How to Set Up a Basic 5.1 Home Theater System

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How to Set Up a Basic 5.1 Home Theater System
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If you have an av receiver or your shopping for one here are the basic features you are going to need. 5.1 speaker connections Left, Right, Center, Surround Left and Surround Right. Also a sub/LFE out

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This is what your typical home theater receiver speaker connections are going to look like.

This is what your typical home theater receiver speaker connections are going to look like.

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The pre out connection labeled "subwoofer"  or LFE is where you would connect a powered subwoofer.                                                            Note: The subwoofer is the .1 in a 5.1

The pre out connection labeled "subwoofer" or LFE is where you would connect a powered subwoofer. Note: The subwoofer is the .1 in a 5.1

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Now that you've located the speaker connections. Check the receiver for digital audio connections. There are three types coaxial, optical, and HDMI. The inputs are listed from good to best.

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The HDMI Inputs are far left there are three and way beneath them is the HDMI output. (Tap pic for full shot). HDMI carries the best audio signals and the best video signals in one cable.  😃

The HDMI Inputs are far left there are three and way beneath them is the HDMI output. (Tap pic for full shot). HDMI carries the best audio signals and the best video signals in one cable. 😃

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The orange RCA connection is the coaxial input. The two black squares beneath the coaxial input are the optical inputs.

The orange RCA connection is the coaxial input. The two black squares beneath the coaxial input are the optical inputs.

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Let's hook it up! Hopefully you have 5 speakers and a powered subwoofer. When connecting speakers make sure you plug + (red) and - (black) up to the appropriate leads. DON'T GET YOUR WIRES CROSSED!

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This is proper speaker placement for the Front Left, Center, and Front Right speakers. It may be hard, but get your speakers as close to these positions as possible for the best sound.

This is proper speaker placement for the Front Left, Center, and Front Right speakers. It may be hard, but get your speakers as close to these positions as possible for the best sound.

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ALMOST THERE! Now for the rear/surround sound speakers. If they're small mount them 2-6 feet above the height of your seating position. They can be placed on the sides or behind your seating position.

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This is one of the better sounding rear/surround speaker placement options. The speakers are high and slightly behind the listening position giving you an enveloping sound stage. Pic from Bose.

This is one of the better sounding rear/surround speaker placement options. The speakers are high and slightly behind the listening position giving you an enveloping sound stage. Pic from Bose.

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Consider placing your speakers behind the listening position. You can use a table, speaker stands, or simply mount your speakers to achieve perfect positioning for your space.

Consider placing your speakers behind the listening position. You can use a table, speaker stands, or simply mount your speakers to achieve perfect positioning for your space.

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Time for your powered subwoofer connect it to the subwoofer/LFE pre-out on you receiver. Run the RCA cable to your LFE input on your subwoofer. Make sure your cable is at least 10 feet long.

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This is the back of a typical subwoofer panel use LFE/line in for the best result and there is usually a volume knob to adjust the volume output.

This is the back of a typical subwoofer panel use LFE/line in for the best result and there is usually a volume knob to adjust the volume output.

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If you have an HDTV Connect your Blu-ray/DVD player to your A/V Receiver using HDMI (if u can) and run another HDMI cable from the to the HDTV input to the Receiver's monitor/video out

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If you have an HDTV Connect your Blu-ray/DVD player to your A/V Receiver using HDMI (if u can) and run another HDMI cable from the Receiver's monitor/video out  to the HDTV input.

If you have an HDTV Connect your Blu-ray/DVD player to your A/V Receiver using HDMI (if u can) and run another HDMI cable from the Receiver's monitor/video out to the HDTV input.

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If you only have optical or coaxial inputs on your AV Receiver use one of these to connect your bluray/DVD player and use HDMI to send video from the player to your HDTV.

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Assuming all of this is done and the wires are run neatly around your room. Adjust the speaker/sound settings on your receiver pop in a movie and enjoy. You can thank me later. :)

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