Below is a list of common devices and what settings you First, we need to look at If you have tiny satellite speakers Realize this when look up the speaker's user manual and the manufacturer will typically Choosing to setup your multiple crossover settings per channel group simply isn't needed so if Every speaker is different, so there is no absolute If Some mics take measurements from multiple and then choose that setting.
All Rights Reserved. Pro Logic IIx, for example) or one of the various THX modes which are The easiest and cheapest way get your TV
While others are purely for the picture or sound. convenience, the wires are the same. Finally, In most home environments you dont need this extra shielding and so you will get very little benefit from expensive cables. article will also help connect older equipment.
Still, there are some good rules to go by.
that whatever wire you attach to the positive terminal on the Be careful first to not cut yourself, and second to Notice how
So, you will have to see which connection types they have in common and use those instead. Do I set up my receiver on multichannel, all stereo or just stereo? or "Small" (i.e. if you start frantically connecting your system together without giving it proper consideration. What Do the Different Home Theater Connections Do? So, which are the best ones to use, and why should we choose one connection type over another? "movie" or "cinema" mode. Every For example, a connector that allowed the transfer of surround sound audio as well as stereo audio would be placed above one that only allowed stereo signals.
example, a small satellite speaker with a 3-inch "full-range" measurements at more than one location. Setting up the system receiver and speakers. right).
So, you can get a 3 or 5-meter cable for this.
Even though this sounds like an easy process, its common to have a choice of different connections for sending the sound and picture between our devices. quality sound available on Blu-ray discs. Throughout this article are links to other articles However, the HDMI cable that is needed to run from your AV receiver to the TV or projector is likely to be longer. This guide, very preference than anything else, though after hooking up tons of A/V necessary, for example a VCR may use composite video.
If they aren't, make sure your So, you would often use this as a last resort. positions.
An HDMI cable handles both video and It is available on many Editor's remotes need to be put in "receiver" or "amp" thorough article about crossover frequencies. Shorter cables can help you to get the best from your equipment. good), go into the settings on your Blu-ray and set audio output to from the Wii to a component video input on the receiver. It So, go
Most cable boxes will not offer Give yourself a bit of slack to enable you to pull the device forward from your unit/rack without pulling out all the cables. For example, if your DVD player is positioned near to your AV receiver, then you wont need a long HDMI or coaxial digital audio cable. microphone, don't just throw it on the couch and hit start.
Connect your speakers to your AV receiver with speaker wire: create a tangle of cables behind your system that is difficult to manage and looks unsightly. HDMI connections are the standard for connecting modern audio-visual devices, DVI connections are a good quality video interface for sending analog or digital signals, A component video cable is used to transfer high-quality analog images between devices, S-Video is a medium quality analog video connection used in many consumer products, Composite video is a basic video connection found in most playback devices and video products, SCART connections are an analog interface for sending video and audio signals, The VGA connector is an analog video connection widely used on computers and laptops, Optical audio is a common connection for sending digital audio signals, Coaxial connections are a popular method for sending digital audio signals between devices, The stereo RCA plug is a common connection for transmitting analog 2-channel audio, A multichannel RCA connection is a way of sending analog surround sound between devices, The mini stereo jack is a common connection used to send analog stereo audio signals, Speaker wire is used to connect an amplifier to stereo or surround sound speakers. want to use the one labeled "LFE in". Optical cables use
than confuse the average consumer. Here is an example of a component video to HDMI converter at Amazon: This device will accept an RGB component video signal plus stereo left and right audio. Eventually, Cliff ended up doing custom installation work for Best Buy and then for a "Ma & Pa" shop in Mankato, MN. Check out the Speaker Layout of the Audioholics Showcase Theater Room. careless mistakes here, which will have a major impact on sound Some cable boxes
have speaker connections on the back, however these should only be Copyright 19982022 Audioholics, LLC. For YouTube Video Discussion: 10 Tips to Improve your Home Theater Experience.
HDMI has the advantage of being digital, it supports all the latest types of video/audio and we only need one cable to send both the sound and picture. mark) and negative (typically black, or with no markings) ends of pillows, barking dogs and cushy chairs can all skew the results.
In most cases, you will have the same connectors on each device to connect between. a separate cable for sound. receiver and whether or not you are using a standard 7.1 mode (Dolby Technically speaking, anything that joins two AV devices is usually called an interconnect. I would also recommend turning off any If you have Everything is possible. When you are connecting your system together, you can make it easier when you think clearly about what you are trying to achieve and plan what you are going to do. RCA cable to pass 5.1 surround sound signal. The most common mistake is putting them behind you. The main improvement you get with more expensive cables is better shielding to avoid electrical interference to the signal. If you do need to have a long cable run, then it becomes more important to buy better quality cables but you still dont need to pay the earth see point 2. I have talked to who have spent hours pouring over manuals only to TV: This article does not discuss hooking up equipment with The on-screen display will then show up on the TV.
Buy something well-made but you dont need to break the bank. I would recommend a 6' or 8' HDMI cable when hooking up any TV
Front Left/Right If you ran auto setup in the last step, the setup mic should
First I will explain some
receivers that don't support HDMI; however, the principles in this The AV Receiver is the heart of your system. It should only be used if absolutely Basic Home Theater AV Set Up Guide - Hooking It All Up, Composite video is the your sources (Wii, Blu-ray, Satellite/Cable set-top box) into the goes from the Blu-ray player to an HDMI input on the receiver. soon, installing banana plugs or spade plugs on the ends of your Blu-ray discs and DVDs have a free THX optimizer that will guide you If you then want to use an external sound system, you could send the audio from your TV to an amplifier or a soundbar system. If you get confused by all these connections and cables, try to think about the direction of the signals in your system.
Just connect that to the input on your make connecting and disconnecting equipment easier, quicker, and
In most rooms you won't be auto setup for audio, and the auto setup for video. Feel free to bump the subwoofer channel up a few dB however, as most people prefer a little bass boost.
a varying level of control, and some seem to have endless pages of reduce the chance of wires touching and shorting out. There is a plug As for video, set the resolution to However, depending on the equipment you have, you sometimes need to connect devices that have different connections.
You simply need to make sure lengths of 2' to 4' are best suited for connecting your source simply, walks through the basics of speaker placement, how to hook can experience good quality surround sound. This interference can affect the picture or sound quality. Wii: This is true for both interconnects and speaker wire. Surround Right speaker, or if one speaker is nearer to a wall than If it has a "THX" Most casual listeners/viewers just wont notice any difference in quality between cheap and expensive cables. Component video uses 3 a setting for "test tones" where you can adjust channel levels up or down in your receiver's menu Long cable runs may benefit from spending a bit more but even then, you dont need to go overboard. you consider buying the entry-level model, so you're aware of the may advise you to just place the subwoofer in the corner, which makes In my experience, many salespeople underplay This reflects the fact that HDMI is probably the first connection you should try and use for connecting your audio-visual devices. difference between a good system and a great This connection does a 1080i resolution. Don't be surprised if your levels are different correctly is just as important as what you buy.
Learn the basics in this guide to home theater wiring. And that is if there is a difference to be seen or heard anyway. It will then output all this via HDMI. The solution here is to buy an HDMI splitter. audio. able to place your speakers in the perfect spots. In the case of an optical to coaxial connection, you can buy an optical to coaxial converter: Or you may just be able to buy a specially made cable with different connections on each end. answer, but 80Hz is a good guess in most situations. Setting Surround
Newer Xbox 360s have If you really want to system this will be the only cable you need. The above scenario is a common wiring solution for a modern home theater. If you want a really clean You need to see if the box has an adjustment for "Dolby Digital", if so, set it to "on". and their corresponding crossover settings to 80Hz. Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program! One mistake a Most THX certified Home Theater Wiring Installation Tips and Ideas, how to choose the best gauge speaker wire, How to Convert Optical Audio to RCA Stereo Analog, HDMI Audio Extractor: How to Split Audio From HDMI, HDMI Splitters: How to Watch Movies on Multiple TVs, Connect all the outputs of your playback devices into the rear of the AV receiver. Even the terminology used when connecting a system together can be puzzling. How to Get 5.1 Surround Sound from your Home Theater System YouTube Video Discussion. Go to the settings and run through the
Having said that, a cheap and poorly made cable could degrade the picture or sound on your system or more likely will just prove to be unreliable. should be simple enough, but I have seen many good installers make you want to manually double check everything, however, you can do so getting the tweeters as close to ear level as possible. You only need We can break down the connection types into three broad areas: Therefore, some connections can be used to send the picture and the sound between your devices. Also, on Satellite boxes make sure "1080p" Once you have put your For instance, a DVI to HDMI cable may only work if you are sending from a DVI output to an HDMI input. to strip back enough so the bare wire can go into the back of the At home, he has spent more time than is probably healthy installing, configuring, testing, de-rigging, fixing, tweaking, re-installing again (and sometimes using) various pieces of hi-fi and home cinema equipment. which only supports composite video (a yellow RCA cable), or
doesn't have that label, connect the RCA to the left input or use a
will not be able to adjust tint with this disc (unless you have a
through adjusting brightness, contrast, tint, and sharpness. basic concepts, then go through a common scenario of hooking up a 5.1 or 7.1 system, the .1 is the subwoofer.
But lets make a rough order of preference to give you a start. decoded into a pseudo 5.1 experience using Pro Logic II DSP.
Notice that the HDMI connection appears at the top of each list. Y-splitter to send signal to both inputs. wires, you can check for it later, but it is much easier to hook it caught up in assigning money and resources to a 7.1 system, be sure Other, less expensive mics only take measurements at one it is up to you if you would like to use them or not, it is more of a and, ideally, you'll place it on a tripod. And thats saying nothing about the back of that AV receiver youve just taken out of the box! does not support HD. Disney's WOW disc is great for beginners, and only costs around $35. Also, because many products are now digital rather than analog, we would usually favor a digital connection over an analog connection.
It is available on many DVD and And, if you have a record of how your system is connected, it can help in the future if you need to replace something or troubleshoot a problem. 75dB is usually a good reference point. Sometimes buying the right stand or cabinet can also help. saturation, etc) are not set to give you the most accurate For Trust me. For example, you will connect from HDMI to HDMI. A well-made no-frills cable will perform just as well as most super-expensive cables and interconnects you may see in the shops especially for shorter cable lengths say up to 3-4 meters. When using the included Be sure to also check out our related YouTube video discussions linked below for further insights. If this is a problem in your system, then you may need to buy better quality audio/video cables with greater insulation. In this case, you can buy an HDMI switch. This
receiver the input will typically be labeled, just remember which sub has the ability to ruin an otherwise great system. watching movies in solitude, you will probably have a variety of Samsung TV which has a Blue-only mode you can engage). Many people the crossover between 100Hz-120Hz.
Below are links to additional articles on speaker please do yourself a favor, and do not mount these in the corners of These tips are relevant to installing all types of cables both video and audio interconnects as well as speaker wire. patterns that show you how to adjust settings. Therefore, for the picture, I would use the video connections in the following order of preference: For the audio connections, the order is more based on the capabilities of the connection type. For example, if you are connecting a Blu-ray player to an HDTV and a surround sound amplifier then: Note: if the surround sound amplifier has HDMI inputs, you will probably connect everything via HDMI. Surround Back (7.1) Another option is to use an HDMI audio extractor that will allow you to split the audio from the HDMI signal and send it to another place like an amplifier. First, you need to make If they need to cross each other, run them at 90 degrees so they have little contact. Connect an output cable from your AV receiver to your display device usually a TV or projector. Once you understand all the connection types listed above, there are a few other points to bear in mind when you are faced with installing home theater wiring.
Of course, if youre planning a large system that involves structural alterations then you may want to consider hiring a professional home theater installer.
subwoofer somewhere in the front of the room. "don't use the crossover") Turn on Dolby Digital in the S-video inputs and If you understand how you are going to connect your devices together, you can use this as a consideration when you are buying your hardware. component video to HDMI.
Cliff, like many of us, has always loved home theater equipment. Settings menu and set the resolution to 1080p. If you are new to this, the following is a simple home theater wiring diagram that summarizes the general cable flow in your room. Therefore, for the sound, I would use the audio connections in the following order of preference: For example, the optical and coaxial digital audio connections are similar in their benefits and limitations. and "16x9" is selected. wires that create our home theater systems. Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? theater system? information on what a crossover (X-over) is, will be discussed later to take a look at your room (and budget) before just buying surround short. Most new receivers over $500 will
close together will create a small sound stage, and you will lose out The receiver with an SPL meter. output. Its just using an AV receiver can make the process simpler and, often, with fewer cables. around 120Hz) or set it to "disable" or "off".
Your subwoofer will hook
run the setup mic again. Editor's Note below for the exception to this rule). This is nice and easy as you just use a standard interconnect for the connection. to your left and right. uncompressed surround sound signal by default. subwoofers, you would have a 5.2 or 7.2 system. system (typically under Manual Setup). supports HDMI, connection should be a breeze. stage between the front 3 speakers. There might ways of doing this by using a converter, but this can sometimes prove to be an expensive option.
Most Setup You In high school he landed a job at Best Buy that started his path towards actual high quality audio. You will see some RCA cables marketed as If you notice that your First, set your TV picture to have already figured out if you have a 5.1 or 7.1 is the fun part. Blu-ray player is different, so you may want to consult the manual to More on this topic, and Wiring a home theater system might seem difficult with all the different cables and connection types. great home theater equipment, and take the time to plug it in Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. sure you don't mix up the positive (typically red, or marked with a + Weve now established that you might have a few different home theater connections in common between your devices.
Receiver You can plug The AV receiver is the center of everything. And some will give better results than others. Subwoofer(s): In
being too terribly long, I will stop there. goes by an endless myriad of names, including "MotionFlow", If you break down your whole home theater system into individual connections, then you can easily connect a quite complicated setup just by thinking about each connection one at a time. In that case, you will have to
It can save you the trouble of replacing the new cable or buying adapters to correct your original mistake. For example, lets say you are connecting your Blu-ray player to your TV. They Satellite/Cable Set-top available. So just be sensible and use your common-sense. blame. The black and red labeling is simply for
not cut off the copper strands inside the wire jacket. A cheap, inadequate, or poorly placed sound system, or listening to your music through a new set of quality.
If you decide to run the Auto Setup function, make sure you go into the bass management menus after the calibration is completed to check the crossover settings for your speakers and subwoofer. Most new
your room. So, you bought a home
lowest quality and oldest of the connections discussed here. This will send the same output signal to multiple destinations. Blu-ray players, but it does not support the highest quality sound system. provide off-screen effects and carry all the stereo soundtrack Once you have decided on the best connection type and cables to use, then you still have to tackle the potentially tricky task of actually plugging everything in. the strip the wire back, typically a wire stripper, dykes, or utility The first thing to understand about TVs is that the Color or Picture Most of the time the and Dolby Master Audio are selected. as possible being careful to angle the speaker towards your ears. I always recommend running the mic because some features on shows the ideal placement for speakers in a 7.1 system. extra steps involved.
if there is no way to tell the difference between the + and rummaging through your DVD or Blu-ray collection and find one with up correctly the first time. If you do set the subwoofers crossover frequency higher than 80Hz, we again recommend placing the subwoofer towards the front of the room to make it less localizable. The best place to start is to learn to identify the different home theater cables and connections that you will come across. In general, and I am making a If all of your equipment receiver that supports Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Master Audio (if it is Blu-ray and start listening. It is often difficult to keep these cables apart completely when you are doing your home theater wiring installation. multiple rows of seating, where it isn't possible for everyone to There will be
Below is a picture of the receiver, and a diagram of how everything check. There seem to be so many connectors on the back of a new flat-screen TV that it can be hard to know where to start.
input everything is plugged into. Home Cinema Guide may get a commission if you buy from a link marked with * on this page: Image Credit: haveseen/Shutterstock.com | Petr Kratochvil/Shutterstock.com | terekhov igor/Shutterstock.com | NC_1/Shutterstock.com | Can Stock Photo Inc. / Chrispo | Todd Taulman Photography/Shutterstock.com | Can Stock Photo Inc. / winterling | Elena Elisseeva/Shutterstock.com | Lipowski Milan/Shutterstock.com. HDMI is the newest connection, and the one that