10 Pro Tips For Setting Up The Best Home Entertainment System Possible
So you’re a video game junkie. Or is it movies? Reality TV? Maybe you’re an audiophile that needs to hear the latest Diplo mix with the purest sound quality. No matter what kind, we’re all lovers of entertainment, and we’re always looking for the best entertainment experience possible. These 10 pro tips will ensure that next time you sit down to unwind, you’ll be doing it in comfort and style.
1. Consider Your Space
Let’s be honest: If you live in a 15x15-foot apartment, your place isn’t going to need surround sound. On the other hand, if you’re living in a mansion, a soundbar isn’t going to do much good in your gigantic living room. Or what about the fact that your new entertainment system ends up taking up half of your floor space? It’s important to think about exactly how large your area is, because otherwise, you’re likely to get the wrong equipment for the job.
2. What’re You Blasting Through those Speakers?
Do you spend your time watching exclusively action movies, or are you into nature documentaries? Are you bumping opera from the 1700’s, or are you throwing on the latest A$AP Rocky Album? All of these considerations are essential in determining what kind of equipment you want. Some media require more powerful bass; others need the speakers to pick up on subtle tonal shifts. Don’t just pick whatever equipment is well-reviewed — pick what suits your interests.
3. Think Ahead
Look, we know that 32-inch flat screen looks good in your current apartment, but will you still want it when you move to a bigger place next year? Or how about picking speakers with no way to connect to a subwoofer so you can save a cool $50, then having to buy a whole new system down the line? No matter what you’re purchasing, you shouldn’t only consider the base cost, but the future cost as well. Sometimes it’s worth sinking in a few extra bucks to not have to go shopping all over again.
4. Choose Parts Wisely
It’s easy to rely on brands you’re familiar with and say to yourself, “I bet these speakers are quality,” and then be kicking yourself a week later. Take the time to read up on whether gold-plated connectors are really worth the extra money, or whether one company’s subwoofers really give you the bass you’re looking for. Even an HDMI cable can be the difference between a crisp picture and a subpar one. Don’t be lazy; do the research.
5. Mix ‘n’ Match
An extension of our last protip, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to get all of your equipment in one neat, tidy, package. Some companies make amazing speakers and terrible receivers. It's best to build out a system suited to what you want with all the best products in the market. Pay no mind to the sales rep trying to convince you that you can get all the parts you need from him right now, especially when some of these guys are working on commission.
6. All Bluetooth Everything
Maybe the creepy science lab look is something you’re going for, but most of us want fewer cables in our lives, not more of them. That’s why Bluetooth is so clutch. But it’s not as simple as just having a smartphone or an entertainment system with bluetooth capabilities. You want your entertainment system to have an intelligent interface, too. This means being able to effectively control the source from your system, instead of bugging your friend for his phone every time you want to skip a track on his mediocre playlist.
7. Discs Are Dead! Do Digital
It’s 2014. Blu-Ray and DVD are going the way of the dodo. And is that a CD rack we see? Look, you can drop $50 on an entirely unnecessary Blu-Ray player, or you can put the wonderful world of streaming to use. Whether it’s through your smartphone, your laptop, or an app (most TVs and several music players have them), you can access countless streaming options, bother free and paid. Don’t waste the surface area or the dough on technology that’s practically obsolete — unless you’re into vinyl records. What? They’re retro.
8. Select Smart Software
Did you know that Amazon provides digital copies of eligible albums that you’ve purchased from them anytime dating back to 1998? No? Well, there’s a digital music library you didn’t even know you had. Or how about the fact that Roku can merge all of your streamed video or audio services into a singular, streamlined experience? The point is, your home entertainment system isn’t all about the hardware. Invest some time in selecting what software will actually bring your entertainment experience to you, and it’ll pay off handsomely.
9. Don’t Be A Hero
After purchasing your home entertainment equipment, you might be feeling a little light in the wallet, and therefore reluctant to dish out any more of your hard-earned moulah. Well, you could end up costing yourself a lot more if you try to save money on installation without knowing what you’re doing. For example, if you’re hanging a TV or heavy speakers, do you know whether you need a bracket to support the weight? Do you know how much you can even lift? No? Then leave it to the professionals, or else you may find yourself buying new equipment — and maybe even paying medical bills, to boot.
10. Location, Location, Location
What’s the point in getting your entertainment system and placing it in the completely wrong place? If you’re going to be watching TV, do you need to worry about glare from the windows? If you plan on throwing parties, is having the speakers on the top floor instead of taking it down to the basement mean you’re going to have to keep thing down for the neighbors? Don’t limit your entertainment experience because of poor planning. Think it through!
March 20, 2014 via Pepsi