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Home Theater

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Considering Surround-Sound for Your HDTV System

The profusion of surround-sound standards is a confusing area in the audio arena. Surround sound is multichannel audio designed to produce spatial audio cues [more…]

Hooking Up Your Stereo to Your PC or Laptop

If you're turning a computer into a music machine, why not just do the obvious: Hook it up to the stereo? If you want to make audiotapes of your MP3s (or even streaming audio concerts) for your car's tape [more…]

Buying a DTV Digital-to-Analog Converter Box

If you have an older TV — one manufactured before March 1, 2007 — in order to pick up over-the-air digital television (DTV) signals, you'll need to purchase and install a digital-to-analog converter box [more…]

Why Are We Switching to Digital Television Signals?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided that, by June 12, 2009, all full-power TV stations must cease broadcasting on their current analog channels and switch completely over to digital [more…]

HDMI Digital Video Home Theater Connections

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is the latest and greatest digital audio/video cable connection and can give you great HDTV resolution. Besides HDTVs, [more…]

Connecting Your iPod to a Home Stereo

Home stereo systems come in many shapes and sizes, from an audiophile's monster component racks to a kid's itty-bitty boom box. We're not talking about alarm-clock radios, but stereos with speakers that [more…]

Recording TV Shows with Windows XP Media Center PC

Controlling Live TV is a great thing. When the phone rings (darn those telemarketers) or the dog has to go out, pausing your favorite program seems like a life saver. But sometimes you want to record entire [more…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

Understanding Active and Passive Speakers

All speakers, regardless of the number of drivers, pole type, enclosure type, or other characteristics, fall into one of two categories: active or passive. How they're classified depends on their relationship [more…]

Surrounding Yourself with Sound in Your Home Theater

Unless you plan on installing a 360-degree Cinema-in-the-Round screen in your home, just like you'd see at Disney World, video plays a rather confined [more…]

Transitioning to Over-the-Air Digital Television Signals

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the deadline for switching over to digital television broadcasts is June 12, 2009. Over 600 stations have already made the switch, so there's no [more…]

Saving Shows to DVD with Windows XP Media Center PC

One thing that Media Center is missing is a module that lets you create, or burn, your own DVDs. Why would you want to create your own DVDs? Well, here are a few reasons: [more…]

Placing Your Center, Left, and Right Speakers

An audio or home theater system generally includes the center channel speaker, the left and right front speakers, the surround channel speakers, and the subwoofer. [more…]

Troubleshooting TiVo Sound Problems

When TiVo's on track, it's a dream machine, automatically trimming away television's nightmares, leaving only the pleasant and enjoyable. Underneath its magic, however, TiVo is, quite simply, a computer [more…]

Plugging into a Whole-Home Network

For most folks, the installation of whole-home wiring isn't something that they want to do as a casual project. If you don't have a whole home wiring system in place and can't put one in, don't freak out [more…]

Your HDTV: Projecting a Good Image

When most people think of HDTV, they think of big screens — specifically, projection TV systems. Projection TVs offer the most bang for the buck in the HDTV world [more…]

Clearing the Static on HDTV Types

When you're trying to pick out the right HDTV for your needs, the available products break down into three major product groups distinguished from each other by their display technology and cabinet type [more…]

Adding Subwoofers in the Mix

Most subwoofers have floor-based enclosures with active speaker systems (that is, with built-in amplifiers) for driving the low bass frequency ranges. Your biggest decision when choosing subwoofers for [more…]

Mounting a Thin TV Display in Your Home Theater

One of the bigger advances in TV displays in recent years has been the depth of the units — displays are getting thinner and thinner. Instead of just plunking your new display on top of a table, consider [more…]

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