollar’s worth on the other end. Hiring a professional to do your installation is one way to ensure that you get the best.
Set up is an expensive venture just as everything that bears a professional word at its front. One way of curtailing that charge is by shopping around and conducting some price comparison research, you may end up discovering that different retailers have different installation charges, one retailer could be expensive while another is very affordable and could even offer free installation once you make the purchase from him. If the installation price makes the difference between the two, then opt for it, it will help you save a lot of dollars in the process and secure a professional installation.
It also pays to find out whether self-installation may render some warranties null. This is a common occurrence on some occasions where you could end up risking your guarantee on a $20,000 sound surround speaker system to save a few hundred bucks on installation upfront. For my case, some risks are not just worth taking, because a lot could go wrong by operating without a warranty.
You do not have to begin your home theater or surround sound experience with a top-of-the-line piece of equipment. It is quite possible to start small with a surround sound system and build a better system as you go. In fact, I seriously recommend that people invest heavily in speakers from the beginning and sacrifice the number of speakers in favor of better-quality speakers. (“Bringing Theater Quality Sound Home – Electronic Circuit”)
Though you may obtain a great deal of satisfaction by doing stuff on your own, this may sometimes prove to be an attempt at futility. If you cannot avoid the urge to install the system yourself, then you ought to be extra cautious from the beginning and stick to every detail that comes with the instruction manual to obtain the best results possible.
The major problem with many of us is that we mostly pretend to be tech-savvy enough, hence reading the accompanied user manual becomes unnecessary, until we become stuck in some point along the way.
If you are among the many people world over who have joined the surround sound theatre system league and have found the installation process quite easy and straightforward and that you do not require expert knowledge to accomplish.
Consider yourself a lucky lot. Very soon you will be enjoying theatre quality sound from your home theater surround system whether it is music you are listening to or a movie or the newest game. Whether you go for expert installation or self-installation, I wish you all the best in setting up your new sound surround system and happy listening.
Best Wishes, Coyalita
See Tomorrow: “Saving Money on Your Surround Sound System “
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