Speaker Hook-Up

One of the most difficult things to set up in a Home Cinema is the speaker system. First, you have to decide how many you're going to have, then, which models to buy, where to place them, what kind of interconnect to hook them up with and how much interconnect you'll need. With all the factors that need to be considered, it's no wonder people are confused.

Location Is Everything
The most common question I get concerns speaker placement. Their location in relation to your TV screen, component stack and where you will be sitting is critical to re-creating the movie experience at home. There is a complex art to arranging speakers, and several different guidelines to follow. For instance, to achieve realistic imaging, the left and right front speakers should be placed on either side and equidistant from your TV screen, facing straight out at the listener.

To guard against loss of sound quality, I recommend keeping speaker interconnect lengths as short as possible.

Ideally, left, center and right front speaker interconnects should all be the same length, and so should each of the surrounds.
The gauge and quality of the speaker interconnect also determines how far from the screen you can place your speakers.
The general rule is the shorter the interconnect run, the better - and more powerful - the sound.
don't place speakers too close to system equipment - they are prone to acoustic feedback caused by vibration.
Also, keep speaker interconnects away from line level or AC power cords to reduce noise and hum.

Which Interconnect?
What kind of speaker interconnect should be used to hook up a Home Cinema system? Here are guidelines to help you make the right choice:

Choose a speaker interconnect with a large gauge (16 or smaller, remember the smaller the gauge the larger the conductor inside) that can handle the power that today's movies and components require.
Buy the best interconnect you can afford. The performance of your interconnects should be at least equal to the performance level of your Home Cinema speakers and components. Allow 10% of your Home Cinema budget for interconnects.
Look for interconnects with a channel identification system (e.g. colour-coding) that labels channels (left, right, center, right surround, left surround and subwoofer) and phase (negative, positive).
never use bare wire for your connections. Over time, the copper will oxidize and corrode, making for poor signal transfer and sound