How to improve the quality of your TV's audio
With our super thin flat screen TV's getting slimmer, the quality of audio available is suffering because the speakers are getting smaller. However, you can still get brilliant quality audio that enables you to watch movies and television with cinema quality sound. All you need are a few additional pieces of equipment to connect to your television, and you will soon be getting superb sound that accompanies the crisp HD picture.
Cables and Connections
Before you can find out what audio enhancing equipment is right for you, you will need to check what ports and connections you have on your TV. Depending on the age of your TV, you are likely to have a HDMI port. Most televisions made after 2006 should support HDMI. This is often the best option for connecting devices and should be your first choice.
The cables that come in the box are quite often not the best for the job. You should consider changing these to a higher quality as simply using the ones it came with can lead to a lower quality of sound. Thicker speaker wires should be used when they are over 50 feet long, this is typically when installing multi-room.
Better yet, take out the hassle of having to connect up different cables by going wireless instead. These systems use a radio transmitter so that the speakers can receive sound direct from the amplifier. Once you have figured out what cables you need, it’s time to decide what speakers are best for you.
1. Sound Bar
The sound bar is a long rectangular piece of equipment that contains a number of speakers and often a subwoofer. It is an ideal purchase for those that don’t have the room for a full surround sound set up with wires and speakers. It sits neatly in front of your TV or it can be wall mounted. It is a cost effective option that works well for smaller rooms. It doesn’t have the same quality as a surround sound system but it will boost the audio of your television considerably. If your sound bar doesn’t come with a subwoofer then you may need to purchase this additionally if you want to experience the intended bass that is found on DVD soundtracks.
2. Home Cinema System
There are two types of home cinema system that will dramatically increase the quality of the audio for your TV, giving you the home cinema experience. A 3.1 will include three speakers and one subwoofer. One speaker to be placed to the left, one to the right and one in front. This will enhance the quality of sound, however, if you want to maximise the home cinema experience then you are better off opting for a 5.1 system. This includes five speakers and one subwoofer with the speakers placed to the right, left and in front of the TV and then two speakers placed either side behind you. This will give you surround sound quality audio similar to that of a cinema experience with sound coming from all directions. This is particularly good when watching sports such as football as you will hear stadium sounds and chants from all around giving you an atmosphere similar to being at the stadium itself. The front speakers in both set ups are specifically tailored to provide a clearer dialogue.
These all-in-one systems also come with an audio receiver that usually comes with either a built in Blu-ray or DVD player. You can also choose to buy one which includes Wi-Fi that allows you to stream web content such as YouTube and Netflix. Some models include an iPod docking station or USB inputs to connect your iPod.
Rather than opting for an all-in-one home cinema surround sound option, you can choose to buy the receiver, speakers and subwoofer separately. This is the best way to enhance the quality of the sound on your TV however it is a more costly option that will take longer to set up.
Choosing the right receiver is a key choice in ensuring you get high quality surround sound movie-like audio. Not only does it deliver great sound quality, but it also provides a point of connection for a number of different audio and video devices such as your smart phone or games console. The power of your receiver will vary depending on the size of your room and TV. If you have a large TV and room, you are going to need bigger speakers and therefore an appropriate receiver to power them. If there is not enough power for the speakers, you risk getting distorted sound and over time you will damage the speakers.
Buying separate components means that you can also add more speakers than the standard 5.1 system. This will improve the quality further and enable you to hear additional channels of sound. The speakers need to be voice matched so it is advised to buy from the same brand and the same collection within that brand. You will need a centre channel speaker as well as a left and right. A popular choice for this is to buy floor standing speaking or even stereo speakers. You will also need two more speakers that will sit behind you at the back of the room.
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