The shiny newness of your home theater has worn off, and maybe you’re starting to notice all the ways it doesn’t match up with the actual movie-watching experience at the cinema. Something isn’t right, but you’re not sure what it is. Luckily, our experts at Xssentials know that all you might need is a quick adjustment to your existing setup or a small additional purchase for your home theater to reach its full potential. Here are five easy fixes to upgrade your home theater.

Recalibrate your TV Settings

Most TV’s and projectors’ standard settings aren’t perfect for everyone, so our suggestion is to recalibrate the settings on your TV and media player to choose what works best for you. First, set your home theater’s ambient lighting as if you’re going to settle in for a movie night since certain shows and movies have extremely dark scenes where it can be frustrating to view what’s happening onscreen. Next, adjust your TV’s capability to process bright colors, dark lighting, and a balanced contrast, all of which will help create a vivid image. For your audio settings, test out different modes like Bass Boost and Dialogue Enhancement, which may enhance the auditory SFX or make the characters’ speech easier to comprehend.

Remove Motion Interpolation

Perhaps you’ve noticed that some TV screens seem to make The Lord of the Rings feel like a soap opera. This effect is called motion interpolation or motion smoothing because it “smooths” the image by generating additional frames between each frame of the film, thereby simulating a higher framerate. Unfortunately, not everyone is a fan of this effect. On most new TVs, motion interpolation is the default, so if you prefer to turn it off, it’s easy to do so via the settings menu.

Switch up Speaker Placement

If your audio is sounding a little off, all you might need is to adjust your speaker arrangement. Correct placement is vital to have the best cinematic experience, and it’s easy to research speaker positioning diagrams online to get an idea of ideal placement depending on the number of channels. Most diagrams show a top-down perspective with the viewer centered in a circle of audio. The speakers sit equidistant from your seating along the perimeter of the circle several feet away. If you have a 5.1 arrangement (five speakers and one bass) then your right and left front speakers should create a 60-degree angle between them, and the remaining front speaker should be centered between them. The back speakers should sit approximately 110 degrees around the center. Take it one step further by placing your speakers on proper stands that help them perform with a higher level of precision.

Bring in Bias Lighting

Do you ever feel like your eyes begin to ache after staring at your screen for too long? Sometimes the stark contrast of a bright, dynamic rectangle against the backdrop of a dark, still room proves to be overwhelming for our vision. The addition of a bias light that sits behind your television can reduce the strain and help you focus on the action on screen. The bias light acts as a gentle backlight, and most come with the option to choose between a variety of brightness and colors, but a simple LED strip may be all you need to help. Your vision will thank you.

Choose a Soundbar or Subwoofer

The speakers embedded in most TVs are far too weak to handle the full frequency range necessary to the cinematic experience. If you don’t already own or want to invest in a multi-channel surround-sound system, a soundbar and subwoofer combination will do enough to level up your audio experience. Soundbars come at a variety of prices and capabilities. Some are enough to upgrade the dialogue and sound effects, while others come equipped with surround-sound capabilities and multi-room functionality. Most soundbars can also pair with your smartphone via Bluetooth or a voice control assistant for music-listening purposes. For an easy bass boost, adding a subwoofer to your setup will give your audio new depth as it covers the lowest frequencies in a movie. If you own an AV receiver, look for a sub-out connection that will link your subwoofer to the system.

You’ve made your simple adjustments, and your home theater is feeling and looking brand new! Whether you have inquiries on your current setup, want to plan some upgrades, or invest in an entirely new one, our team at Xssentials is happy to help you design the best home theater for your lifestyle and budget. Contact us today to get started.