Several years ago I was just setting up my current home theater room. While it was not scheduled to be equipped with multi-tiered stadium seating, faux art deco design, and a popcorn machine, I did have the luxury of setting it up strictly for movie and music listening. It didn't need to be compromised to serve any other purpose.
In the last few years, video has been grabbing most of the headlines. Maybe you're not familiar with Audyssey, but this breakthrough acoustical-correction technology is showing up in the latest-generation A/V receivers to infuse new life into home theaters everywhere.
When you get that new speaker set you're going to need to configure and balance your system. The process described below describes AVRs, but both the features and steps you'll take are identical if you're using a "separates" system with a pre-amp/processor and power amp.
This year's TVs are incorporating ease-of-use features.
While I love the amazing picture on my flat-screen HDTV, there are times when I find myself nostalgic for the days when all you had to do to watch TV was pull on a power button, turn the channel dial, and adjust the rabbit ears. It's bad enough that we home theater enthusiasts struggle to decipher menus and muck about a 75-button remote control, but it's our loved ones who curse us when they can't figure out how to use the TV. Manufacturers and retailers have been talking about simplicity in home theater for the past few years. Well, 2007 is the year that easier menus, setup, and remotes have been incorporated into some HDTVs. Some companies have been quietly working toward ease of use; others, like Philips, have made the pursuit a brand tag line: "sense and simplicity." Perhaps you can finally relinquish your remote to your nervous spouse.
To someone new to the whole home theater game, setting up an AV receiver might be intimidating. It's the most complex piece of equipment in the whole system, and the one that you'll interface with the most.
It's not that your AVR doesn't love you. It's just misunderstood.
So you just bought your first AV receiver (AVR), and now you're staring in fright at the back panel and what looks to be several thousand connectors jammed together tighter than the squares on a New York Times sukodu puzzle – and just about as incomprehensible. Don't feel bad. Rocket scientists have been known to suffer heart palpitations in the same situation.
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.
You've just come home with that new TV. Want to know how to get the best picture you can, in about five minutes? Even if you've never done more with your TV than turn it on before grabbing the popcorn, we can help you get the best picture from your TV using nothing more than a DVD you already own.
To test your display's performance, you'll need not only specialized test generators and measurement devices, but also actual video material. After all, just because a display measures well doesn't mean it's anything you want to look at. For that matter, there are no objective measurements for things like scaling and deinterlacing. For consistency, we try to use the same or similar test DVDs (and now HD DVDs) for our testing in each display review and in our video Face Offs. If you want to see how your TV stacks up—or you wonder what we're talking about every month—here are most of the test discs we use and why we use them.
Now that you've bought an HDTV, make sure you hook it up correctly.
Ah, the golden age of television. The only thing I loved more than Lucy was the solitary input on the back of my TV. It was a simpler time. Now we must choose between 300 channels and only slightly fewer inputs. Add HDTV to the mix, with all of its inherent confusion, and it's a recipe for connection disaster.
As I'm sure you've noticed by now, nearly every piece of electronic equipment you own creates heat. Some, like projectors, create a lot. Others, like DVD players, don't create very much at all. Depending on how you have your gear set up, though, any heat can create a problem. What's worse, you may not even know there's a problem until it's too late. There are solutions, though, and they vary depending on how you store your gear.
I consider myself a fairly intelligent person. I would say I am fairly knowledgeable in the workings of consumer electronics gear and computers. I took several film and video classes in college, and even interned at a video production house. I would consider myself qualified to work a video camera, and a computer. Then why in all things holy CAN'T I GET THIS THING TO WORK?