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Consumer Electronics

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How to Buy Home Theater Equipment on a Budget

If you're on a tight budget, a home theater is still within reach. Budget considerations may require you to plan carefully for your home theater system. One of the great things about home theater is that [more…]

Installing a Home Theater: DIY or Hire a Pro?

Installing a home theater? Do it yourself (DIY) or hire a pro. Lots of home theater setup is DIY-easy, and you can hire a pro to complement your work. Of course, installing the home theater by yourself [more…]

What the Numbers Mean in Surround Sound Terminology

Much of surround-sound terminology boils down into numbers such as 2.0, 5.1, and 7.1. These surround-sound numbers sometimes refer to the playback system’s speaker configuration and sometimes to the audio [more…]

Two-Channel Sound vs. Multichannel Surround Sound

Rather than two-channel sound, a home theater boasts multichannel surround sound. Two-channel sound gives a left and a right speaker effect, while multichannel surround sound adds a front center speaker [more…]

How to Manage Bass Sounds in a Home Theater

Bass management is how your home theater manages low-frequency sounds. Better A/V receivers and other controller devices have several options for managing bass sounds in your system. [more…]

What Is Dolby Surround Sound?

Dolby has been enhancing sound for several decades, but the true mother of all surround-sound encoding schemes in home theater systems is Dolby Surround Sound [more…]

Dolby Pro Logic Surround Sound

A Dolby Pro Logic home theater system includes four channels and five speakers of surround sound. Dolby Pro Logic is a matrixdecoded multichannel surround sound system, meaning that it turns two-channel [more…]

Basics of Dolby Digital Surround Sound

Dolby Digital is an all-digital surround sound format that handles audio compression, so it’s available only for digital content. DVDs and HDTV use Dolby Digital [more…]

Dolby Digital Surround EX

Dolby Digital Surround EX home theater systems include rear surround speakers that are made possible by an additional surround channel. This digital Surround EX channel drives the center rear surround [more…]

Digital Theater Systems (DTS)

Digital Theater Systems (DTS) has invented a lineup of surround-sound encoding schemes. As with Dolby Digital, DTS Digital Surround provides 5.1 channels of digital audio. However, DTS uses less compression [more…]

Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound

Dolby Digital Plus surround sound is an improvement on the super-popular Dolby Digital/Dolby Digital EX system. Dolby Digital Plus improves on Dolby Digital and EX by [more…]

Dolby TrueHD Surround Sound

The Dolby TrueHD surround sound format supports up to 13.1 channels of surround-sound goodness, like Dolby Digital Plus. However, Dolby TrueHD is a lossless format. That means that the sound being encoded [more…]

DTS-HD Surround Sound

The folks at Digital Theater Systems (DTS) have developed a lossless surround-sound format known as DTS-HD Master Audio. DTS-HD is available on Blu-ray discs and players, and can provide [more…]

Does Your Home Theater Need a CD Player?

Although you definitely want your home theater to have a device that can play CDs, you may not need (or want) a traditional CD player in your system. A DVD player, which is an absolutely must in a home [more…]

How to Choose a CD Player

If you've decided to use a standalone CD player in your home theater, which one do you choose? If you already have a CD player, go ahead and use it. The following list highlights some features you might [more…]

Tips for Mounting a Video Display

So you've bought a mount for your display and you're ready to install. Before you mount that display in your home theater, take a look these tips to ensure a safe, effective installation. You'll get the [more…]

How to Acquire MP3 Files for Your Home Theater

Lots of people are moving their MP3 audio files beyond the PC and portable music player and incorporating MP3 music into the home theater. This makes a lot of sense — why not listen to all your MP3s on [more…]

Digital Audio File Formats: Lossy and Lossless Codecs

Digital audio file formats, or codecs — such as MP3, AAC, and WMA — fall into two categories: lossless and lossy. A codec, whether lossy or lossless, is so named because of its function: to [more…]

How to Buy a Turntable for a Home Theater

Buying a turntable for a home theater isn't unheard of. Although LPs and the turntables that play them aren't too common, they can be a useful addition. Many audiophiles have long felt that LPs [more…]

How to Buy an AM-FM Radio Tuner

Typically, a radio tuner offering local AM-FM radio stations is built into your A/V (audio/video) receiver. You'll need a stand-alone radio tuner for your home theater system, however, if you're using [more…]

How to Get Satellite Radio

Satellite radio offers a huge number of radio stations —more than 275 channels — beamed to your home theater or car from a handful of satellites in the sky. You'll discover a lot more diversity and just [more…]

How to Get HD Radio for a Home Theater

HD Radio offers a digital radio broadcast that can be incorporated into a home theater. HD Radio uses a second broadcast signal that a radio station can use to send digital broadcasts alongside their existing [more…]

How to Get Internet Radio for a Home Theater

You can get great radio programming from Internet radio broadcasts if you set up a home theater PC in your A/V (audio/video) system. Internet radio enables you to tune in to literally thousands of radio [more…]

How to Shop for Speakers

Shopping for a speaker system for the home theater can be confusing. When you shop for speakers, understanding speaker lingo eases the shopping experience and helps you get the most for your money. [more…]

Speakers and Pole Position: Monopole, Bipole, Dipole, Omnipole

The speakers in a home theater system may have multiple sets of speaker drivers that face in different directions (positions). Bipole and dipole speakers are designed to help contribute to your surround-sound [more…]


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