Most Common Mistakes In The Home CinemaMany users don't realize they're missing out...Watch out: Attractive living rooms often mean compromises in picture and sound quality.
Even the best of us make mistakes. And with the vast array of devices and setup options in today's home cinema or living room, it's no surprise that things can easily go wrong.
But while mistakes are easy to make, they're not all easy to fix or even to spot in the first place. Many users don't realize they're missing out on the best their system has to offer.
That's why we've put together a list of common mistakes in the home cinema. In each case, we describe the problem and explain how to fix it.
Here's a selection of our advice:
Common Mistake: Leaving Overscan Switched On
This is perhaps one of the most important things to watch out for: Make absolutely sure you switch off the pixel cropping (overscan) in your TV's menu. If the setting is left active, you won't be enjoying the full sharpness of a Blu-ray signal not to mention that the edges of the picture will be missing. Sadly, some TVs don't even allow you to turn overscan off; be sure to look out for this when choosing which model to buy.Common Mistake: Setting The Contrast Too HighTest patterns such as this stepped grayscale help you find the perfect contrast setting.
One important thing to remember here is that it's the contrast setting, not the brightness setting, that affects how bright the picture will look. Setting the contrast too high therefore makes the screen excessively bright which will look awful in a darkened room. But too little contrast will make pictures look flat and unattractive. Get the right setting using one of the test patterns found on commercially available test discs.Common Mistake: Allowing Light And Sound To Reflect Off Surfaces
Reflections are your worst enemy when you're designing a home cinema. Light from the picture can bounce off a white or brightly colored wall and then fall back onto the screen, making blacks weaker and worsening the contrast. What's more, audio reflections will arrive at the listeners' ears a few milliseconds after the original signal, making the film's sound less clear. We recommend putting a soft material on any surface that could cause such reflections. Similarly, stop light reflecting by making the walls a dark color but it pays to consult the family before painting the living room black. Of course, a dedicated home cinema is always easier to tailor to the perfect movie experience.
We hope this has been helpful, and if you're keen to read on, we've got plenty more advice on avoiding home-cinema pitfalls in our full article, The 20 Most Common Mistakes in the Home Cinema