It’s hard to say if your system is working properly or not. A system connected and configured properly is maximizes the ability of every component, makes appropriate use of all the speakers and is easy to use. This could get technical. Check out our wiring guide for detailed explanations.
Maximizing the ability of your components:
Video: All your high-def components should be showing you 1080i picture quality or better. Just because your high-def channels are showing up on your TV doesn’t mean they are in high-def. You might be using cables that can’t carry the high-def signal or you might have your TV or cable box configured wrong.
Audio: Your surround sound devices should be pushing out the best audio possible. Blu-ray players have new surround sound formats, but you need to use the right wires with a compatible receiver. All your other surround sound devices should be connected using digital audio cables or you won’t get true surround sound.
Sound settings: We go further into this here.
Using all your speakers:
Your speakers sound best when you say they sound best. It’s your system, so you can decide how to use them. That being said, there are recommended sound settings. We go into that here.
Unless you like all your speakers working at the same time, they shouldn’t be working like that. Normally, your front speakers would always be and the rest should be on during appropriate times. For example: they would be off during the news, but on during the battle scene in “Avatar.”
Ease of use:
A correctly connected system makes everything easier to use. It should make use of video switching and video upconversion.