So you are planning, or considering a home-theater system for your home or basement or man cave, eh? This is an exciting time for you, and we're glad you're considering us as a potential supplier of everything you need. 

If you are in the planning stage or at the stage of strategizing how to go about creating your home-theater system, you have probably gathered that there are quite a few parts to this set-up and thus realized that it can be complex operation.

The important thing to consider here is that a home-theater system - at least, a good one for which you would be proud - doesn't all just come in a single tidy box with everything you could possibly need included. The best systems are put together a piece at a time - and all the good ones start from the center of the system and work outward.

Here are some tips for creating the best home-theater system in the neighborhood:
  • The receiver goes first. While most home-theater systems are designed to highlight the television, everything goes through the receiver, so that has to be bought first to ensure that every other piece of equipment will be compatible. Some things to consider are the ports - there should be enough for all of your peripherals - HDTV, DVD player, Blu-ray player, game console, speakers, etc. Also keep in mind the speaker channels; depending on the type of system you want (5.1, 7.1, etc.) you have to buy a receiver that can handle your desired set-up. Most receivers are compatible with 5.1 arrangements.
  • Next come the speakers. You can buy individual speakers for your configuration or buy an entire system, but ensure that yorur speakers are compatible with your receiver. The most common sets are 5.1, 7.1 and 7.2 (where there is a second subwoofer). 
  • Consider your speaker arrangement. Look over the space where you want to set up your home-theater system and make plans for the location of your speakers. Your center speaker should be directly above or below the TV space, with left and right speakers just off to the sides of the TV, and any surround speakers slightly or all the way behind the desired viewing location (a sofa or recliner, for example). To get the best sound, speakers have to be at a certain level compared to your ears and to each other, so you may have to consider speaker stands or perhaps installing into walls or ceilings. A professional can help you determine the guidelines for your particular space.
  • The TV. The proper size and type (LCD or plasma) depends on your space and your general viewing habits. As a guide, a 42-inch TV has a recommended viewing distance of 5.3-10.5 feet. From there, if you go 4 inches larger on your screen, your viewing distance grows by 0.5 feet at minimum and the maximum is double the minimum distance. This is important based on where your main viewing location is in relation to the location of the TV. As for LCD or plasma - LCD is brighter, so it would be a good fit for daytime viewing or in bright rooms, while plasma might be better for low-light or nighttime viewing and for video games and sporting events because motion appears smoother on plasma.