Create your very own ‘Theatre of Dreams’

Sit down, relax and press play. We’re bringing the big game to your pad with a how to surround sound guide

Times have changed somewhat since Sir Bobby Charlton nicknamed Old Trafford the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ but to appreciate the evolution of 5.1 surround sound we’re going to take you back to the 20th century.

In fact technology was being experimented with in the 1930s but it wasn’t really until Walt Disney’s 126-minute epic Fantasia in 1940 that surround sound was truly used to immerse the viewer.

This started a race to develop software to create 5.1 surround sound, which became a thing as long ago as the 1970s.

Whether technical stuff is your thing or not, you’ll soon have mastered the best way to rig up your own home hi-fi to make trips to the local sports bar to watch the big game or fight a thing of the past.

The 5.1 system incorporates five speakers and a subwoofer – three in front of the viewer with the right and left speakers turned to face you, while the central speaker can be above or below the screen, with the subwoofer on bass duties.

Then just so you can show off to your friends and family, put two further speakers directly to the left and right of the viewers (but still facing your seated position) for the ultimate surround experience. 

If this doesn’t work, try placing the speakers slightly behind the viewing position, while you should definitely consider stands or wall mounted speakers – the more immersive the experience. Don’t go crazy, just 1-2 feet should do the trick.

This link quite handy for tips/illustrations: A word of advice however – you may simply not have the viewing space or room shape for surround sound, where the two rear speakers would simply be in the way. If this is the case for you, consider a 3:1 system. 

Like surround sound then, watching sport on the big screen has also evolved enormously over the years and even more so in the past decade. 

With football fans being outpriced over season ticket fees and with no real assurance the cost of watching live sport will ever stop shooting up and up, as we enter a new decade it’s time to invest in your equipment which will provide you with a better viewing experience and improved value for money.

Save the trips to the stadium for special occasions – install your home viewing heaven now.