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How to set up a home cinema system

Find out how to set up a home cinema system, where to start, and what you’ll need to get the best sound in your home

With a home cinema system you can recreate the sound of the movie theatre and throw yourself into the heart of the action. Whether you’re immersed in the latest horror film or you’re cheering on your team, a cinema-style sound adds depth and feeling to your viewing experience.

The perfect fit

Every home cinema system is different, so it’s important to find the right set up for your home. They come with all the equipment you need to get going and boast unbelievable sound quality. If you need to know more about the products themselves, we’ve compiled a handy buying guide for home cinema systems.

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Location, location, location

When you’re setting up your new system, the best way to start is by deciding where the TV or screen is going to go and work from there. Let’s look at a standard 2.1 channel set up. The front speakers should be placed around 1.5m on either side of your TV so you get a nice even distribution of all that audio goodness. Try and get the centre channel as close to the screen as possible so you can easily plug everything in and control remotely. If you’ve got a bigger 5.1 or 9.1 kit, it’s likely you’ll have some rear speakers. They’ll work best placed behind where you would normally sit and watch TV to create a true surround experience. The subwoofer carries the bass which is supposed to be non-directional, so move it around and see where it works best for you.

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Get connected

The final piece of the home cinema jigsaw, cables. All of this amazing audio and visual equipment will need connecting and like any stereo system, the quality of the cables you are using affects what you see and hear. A good HDMI cable will carry video resolutions up to 4K and amazing audio quality, so you can enjoy incredible detail whatever you watch. Some systems use optical cables that carry sound signals as super-fast pulses of light between your TV and speakers.

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Other options

If a home cinema system is too much for the size of your room, a soundbar might be the answer. These long thin bars are made up of a number of speakers in one unit and sit neatly under your TV. If you’re not sure which soundbar is right for you, our handy buying guide has everything you need to know.