Home How To Set Up A Home Theater System For Beginners: Part I

How To Set Up A Home Theater System For Beginners: Part I

by Stuart Charles Black

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  • 5/27/20. Article Posted.

Hey there friend, and Welcome aboard!!

Before we get into How To Set Up A Home Theater For Beginners, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

I’m Here To Help!!

This guide will be divided into parts to make it easier to digest!

Table Of Contents

  1. Part I: Introduction & The Receiver Conundrum (You Are Here)
  2. Part II: Your Source, Speakers, and Vinyl 101
  3. Part III: Questions To Ask Yourself, the A/V Receiver, & Parts List
  4. Part IV: Putting It All Together


You may not believe this, but there’s a challenge you have to face if you’re a beginner audiophile. I prefer to poke fun at those nerds and refer to myself as an AudioFILE, but that’s a whole different can of worms. Check my YouTube channel for all those shenanigans. It’s really fun I promise. You too can poke fun at bogus “Audiophiles!”

I know what you’re thinking though: “Why don’t you just shut your YAPPER and tell me what the challenge is homie?” XD

It’s sorting through the B.S.

I’m serious. The word vomit has gotten real in these last couple of years. People are now taking pictures of headphones in trees and sh**. It’s out of control.

It was never about you. At the end of the day, no one really cares about your camera trick shots. It’s about you helping ME. And now I’m here to Help YOU. Understand? I was the noob and couldn’t find answers, so I decided to BE the actual help to those seeking it.



^That was me before I finally figured out what an audio interface did, way back when. LOL.

There are so much fluff and nonsense strewn about nowadays, that it becomes almost impossible to get down to brass tacks. What you actually need to know. What pieces of gear connect to what. How to get sound playing.

I don’t care about your track record for selling lots of products.

Stop being so vague in your 500 word “How-To Guide.”

People are so eager to sell you something that they end up glossing over what makes the product great in the first place. Oh, the irony.

After all, we’re trying to accomplish a goal here, not admire your e-penis. As an artist, I’m kind of guilty of some of this, but people tell me constantly how much I’ve helped them so it’s okay. XD

No seriously, when I sit down to write something I aim to do it in the simplest and most formulaic step-by-step way so that you and I both can understand it. This is in part what makes me effective in conveying my thoughts.

I obsess over the fine details, and if I can’t grasp the concept in my own mind, I don’t believe you will either. I design things and make art to help me with that process before I buy something. As it turns out, it helps you too and that’s what it’s all about right?

I want both of us to be able to understand it so well that there is no longer any anxiety whatsoever and all ducks are in a row.

You know that feeling I’m talking about; the feeling you get when you’ve got 1,000 tabs open but there’s still no resolution. It’s the worst. It makes me feel like I have to stop everything and clean my apartment or something.

The problem with websites nowadays is that they don’t explain or tell you jack sh**. That’s one of the main reasons I created Home Studio Basics all the way back in 2014.

Full disclosure: I also wanted to make money from the things I was passionate about. So yeah, I sell people stuff. The difference is that they’re ecstatic to buy from me because I help them out as much as I possibly can.

I was tired of reading articles that didn’t help me. I was tired of not getting the answers I needed to some of the most basic questions I had. Most bloggers assume you already know what the h** they’re talking about, but as it turns out, that’s NOT helpful for someone who doesn’t know what the h** you’re talking about (i.e. me – the noob).

Gee, what a concept.

It’s only gotten worse since then. You can tell immediately which websites are out for a quick commission and those that aren’t. Trust me, I know. The problem is that the majority of sites now occupy the former (those quick commission a**holes), and they seemingly come out of nowhere almost daily, like cockroaches that you can never quite get rid of. They also write like they’re machines, incapable of empathy. As if someone created a website based around an algorithm that spins other people’s content and passes it off as their own.

I’ve been writing articles since 2014 and researching gear way before that, dating back to around 2007. In other words, my radar is honed in on this type of B.S. If I come across one of these faceless, soul-sucking parasites, I click away as fast as I possibly can and then react like sort of like this:

I loathe you, your unhelpful website, and your faceless writers. I loathe you. I wish your “work” would vanish never to be seen again. I wish you would read this and delete your website out of pure embarrassment. I wish you had a conscience and were like 1% self-aware.

If you’re wondering, I have actually gotten 2 sites removed from the search engine because they literally copied my content verbatim and then switched some words around to make it seem like it was theirs.

The problem?

The article came out looking like dog sh**, and you’re still assuming my identity you greedy jack a**.


That was cathartic.

Okay now that I’ve calmed down some, let’s talk about how this applies to the Home Theater side of things! XD

The Receiver Conundrum

Why in God’s name are there so many receivers on the market? To start off, there are two types:

  1. A/V Receivers. These are both audio and picture receivers, hence, A/V (Audio Visual). This means that they have HDMI inputs and/or outputs on the back that connect to your source as well as your T.V. More on that in a bit!
  2. Stereo Receivers. These are audio-only, and people mainly use them to connect to turntables so they can play that sweet, sweet vinyl. You can also hook up a CD player here as well.

My issue was that every time I searched for a receiver, I had no idea what the h** I was looking for. Those blog articles I mentioned before? Yeah, they didn’t help matters either.

Everything is so vague.

There are like a thousand different connections on the back but they all look identical! So what gives?

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