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Most Common Mistakes In The Home Cinema

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Most Common Mistakes In The Home Cinema
Many 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 High

Test 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.
post #2 of 17
Hehe...I painted my new theater room black.
post #3 of 17
When I construct my house, my home theatre's walls will either be black or dark navy or possibly dark wine. Leaning more toward dark navy ATM.
post #4 of 17
dark grey walls here.
3 curtains hung on the only window in the room = DARK
post #5 of 17
Dark brown walls in the basement with darker brown light blocking curtains. Basically a black hole and thats the way I love it
post #6 of 17
The tip on positioning the center above the screen is one of the most important tips IMO.Gives a great dialogue effect & sound integrates well with main & surround speakers.
post #7 of 17
does the samsung 750 series lcd have an overscan to turn off? it doesn't ring a bell, thanks all.
post #8 of 17
pretty basic
post #9 of 17
Quote:


Mistake No. 3: Mounting the TV too high up

Fantastic! some users think, I can finally hang the TV on the wall like a picture. But be careful: This much-cherished wish can also backfire don't hang the TV exactly as if it were a picture. If it's too high, you'll spend the whole time looking upwards, like viewers in the front row at a cinema. And if you've ever sat in the front row, you'll be well aware of the neck pain you'll get from two hours in that position. Even if your head is supported, this is still an unnatural viewing angle.

Too bad the author missed a golden opportunity to counter the "professional room designer" requirement of always mounting the TV over the fireplace. I can't believe the number of people who, after watching dozen of so-called experts on the home design and decorating channels, feel that they just must put their new flat TV over their fireplace.

Not only is it uncomfortable to watch that way (especially if the sofa is only a few feet away), if they actually use their fireplace, the heat will toast their new TV.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by killahb36 View Post

does the samsung 750 series lcd have an overscan to turn off? it doesn't ring a bell, thanks all.

I don't know if this helps, but Sony calls it "full pixel".
post #11 of 17
I went with a mid-tone brown color, called coca-bean. That way when the lights are on, it still has a family room feel to it.
post #12 of 17
hey can anyone tell me do the excessive contrast or lower contrast setting affect the eyes? Should I go to eye doctor or should my TV be repaired.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by WaltA View Post

I don't know if this helps, but Sony calls it "full pixel".

does anyone know if the Sony LCD 52' XBR2 have overscan? i looked but i did not see anything mentioned about it in the menu's.
post #14 of 17
Good info.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by perhaps1991 View Post

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post #16 of 17
Is this one of those "what is wrong with this picture?" puzzles?

Offhand, I see...

The subwoofer is pushed against the wall
The mains are too far apart
There is no center channel
The rears are too close to the listeners on the end of the couch
Light from the window is falling directly on the screen
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sworth View Post

Is this one of those "what is wrong with this picture?" puzzles?

Offhand, I see...

The subwoofer is pushed against the wall
The mains are too far apart
There is no center channel
The rears are too close to the listeners on the end of the couch
Light from the window is falling directly on the screen

Isn't that a center channel right under the tv?
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