Picking the ideal spot for your new television and setting it up are two of the most important considerations in the home theatre buying process. However, in some cases, those aspects often the last considerations—or even an afterthought. Instead, if you ask the right questions and plan placement beforehand, you will end up with the ideal home viewing experience.
Before getting a new TV during Best Buy Canada’s Home Theatre month, this how-to guide will walk you through the steps to setting up your TV in order to get the best picture. These factors include: where you should place your television, how high should the television be, and mounting your television. In this guide, we will also cover TV calibration.
Where you should place your television?
Before you buy your television, the first thing that you should do is consider where the device will be placed in the room. The size and the shape of your home’s entertainment room will likely be unique, but there are a few elements that should be reviewed as you begin to plot out your entertainment space. The first thing that you need to consider is outside light; will your television be placed near a glass door or a window or in a very bright room? If you place the TV in front of a window, for instance, glare will have an adverse effect on your viewing experience. If you can’t move the TV to cut down on the glare, you’ll need to invest in some blinds or curtains to limit the light that will enter your entertainment space during the day.
In addition to glare, if you’re placing your television near a high-traffic area like a door, the movement of people will most likely distract your TV time. A final room factor that plays into television placement is viewing angles. As you move away from the centre of the television to the left or right, your viewing experience will degrade, though some TVs mitigate this better than others. Being off centre affects the colour, brightness and overall picture quality of your viewing experience. As you arrange your room setup, try to line up the most seats (or at the very least your seat) to be directly in line with the centre of the television set.
How high should the television be?
Along with glare, traffic and room placement, you should also consider your seated height relative to your television. Most people will always review viewing angles from the sides first, but may overlook vertical device placement.
With some televisions, being 15-20 degrees too high or too low can severely degrade the quality of your viewing experience. To make matters worse, if you try to alleviate the drop in quality with unnatural sitting positions, it could lead to unintended negative consequences like neck pain.
If you’ve already purchased your furniture and cannot achieve a desirable viewing angle with your current room setup, you could alter the height or the angle of your television by purchasing an adjustable mount separately.
Consider an adjustable mount for your television
Just because your TV came with a stand in the box, doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with it; most televisions will easily allow you to use a different mount. Television mounts like those made by SANUS, for instance, offer several options for adjusting the positioning of your TV. If you’re just looking for a way to change the horizontal angle of your screen, SANUS offers an option for that. If you need a heavy duty solution that can support the weight of a big-screen television while allowing you to tilt and swivel on all axes—you can find that too. A larger full-motion mount, for example, can adjust to a position and an angle that works best for you and the configuration of your room.
These mounts are very flexible. Let’s say that you have a chaise that sits in the corner of the room (like the scenario pictured to the left). Most of the time, your TV will lie flat on the wall, but with a full-motion mount like the SANUS 40″ – 84″ Full Motion TV Wall Mount, you can adjust the position and the angle of your TV to get to the perfect angle for even the corners of the room.
Calibrating your television
Once you get your television home and setup, you’ll walk through the initial setup and calibration of the device. The most common question once the TV is out of the box is: do you have to calibrate your television? You don’t have to—but you may be inclined to do so. Before you spend the money on a professional calibration, one of your television’s presets may give you a great picture that satisfies your needs.
When you dig into your individual set’s options menu, you will likely see options with names either by function like “Sports”, “Game” and “Movie” or by setting like “Dynamic” and “Standard”. Each of these presets will adjust attributes like contrast, brightness, white balance and motion smoothing. If none of your TV’s default presets satisfy you, you could customizing these attributes to your liking.
If you aren’t satisfied with the picture once you’ve dug around your set’s options menu, you may want to consider a professional calibration. Best Buy offers an ISF Video Calibration Service through the Geek Squad. With the service, a Geek Squad technician will come to your home and individually calibrate your device using Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) calibration tools and training. If you’re on the fence about getting a professional to help you calibrate your television, check out this guide to television calibration on the Best Buy Canada blog.
More information about television setup
When in doubt, plan it out!
When doing your research on the Best Buy Canada website, most of the televisions like this Toshiba 50″ 4K UHD HDR LED TV with built-in Chromecast have a full set of product dimensions and technical specs on the product details page. Combined with the measurements of the room, you can easily find your best fit.
After finding the ideal place, consider other factors like sunlight/room light, foot traffic, furniture layout and viewing angle as we have laid out in this how-to.
Beyond digging into the technical specifications of your television, mounts and furniture options, Best Buy also has several guides and how-to articles that can guide you through the process of buying a new television. From cables and accessories to care and maintenance, the Best Buy Canada Blog has you covered.