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Consumer Electronics

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Tuning In to Local HDTV Broadcasts

If the thought of paying for cable or satellite TV service hurts your head, consider free over-the-air (OTA) HDTV. Nearly every household in America can tune into at least one HDTV station [more…]

Setting Up Your BlackBerry for GPS

For GPS to work on your BlackBerry, it needs navigation maps, which are usually downloaded in little pieces as required. And because these maps are downloaded, you must be subscribed to a data plan and [more…]

Ten (Or So) Cool Electronics Testing Tool Tips

Okay, so you're ready to graduate to the electronics big time. But you can't do it alone. You need a laboratory full of impressive-looking gear with blinky lights, bright knobs, and spinning dials. You're [more…]

Navigating Web Pages with a BlackBerry

Using the Browser on a BlackBerry to navigate a Web page is easy. Note that hyperlinks on a BlackBerry are highlighted on-screen. To jump to a particular hyperlink, scroll to the highlighted link on your [more…]

Copying CDs and DVDs with the Roxio Disc Copier

Roxio Easy Media Creator 8 includes a nifty program that enables you to make duplicates of any noncopy-protected CD or DVD — even if your computer system has only a single CD or DVD drive. This program [more…]

Circuitbuilding Projects: The Solderless Breadboard

Using a breadboard is one of the basic starting points for the design of many types of circuits and projects. Also known as a plugboard or prototyping board [more…]

Showing You My Etchings: Etching the Circuit Board

Creating the resist pattern on a new sheet of printed circuit board material really only gets your circuit board one third of the way done. For the next step, you need to etch that board to remove the [more…]

Digital TV Basics

DTV stands for digital television, and by June 12, 2009, it will be the only television signal on the airwaves. Although the switch to all-digital TV marks an important shift in the way television is created [more…]

Adding DVR Functionality to Your Mac mini

The basic function of DVRs is to record TV digitally on your Mac mini and to schedule taping for later viewing without commercials and without the hassles of tapes. You can also burn video to DVDs for [more…]

Avoiding Electric Shocks

Your body is a delicate machine. Electric shocks, depending on certain conditions, can be fatal, even at relatively low voltages. What comes out of your wall outlet is deadly if you play around with it [more…]

Splicing a Power Cord

Power cords get damaged from all sorts of things; over-enthusiastic weed-whacking or hedge-trimming, forgetting that the car's battery warmer was still plugged in, even being chewed up by dogs and rodents [more…]

Schedule a TV Recording with Windows Vista Media Center

To do television on your PC, you need a combination of hardware and software. The software comes with certain editions of Windows Vista, and it's called the Windows Media Center. You use Windows Media [more…]

Doing It Yourself versus Hiring the Home Theater Pros

You can handle a lot of home theater setup all by yourself. However, if you want it done right, you may want to bring in some experts to complement your work. If you don't have the right electrical outlets [more…]

Entering the World of HDTV

Since the transition to color TV in the 1950s and '60s, nothing has had as much impact on the TV world as HDTV (high-definition TV) and digital TV. That's right, TV is going digital, following in the footsteps [more…]

Placing Surround Speakers

No matter what the setup of your speakers for surround sound — whether you have two, three, four, or more side and back speakers — your surround speakers play a fundamentally different role than your front [more…]

Backing Up Your iPAQ Files

Synchronizing your files is a great way to keep your iPAQ and your desktop PC working together, but synchronization has one big problem: It doesn't protect you from losing important data. It's easy to [more…]

Connecting Your TiVo and Selecting Channels

A TiVo lifestyle begins with something unavoidably awful: connecting TiVo to your TV, weaving strands of cables into just the right configuration. Thankfully, TiVo's installation happens only once. And [more…]

Downloading and Installing the BitTorrent Client

The first step in the process of setting up your computer to download and view BitTorrent content is to install a BitTorrent client. The BitTorrent client is simply a software program that your computer [more…]

Protecting Electronic Components from Dreaded Static Discharge

You're not the only thing in your work area that could suffer from shocks. Static discharge (also referred to as electrostatic discharge; ESD) can damage your delicate electrical components. Static discharge [more…]

Tuning in Ham Radio

Ham radio invokes a wide range of visions. Maybe you have a mental image of a ham radio operator (or ham) from a movie or newspaper article. But hams are a varied lot — from go-getter emergency communicators [more…]

Freeing Up Memory in Your iPAQ

An old saying claims that you can't be too thin or too rich. When it comes to iPAQs, you can say that you can't have too much memory. Your iPAQ differs in one very fundamental way from your desktop PC: [more…]

Sending E-Mail from Your BlackBerry

Send an e-mail from your BlackBerry to everyone who needs to know that you now have a BlackBerry. Here's how to share your notable news:

1. Open the Messages application. [more…]

Getting into GPS

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. A special radio receiver measures the distance from your location to satellites that orbit the earth broadcasting radio signals. GPS can pinpoint your position [more…]

Cutting Tracks with GarageBand

The track is the basic building block of a song; each song is made up of one or more tracks. In GarageBand, you can record only one track at a time so that you can adjust and mix separate elements. For [more…]

Advanced Car Audio Sound Quality Concepts

Although the four basic sound quality concepts (clarity, dynamic range, frequency response, and tonal balance) are the most fundamental to understand before purchasing a new car audio system, there are [more…]

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