Tips From The Top

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    Maintaining Your Home Theater

    When you invest in the best technology for your home theater experience, you want to do everything you can to maintain and protect that investment. Here are the top ten things to remember to ensure that your home theater is always ready to perform.

    1. Do use the right cleaners. The highly specialized materials found in your home theater, such as your screen and lenses, require equally specialized cleaners. In order to ensure that your technology isn’t damaged in the cleaning process, it’s a good idea to consult your home theater design and installation expert about cleaners that are right for your equipment and how to use them.
    2. Do keep on top of dust. It’s astounding how much dust can accumulate in even the cleanest of homes, and this dust can interfere with your home theater’s performance. At least once a month, using a dry cloth, remove dust from plugs and equipment, but make sure everything is unlugged while you do it! Never rub a screen or lens with anything that is not approved by your home theater expert. Even the tiniest scratches can interfere with your sensitive, high performance technology. In some cases, hand-operated photographic dust blowers can work well to remove dust from equipment, but they can be more powerful than you might imagine: keep a safe distance from your equipment (and your face!).
    3. Don’t touch that lens. Think of the lens as they eyeball of your home theater. It can easily become scratched or damaged, and that can create serious and pricey problem. The oils from your fingers can smear the lens and also create damage. It’s best to clean the lens only with approved materials only and otherwise, let it be.
    4. Don’t use any chemicals not approved by your home theater expert. Does it seem like we’re belaboring this point? Maybe. But that’s how important it is, we promise. Even if it seems natural and therefore “safe”—like vinegar or saltwater—that doesn’t meant it’s safe for your technology.
    5. Do wrap it up. If you have outdoor speakers or an outdoor theater system, they are likely weather resistant, but if heavy storms or freezing temperatures are expected, it’s a good idea to wrap speakers in tarps or plastic sheeting. It’s also a good idea to clean outdoor equipment weekly to remove spiderwebs, dirt, etc.
    6. Don’t use paper towels in your home theater. Just don’t. They leave lint. They scratch. And they’re best kept in the kitchen.
    7. Do bundle and label. Home theaters have fewer wires today, but the ones that still exist are very important. If they are organized and labeled, any future troubleshooting or maintenance will be much simpler.
    8. Don’t just unplug. If you have a computer (and you probably do), you’re familiar with the proper shutdown procedure required by your computer’s hard drive. You never want to just unplug or turn your computer off, and your home theater is the same. Hard drives are found in a lot of today’s home theater equipment, even some you might not think of, like Internet routers, cable boxes, Blu-Ray players and receivers. In order to restart these devices without causing damage, a special operation must be followed, one that usually requires a technician to shut hard drives down. There’s good news though! These procedures can often be done remotely. Just give your home theater expert a call to find out the best way to power your equipment on and off.
    9. Don’t touch the bulb. When it’s time to replace the bulb or lamp in your home theater projector, be sure to touch only the housing for the lamp or bulb, not the bulb itself. You can also call your home theater expert to bring a replacement for your particular projector and install it.
    10. Do ask. At Jackson Hole AV, we are happy to take your questions and calls. If you aren’t sure how to maintain your home theater or have questions about anything, just call or email anytime.