7 fast TV tweaks that can improve your film night time

Your TV setup needs some work. 7 quick tweaks that make a big impact

Do not throw the cables on your self, get them organized.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Over time, your TV and sound system won’t look or sound pretty much as good because it used to. Possibly your TV audio has change into muffled, or the image settings aren’t supreme, or your TV cables are taking on your front room. With the vacation journey season about to begin, there is not any time like the current to get your front room (sorry, your house theater!) in tip-top form. Taking good care of these points is simple and would not have to value a lot cash — the truth is, a number of of the information are free. 

Listed here are seven duties to maintain your TV and house theater gear in good condition, starting from merely choosing up a distant management to purchasing your self some new gear.

Calibrate TV image and audio settings

Don’t fret, you need not put on blue coveralls or personal a scientific calculator to calibrate your system. It is easy. Whether or not you simply bought your TV out of the field or it has been sitting in your TV stand for years you’ll be able to all the time enhance its image with a few fast button presses. The very first thing you must test inside your TV’s image settings is that it is in Film or Calibrated mode (if out there). Vivid mode might look spectacular on the store flooring however that is the place that monstrosity ought to keep — individuals look orange and numerous tremendous element is misplaced. You probably have an Apple TV now you can use an iPhone to calibrate the colour of a linked tv.

Likewise, getting higher sound out of your sound system could be improved with a few easy tweaks. You probably have a soundbar with a separate subwoofer, for instance, transferring it a few inches in any course might make it sound loads higher. However in case you have one thing a little bit extra concerned, like a receiver and audio system, then there’s a number of extra tips out there up your sleeve. Firstly you’ll be able to all the time dig out the calibration microphone and run it by means of its setup course of. Nonetheless, for those who’ve misplaced the mic you’ll be able to all the time do it by hand, utilizing a decibel meter app in your smartphone. I choose this latter methodology as I discover it offers higher outcomes, particularly in terms of setting the extent of the subwoofer.

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High quality tuning your TV settings could make a giant distinction.


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Clear your TV display

Residence theaters are literal mud magnets with the quantity of static electrical energy flying round — particularly on TVs. Cleansing your system cannot solely assist it look higher, however many AV elements will work higher after a little bit upkeep: the obvious being your TV display.

If the tv has grease spots from fingerprints, use a moist however not moist fabric, or for actually cussed stains use a light answer of cleaning soap and water — you do not want a specialised display cleaner. Then wipe it dry with a lint-free fabric. Should you’re particularly brief on time you would all the time breathe on the smudges and use the ensuing condensation to shine them off.

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The subsequent step is to take away mud across the TV and any related gear like an AV receiver or cable field. Whereas producers do make specialised wipes, a duster or the identical lint-free fabric can even work.

You probably have gadgets with cooling followers, these can gather numerous gunk over time — cleansing them will assist them run higher. Purchase a can of compressed air to scrub these followers effectively from the surface — do not open it up — however make sure that to unplug the gadget first. The “air” can have numerous moisture in it, and you do not wish to danger shorting your gear.

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Conceal your TV cables and wires

Cables are the lifeblood of any house theater or TV system, however nobody likes taking a look at them. Hiding them away not solely reduces muddle but additionally prevents potential tripping hazards.

Cable ties are a cheap approach to manage the cables main from the TV to different elements of an AV system. However do not buy single-use plastic ties — as an alternative get Velcro or wire-based twist ties from bread luggage, as these are adjustable.

When operating cables collectively, attempt to maintain AV interconnects and electrical cables separate. That forestalls electrical interference, which might lead to a degraded audio or video sign. Use the ties to repair the cables alongside the pure boundaries of AV furnishings and partitions.

When wall-mounting a TV, you in all probability do not desire a energy and HDMI cable dangling down from the underside. Should you do not wish to drill holes in your wall, use cable channels that connect to the wall and could be painted to fit your decor. Even higher, purchase white HDMI and energy cables, which can even present a cleaner look.

If the system consists of encompass audio system or Ethernet, the cables can go beneath rugs, alongside skirting boards, or inside specialised rubber duct covers that run throughout your flooring. Mounting clips will also be used to repair cables to the wall so they do not wander away. As one reader suggests, do not run energy cables underfoot.

Purchase a surge protector

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 Belkin’s 8-Outlet Pivot-Plug Surge Protector.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Think about shopping for a devoted surge protector that has sufficient shops for the entire system’s elements. Whereas energy conditioners can run into the lots of or hundreds of {dollars}, you do not essentially want these.

Loads of extremely rated surge protectors can be found from about $30. Search for ones with 10 to 12 shops. The Belkin Pivot-Plug Surge Protector pictured above has “solely” eight, but it surely additionally provides house for giant “wall wart” energy packs, which is one other key promoting level. CNET’s Geoff Morrison additionally covers the issues to search for when shopping for a surge protector.

Bear in mind that these gadgets cannot actually defend gear from direct lightning strikes: A small wire fuse can do little to carry again the unrelenting energy of Mom Nature. For a similar cause, don’t fret an excessive amount of about plugging USB, Ethernet or coaxial cables into your surge protector. That mentioned, some fashions do provide linked gadgets warranties and should provide some consolation, however one CNET reader discovered it was like attempting to get blood from a stone after they tried to make a declare.

Wall-mount the TV

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Mounting a TV on the wall is likely one of the best methods to reclaim house in a front room, and never solely does it look nice, but it surely’s actually easy to do. (The more durable half is hiding the wires, however that is what the aforementioned cable channels are for.) Here is the whole lot it’s worthwhile to find out about mounting a TVOmniMount is an effective start line when procuring.


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Get a new TV stand

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If you’re using a table or even the floor(!) to house the TV and associated components, it might be time to invest in a dedicated TV stand. Ikea is usually the default, but consider products from specialist companies such as Bell’O, Sanus and Salamander. If you’re especially passionate about the look, you could enlist a local cabinet-maker to build something custom.

Here’s what to look for:

  • Plenty of ventilation
  • Integrated cable management
  • Shelves with line of sight for remote controls without having to leave doors open
  • Enough room for all of the cable boxes, consoles and video streamers

Most TV stands are grouped according to the size of your screen, which helps keep things looking neat, but be aware that if you’re using discrete speakers, a really wide AV unit might mean the speakers are too far apart for a convincing stereo effect. In this case, you could mount bookshelf speakers on the unit itself and wall mount the TV.

If you have small children, or particularly boisterous friends, it’s a good idea to tether the AV cabinet to the wall as well. Some units come with furniture tethering kits, but if not, these kits are available from places like Amazon or Home Depot for very little money.

Buy yourself some new home theater gear

We’re all still spending more time at home, so why not splurge on improving the TV setup? Whether you’re looking to buy a new streamer to take advantage of newer video standards or going all out with a brand new system, the possibilities are endless. Here’s a list of all of our favorite AV gear from the tiniest Roku Express to the largest 4K television and everything in between:

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