Home Design Guides: Home entertainment

What is home audio

What is home audio?

In the simplest terms, 'home audio' refers to the sound systems that you install in your home - but this can encompass a hell of a lot. See what's on offer...

Multi room audio

What is multi-room audio?

Multi-room AV is far more versatile than a conventional hi-fi system, because it gives you the freedom to access to your music from any room you choose to install it in.

How to choose an audio system

Choosing an audio system

When it comes to choosing a home audio system that's right for you, you need to work out what its primary use will be and what your priorities are in terms of cost and configurations.

Home video: where to start

The technologies used for home video have progressed in leaps and bound in recent years - find out what's available, and what you should be looking for.

Which TV should I buy?

Which TV should I buy?

Whether it's for a bone-crunching home entertainment system or just something to distract your kids with, it's wise to understand what you're getting for your money when you choose a television.

What's better: LCD, LED or Plasma?

Find out what the strengths and weaknesses are of each of these different TV types, and see what's right for your needs.

Set up your home video

Getting the right hardware is the first step to good home video. The next step is to make sure that everything's properly set up so that you're getting the best possible image quality from your display.

How to connect your set top box

Got a set top box? Not sure which cable goes where? Find out how to connect your set top box quickly and easily.

Energy efficiency of different TVs

Some displays use far more energy than other types - and modern displays are becoming much more efficient. See how different displays stack up, and why the differences exist.

How a soundbar works

Soundbars offer a simple way to create a surround-sound like experience using a single piece of hardware. Find out what soundbars are and how they work.

Environmental acoustics

The shape of a room, what it contains, and the textures and materials that are used throughout are just a few of the things that can affect audio quality and how sound is delivered.

Home theatre soundproofing

High fidelity sound is only as good as your ability to isolate it. See how soundproofing can help to improve your listening experience, and to stop the neighbours from complaining.

Where to position speakers

Where to position speakers

Speaker systems, particularly those that use surround technologies, are designed to be positioned in very specific ways. Find out how to position your speakers for the best possible sound.

Home audio components

Learn about the various devices needed to set up the ultimate home audio experience, including AV receivers as well as media players and streamers.

Outdoor audio

Having an audio system that lets you pipe music out to your backyard is fantastic, but requires a bit of careful planning and the right equipment.

Speaker cable

Poor cables won't do justice to a high-end AV system, and may even contribute to it becoming damaged. Different purposes require different cables too - make sure you choose the right ones.

Equipment racks and mounts

Equipment racks and mounts

Racks and mounts aren't just useful for keeping your AV components in the same spot. They can also be used to assist with cooling, and with cable management.

Home Theatre PC (HTPC)

Home theatre PCs are effectively computers that are used in the living room to serve movies, games and communications, among other things. They can also be used to control other aspects of your smart home.

Surround sound vs. stereo

The difference is fairly obvious to anyone who's heard it, but which is appropriate where? And what sort of surround sound technology should you choose?

How surround works

Home audio performance considerations

The quality of your home audio is affected by a number of variables - impair one, and you alter the rest. Find out more about the variables that affect home audio performance.