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Lead image

Home theatre receiver placement tips

What you need to know before you set up your receiver

When you’re ready to set up a new home theater receiver, the first step is figuring out where to put it. It may seem like a simple point, but there are several factors to consider. After all, every component and speaker in your system will need to be connected to your receiver.

Cabinets and TV stands

Most people choose to place their receiver in a cabinet or stand. You may already have one for your receiver. If not, you’ll want to check out our selection of AV furniture. There are benefits to furniture designed specifically for AV equipment, which you can read about below.

How much space do you need in your cabinet or stand?

Just because your receiver will fit into the shelf space you’ve allocated, doesn’t mean it should go there. You need a little more room than just enough to accommodate the physical dimensions of the unit. Here’s why…

Home theater placement tips

Furniture designed for home theater equipment will often allow for proper ventilation, with large openings on the sides or back to permit airflow.

Ventilation

All receivers have a vented top panel. This is to allow the heat generated by the amplifiers to dissipate, an important function for any amp to run cleanly and safely. If you cram your receiver into a tight shelf space, there’s no place for this heat to go.

Too much heat build-up, and your receiver can shut down. Ideally, you should leave at least three inches of space above the top of your receiver.

A/V cabinet with proper ventilation

AV cabinets with removable back panels offer easy access for connections.

Leave room for connections

Remember: you’re going to be connecting cables to the back of your receiver. That means you’ll need to leave some extra room at the back.

At Crutchfield, we measure all our receivers in-house, so you can be sure you’re getting accurate dimensions. We even add an inch or two to our depth dimensions to allow for cable connections.

To learn more about AV furniture, read our buying guide

Cable routing

A home theater setup can easily lead to a tangled mess of wires behind your cabinet. This is something you’ll want to avoid.

Keeping cables neat makes it easier to find which cable is going where when you need to troubleshoot a problem or swap out a component.

Check out our selection of cable management accessories and our exclusive cable labels, which are free with the purchase of a home theater receiver.

Look for home theater furniture with cable management features like plenty of rear-panel exit points, internal gaps and holes for running cables between components, and easy rear access for making connections.

Hidden component racks

Most of us choose to set up our receiver and other components in a stand that also supports our TV.

But what if you wall mount your TV over a fireplace? Or maybe you prefer to keep your gear out of sight and away from children. In that case, you may consider a component rack that you can place in a closet.

Component rack concealed in closet or adjoining room

A component rack is ideal for storing lots of gear in a closet or adjoining room to keep it out of the way.

Putting your receiver out of sight begs the question: will my remote still work? There are two solutions to this problem.

One is to use an infrared repeater system. This can extend a remote’s reach to components that are hidden behind cabinet doors or in another room. These devices use an infrared receiver and wired transmitters to pass along your remote’s IR signal to your receiver and other components.

IR repeater system

Infrared repeater system: A small IR receiver (bottom right) picks up remote control commands and sends them to the hidden hub. The hub relays the commands to IR repeaters, which you attach to your hidden components and your TV.

Wi-Fi control with your smartphone or tablet

If you have a network-capable receiver, there is another solution. Most every home theater receiver with wireless or wired network connectivity also offers a free remote app.

Download the app to your smartphone or tablet, and use your device to operate the receiver’s main functions.

Most apps are available for Apple® and Android™ devices and allow you to select sources, adjust the volume, choose listening modes, and listen to internet radio stations.

Denon Remote app

Remote control apps allow you to use your smartphone or tablet as a Wi-Fi remote with network-connected receivers.

Protect your investment

There’s one final question to ask yourself before connecting all your components and speakers: “Where am I going to plug in my receiver?” There is only one right answer to this question: a multi-outlet power protection device like the Panamax MR4300 featured in the video below.

Questions?

Need help choosing AV furniture, power protection, cables, or an IR repeater system? Contact one of our expert advisors.

To learn more about setting up an AV system, read our receiver setup guide and our cable management guide. Or watch this video about home theater installation. 

Remember, every Crutchfield purchase includes free lifetime tech support. One of our technicians would be happy to guide you over any hurdles you might encounter during your installation.

Last updated 5/3/2021
  • Martinchristie from Revere

    Posted on 5/14/2021

    Jr you the man.

  • David Levine from Cypress

    Posted on 5/12/2021

    The problem I have is that since I set up my media room and reciver cabinet, it has been decided that the center channel should be under the TV screen. I don't have room, as the cabinet takes up all the space under the screen. So my center speaker is above the screen. None of the recivers will do the Dolby height channel for a raised center speaker.

  • Dave Black

    Posted on 5/11/2021

    I like my unit at eye level so as not to have to bend down to make adjustments.

  • The dealmaster from New Hudson

    Posted on 5/10/2021

    If I happen to have a cabinet that is smaller than I like for my receiver, are there quiet fans that can be used? Maybe USB powered or just plugged in? Thanks!

    Commenter image

    David Brown from Crutchfield

    on 5/11/2021

    Any fan is going to give off some amount of noise. But it's better than overheating your receiver, for sure. We carry these small cooling fans, that might work well for you. There are also USB-powered options out there. Good luck!
  • Princess Bey from Frauendorf

    Posted on 8/6/2020

    An excellent post, congratulations !!

  • Cole from Clinton

    Posted on 5/16/2019

    I recently purchased a Marantz Receiver from you guys and was curious on what is the average run temperature of the receiver? What's a dangerous temp and what is consider Average? Thank you

    Commenter image

    David Brown from Crutchfield

    on 5/17/2019

    Cole, I've never seen that spec provided by a manufacturer. If you have concerns that your receiver may be running too hot, I highly recommend you call our Tech Support folks. They're super knowledgeable and can help you determine if you've got a problem.
  • Commenter image

    David Brown from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/28/2019

    Bill, you should be able to run a standard HDMI cable across 40 feet. We offer several options for longer cables here. Once you start to get runs longer than 50 feet, you'll need another option. We recommend Celerity fiber optic HDMI cables for extra-long runs.

  • Bill

    Posted on 3/27/2019

    This is a nice article but I do have one question. If the receiver (with satelite, blu-ray, etc) is in a closet 40 feet from the TV what would you recommend as the HDMI cable that connects the two? Or is 40 feet away just to far of a run for HDMI?

  • Robert Nordstrom from Seattle

    Posted on 12/26/2018

    There is an option completely omitted from the placement discussion. Projectors. HDMI has a usable limit to the length of an HDMI connector. This brings up the discussion of rethinking receiver placement or adding alternative HDMI signal transmission. It is notable that it is merely a paradigm to have all the equipment 'near the tv' formed from the logic of shorter cable runs, and even THAT formed from coax, the cable box, and cable wall outlet proxemity (to a degree). A projector running hdmi throws a monkey wrench into that logic. Audio power degrades with length but HDMI exhibits signal issues at much shorter lengths. These aspects are worth research and design considerations.

    Commenter image

    David Brown from Crutchfield

    on 12/27/2018

    Robert, excellent point! For long HDMI cable runs to a projector, we recommend Celerity Technologies fiber optic HDMI cables. These cables work by converting electrical HDMI data into optical signals, which are converted back to an electrical HDMI data stream at the connection to your projector. Since the cable is fiber optic, there's no signal loss, even over long runs.
  • Jeffrey G from Chicago

    Posted on 11/12/2018

    Is it a bad idea to stand up your receiver? ...if your looking at it as it sits properly, and then stand it up so that the receiver face is pointed toward the ceiling, not normally how it should be positioned but I have a cabinet that I'd like to drop it into so that the face is flush with the top of the cabinet ?

    Commenter image

    David Brown from Crutchfield

    on 11/13/2018

    Jeffrey, I'd say that's a bad idea. If the back of the receiver is going to be flush against the bottom of your cabinet, that's going to put tremendous strain on the connectors, not to mention the cables that are connected. I definitely would not recommend it.