Creating the Ultimate Sports Hub for March Madness

Published On April 3, 2013 | Electronics

Have you been following the hype of March Madness on your smartphone or laptop? Maybe you called into work sick a couple times because you needed to watch the game from your lucky chair. The tournament is finally dwindling down to the Final Four and the anticipation is building.

Millions of people have followed the tournament the last few weeks and are anxious to tune into the final game. If you want your living room to be the hot spot, you need to prepare for the game in style. This means setting up a home theater worthy of displaying the big game.

The Video

Just because you have a TV it doesn’t mean your living room is worthy of supporting the magnificence of the NCAA Tournament. Even the best 60-inch TV you find on the shelves today may not be enough to display the game properly. No, to do that, you need a projector.

Thankfully, installing a projector is easy. All you need is a wide, open and flat wall, a television with incoming signal and the projector itself. Hooking up the projector to your TV is as easy as plugging in a couple of cables. Position the projector far enough from the target wall to get the image where you want it. Adjust the legs to level the image and you’re good to go.

The one thing you need to watch out for is positioning of the projector relative to your seating area. The last thing you want is to have a couch blocking the score. You might need to mount the projector on the ceiling or prop it on something at head height.

The Audio

Now you have your picture set up, so everyone at your party can see the game. Can they hear it? Chances are your television doesn’t have the audio to give you the full stadium experience. When you’re turning your wall into the court, you want to surround yourself with the roaring crowd. This is where surround sound comes in.

A 5.1 or higher surround sound system is easy to set up, with a little patience. You’ll receive a tangle of wires, a handful of speakers and a central receiver. The receiver plugs into your television to take incoming audio. It distributes it to the speakers, which you need to position around your party room for best effect. The speakers will have labels to make this easier. For a 5.1 system, you’ll have five main speakers and a subwoofer.

Position your speakers according to the provided instructions. You’ll typically have one central speaker up against your projector wall, to synchronize sound with your picture. Four remaining speakers go in corners of the room, angled out to give the full surround experience. The subwoofer can be placed anywhere out of the way, because the bass will fill the room.

Obtaining the Devices

If you don’t host parties regularly, chances are a projector and a surround sound system is a little out of your budget. Luckily you can easily locate rental systems online. Just be sure to act early enough before all the equipment is rented out.

Renting the equipment from Rent-A-Center, Aaron’s or another rental outlet is a cheap and convenient alternative to purchasing the equipment outright.

So if you want the magic ending of March Madness to take place in your living room, be sure it’s set up properly with surround sound and an impressive display.

— By Jennifer Thayer

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