General and Practical Rules Of Screen Size
The original rules of thumb on screen size were concocted during the era of CRTs and scan lines and have been massaged somewhat since, and will be massaged further in this era of 1080p.
They're both sexy slim, and can hang on the wall. But in spite of the similar physical profiles these two technologies are very different, and each has its strengths and weaknesses and they're not necessarily the ones the sales guy at the Big Box Store will tell you about.
When it comes to the nerve center of a home theater, most consumers opt for an A/V receiver, which combines a preamp/processor (pre/pro) and multichannel power amp into one chassis. However, some enthusiasts choose to buy a separate pre/pro and power amp, believing that this results in superior sound quality, though it's generally a more-expensive way to go. If you want the best possible soundand you have the budgetyou're probably shopping for separates.
Big screen TVs ain't what they used to be- and that's a good thing. The CRT rear projection TVs of yesteryear were big. They still aren't flat screens, but digital technologies have shrunk RPTVs from front to back and dropped their weight in half. In addition, while CRT RPTVs die an irrevocable slow death from day one, digital RPTVs are lamp-based. When the lamp burns out, you buy a new one for a few hundred bucks and your TV is as good as new.
A friend who went to college in the late 1960s told me that everyone in his dorm fell into one of two absolutely opposing groups: those who blasted the Who’s Tommy and those who were mesmerized by the Beatles’ White Album. Or for the sticklers among you, the album nicknamed the White Album but officially known as The Beatles. I could entertain you with a few more sentences’ worth of metaphor, but you get the idea. You say tomato, I say tomahto.
Bigger is better. That’s probably the dominant argument in favor of buying a separate multichannel amplifier and surround processor instead of an A/V receiver. It’s also the wrong argument. There are three good reasons for you to choose separates: to scale up your system to a larger room, to power more-demanding speakers, or to achieve higher performance than you can get with an average AVR.
You've heard that a digital video recorder (DVR) will change the way you watch TV, and you know you want one. Beyond that, you're at a loss. How do you choose between the different models? How do you even know what to look for? Here are some questions to help guide you on your way to time-shifting bliss.
Ask the average guy in the street what makes a home theater a home theater and you're likely to hear one of two answers: "A honkin' big screen" or "Five (or six or seven) speakers." It would be hard to argue with either answer, because a great picture and sound coming from all around you are essential elements of the home theater experience.
Buying a new TV ain't what it used to bethere are a lot more choices and features to think about than yesteryear, when the only decision you needed to make was screen size. Among the most common questions I'm asked these days is, "Should I get an LCD or plasma flat-panel TV?" If you want the quick answer, jump to the end of this article. But if you want to understand the answer, read on.
Speakers are available in a bewildering variety of styles, sizes, and technologies. On the technical side, the vast majority are conventional box designs using one or more drivers—most commonly a single cone woofer for the bass and midrange, a single dome tweeter for the treble, and a crossover network to divide and route the appropriate frequencies to each. The speaker cabinet, or box, which can be either a sealed or ported design, is not merely a cosmetic touch; it is a key element in the design. Without a properly designed cabinet, even the best conventional woofer would simply flap in its own breeze and produce little or no bass.
Streaming video has gone mainstream. Are you ready?
Once upon a time, outside factors controlled when and where you could watch a TV show or feature film. Over the past 35 years, that’s evolved dramatically. The revolution began with the introduction of the VCR in 1976. Its ability to record and archive broadcast TV shows and movies on magnetic tape burst open the floodgates for entertainment in the home. Other formats followed, all the way up to our present-day high-density Blu-ray Discs. One thing they’ve all had in common, though, is their physical nature. That’s all changing now. Like it or not, we’re entering a transition phase from physical media to streaming and the cloud. Looks like a revolution all over again.
THX is setting a new standard for picture quality and making shopping for HDTVs easier.
When you think of THX, you think of great sound, right? Those three letters have been synonymous with cinema and home audio for more than two decades. So, when THX launched a new certification program for high-definition video products at last year's CEDIA and helped introduce several new THX-certified projectors from Runco and Vidikron, it raised a few eyebrows in the consumer electronics community.
Tips for selecting and installing a front-projection screen.
What’s keeping you from taking the front-projection plunge? Is it a belief that projection systems are still only for the rich and famous, consisting of $15,000 projectors, movie-theater-sized screens, and elaborate masking systems, controlled by advanced touchpanels? The entry-level projector roundup on page 38 of this issue is proof that there’s a 1080p projector to suit almost any budget, and the same is true for theater screens.