Home Theatre Installation

I have been doing stereo, and tv installations for @12 years. I have found some tricks that you are now going to have.

I will never claim to be an “Expert”, and if you ever find someone claiming to be an “Expert”, run as fast as you can.  The term “Expert” should never be used, as the technology moves so fast that noone is able to keep up with every single thing.

In reading this article you will find a step by step guide for choosing your stereo sound system, miscellanous equipment, and its placement.


Just an example of what it looks like

After installing new windows we mounted a tv over the fireplace, and setup the in-wall speakers.

Look over the room that is getting, or has the tv.

  1. Is the tv wall mounted?
  2. Is there a fireplace?
  3. Is there a cabinet under the tv?
  4. What is the primary listening location?

Now we can move on, and get the right equipment.

  1. How many pieces of equipment connect to the tv?
  2. Where do I want them located?
  3. Do I need a Progammable Remote?
  4. Do I want to feel the bass when I watch a movie?
  5. Do I want to have 5.1 or 7.1 surround?

If you are connecting multiple devices, then you need to consider a video switching stereo receiver.  This makes it so that the receiver controls what is going to show on the tv.  There is a lot less wires, also.  All devices connect to Stereo & the Stereo connects to the TV through one main video feed.

The biggest misunderstanding in video is that everyone believes HDMI produces a better picture than component video.  The truth be known is that HDMI transmits the audio, and video from a device to the tv, and component video transmits the video only to the tv.  When you have a surround sound system there is no need for the tv to have a audio feed, as you will efficitivelly cause an echo.

OK… If the tv is going to be wall mounted, then usually your best scenario for speakers are in-wall speakers.  The front left, and right should be positioned at @ the middle vertically on the sides.  The center channel should be below the tv.  The rear speakers should be @ 2-3 inches above head level when sitting down.  The sub woofer should be at the rear of the room.

If you are not willing to attempt installation of in-wall speakers, or you aren’t willing to pay for the professional installation, then just find a stereo receiver package that has the speakers included.

PLEASE… I beg you all… Don’t purchase a All-In-One home theatre system.  While the manufacturers claim that their systems are prime equipment, I can state successfully that the systems like the BOSE, and Panasonic All-In-One systems will never perform to the quality that a true stand alone stereo will be able to perform.  Also keep in mind that if one piece breaks, you will have to have the whole system down for repair, or replace the whole unit.  Another note… Most of these systems sound like tin cans when they are fully installed, and actually listened to by a trained technician, and not some Mickey Mouse operation.

If you find a $100-$200 complete system, then it isn’t worth the electronic circuitry that it is built with. Quality merchandise is not cheap. I have given the links below for the correct equipment at a reasonable price.

Generally most people don’t want to spend a huge fortune on their sound system.  I personally recommend Sony, and Onkyo stereo receivers.  While there are many other names you will find that most of the other named systems are much more costly.

5.1 sound consists of 3 front channels, 2 rear channels, and 1 subwoofer.

7.1 sound consists of 3 front channels, 2 rear channels, 2 mid channels, and 1 subwoofer.

If you are prone to want a lot of bass, and vibration, then I suggest getting a real beefy subwoofer.  The subwoofer needs to have a LFE, and its own power supply.

If you don’t want the equipment in the same room you can have a wired Infared System installed. You will spend more on the video cables, but you will also get an installation that is memorable. In the picture above we installed the stereo in a closet @ 15 feet away so that the customer had more room, and it didn’t look as cluttered.

If you have a chance I recommend looking into a Logitech Harmony remote.  These remotes make it so that all of your devices are programmed into 1 remote, and with the strike of 1 key you execute a task.

Below you can click on the Amazon link to purchase, or get some more information.

I have done the product search for you so that you don’t have to search for something that you may not know what you are actually looking for.

If you have any questions, or need a little advice you can feel free to comment about this, and I will respond with a professional answer, or whatever you need.

If you are in NJ, then you can feel free to contact me for a professional installation at a rate that you won’t believe.

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3 Responses to Home Theatre Installation

  1. great job, and nice tips…..to build my own sound systems is always become my dream since i was a child.

  2. Thanks.  Matt (one of my previous techs), & I worked for 2 days to get that job done.

  3. Looks like the installer did a great job.