Welcome to the Home Theater Systems Advice Blog. Here you'll find tips for selecting components. Includes DLP, LCD & CRT video projectors & big-screen TVs, plasma & LCD displays, Blu-ray players, HDTV, satellite TV, wireless speakers and surround sound systems. In addition to audio-video related articles of interest for the beginner as well as seasoned veterans -- there just *may* be an occasional rumination on industry happenings or a take on subjects of my personal interests outside the AV realm.
I've been throwing some stuff on here lately as I find it is a quicker way to add notes, ideas and things I've seen that are interesting. You may want to subscribe to the RSS feed so you can keep up with the latest ramblings.
It's one of my favorite times of year again -- Daytona 500 time. Few sporting events are as spectacular as the Daytona 500 in glorious High Definition. The World Series and Super Bowl are a couple that come to mind -- but each year the 500 signals the end of the Winter doldrums here.
This year should prove particularly interesting with the introduction of the new Gen6 car design. The Busch Clash (sorry it will ALWAYS be that for me = old school race fan here) goes tonight on FOX and should be a decent preview of what's in store for next week.
If you haven't upgraded to an HD TV yet -- what are you waiting for?? Look around the site for info or shoot me an email thru the "Contact Me" form if you need some guidance.
The Epson 710HD video projector is a bright, sharp and economical choice for home entertainment media.
Home Theater Systems FAQ - what do I need for a home theater/what are the basic home theater components?
Audio Video Installation Tips for Home Theaters. How to install your A/V receivers, DVD players, cable and satellite boxes. Do-it-yourself info and advice.
How to add multi-room audio and/or implement and retrofit whole-house speaker sound in existing homes.
Is 3D TV home theater a passing fad/gimmick or the future of HDTV?
Home Theater Systems can be expensive - find money-saving advice here. Proper component selection, DIY wiring and installation tips. Room design and speaker layout info.
Netflix today - in an apparent and IMHO belated attempt at damage control - announced that their once titan-like (and recently Titanic-like) company and site will remain united.
The lead paragraph from their company blog today apologetically stated, "It is clear that for many of our members two websites would make things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs." Duh ... gee ya think??
Despite their stock rising a tad today after the announcement, I think the damage (like that of the iceberg upon the bow of the Titanic) has been done.
The Major League Baseball League Championship Series are underway and the 2011 World Series is up next. It's an exciting time of year -- made even more so this year by the phenomenal comeback against-all-odds run by my beloved StL Cardinals. And their games have seemed to be even more spectacular in HD as Baseball is a perfect pairing of high definition and surround sound.
I have loved the sport of baseball for as long as I can remember -- when I was just a tyke in the late 50's I recall watching on our small black and white console TV of maybe 17". The relatively fuzzy picture was overlaid by the occasional superimposed graphic of "BALL" or "STRIKE". I recall naively asking my Dad, "why do they put BALL on the screen - isn't that what they're playing?" ... and I also recall him patiently explaining the specifics of balls and strikes and the strike zone.
That old B&W TV with its single tiny speaker is remembered fondly ... but is stark contrast to watching on a 7' wide HD projection screen with digital surround sound. The fine details of the wood-grain of bats, blades of grass on the field, the seams of the ball as it spins toward the plate, the beard-stubble and beads of sweat on the faces of the players are just a few of the many reasons the images of Baseball are simply spectacular in high definition.
Technical innovations in television broadcasting also shine during baseball telecasts. From super-slow motion replays and strike-zone/pitch analysis graphics to multiple microphone placement -- the sights and sounds of baseball in HD enhance the excitement and enjoyment of the game.
Please excuse my rant if you're not a fan of Baseball ... but again, I absolutely LOVE Baseball and I also LOVE HDTV.
And --- GO CARDS!!!!
With the recent price increase and dividing/re-branding the streaming and disc delivery into separate entities -- it seems like Netflix/Qwikster is at least "somewhere over the shark". Netflix stock has dropped, they're losing way more subscribers than anticipated and they are having trouble acquiring new media to replace the studio and distributor partnerships they have lost (like Starz).
I've taken a "wait and see" attitude to this point -- however I have decided to discontinue my disc-by-mail service at the end of this billing cycle. I will keep the streaming option only because my son received a Blu-ray player for his recent birthday that streams network media and he still likes Netflix streaming (for now)...
One can only wonder what shape the ship will be in a year from now for Netflix/Qwikster.... but it's taking on water rapidly and Netflix customers are the ones "bailing" in droves...
Home Theater News - systems, components, trends and new products for the home theater enthusiast and beginners alike.
Optoma HD33 review. The Optoma HD33 is a full 1080p 3D video projector that offers a bright, sharp and surprisingly affordable 3D viewing experience.
The new LG Cinema 3D TVs offer passive 3D TV viewing - that means lighter glasses and
Don't help spread Home Theater Sickness. Your new home theater system can indeed make you sick if you don't gather sufficient information before buying.
Home Theater Advertising for your Home Theater Systems related products. Gain maximum exposure to a highly motivated readership.
Home Theater Installation Tips - advice on how to make your home theater installation go a bit smoother and easier. Find important installation tips here.
It's my favorite time of the year once again (beside Christmas). The 2011 auto racing season is underway and Daytona weekend is my favorite as every day and night there is racing to watch on TV and the internet. For 12 nights there are races streamed on dirtvision.com from Volusia, FL and three nights of USAC sprint car racing at Ocala, FL with tonight the last of those three.
And of course tomorrow is the Daytona 500. Not real excited about the new style of Siamese Racing - but it should be interesting to see how the race unfolds tomorrow. Hopefully FOX will do a better job covering the 500 than ESPN did today on the Nationwide race - it was pretty pathetic ... capped off with a massive technical failure in Victory Lane. I hope my anticipation is not replaced with frustration tomorrow - we'll see....
More resources for home theaters and interesting reading about home cinema system components, equipment and projects. Find further information and product retail sale availability.
The new Yamaha RX-V867 audio-video receiver features two HDMI outputs and a slick on-screen display in an economical networked home theater receiver.
The Panasonic V10 Plasma TV model line offers exceptional performance at a reasonable price point.
A universal remote control is an essential part of your home theater. Combine many remotes into one remote control that universally controls all of your devices.
Pioneer receivers offer excellent performance for your home theater and the latest model line is feature packed at a surprisingly low price-point.
I could not get the BD HDMI to connect to a new Vizio 42XVT. I talked to techs at Samsung (3 Xs), one at Vizio and one at Sam's Club (the best at
The Yamaha RX-V465 is a great budget full 1080p HDMI home theater AV receiver. No frills, but decodes all HD audio formats with plently of clean power for all but the largest home theater rooms.
Here's one whacked out home theater theme. Not particularly my preference if I had the money to burn to create a theme room from the ground up but it's interesting to say the least and very well done.
Seems to me like the residue from the smoke effects would be detrimental to the screen surface and lens. And the sonar sound effect would surely be annoying after a short while. Take a look at the video by following the link below to YouTube.
That's right -- there is a $135K Blu-ray player on the market. Yeah - I know you're wondering who in their right mind would pay that for a BD player? The same kind of folks who buy a Ferrari when a Chevy will get you from point A to point B for a lot less bucks.
The player comes from an esoteric Swiss company by the name of Goldmund. Crafted from the finest components and to extreme standards their products look like pieces of art ... mind you VERY expensive works of art. The "Eidos Reference" BD player is a limited run of 50 units. I guess if you pay that much for a Blu-ray player you want to make sure you're the ONLY kid on your block to have one!
Follow the more info link below to take a look at their web site. I must admit the high end product photo gallery slideshow had some downright beautiful products ... it was kinda like looking at Playboy knowing I'll never be able to afford something that looks like that! ;)
I found a slick pointing device for using your PC on your TV or projection screen. It's the Loop Pointer In Air Mouse from Hillcrest Labs. The Loop is a handheld loop looking deal that fits nicely in one's hand and you simply wave it around to navigate your PC or media server's pointer. It has a scroll wheel and "mouse-click" buttons to further ease navigation. It's not simply a wireless mouse as there is no pad needed -- hand movement in-air is tracked on-screen very accurately. No drivers are needed either -- just connect the dongle/receiver to your PC or Mac's USB port and it is an instant mouse device. No line-of-sight is necessary either so it can control a device hidden in a cabinet. Under $100 with free shipping at Amazon.
ViewSonic recently started allowing online sales of its PRO8100 HD Video Projector - an item that was previously only available through custom installers and was priced at over $3000. This is a remarkably performing projector with impressive contrast and lumen ratings - and surprisingly features the Silicon Optix Reon-VX processor chip for state-of-the-art video scaling ability. With power zoom, focus and H/V lens shift this projector has all the popular features and connectivity options.
Now it's available to the public at an incredible value for a 3 LCD 1080p HD projector -- a feature that previously commanded at least $2500 or more is now available on this solid performing, feature-packed projector for under $1500 with free shipping and no tax from Amazon -- check the link below for more info and current pricing on an absolute steal of a deal that (at the time of this post) is only $1401.02 delivered.
OK - I am now totally happy with Dish Network. I turned on NASCAR practice from Darlington this morning and did a double-take, rubbed my eyes and checked to make sure I wasn't dreaming... SPEED is now live on Dish Network in High Definition!!!!
It had been rumored to be coming for quite a while now and the rumor was strong that it would debut this week - but I had been so very tired of the rumors I was in a "I'll believe it when I see it" mode. Well now I believe it!!
Dish has finally removed the only reservation that I had in recommending them as the BEST satellite service provider. THANK YOU Dish Network!!
The new Panasonic Blu-ray player models for 2009 add streaming media capability to the already best quality DVD video players. YouTube, Picasa, Bloomberg and Amazon VOD enabled.
The Plasma vs LCD HDTV debate rages on. The performance gap between Plasma and LCD TVs is narrowing - which should you choose for your home theater?
Will a digital TV receiver be needed by 2009? It all depends on what type of TV you currently own and what you want to watch.
Just a note on how spectacular Football looks in HD. Watching the Pittsburgh - San Diego playoff game and it sure does look good. Watching the OTA digital signal from my local CBS affilitate and it looks absolutely awesome. If you like football (or even movies) and have yet to prepare for the digital changeover - now may be the time to make the switch.
With the Super Bowl coming up and the digital switchover in February - the next few weeks could be one of the busiest TV buying periods in history despite the economy. After all TV is relatively inexpensive entertainment after the initial investment for equipment.
Keep an eye on the sales in the next few weeks as retailers ramp up for the big annual Super Bowl sales peak - the combination with post holiday pricing could lead to some nice bargains.
Here's hoping everyone has a safe, sane and Happy New Year celebration tonight.
Remember tonight is "Amateur Night" for drinkers so if you must go out to celebrate tonight please have a designated driver or take advantage of free cab or towing services which are offered in many major metropolitan areas.
Just a note to say I hope you and yours have a Merry Christmas. May your displays be merry and bright and may all your Christmases be in high definition.
Yes - I know that's not how the saying goes but I think it's fitting. :)
I just got The Hulk on Blu-ray today and to say it is amazing is an understatement. The video quality is exceptionally good with rich textures in every scene. At times you think the cinematographer was thinking "this will look great on Blu-ray with 7ft screen". Well - I'd imagine he was actually going for that effect in the cinemas but it translates very well to the home theater as well.
The Audio is equally impressive. This disc will exhibit your subwoofer's capabilities to its fullest. Surround effects and the music soundtrack immerse you in a tapestry of audio nirvana. And the action/battle scenes are enough to wake the neighbors with Hulk-sized impact.
If you want a Blu-ray disc that will show the capabilities of your system I highly recommend getting The Hulk -- it's a great addition to any disc library.
This entry is the first in what I hope to be a series of quick comments on current affairs in the industry. Please bear with me as I work out the kinks in the posting system.
Checking the news reports the holiday buying season is not nearly as bad as predicted. Sales on Black Friday were up 3% over last year. That's encouraging considering many analysts had predicted a bleak buying forecast for this holiday season. In fact I saw one headline decreeing that the buying season was over before it started with stores already shipping merchandise to liquidators.
Just shows that you can usually take "anal"ists predictions with a grain of salt.
Home Theater room design - covers overall home theatre room layout for the best sightlines and home theater room seating and speaker placement for the best audio in your theater.
Goofy Home Theater short cartoon - How To Hook Up Your Home Theater or rather how NOT to... very funny Disney 2D animation is a modern yet retro looking classic.
The Samsung LN32A450 LCD TV is the best 720p HDTV right now and makes a great TV for the bedroom or small family rooms.