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Consumer Electronics

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Basic Connections: Speaker Cables

Speaker cables connect the outputs of the power amplifier or the amplifier section of the receiver to the speaker. These cables carry the high-powered electrical currents required to move the internal [more…]

Digital Audio Connections: Coaxial and Optical

Digital audio interconnects consist of two main types of cables: coaxial and optical (or Toslink). Coaxial and optical audio interconnects are used in home theaters to connect DVD players, HDTV tuners, [more…]

Analog Video Connections: Composite, S-Video, Component

Most video connections in a home theater are made using analog connections. The three types of short-run analog video connections are composite, S-video, and component. [more…]

Digital Video Connections: FireWire, DVI, HDMI

FireWire, DVI (Digital Visual Interface), and HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) are some of the digital video connections used in home theaters. HDMI is considered state-of-the-art in digital [more…]

Going with RG6 Long-Run Cables

You can use RG6 coaxial long-runs to connect your home theater to the rest of your home, perhaps to share a video source device with TVs in other rooms. RG6 cables are designed to minimize signal loss [more…]

Using CAT-5e/CAT-6 Long-Run Cabling Systems

Category 5e (CAT-5e) or Category 6 (CAT-6) is the cable used to carry audio and video signals for computer networks and a whole-home theater network. CAT-5e or CAT-6 cables are often generically called [more…]

Going Wi-Fi: Wireless Connections in a Home Theater

Why Wi-Fi? Wireless networking has made a huge splash in the whole-home theater and computer networking worlds, with significant advances in 802.11 or Wi-Fi technology [more…]

The RS-232 Serial Connection

RS-232 (or Recommended Standard 232) is a standard computer communications system that’s more commonly known as a serial connection. You’ve probably used an RS-232 connector if you’ve ever connected a [more…]

USB Connections for Peripheral Devices

USB is a serial bus standard that allows you to connect peripheral devices to a PC. In a home theater, USB can be found on the back of many computer-like source devices, such as MP3 servers and PVRs. [more…]

Making IR Connections via Wired Systems in a Home Theater

Most A/V receivers use IR systems for their remote controls. Because IR can't penetrate walls, you need a wired system that can carry IR signals from remote locations in a whole-home entertainment network [more…]

How to Hide Unsightly Cables

Hide your cables and speaker wire to prevent major clutter in your home theater. Most people have dealt with unsightly cables in some way: You tuck a droopy line behind a bookshelf, shove a stray cable [more…]

Tips for Hooking Up Speakers

Hooking up speakers is prettyeasy after you've carefully positioned the speakers in your surround-sound home theater. To hook up speakers, you just connect the speaker wires to the appropriate outlets [more…]

How to Connect Source Devices to the A/V Receiver

Connecting source devices into your home theater is as simple as using the right cables to connect them to the back of your A/V receiver. (The A/V receiver or controller in a home theater provides a central [more…]

How to Connect the A/V Receiver to the Video Display

C after you’ve connected your source devices to the A/V receiver or controller. To connect the receiver to your video display, you must use one or more video cables and a set of analog audio interconnects [more…]

Getting Television Signals into Your Home Theater

Television signals come into your home theater system from a cable TV service, a DSS satellite dish, or an antenna for broadcast TV (or in some cases, from a combination of these devices). [more…]

Connecting Your Game Console or Home Theater PC

Most A/V receivers don't have provisions for connecting game consoles or a Home Theater PC (HTPC). Although game consoles and HTPC devices are too new to have been incorporated into most receiver designs [more…]

Powering the Home Theater Network

When it's time to power up your home theater network, first make sure that your power connections will ensure the safety of all the devices and equipment in your home theater. Of course, this is something [more…]

How to Calibrate a Video Display

To calibrate a video display, you adjust things like contrast, brightness, tint, and color. Most video displays come from the factory improperly calibrated. The brightness, contrast, tint, and color are [more…]

How to Adjust an Audio System

Get the best possible sound from your audio system by adjusting the A/V receiver (or controller). You need to do the initial setup to make sure that your A/V receiver knows what kind of speakers you’re [more…]

How to Soundproof and Improve Acoustics

Consider soundproofing and other ways to improve the acoustics of your home theater if you want to achieve the best possible sound quality with your equipment. [more…]

Racking Up Your Home Theater Gear

A proper equipment rack for your home theater gear will complement your home theater more than a simple shelving system will. Home theater equipment racks not only store your equipment but also keep it [more…]

How to Light a Home Theater Effectively

Lighting plays a crucial role in setting the right atmosphere for your home theater. Your video display's picture usually looks best when the room lights are off [more…]

How to Share Video Components throughout the House

You can share video signals from your home theater's video source devices throughout your house in four major ways. Sharing video in the home is more complicated than it once was, largely due to the advent [more…]

Connecting Your Home Theater to a Computer LAN

Connect your home theater to a computer LAN to broaden your A/V enjoyment. Accessing a whole-home computer network opens up your home theater to any data point on the network. [more…]

What Is a Home Theater PC (HTPC)?

A home theater PC (or HTPC) is essentially a high-quality source device attached to your A/V system. The HTPC can feed audio and video content into the rest of your home theater's A/V gear [more…]

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