How To Set Up Your Home Theater?

Creating the ultimate home theater experience involves more than just buying the latest TV and surround sound system. Proper setup is crucial to ensure that you get the most out of your investment. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced tech enthusiast, this guide will walk you through the steps to hook up your home theater like a pro.

Choose the Right Location

The first step in setting up your home theater is selecting the right room. Ideally, choose a space where you can control the lighting and sound. A basement or a dedicated media room is perfect because you can minimize light and external noise.

Consider Room Acoustics

The acoustics of your room play a significant role in the overall audio experience. Hard surfaces like bare walls, floors, and ceilings can cause sound to bounce and create echoes. Adding carpets, curtains, and acoustic panels can improve sound quality.

Plan Your Layout

Before you start hooking up your equipment, plan the layout of your home theater. Position your seating area so that it is centered with the screen and speakers. Ensure there’s enough space for comfortable viewing and listening.

Screen Placement

The screen should be placed at eye level when you’re seated. This reduces strain on your neck and ensures a more immersive experience. If you’re using a projector, ensure it’s mounted correctly and aligned with the screen.

Speaker Placement

For a standard 5.1 surround sound system (five speakers and one subwoofer), follow these guidelines:

  • Front Left and Right Speakers: Place these on either side of the screen at ear level, angled towards the seating area.
  • Center Speaker: Position this directly above or below the screen, centered.
  • Surround Speakers: Place these to the left and right of the seating area, slightly behind it and at ear level or higher.
  • Subwoofer: This can be placed anywhere, but it’s best near a wall or corner for optimal bass response.

Connect Your Components

TV or Projector

Start by setting up your TV or projector. Connect it to a power source and ensure it’s properly mounted or placed on a stand.


The receiver is the hub of your home theater system, connecting all your audio and video components. Here’s how to set it up:

  • Connect the TV/Projector: Use an HDMI cable to connect your TV or projector to the receiver’s HDMI output port.
  • Connect Audio Sources: Connect your audio sources (e.g., Blu-ray player, game console) to the receiver’s HDMI input ports.
  • Connect Speakers: Using speaker wire, connect each speaker to the corresponding output on the receiver. Ensure the positive and negative terminals match.
  • Connect the Subwoofer: Use an RCA cable to connect the subwoofer to the receiver’s subwoofer output.

Additional Components

If you have additional components like a streaming device, gaming console, or a media server, connect them to the receiver or directly to the TV as needed.

Calibrate Your System

Once everything is connected, it’s time to calibrate your system to ensure optimal audio and video quality.

Audio Calibration

Many receivers come with an automatic speaker calibration feature. Use the included microphone to measure and adjust the speaker levels. If your receiver doesn’t have this feature, you can manually adjust the levels in the receiver’s setup menu.

Video Calibration

For the best picture quality, adjust the TV or projector settings. Use the built-in calibration tools or a calibration disc to fine-tune the brightness, contrast, color, and sharpness.

Organize Cables

A neat and organized setup not only looks better but also makes troubleshooting easier. Use cable ties and clips to bundle and hide cables. Label each cable to know what goes where, and consider using a cable management system if you have a lot of wires.

Test and Enjoy

After setting everything up, test your system. Play a movie or some music to check the audio and video quality. Make any necessary adjustments to the sound levels and picture settings.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • No Sound or Picture: Check all connections and ensure everything is powered on.
  • Poor Sound Quality: Re-check speaker placement and calibration settings.
  • Video Issues: Ensure the HDMI cables are securely connected and the correct input is selected on the TV or projector.


Setting up a home theater in Phoenix AZ can seem daunting, but by following these steps, you can create an immersive entertainment experience in your own home. If you’re in the Phoenix, AZ area and need professional assistance, consider reaching out to Imagine Audio Video. They specialize in home theater installations and can help you achieve the perfect setup. Enjoy your new home theater!