Ten steps to getting the most from your home theatre system

1. Your viewing enjoyment is going to depend entirely on the quality of your TV reception. You do not want the picture to drop out just as the thrilling final moments of big match heat up! Make sure that your HDTV receiver’s aerial is tuned up and working properly. It can be worthwhile to call in a professional antenna installer to be certain of this.

2. Adjust the picture quality settings on your TV. The chances are that a new TV will have rather unrealistic colour and brightness settings when you first take delivery. Check the manual, and explore the TV’s menus, and you will soon find how to switch the picture from ‘Dynamic’ to ‘Standard’.

3. Watch out for reflections. While many plasma and LCD TVs include some form of ‘anti-reflection’ treatment on their screens, this is of limited effectiveness. If you have a window reflecting in the TV screen during the daytime, you will have trouble seeing what’s happening. Try using curtains, or putting the TV where this won’t be a problem.

4. Work out how to use the ‘Night Mode’ on your sound system. If you have a home theatre receiver, it will generally have such a mode. This reduces the louder sounds on some program material and boosts the quieter bits, allowing you to enjoy programs later at night without waking up the neighbours.

5. Set up your loudspeakers properly if you have a surround system. This involves going through a menu on the home theatre receiver, marking each loudspeaker as ‘large’ or ‘small’, setting its distance from your seat, and adjusting its volume. Many systems make this really easy by providing an automatic setup system, complete with a microphone.

Use the page controls below to reach the next page, with tips 6 to 10.