How to Get the Most Out of Your HDTV Audio
Maybe you just bought your first HDTV set and are very impressed with the quality of the picture but did you know you may be missing out on a big part of the experience by not adding a good sound system? Home theaters don’t necessarily mean expensive chairs, high-end projectors, and audiophile-caliber sound systems. These days, some extra speakers and a good audio video receiver (AVR) can add the missing dimension of realistic sounding audio. While you’re putting together your sound system here are six things to keep in mind.
1. You Can Start With a Subwoofer
Most HDTV sets do a great job with video but often compromise on audio components. Whether you're listening to a rock concert or an action film, deep resonant bass can make a dramatic difference, so at the very least, consider adding a subwoofer to boost the bass. If you're going to add a subwoofer you might as well go ahead and get the other 5 speakers to round out the 5.1 surround sound or add 2 more if you want to go all the way to 7.1.
2. Pay Attention to
Speaker Placement

Aside from the quality of the speakers, where you place them in the room can make a big difference. Remember to move the speakers away from the wall and raise them off the floor. Moving the subwoofer to a different location can make a dramatic difference. Here’s a complete list of speaker placement tips including how to do the subwoofer crawl.

3. Don’t Box Your TV Speakers
into a Corner

Placing the TV along with the speakers in the corner of a room can create undesirable reflections and make your audio sound worse. On the other hand, there are often advantages to placing smaller subwoofers in corners.

4. Don’t Buy the
Wrong Speaker Set

Most quality speakers include a tweeter, a cone and a woofer in the same enclosure. Even though a small cube speaker might be easier to install, it's unlikely to produce the same quality sound as a larger speaker. Smaller speakers can often provide good quality sound for movies but for music or gaming you’re probably going to want an 8" or larger speaker.

Remember that speakers have a subjective component and some listeners will prefer one set of speakers over another so try and listen to the speakers before you buy them. It’s okay to bring a CD or DVD of your favorite music or movie to try out on the sound systems.

5. Hook Up Everything Correctly

When hooking up speakers, avoid out of phase signals which can create unwanted effects by making sure the wire matches the red and black connectors on the TV or receiver and the speakers. Some receivers will compensate for out of phase signals while some others will provide a "phase warning" when using the automatic calibration microphone.

HDMI is our preferred choice for connecting devices and the only way to get the highest quality audio from your Blu-ray player. It’s usually better to put your money into bigger speaker cables (more copper) than “expensive” cables. If you are hearing "Hum" or seeing "Snow" your cables probably need upgrading.

6. Overstuff Your Room

The acoustics of your room can make a significant difference in the quality of your audio system. Hardwood floors and bare walls can create unwanted reflections. You may want to consider installing an area rug on a bare floor, some wall coverings and of course, curtains on any windows. The more upholstered furniture like overstuffed chairs and sofas, the better. Bookshelves full of books are also good for room acoustics; just don't put speakers in them.

You Won’t Find Popcorn on Retrevo

Whether you’re shopping for gear or need a manual for your receiver don’t forget to visit Retrevo where you’ll find reviews and manuals for the latest gadgets and gear including cameras, laptops, HDTV and more.

Credit: Adam J. Schmidt contributed to this article

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speakers for new tv sets

After the switch to the new TV system, we were forced to buy two new TV sets. The socalled converters didn't work with the two old sets. The sound level on the new sets is just plain weak and unsatisfactory.
We bought a Sony five speakers set for the TV in the living room. Spent 6 hours putting it
together and found that it was defective and did not work. Took it back for a refund. There isn't much I can do now. The better speaker sets seem to cost more than $400. That is beyond of our budget.
We don't need "surround sound". We just need amplification of the sound so we can hear it.
In addition, the picture quality varies from excellent to awful. We live in southern California where there are more than 50 TV stations that should be in range of our outside antenna.

The government screwed up again.

# 4

You state: "Even though a small cube speaker might be easier to install, it's unlikely to produce the same quality sound as a larger speaker. Smaller speakers can often provide good quality sound for movies but for music or gaming you’re probably going to want an 8" or larger speaker. "

I tend to disagree with this statement because Harman Kardon puts out a cube speaker that blows the doors off of Bose. I have a 7.1 channel system hooked up to a Harman Kardon AVR and when you stick something in like "Saving Private Ryan", you'd probably want to go grab a helmet and some kevlar because you feel like you are in Normandy getting fired at from all different directions.



...and in the next sentence

...and in the next sentence it reads....

"Remember that speakers have a subjective component and some listeners will prefer one set of speakers over another"

But I agree. I have some Polk Audio speakers, small ones, that just kick butt over anything I've ever heard Bose put out. Of course, my subwoofer (Martin-Logan) is a great complement to them, so perhaps I just have a good match-up. :)