Definitive List of Home Theater Buying and Setup Resources
Just like you, we have to do our research when we talk about home theater and AV. We have our favorite resources that we often consult when we need information. We thought it might be useful to list our favorite sites. Here is our definitive list of home theater setup and buying resources. With links!
TV Settings – RTings.com
Most TVs and projectors these days come with a picture mode that is fairly accurate. What isn’t always obvious is which is the accurate picture mode. When we get a new TV, we like to consult RTings.com to see how they calibrated their TVs for their reviews. They nearly always list their settings. They will let you know their settings and which you can adjust based on your taste. Their settings are a great starting point.
Buying Projector – AV Science
If you are shopping for a home theater projector, you need to give AV Science a call. We’ve sent many people to them and they’ve universally reported positive experiences. One common thing we hear is that their prices are often better than other retailers…but you must call them to get the best price. If you are shopping for a projector, you may be leaving money on the table by not calling them.
Buying Projector Bulbs – ProjectorCentral.com
Let’s not mince words – ProjectorCentral.com is a great resource for home theater projector setup and buying and deserves to be on this definitive list. If you need a throw-distance calculator, they are your resource. Reviews? They got those too. But we love their list of lamp retailers. There are lots of places to buy lamps and just as many that will send you something that either won’t work or won’t last as long as promised. When we need a new projector bulb, we always visit their list and buy from one of their certified retailers. We’ve never been disappointed.
Buying AV Receiver/Speakers/Anything – Accessories4Less.com
You can find deals on AV equipment online, but you are taking your chances. These “grey market” retailers are often selling products they aren’t authorized to sell. This means no warranty and little recourse if you have an issue. Accuessories4Less.com is an authorized reseller of b-stock products from many different manufacturers. This means full manufacturer warranties from the likes of Denon, Yamaha, KEF, Polk, and more. You can literally outfit a whole home theater system there and save thousands of dollars.
Soundproofing Questions – Soundproofingcompany.com
We get a lot of questions about soundproofing. People generally don’t understand what goes into making a room truly soundproof. Soundproofing Company does sell soundproofing solutions, but they also offer free soundproofing advice. If you want to explore how you can soundproof your room, they are the best resource on the Internet.
DIY or Complete Acoustic Panels – Acoustimac or GiK
We can’t recommend installing acoustic panels in your home theater enough. They make a huge difference. But people are generally resistant to adding panels. If it is the cost, some want to DIY a solution. Others want panels that look nice or have printed images on them. Either way, you’re going to want to reach out to either GiK or Acoustimac. They offer everything from your basic panels to raw materials to DIY kits to panels with printed images. Both have competitive prices for all your acoustic panel needs.
Setup – AVGadgets.com
If you have questions about how to set up your room, gear, TV, or more, you are already in the right place. Just type your question into our search function and you are likely to find the answer you need!
Troubleshooting – AVRant.com
When you hit a wall and don’t know what to do next, the AV Rant podcast is one of the best places for advice. They answer listeners’ questions about their problems, setup issues, purchasing decisions, and more. They answer all questions sent so you know you’ll get an answer from two experts.
That’s our definitive list of home theater setup and buying resources. Are there other good resources on the Internet? Sure. But these are the ones we use most often and with the most confidence. Do you have a favorite resource? Let us know in the comments!