The most appropriate way to create the perfect home theater is to select THX-certified equipment. To achieve maximum results in audio and video playback quality, you need to properly design the room, make the arrangement of all the furniture and equipment components, and set up your home theater.
The room for a movie theater
There are some rules of the room equipment, which should be respected:
- The place for the chair should be away from the speakers.
- It is important to have free space around the chair, it should not stand near the wall.
- The high back of the chair will dampen the sound.
- You should not make the room too empty: you will hear a strong echo in it.
- Do not go overboard with damping sound waves with special wall upholstery. Excellent damping of sound: furniture, various shelves, carpets, fabrics.
Placing and adjusting the TV or screen
Calculate what size screen is suitable for the parameters of your room. The horizontal viewing angle from the chair should be 40º.
You can use a formula to determine the size of the diagonal: Translate the distance from the chair to the screen into inches. Multiplying this distance by 0.84 will give you the screen diagonal size. For example, the distance from the chair to the intended screen is 85 inches, then consider this – 85 x 0.84 = 71.4. This means the screen should be about 70 inches.
THX recommends placing the TV vertically at eye level so you are looking at the screen perpendicularly. Increase the viewing angle, in some cases, by no more than 15º.
If you have not adjusted your TV panel at all, there is a good chance that it does not show perfectly. Of course, you can adjust some parameters “by eye,” but it is better to use special test discs. These Blu-ray test discs can be useful for the beginner as well as the expert. The program will help to significantly improve the image quality. Unfortunately, most test discs have an English interface. The most popular ones are:
- The Disney WOW disc is a great test option for beginners and will help optimally improve picture quality. It has a lot of versatile test patterns.
- Spears & Munsil HD test disk – this option is more suitable for advanced users and professionals. It has unique test measures of scaling and de-interlacing. This disk can be called a godsend for DC owners.
The test for manually tuning a TV panel
The pictures can be watched from a USB flash drive connected to a TV receiver. There are several reference zones in the proposed test, to properly adjust the picture. Only five parameters need to be adjusted:
- boundaries, picture format;
- level of brightness;
- contrast level;
- color correction;
- Image sharpness (focus).
Picture Boundaries and Format
There are arrows in the picture corners. They should be in contact with the edge of the screen with their sharp ends. If the size is set incorrectly, the picture will be cropped and the clarity will decrease. The menu items for changing the picture borders can be named: Overscan, Pixel-to-Pixel, Full Pixel, Original, Just Scan.
The brightness level
If the brightness level is set correctly, all 32 colors with sharp contours will be visible at the bottom of the picture. At low brightness, grayscale will blend in with the darker areas.
At high brightness, there will be a fusion of gradations with the light areas.
To adjust the contrast, use the same grayscale scale. Correct adjustment, as in the previous case, implies that all areas of the scale are visible. If the adjustment is incorrect, some areas of the skin will change to negative.
After completing these manipulations, it is advisable to go back and look at the brightness scale – whether the values have changed. Then perform the contrast check again.
The color of the facial skin in this test is an indicator for proper correction. Try to find a balance between visible darkened areas and visible light areas. For a natural display, reduce the saturation, trying to avoid undercolor.
When adjusting, white remains white, with no admixture of hues. You should look closely at the color bar: there are translucent squares on it. They must be visible in the background. You can adjust their visibility by adjusting the saturation.
You can check the image clarity when two lines intersect. These lines should not have shadows and should be surrounded by halos. Most of the time, clarity is rarely adjusted due to good factory settings.
Some televisions have a “Gamma” parameter. The color bar and picture are also used to check this parameter.
Speaker system placement and tuning
The most popular home theater speakers are 5.1 and 7.1. The number “1” means that the system has one subwoofer channel. The numbers “5” and “7” show the number of elements in the set.
All the speakers are equidistant from the listener, and arranged in a circle.
The speakers are arranged in a similar way for a 7.1 system.
In modern AV receivers for unsophisticated users of DK, there is a mode of automatic speaker debugging. All you need to do is to connect a microphone to the receiver and place it in the place where the viewer will be sitting. The microphone is set at ear level. After the automatic tuning is turned on, after some time (sometimes testing takes about 30 minutes), the unit will find the best frequency response, ideally suited to your type of auditorium. After the debugging procedure, you can adjust the sound by running a test disc, for example with music, and manually remove the annoying frequencies.
By following the above recommendations, you can set up your home theater on your own and save money without hiring professionals. Of course, if you have very expensive, professional equipment, and you have high quality requirements, then calling a professional to install your home theater in that case is ideal.