You love your home theater, but sometimes, you feel something is missing from the cinematic experience. Maybe one or two things aren't quite right, but you can't think of what it could be. A small purchase or minor adjustment may be the only thing needed. Replacing your current kit might not be entirely necessary; in fact, we recommend against it because it could work against the cinema system you already own. All our suggestions are affordable and within reach, and we hope that Origin Hi-Fi’s suggestions will help upgrade your home theater.
Calibrate your TV
The majority of TVs and projectors aren't set at peak performance when they're pulled out of the box, so we highly recommend recalibrating your settings on both your TV and media player to see which picture presets are your favorite. It's best to set your ambient lighting as if you're ready for a movie night for a consistent viewing experience. Sometimes darker shows and movies, like certain scenes in Game of Thrones, are difficult and frustrating to see what’s happening, so fiddling with your TV’s capability to process dark lighting, bright colors, and a balanced contrast can help improve your viewing experience. On the audio front, modes like Bass Boost and Dialogue Enhancement could give your existing sound system a newfound edge.
Turn off motion smoothing
You may have seen some TV screens that give the disconcerting illusion that a Marvel action film has the appearance of a soap opera. This is due to motion interpolation, also known as motion smoothing, which generates additional frames between each frame of a movie. This simulates a higher framerate and a "smoother image," which doesn't sit well with everyone's vision. Motion smoothing is often the default setting on most new TVs, and if the effect isn't ideal for you, it's easy to turn it off via your settings.
Move your speakers
Your current speaker setup might benefit from a physical adjustment. Speaker placement is essential to experiencing the best of your movie or TV show, and by looking up speaker positioning diagrams online, you can get a visual idea of how to best arrange your system depending on how many channels you have. When viewed as a diagram (usually a top-down perspective), the viewer should be in the center of a circle of audio with your speakers sitting equidistant from your seating at the perimeter of the circle. A 5.1 arrangement dictates that the right and left front channels should form a 60-degree angle between them with a center channel in the middle. Your rear surrounds should sit about 110 degrees around the center. Furthermore, it's time to take your speakers off the bookshelf and onto a pair of proper stands. This will allow them to remain steady as they perform with greater precision to place your ears in that sonic sweet spot.
Embrace your bias (lighting)
Want an easy way to reduce straining your vision? Adding a bias light that sits behind your TV can help your eyes notice more contrast on the screen without battling to focus on a vivid and dynamic rectangle in an otherwise dark and still room. The bias light acts as a gentle backlight; you can choose different colors and brightness levels to your preference. Whether you just want a simple LED strip you can order online or a high-end dedicated bias light, your future self won’t regret staying up to binge that new series.
Add a soundbar or subwoofer
Unfortunately, your TV’s speakers aren’t powerful enough to handle the higher or lower frequency ranges that create the cinematic experience. If you don’t already have a big surround-sound system, purchasing a soundbar and subwoofer setup should do the trick. A modest soundbar like JBL Bar Studio can alter the dialogue audio and sound effects for the better, but if you want to go up a level, the Sonos Beam has surround sound capabilities and multi-room functionality. If you’re prepared to make a splurge, the sonic quality of the Dali Katch One or Sonos Arc will transport you straight to the movie theater. Several soundbars can be paired with your smartphone via Bluetooth or a voice control assistant. If you already have a decent set of speakers, then a bass boost may be all you need. The addition of a subwoofer will fill in the low-frequency gaps; if you have an A/V receiver, check it for a sub-out connection so you can connect your subwoofer.
Now that you've made some minor adjustments, your home theater should look and sound brand new! If you have any questions about your current A/V setup, have plans to add some upgrades, or want to construct one from scratch, contact our team at Origin Hi-Fi today. We'll help you plan the best home theater for your budget and lifestyle.