17 Fun Killer Home Theater Mistakes To Avoid At Any Cost

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You bought the best of the best home theatre equipment and set it up just right. Now is the time for you to enjoy quality time with your family and loved ones. 

But you are not enjoying the home theatre experience as you expected. You are asking yourself why that’s so.

Well, there are mistakes that newbie and intermediate-level home theatre owners usually make.

We have gathered a list of these common home theatre mistakes, After interviewing professional home theater store owners, newbie home theatre owners, and intermediate-level, and Pro level owners.

So glued to this article To avoid these common mistakes also don’t forget to download your free checklist at the end of this article. 

List of the Home Theater Mistakes To Avoid. At A Glance:

  1. Choosing A Screen Size Without Examining Your Theater Room
  2. Installing TV Or Projector As It Is Without Calibrating It
  3. Choosing Speakers Upon The Audio Experience In The Store
  4. Choosing The Wrong Sizes Of The Speakers
  5. Choosing Random Locations For Each Speaker
  6. Not Paying Attention To The Location Of The Subwoofer
  7. Allowing So Much Light To Come Into The Theater Room
  8. Choosing Products That Are Trending On Social Media Or Forums
  9. Emphasizing Over Brand Loyalty And Price, Instead Of Yourself Loyalty
  10. Using Wrong Cables For Audio And Video
  11. Not Taking Care Of The Theater Room Temperature
  12. Ignoring The Need For User Manual
  13. Not Adding Surge Protector To Your System Or Budget
  14. Not Paying Attention To The Location Of The Door
  15. Burning Out All Your Budget On Display
  16. Not Soundproofing The Room
  17. Not Using HD Quality Of Media Source

Choosing A Screen Size Without Examining Your Theater Room

Choosing A Screen Size Without Examining Your Theater Room

When we buy a TV or projector screen for a home theatre, the picture of a professional home cinema hall comes to our mind. 

Then we quickly thrive for the largest screen size permitted by our budget. 

We compare our new screen with the professional cinema hall rather than our own home theatre room.

This is the best theater experience killer mistake that too many new home theater lovers make. 

There is a specific distance for each screen size to view it from. If you want to install a home theatre seating beyond the first row then there will be a separate distance for the second row to look for.

Don’t worry the distance calculation method is so easy that my granny can also do it.

For the best picture quality, the viewing distance should be twice the size of the TV or projector screen.

For example, if you are going to buy a 65-inch TV, you should be seated at a distance of  10.8 feet from the TV. 

At this distance, you will experience the best picture-viewing experience. 

If you want to set your seating distance to less than 10.8 you will happen to see annoying pixels, and it will be difficult for your brain to process the actual picture.

If you set the viewing distance greater than 10.8,  you will experience problems with the resolution of the picture.

Also for newer technologies like QLED and 4K,  you can watch the screen less than 10.8 but again this fixed value is recommended.

When you are going to buy a new TV for your theatre room,  you should first measure the distance from your proposed sitting area to the wall where you will place the TV. Now divide this value by 2 and you got the perfect size for your TV.

For 3d experience:

Don’t go for a smaller screen size if you are considering 3D experience. Always follow the user manual that comes with the  3D system and also you can follow our twice-the-size formula.

You must Keep my this formula of viewing distance from each screen size in your mind, before buying a display for your home theater. You will have a nice idea about your theater room.

Installing TV Or Projector As It Is Without Calibrating It

Installing TV Or Projector As It Is Without Calibrating It

As we know that producers produce movies for the Cinema hall, not for TV or a projector screen in a showroom.

The movies are produced to look good in a dim light environment like it is always in a cinema hall.

The TV manufacturers manufacture TV with very bright light and contrast that will fit the environment of a bright light showroom.

You cannot get the best picture quality out of the box of the TV or from the showroom.

They have increased the brightness level, so you immediately like the TV once your eyes are set on it in a showroom.

But when you install it in your theatre room without calibrating it. The picture quality will be completely different than it was in the showroom.

That’s why you have to calibrate the tv or projector to meet the production level of the movie. As I told you, the movies are produced for the cinema hall and dim light.

Now here is another question that might be in your mind,  so how to properly calibrate my TV?

You can also get professional help from the showroom or a store from which you have bought the TV if they provide so. 

But if this is not the case. Then you can find perfect ISF calibration values for your particular TV model on YouTube or forums and Facebook groups.

Choosing Speakers Upon The Audio Experience In The Store

When it comes to the best audio quality experience many metrics affect the quality of the audio. These metrics are like proper installation of Acoustic panels,  soundproofing of the theatre room,  installing soft material across the room, and the right placement of all the speakers.

 The store owners know these metrics. They want you to buy their speakers immediately after one sound testing round. 

That’s why they have the best acoustic and soundproofing treatment in their store. 

When a newbie plays the speakers in that store,  he/she immediately loves the sound quality of the speaker and buys it.

But when they bring it to their home theatre room, they do not get the speaker quality that they were expecting.

That’s why it is not a wise idea to select speakers for the sound quality experience in the store.

You should select speakers on the test in the room where you will set up your home theatre system.

Many online retailers provide you with the best return duration policy. So, you can test it in the room and examine it for yourself. Such as; read my this review of the best speakers under $1000, they are backed by Amazon return policy.

Choosing The Wrong Sizes Of The Speakers

Choosing The Wrong Sizes Of The Speakers

Speakers come in many shapes and sizes.

Each size speaker is having its own applications.

Like if you are having your home theatre in a basement or in a very large room then the best speakers for you will be large standing speakers.

These speakers have the power of covering large rooms with their sound. This type of speaker is not the best option for small rooms.

If your home theatre system is within a small room then a pair of bookshelf speakers will do the work.

You should also remember that your home theatre audio system is a combination of center and main speakers, subwoofers, and surround sound speakers.

Many online retailers are giving you speakers for the testing period too. You can test those speakers in your theatre room. 

Choosing Random Locations For Each Speaker

Buying speakers and randomly scattering them across the room will not deliver the goal which they are made for.

 The location of each speaker is very important for the optimal audio experience.

You can have the center channel above or below the TV or the projector screen. The front speaker should be there at the left and right of the screen. The surround sound speaker should go at the back and sides of your seating. 

Not every speaker can fit in all positions. Like; read my this review about satellite speakers and you will know why.

Pro tip: You can also change the angle of the speakers with respect to the seating, and choose the angle at which you are experiencing the best audio quality. Don’t place anything between you and the speakers.

Not Paying Attention To The Location Of The Subwoofer

Not Paying Attention To The Location Of The Subwoofer

One subwoofer in your theatre system is a must. You should always have one subwoofer to boost the bass.

You can place one subwoofer, between one of the front speakers and the TV, near the wall.

Work for the subwoofer placement is not finished here. If your room is very large then you probably need another subwoofer. Because large rooms always have dead base areas.

To identify the dead base area. You should crawl around the room and open your ears to those areas where you are experiencing low bass. This is the dead base area.

You will have to install another subwoofer in this area. This will enhance the experience of bass and overall audio.

Many experts do believe that you should do this crawl technique for a single subwoofer as well.  like placing the subwoofer on the couch and then crawling around the room and hunting for the dead bass area and installing the subwoofer there.

Although this is recommended but not necessary. You can place one subwoofer at the front like we told you before in this section and then do the crawl technique for another subwoofer to install.

Allowing So Much Light To Come Into The Theater Room

Allowing So Much Light To Come Into The Theater Room

A darker room is very necessary for both the TV and projector screen to watch the best picture possible. 

Never place a TV in those areas which can be hit directly by the sunlight coming into the room don’t place your TV or projector screen in front of a window or door.

If you are having windows in your theater room then consider installing blackout curtains to block that light. 

Now many new technology TVs are capable of suppressing the reflection of light hitting the screen. You should check this feature of the TV whether you are buying it online or offline.

If you are buying it from a store,  try to watch the screen from many angles to check whether the light is reflecting too much or less from the TV screen.

You can also turn on a torchlight and place it a little far somewhere in front of the screen. Then check whether this torchlight light is reflecting on the screen or not.

It is very crucial to block the light coming into the room and also buy screens which reflect less of the light.

Choosing Products That Are Trending On Social Media Or Forums

Sometimes we see a sudden influx of commercials on our favorite tv channels about a specific product, and our brain suddenly starts believing that this is the best product for us but this is not the case.

Sometimes we see a huge trend in products on social media or on product-related forums like AV forums.

Influencer pages on Facebook and Instagram start praising these new flashy AV receivers and everyone is saying the same, that this AV receiver is amazing and they are having the best result with this.

That trend quickly vanishes from social media and from the forums after a few months and no one talks about it again.

Why? Because they are paid to talk about this new AV receiver. That’s why they just started to recommend it.

I am not saying that those AV receivers and speakers are 100% crap but I am pretty sure they are not the 100% products that you need.

So, don’t believe in the internet trend.

Emphasizing Over Brand Loyalty And Price, Instead Of Yourself Loyalty

Don’t be so loyal to any brand that will do more harm than good. Going for a reputable brand is good sometimes but not always. They might not be good in a particular category or in a particular product.

Also, go for a product that is having good reviews and top-notch customer support.

A very less price for a product is always not good and a very high price always does not guarantee the best quality of the product. 

Always rely on reviews and a great customer support guarantee. Ditch the brand loyalty and urge for high-priced products.

Using Wrong Cables For Audio And Video

Always select good-quality HDMI cables for your theater system. Use an HDMI cable for both video and audio.

As you know many DVD players come with cheap quality wires and many experts still recommend RCA cables for speaker connectivity.

RCA cables and cheap quality wires that come with DVD players will not give you good quality audio and video.

I recommended HDMI cables but don’t go for very expensive ones.  HDMI cables that are capable of 18 Gbps data transfer speed, are fine for you. This type of cable can handle media sources of current-age technology and many more years to come.

Tired of messy wires all around your room? Read my these 13 creative ways for wire management

Not Taking Care Of The Theater Room Temperature

Big screens and receivers can quickly heat up the room. Especially when the whole family is watching a movie in this room together. 

 The high temperature will soon increase the frustration among the audience.

You can enjoy this heat during the winter season but in the summer season, it will be very hard to manage. 

You should be considering AC  for your theatre room.  

Also considered a good ventilation process for AV receivers. Due to overheating, they will perform poorly.

Ignoring The Need For User Manual

Self-confidence is a great thing to have but we should also consider the user manual provided by the manufacturers.

The manufacturers know their products better.  That’s why it is a good idea to follow their manuals.

Some manufacturers provide user manuals in printed form while others provide them in electronic form.

The electronic form can be accessed through the TV itself.

If the user manual is missing then you can also download it from the official manufacturer’s website.

Not Adding Surge Protector To Your System Or Budget

Now that you have spent thousands of dollars on tv,  AV receivers, and speakers. 

Now you should also consider at least $30 for the Surge protector as well.

A surge protector protects your home theatre system from a sudden power surge.

A power surge can happen due to a lightning strike or power failure.  The Protector then directs the current to the ground path. In this way, it protects your expensive and beloved products. 

This is why we recommend that you should invest in a reputable brand’s Surge protector. Go with those brands that will cover any damage caused by a surge to your products or to the Surge protector itself.

Not Paying Attention To The Location Of The Door

When choosing a room for your theatre system. Always choose a room with a door that will not allow other members of the home or the audience to walk by in front of the TV. 

This will ruin the theatre experience for you. 

Burning Out All Your Budget On Display

When shopping for a home theatre system. Newbies burn out their budget on a huge display.

Yes, it is important to have the best quality display but it is equally important to have the best quality audio system.

You have to specify a budget for your display and for all other equipment in the theatre room.

Those will be the best quality speakers, seating platform, soundproofing, and acoustic treatment.

You can know more about home theater displays and buying guides both for projectors and TV. Go to my this Guide and learn more.

Not Soundproofing The Room

You have got the best quality screen,  speakers,  and sitting platform.

You have arranged the speakers in the best possible way you can and calibrated the TV but still, you are not enjoying your home theatre.

Because now there is outside noise that is coming into the room which is suppressing the audio of the movie. This is really annoying. 

On top of that, you are experiencing an echo of the movie’s dialogues and music.

Now, is the time to soundproof your home theatre room and also do its acoustic treatment. 

Not Using HD Quality Of Media Source

Now that you have set up the HD-quality theatre system. Then you should only consider playing HD-quality audio and video.

 For example, if your TV is of 4k resolution, then play only  4K or at least 1080 pixel quality video on it.

Otherwise, you will not get the most out of the system. At this stage, you will probably be thinking that I have wasted all my money on this system.

You have to play HD videos on HD TV,  for the best experience.

If you have a Blu-Ray player and you want to connect it properly to the home theater, then follow my this guide on How To connect Blu-Ray to home Theater.

Did you get something out of this home theater mistakes guide? Hold On We Have Something Exciting To Share.

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How can I improve my home cinema?

  1. You can calibrate your TV or projector screen for your room’s dim light. 
  2. You can tweak different angles of the speakers to get the most out of the audio.
  3. You can soundproof the theatre room to hear clear audio.
  4. You can eliminate the reverberation of sound within the room by acoustic panels

Why my home theater is not working?

  1. Check if you have plugged in all the wires correctly.
  2.  Check if there are no damaged wires in your system.
  3. Check if two or more wires are not in contact and have not shorted the receiver.
  4. Check if the system is not on mute mode
  5. Check if your speakers are not damaged.
  6. Change your AV receiver to another surround sound mode to see if you experience any change

Helpful Resources For The FAQs To Read More

  1. For more tips on improving your home theatre experience, you can read this guide.  We have at least 13 tips for you both free and paid that will improve your home cinema. (Resource for the first answer)
  2. No more troubleshooting methods by Sony Blog. (Resource for the second answer)
17 Fun Killer Home Theater Mistakes To Avoid At Any Cost Checklist
Download This Checklist In High Quality PDF Form From Google Drive
This article was first posted on Homelytainment.com.
Ayaan Khan
Ayaan Khan

Ayaan khan is a freelancer and a Computer Science degree holder from P.E.S. College. After his degree, he started an internship with his father in his home theater showroom. After working for a month he realized that this is the best job in the world for him and it could be turned into a passion. Fast forward to when his internship ended, he joined his father as a full-time home theater equipment tester. He tests new equipment and approves it before it can be installed in the customer's house. He loves to test equipment and sometimes loves to install it by himself in the customer's theater room. Ayyan has the right experience and knowledge to learn from his articles. In my Free time I write & answer questions here on AVSFORUM. Every Article on Homelytainment is curated according to Homelytainment's Editorial Policy and Sponsorship Policy.

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