New TV for Christmas? Tips for getting the most out of home entertainment equipment

For anyone hoping to get a new TV or stereo equipment this holiday season, this story is for you.

It's going to give you a few simple tricks to enhance your viewing and listening experience.

Those who know me know I am very particular about video and audio.

My home entertainment setup at home is really quite simple, but it's set up right by Lee Richman of Nu Sound Concepts. I thought it'd be a good idea to tap his expertise to help you, so we met at a high-end showroom in SoHo.

The Savant company bought a loft and tricked it out with the firm's equipment to give clients a feel for what amazing sound and picture would feel like in a home.

"And we can see everything happens all very quickly to the liking of the client," Savant's Trevor De Maat said.

The client programs a series of "scenes" that determine the lighting in the room and starts all the equipment at the touch of a single button.

It all happens very quickly, thanks to the latest technology -- but it definitely comes at a price.

Clients can pay tens of thousands of dollars for a single amplifier, and complete setups can easily reach six figures.

As we walked through the Savant loft, Richman said that we were, "in the midst of some of the best audio and video that money can buy," but you don't have to be a billionaire to afford good audio and video.

Richman is installer-to-the-stars, trusted by some of the biggest names in show business who want to get the best from their home theaters.

What he has learned through decades of doing this has given him a very specific point of view.

"You want to feel you're in the actual movie," he said.

The placement of any TV is critical, and yet too few of us pay attention to where we are sitting relative to the screen.

"The most common display that we install in most New York City apartments is a 55-inch display, which people are sitting somewhere between 8 and 10 feet back," he said.

If your screen is smaller, then sit closer -- but not too close or that shape picture will start to look fuzzy.

And, Richman advises, watch where you put your speakers.

"Some common mistakes to avoid on the audio side is that the speakers are placed in unusual locations," he said. "Either way too high or too far, or in some cases, they're crammed together so you don't have a nice wide sound field."

Be sure to buy the best equipment your budget will afford, but Richman warns, "don't try and stretch things thin by buying cheap equipment that will wind up hurting you in the end."

I asked him about accessories, and he said a streaming device like Roku, Fire, or Apple TV will give you the best bang for your buck.

If you do end up following his advice, or if you already have one of these devices, then be sure to download the free ABC 7 app.

Then, you'll be able to check out my series "The Sitdown With Sandy Kenyon" along with a lot of other great content.
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