Learning how to hook up surround sound to TV with HDMI is not all about being a tech freak or taking advantage of the latest technologies, but about enjoying a movie in all its glory. Doing it right will allow you to explore the full experience.
The sound is one of the most significant benefits of having your home cinema system. Unfortunately, lots of people forget about it. They want the experience, the darkness, and the clarity, but they fail to realize how important the actual sound is.
Some people may argue that a good sound system is even better than the actual image. All in all, if you are new to this kind of technology, you need to do one thing at a time. Before getting into details, you have to understand how your system works.
Understanding the concept of a stereo home theater system
A wireless home theater speaker or system is one of the easiest ways to improve the sound in your particular room. To make it happen, you will need a few devices – some speakers, as well as an amplifier. Sure, you are free to use a basic Hi-Fi system that you may already have. It is excellent for stereo sound, but surround music is a much better experience – you will need a receiver for it.
Another option – the less technical one – involves buying a full package that includes everything. It has speakers, an amplifier, and perhaps a Blu-ray player as well. However, doing it yourself gives you more options in terms of customization and quality standards. Now, how do you immediately improve the sound in your home theater?
Simple – in theory, you have to grab the audio from the source – be it a cable box, a DVD player, or another alternative – and send it to the amplifier. The amplifier will then send it to the speaker system around your room.
It sounds easy. What are the steps then?
Check out your audio system
Put the speakers in the right position. It depends on how many you have. The most popular setups include 2.1, 5.1, and 7.1. Double-check the audio type of your TV too – look for the audio out plug. Most people want HDMI, but not everyone has such connectivity. The slot is thin and hexagonal. The HDMI technology covers both video and audio. Most receivers made today support it.
At the same time, an audio receiver is a must. Powered speakers can produce sound on their own, but it does not work with surround sound speakers, so you will need a receiver to get the job done. Finally, ensure you have the required cables and turn off and unplug everything.
Time to get to work then.
Place all the devices
Start with the speakers. According to The Home Cinema Guide, the arrangement depends on how many speakers you have. The process ensures you can set everything up without having to stretch wires or move speakers again later. The subwoofer must be placed close to the center of the environment, but out of the way.
As for the receiver, it should be quite close to the TV, not to mention a power source. It needs room to clear heat, so do not hide it behind furniture or in a cabinet.
Last, but not least, check the connectivity of your speakers. Many systems feature ports on each speaker. If you have an old system, you might need to use bare speaker wires. However, such old fashioned technologies are almost gone now.
Now that everything is set in place, you have to learn how to hook up surround sound to TV with HDMI – basically, wire your system up.
Connect the system
According to It Still Works, there are a few steps to ensure top-notch connectivity.
- Run a wire from each speaker to the receiver. Ideally, you should hide them to prevent tripping on them – hide them under a carpet. Also, make sure they are not too stressed, so leave a little slack.
- Connect speakers. One end of the wire must go to a speaker. The speaker should then connect to another speaker, and so on. Do it in a linear sequence. The subwoofer is usually supposed to go directly into the receiver. Some old fashioned models may require a different connection, so check the manual.
- Plug the subwoofer into the receiver. If you have more inputs on it, use the one labeled LFE in. If there are no labels, use the one far left.
- Give your receiver some electricity. Plug it in and give it a few minutes to fully power up.
- Connect HDMI devices to the receiver. Whether it comes to DVD players, game consoles, or other devices, most receivers come within and out HDMI ports – clearly labeled.
- Hook the receiver into your TV. The HDMI connection ensures higher quality than classic AV cables.
- Plug the TV back in and power it on.
Test the system
According to Sony, it is highly recommended to try out your surround sound. Every TV set has a different way to configure audio. Go to the audio settings in the menu and work them out there. Many new surround sound systems come with a proprietary setup procedure. It is automatic and does not involve too much work.
If the sound does not feel quite right, you should play with the TV settings, as well as the items connected, rather than moving the speakers around.
The bottom line, setting up a surround sound system through HDMI, is not the hardest job in the world. You can hire a professional for it, but most people do it themselves based on an essential guide and the manual of instructions. The whole process should not take more than half an hour – and that is making your time to do everything by the book.