Consumer Electronics

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What to Know Before Buying or Installing a Satellite Dish

When you subscribe to DSS, you'll need to install an 18- to 30-inch satellite dish. Typically, you install the dish on your roof, the side of your house, on top of a big rock in your backyard, or just [more…]

How to Choose a DSS Receiver

When you subscribe to DSS, you must choose a DSS receiver. You install a DSS receiver between the dish/LNB and your TV. A DSS receiver is required because the television signals feeding in from a dish [more…]

How to Choose Between Digital Cable and Satellite

Should you choose digital cable or satellite for your home theater system? Both DSS and digital cable offer hundreds of channels, including countless movie channels and pay-per-view movies. The biggest [more…]

What Is a CableCARD?

A CableCARD is a smartcard with an embedded chip that can descramble premium channels. You rent a CableCARD — which plugs in to a CableCARD slot on your HDTV — from your cable service provider. [more…]

How to Pick Up Digital TV Channels with an Antenna

Pick up digital TV (ATSC) channels by hooking up an antenna and tuning it into local broadcasters. Using an antenna to pick up digital TV channels works great if you live in a big city; it may take awhile [more…]

Exploring Video-on-Demand (VoD)

Many cable companies now offer video-on-demand (VoD) as part of their digital cable services. With VoD service, you pay for individual movies and shows, and watch them on your cable-connected TV — similar [more…]

What Is a Networked PVR?

Networked PVR is a cross between regular personal video recorders (PVRs), such as ReplayTVs, and video-on-demand (VoD). Networked PVR is offered by a service provider such as a cable company. Like a PVR [more…]

How to Get TV Service from a Phone Company

Some telephone companies now offer TV broadcast services. These phone companies have installed high-speed technologies that allow them to compete with the cable TV companies. It seems fair enough, considering [more…]

Getting to Know DVRs (Digital Video Recorders)

The advent of the DVR, or digital video recorder (often called PVR or personal video recorder), has revolutionized TV watching. DVRs are purpose-built computers that record video onto a standard computer [more…]

How to Choose the Screen Size for a Video Display

The screen size of a TV or video display is an important consideration for home theaters. Screen size is measured diagonally for all video displays, with the exception of screens for front-projector systems [more…]

How to Decipher Input/Output Connections on a Video Display

It’s not just the number of input/output connections on a video display that’s important, but rather the type. You should ensure that your video display has the right inputs to connect the source devices [more…]

Video Displays: Monitors vs. Televisions

Monitor or television? These displays aren't interchangeable, so know the difference between a monitor and a television when it's time to shop for one. [more…]

Understanding a Display's Contrast Ratio

The contrast ratio of a display measures how well a display can show both bright brights and nuanced darks. The contrast ratio may not be evident on TVs on a showroom floor [more…]

Comb Filters and Notch Filters in a Display

Inside a TV, either a comb filter or a notch filter separates the color and brightness parts of a video signal into their component parts. If the signals aren’t properly separated, you see moving dots [more…]

Getting the Details on Resolution

A video display's resolution measures the picture’s precision and sharpness, based on the pixels or lines of resolution available on the screen. The resolution specs are most important for HDTV sources [more…]

Interlaced vs. Progressive Scanning Methods

Video displays use one of two scanning methods to draw the picture on the TV screen: interlaced and progressive. All HDTVs are progressive-scan displays — so even if the signal being sent to the HDTV is [more…]

What to Look for in an HDTV

When buying an HDTV display, look for key features that will give you the best quality images. Moving up to HDTV capabilities isn't much of a price jump, and in fact, you probably can't find a TV that’s [more…]

Comparing Video Display Types

As you shop for a video display (or TV), you’ll need to decide what type of display you want — beyond the brand and size choices that are available. You can more easily compare display types when you understand [more…]

Pros and Cons of LCD Displays

LCD displays offer super sharp pictures and great color. But do the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to LCD TV displays? Before deciding on a thumbs up or thumbs down, you should understand how an [more…]

Pros and Cons of Plasma Displays

A plasma TV (often called a PDP, or plasma display panel) is a flat-panel display that contains millions of gas-filled cells, or pixels, wedged between two pieces of glass. An electrical grid zaps these [more…]

Types of Video Display Mounts

Video display mounts come in several types for many viewing options. Different types of video display mounts enable you to put a TV in the ceiling, have it pop up from a cabinet, or swing it out of the [more…]

How LCD Projection Systems Work

If you're considering an LCD projection system for your home theater, make an informed decision by knowing a bit of how LCD projection systems work.

LCD projectors typically use three small LCD panels [more…]

How to Choose Between Front-Projection and Rear-Projection Systems

Deciding between an all-in-one rear-projection TV and a two-part front-projection system used to be easy. Rear-projection systems were cheaper and easier to set up, but front-projection systems have become [more…]

Pros and Cons of LCD Projection Systems

If you're in the market for an LCD projection system, consider the pros and cons. You can buy LCD front-projection systems that provide a high-quality [more…]

Deciding on a DLP Projection System

Texas Instruments has developed a new way of projecting video called DLP (Digital LightProcessor). DLP has created a new category of inexpensive projector systems and has also led to a digital revolution [more…]

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