You’ve just invited your mates around to watch the footy or an epic movie but is your home theatre up to the task?
If you’ve already got a TV and stereo setup, or are thinking of renting a home theatre for a short time, then it pays to know how to give it a few tweaks to get it performing in tip-top shape (and keep the complaints at bay). Keep reading to find out more.
Improving the View
HDTVs aren’t cheap to buy (there’s always the option of renting if it’s just for a short period) but in either scenario a widescreen is essential. Which is all well and good but you should calibrate it to get the best possible picture.
When people get a new HDTV they normally unpack it from the box, plug it in, and that’s pretty much it – hours of viewing in ‘shop mode’. You’ve probably been putting up with an oversaturation of colours, loss of fine detail and way too much brightness. Which is fine for the shop floor but in your home, you want the best quality picture your HDTV can give you.
The easiest way to get this is to find cinema mode on your settings and leave this switched on. If you feel up to a manual challenge, then find the brightness settings and tone it down a notch or two. Next lower the contrast to bring out a better range of detail especially in bright, dark and saturated areas. If whites and blacks start looking grey, you’ve overdone it.
Sharpness is generally up too high as well, creating halos around people’s bodies and objects. Take this right back to zero and adjust it up until you get a crisp delineation between high contrast edges.
Set the Optimal Viewing Distance
Once you’ve calibrated your HDTV, then it’s important to consider the optimum distance and viewing angle from your seating area. This is something that everyone has an opinion about, but the best way to do it is to multiply the diagonal size of your TV’s screen by two. So the distance you should be sitting from a 127 cm (50”) plasma HDTV is 2.5 metres, that’s where your eyes would be, not the back of the couch. The recommended viewing distance is between 1.8 – 5.2 metres for this size screen, so you have a bit of room to play with depending on the size of your lounge.
Getting the sound right
Putting your speakers either side of your TV will give you sound but is it that great? For the best sound experience, it takes just a few minutes and minor adjustments to get optimal performance.
Essentially you want to make a triangle with your left and right front speakers as two points and your ears as the third point. If you’re sitting 2.5 metres away from your TV, then your speakers should be 2.5 metres apart – 1.25 metres either side from the centre of the TV. Tilt them in at a 22 to 30 degree angle, and as close to ear level as possible is best, depending on what other furniture you have in the room.
Hopefully, with these adjustments, you’ll have an awesome home theatre experience, and everyone will be keen to come back to yours in the future. MacRae has a great range of TVs and home theatre systems if you’re looking to rent. Contact us today for more info!