Bass is like salt. Really, it is. Salt is a seasoning, a treat that we add to good food to make it taste even better. Bass is the same way. A sound system without it lacks the last little element that transforms an ordinary activity like listening to music or watching a movie into an extraordinary, emotionally charged experience.
You want the big-screen experience. You want to be immersed in the image. Ten feet wide at least, maybe 12. You've chosen the projector—a home model that's been getting great reviews. Obviously, you need a screen.
When home theater enthusiasts talk about their audio systems, they usually concentrate on components such as the disc player, receiver (or preamp-processor and power amps), and speakers. But there's another component that deserves just as much attention: the cables that connect the other devices together. Without cables, those other components would be nothing more than expensive boat anchors.
In our ongoing run-up to our 10th anniversary in early 2005, Michael Fremer looks at his experiences working on the soundtrack to the groundbreaking movie Tron. This article was first published in our Fall 1997 issue. We've made a few edits to account for changes since then (particularly in the references to laserdiscs!), but MF's description of the creation of an early-1980s soundtrack is as fascinating, interesting, and pertinent as ever. Modern digital techniques have revolutionized the film-sound business, but a good soundtrack is still a good soundtrack.
This new technology could replace plasma and LCD as the must-have for flat-panel displays.
Plasma and LCD are dead. Well, at least that's what Kodak, Dupont, Universal Display Corporation, and a few others would like you to start thinking. One of the new technologies coming down the HT highway is called Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED), and it could be the future of flat-panel displays. Soon your TV may be able to trace its lineage back to the power light on your VCR.
High-definition television has certainly moved along in fits and starts since the first digital-TV stations came on air in 1997. There's been a steadily increasing flow of prime-time programming and movies, a tantalizing season of Monday Night Football, increasing amounts of sports coverage, and numerous PBS documentaries and nature programs. Along the way, there have also been some compelling programs, including the 2002 Winter Olympics, the Masters and U.S. Open tennis, the NCAA Final Four, and three Super Bowls. More than a few prime-time shows have grabbed us by the throat, including NYPD Blue, C.S.I., JAG, Alias, ER, and Law & Order.
Home Theater's guide to using indoor and outdoor antennas to pick up digital TV broadcasts.
It's funny how everything old is new again. Forty years ago, you might have watched from the backyard as Dad carefully climbed up a ladder to the roof, strapped a bracket onto the chimney, and attached a large T-shaped television antenna so that you could watch those glorious black-and-white (and sometimes color) images from I Love Lucy, Bonanza, The Wonderful World of Disney, Gunsmoke, and other TV programs of that era.