Setting Up Your Home Theater System

Setting up your home theater system doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, you can do it with minimum legwork. If you are still watching TV on a small screen with crappy speakers, it might be the right time to upgrade your TV watching tenure. Here is how you can set up your real home theater.

There are certain basic components for setting up any home theater. When you refer to a home theater, it doesn’t mean that you are putting a complete movie theater in the house. It only means upgrading your TV watching experience with latest components such as an awesome TV, amazing speakers and other devices all working in harmony to deliver maximum entertainment pleasure.

What you need for your home theater

Let’s assume that you have certain basic things like a blu-ray player, a game console and/or a cable box – the stuff you would like to hook up to the home theater. While you can always add multiple devices in case you have enough space and budget, but it would be a good start if you start with a basic set up. Here is a quick list of things that you will need for the setup.


Obviously, a high definition TV is a must for a better viewing experience. If you don’t have a high definition television, you may want to change your TV. Consider top quality brands that provide a range of HDTV models. Compare them minutely and make the right choice. However, be certain that your TV comes with smart features such as Wi-Fi connectivity to other devices, pre-built Internet streaming, reminders for big events or favorite programs and more.


The receiver is the hub that takes care of all of the audio and video for the system. Your streaming set top boxes, consoles as well as other inputs shall be plugged in to your receiver. In turn, the receiver will send out audio to the speakers and video to your TV. That makes a more organized system, and one single device for connecting and managing all of the gear.


Probably, the biggest perk of setting up your home theater is the fact that you have total control over the audio. Having the right pair of speakers matching your space will make anything you watch sound a lot better. Since great speakers are available in various sizes and price points, you don’t need to worry about a small space or limited budget to enjoy high quality sound.

Soundbar (optional)

A soundbar is the right option if you are looking for an affordable and space-saving way to add fantastic sound to your system. Remember, that soundbar is optional for the setup, but it can make a perfect fit in a home with limited space. Modern soundbars are amplified and powered, so you will not need a receiver. You will have to connect all of the devices to the TV, and then output the sound from the TV to the soundbar.

Here are some great soundbar recommendations for under $150!

Cables and labels

Your list of things may seem complete with the above devices, but you will definitely need cables and labels to complete the setup stuff. Composite video cables, Ethernet cables and speaker cables are common cables you will need for your devices. Also, grab a good label maker to label everything. This will keep your setup well organized and ready.

Put it all together

Once you have everything ready, set aside a couple of hours. With luck by your side, you won’t need a long time to put everything together. However, it is recommended to have enough time so that you don’t have to run at the last moment to complete your setup in haste. Now let’s get started.

1. Be sure you have all cables, tool and documentation ready.

2. Disconnect everything that you have connected and place the receiver where you wish it to be. Turn it on to ensure it is working properly.

3. Now it’s time for speaker placements. Take the measurements and tape a sheet of paper to the floor or the wall where you wish to put your speakers.

4. Run necessary speaker cables to where the speakers will live. In case you wish to run them through walls or under furniture, you may want to start it now before actually installing the speakers.

5. Connect external speakers to audio inputs on the receiver. Again, you will need speaker cables for connection. Tune the receiver to the radio to ensure that you are getting sound to the speakers.

6. Now connect all video sources to video inputs on the receiver. For most of the devices, HDMI should be the preferred method of connection – from cable boxes to game consoles, everything supports it. However, if you have older gadgets that use composite or component, get the right cables and connect those as well.

7. Connect the HDMI video output of the receiver to the TV. If the receiver does signal conversion and video processing, even the old composite and component devices will pass video to the TV via the HDMI. If this doesn’t happen, you will have to plug the receiver’s composite and component video outputs to the TV as well.

8. If you have devices directly connected to the TV that are not supported by the receiver, connect the TV’s audio output to the receiver.

Basically, think about this way – plug all the devices into the receiver’s inputs, then plug the TV and speakers into the outputs of the receiver. The video sources go into the receiver, and out to the speakers and TV. While every setup is different, these steps should provide some guidelines.

Make sure you test all the devices along the way. This will point out any flaws in the working of any device beforehand and you can take appropriate measures to fix it on time. Also, be careful with cables; re-run and check them before connecting them to devices. When you are finished, you will have a home theater that is perfect for your space and entertainment needs.

Bottom line

The above guide is just a brief course on setting up your home theater system. Still, even the basic setup can take your boring TV to a lively room. You can always go for more research and add more gear provided you have sufficient space and budget. No matter what you choose, just be sure you follow the guidelines and directions on connecting each component properly for a better entertainment experience.

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