How to create the perfect home theatre system -

If you've ever seen the inside of an IMAX theatre, chances are good that you know how amazing it can be. But if you live in a house with close neighbours or don't have room for a traditional IMAX theater, there's still hope! A home theatre system is an affordable solution that packs all of the punch-packing effects of an IMAX screen into your front room. With these tips on setting up your home theatre system, you'll be able to enjoy movies like never before.


HOW TO SET UP A HOME THEATRE SYSTEM


You'll need:


A computer with a HDMI input and speakers or headphones. The ideal set-up is one where your computer sits in the front of the room and you can hear the audio from it. (If not, get headphones.) Your TV and video source will sit in another room. If you want to create the best home theatre system that money can buy, invest in a video source like an HD-DVD player and find an appropriate TV for it (preferably one with a good sound connection built in). If your computer has a DVI output, that's all you need. If you have a monitor with a DVI input, connect your computer to that. There are also HDMI switch boxes available that allow you to switch between two sources without constantly disconnecting and reconnecting cables.


Step 1: Connect the Video Source


Connect your video source to the back of your computer if it has an HDMI output. Otherwise, connect it with the appropriate cable for your video source (typically a DVI or VGA cable). The sound source can go wherever you want. It should be as close to your control center as possible so that you don't have an extra audio cable running across the room when switching sources or turning down the volume.


Step 2: Connect the TV


Connect your television to the back of your computer with an HDMI or DVI cable (if possible). Connect a separate audio source to your TV. The TV's built-in speakers will do if you don't have a separate audio source. The sound from the HDMI output may be enough, so give it a try before investing in a separate sound system.


Step 3: Connect Computer Audio to Your Audio Source


You should now have one cable running from the back of your computer, either DVI or HDMI, that runs around the room to connect to both your video source and your TV. If you have an HDMI input, you may be able to skip this step. (You'll find more information on that in the next section.)


Step 4: Connect Your Audio Source to Your Speakers


To connect your speakers, either run a separate cable from the back of your computer to the back of your speakers or wire in using your computer's audio output. Many computers come with a headphone jack for this purpose; if yours doesn't, consult the manufacturer's instructions for how to do it manually.


Step 5: Connect Your Speakers to Your Audio Source and TV


If you're using amplified speakers or headphones, plug them into one of the already-connected cables running around the room. If you're using non-amplified speakers, connect them to the audio source with a standard pair of audio cables. It's a good idea to label the cables with tape or markers, so you know what goes where.


Step 6: Connect Your Audio Source to Your Computer


If your sound source comes with an audio cable for your computer, connect it. Otherwise, invest in a Y-shaped cable that splits out into two separate cables near each end – one for the video source and one for the sound source. Plug the video side of this into your computer and the sound side into your audio source.


Step 7: Connect Your Computer to Your Speakers


If you're using amplified speakers, connect them to the back of your computer. If not, connect the standard audio cable to your computer. It's a good idea to label the cables with tape or markers so that you know what goes where.


Step 8: Test Everything


Once everything is set up, test it out. If everything works correctly and your equipment is properly labeled, you should be able to watch a movie on Netflix or Hulu and have sound come out of both the TV and your computer speakers.


Step 9: Tweak Your Setup


If something doesn't quite work as you'd like it to, you can change it. You can try using multiple sources, such as one for your computer and another for your DVD player. You may also want to experiment with different placement of your computer and TV.


THE BENEFITS OF SETTING UP A HOME THEATRE SYSTEM


As you can see, a home theatre system is a lot more practical than you might think. It's affordable, simple to set up, and requires very little maintenance. You can take it with you if you move, and you don't have to worry about it getting stolen when you're not home. It will also improve your TV-watching experience. Instead of trying to balance a laptop on your lap or fighting with the arms of a swivel chair, you can sit back in a comfortable chair (or even in bed!) while enjoying the latest movies and TV shows.


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