Home Theater Review

 

Home Theater Education

Buying a home theater can be a very difficult, confusing and even frustrating process. Salespeople bark out terms, acronyms and other facts so fast that it can be hard to know what they are talking about let alone what to buy. For people who want to learn more about home theater and all of the aspects we've provided research pages below on everything from 7.1 surround sound to HDMI to 1080p to Aspect Ratios and much more. There are hundreds to read. They will help you understand the topics at hand how they relate to your next audio or video investment.

1080i Video Resolution

1080i Video Resolution

1080i is not the the same as 1080p as it is a much more easily reproduced image of lesser quality, which is why 1080i was the choice for a high definition broadcast standard at the beginning of HDTV...

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1080p Video Resolution

1080p Video Resolution

1080p is resolution standard for Blu-ray discs. But what exactly does that mean and how does it relate to other resolutions? This entry provides information to answer this...

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1080p/24

1080p/24

Most movies are shot at a frame rate of 24 frames per second. It is for this reason that the 1080p/24 resolution has become the de facto standard of Blu-ray movies, but there is a lot more to it than that...

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1440p Video Resolution

1440p Video Resolution

1440p is a step above the 1080p standard of Blu-ray with an even higher resolution. It has been thought to be the next technological leap, but with 2K and 4K resolutions on the rise this may not be the case...

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16 Terms You Need to Know Before Buying a Blu-ray Player

16 Terms You Need to Know Before Buying a Blu-ray Player

There can be a lot of new terms to learn when it comes to understanding Blu-ray players and what to look for. Here are 16 terms that will give you an idea of what you are looking for....

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2k (2048) Video Resolution

2k (2048) Video Resolution

2k resolution is a much more detailed resolution than the 1080p standard. So much so that 2k resolution is often used in the process of digital filmmaking...

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3:2 Pulldown

3:2 Pulldown

The video for home theater and HDTV doesn't match so a conversion process is necessary. That process is known as 3:2 Pulldown. But what exactly does that mean? Home Theater Review has the answer for you...

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480i Video Resolution

480i Video Resolution

480i is the default resolution of standard definition in the NTSC format. It is the resolution television had at its beginnings. This entry will give you even more history on the format...

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4K Video Resolution

4K Video Resolution

4k video resolution is roughly five times the resolution of 1080p. It is also supposedly the the resolution when the human eye can no longer distinguish the difference between media shot on film and media recorded digitally. More facts about the standard in this entry...

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720p Video Resolution

720p Video Resolution

High definition begins with the 720p resolution mark. However, it is rare to see this resolution in large screen formats. It is better suited for smaller screens. But there are other issues concerning 720p...

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802.11 Wireless

802.11 Wireless

802.11 wireless is an set of standards for wireless internet, setting requirements for frequency bands as well as other things...

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AC Power Product Terms

AC Power Product Terms

AC power products are the products that protect your valuable AV components from any kind of inconsistency in your power supply. It's important to know what all the different kinds of products do....

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Active Loudspeaker

Active Loudspeaker

Active loudspeakers are a bit of a rare breed in the home audio world, but they reduce the amount of gear needed to complete your system. There are quite a few advantages to the active loudspeaker...

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Active Subwoofer

Active Subwoofer

Also known as powered subwoofers, active subwoofers are subwoofers that have their own power supply, meaning that get the power needed from an outlet rather than an amplifier. They also tend to have several bells and whistles...

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AirPlay

AirPlay

AirPlay is an Apple technology that allows Apple mobile devices, such as iPhones and iPads, to wirelessly transmit media to a home theater system. Many different products carry this technology...

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Amplifier

Amplifier

Amplifiers are one of the most important components in any system. They are the unit that drives the speakers. This entry breaks down general information as well as specifics about all the different types of amplifiers...

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Anamorphic Lens

Anamorphic Lens

Anamorphic Lenses are accessories for projectors that allow you to change the aspect ratio of a projector to better suit the content being watched. There are all kinds of lenses...

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Apple TV

Apple TV

Apple TV is a media streaming device made by Apple. The device is integrated with iTunes and AirPlay and offers an impressive connected media solution for home theaters...

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Aspect Ratio

Aspect Ratio

Aspect Ratio is a measurement of the horizontal width against the vertical height of an image. But that is a simplification as there is a lot more to be said about aspect ratios...

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Audyssey Room Correction (EQ)

Audyssey Room Correction (EQ)

Audyssey Room Correction is a technology that runs a test of the speaker placement in a home theater and automatically adjusts your receiver or preamp settings to accommodate. The technology is rather impressive...

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BD-Live

BD-Live

Introduced in the Blu-ray Profile 2.0, BD-Live is a network connected system for Blu-ray discs, where additional special features and interactive options can me accessed...

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Balanced Connection (XLR)

Balanced Connection (XLR)

Balanced connections are very popular in the pro audio world, but the debate lives on in the audiophile world whether or not balanced connections are worth the trouble in the home system...

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Bass Trap

Bass Trap

Bass traps are part of the acoustical treatment branch of home theater products. As the name would imply, these particular treatments deal with the bass quality of a room...

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Blu-ray Profiles

Blu-ray Profiles

Blu-ray has had a few bumps in the road as the standard was figured out. The improvements each time were called profiles and there have been several of them...

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CRT

CRT

CRT or cathode ray tube was the beginning of high definition video technology. While it was a breakthrough, it was also terribly complicated with all kinds of things to know and parts to adjust...

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Center Channel Speaker

Center Channel Speaker

The center channel is, as the name would imply, the center speaker in the front speaker set up of a surround sound system. Many consider it to be the single most important speaker in the system...

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Compact Disc (CD) Player

Compact Disc (CD) Player

Compact Disc players have been the default stand alone audio source component since their introduction in the 1990s, but in the new age of digital audio they may soon be seeing their dominance end...

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Contrast Ratio

Contrast Ratio

Contrast Ratio attempts to measure a television or projector's ability to display bright images and dark images. Unfortunately, there are a lot of discrepancies with this measurement ...

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DTS Surround Sound

DTS Surround Sound

DTS was created in 1993 and has since become an incredibly powerful competitor to Dolby, but there is a lot more to the technology than just that...

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DTS-HD Master Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio is the DTS standard for high-definition audio output. This format competes with Dolby TrueHD. Though both these formats can appear on a Blu-ray disc, they use radically different technologies...

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DVD-Audio (DVD-A)

DVD-Audio (DVD-A)

DVD-Audio was the high-resolution music format that competed with SACD. Unlike SACD, DVD-Audio was supported by Meridian's Lossless Packing, which some argue was the superior codec...

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DVD-Audio (DVD-A) Player

DVD-Audio (DVD-A) Player

DVD-Audio players obviously play DVD-Audio disc, but they had another function that gave them an advantage over SACD players in that DVD-Audio players could play DVD-Video discs...

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DVD-Video (DVD) Player

DVD-Video (DVD) Player

DVD-Video has been the most successful format in the history of consumer electronics. These components, DVD-Video players, revolutionized the industry in a way like nothing that came before...

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Desktop/Computer Speakers

Desktop/Computer Speakers

With digital music becoming more and more popular, computers are starting to become the go to source components, but they still need help as the internal speakers are not very good. When bookshelf speakers are too big, desktop speakers are the solution...

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Digital Direct Drive Image Light Amplifier (D-ILA)

Digital Direct Drive Image Light Amplifier (D-ILA)

D-ILA or Digital Direct Drive Image Light Amplifier is a technology developed and used by JVC. It's an impressive technology with a lot of interesting features...

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Digital Equalizer (EQ)

Digital Equalizer (EQ)

In order to customize audio in your system, some sort of frequency manipulation is going to be necessary. Digital equalizers are processor devices that can cut or boost frequencies to help you customize your system...

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Digital Light Processing (DLP)

Digital Light Processing (DLP)

DLP stands for Digital Light Processing. DLP is a projector technology that uses micro-mirrors to create the image. There are different kinds of DLP projectors that work in different ways...

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Digital Speaker (DSP)

Digital Speaker (DSP)

Digital speakers are a form of active loudspeakers but they carry all kinds of features that average active loudspeakers may not. These features allow for incredible amounts of customization...

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Digital to Analog Converter (DAC)

Digital to Analog Converter (DAC)

A digital to analog converter does exactly what it sounds like. The device takes a digital audio signal and converts it to and analog one. There are many different kinds of digital to analog converters to choose from...

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Dolby Digital (AC3)

Dolby Digital (AC3)

Dolby Digital saw its rise in the 1990s with the rise in popularity of DVD. It is a compressed format that has since been replaced with Dolby Digital Plus and the lossless Dolby TrueHD....

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Dolby Pro Logic

Dolby Pro Logic

Dolby Pro Logic was the beginning of surround sound for the consumer. Though it has continued on in many different forms, Dolby Pro Logic's history reaches back to the days of VHS...

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Dolby TrueHD

Dolby TrueHD

Dolby TrueHD is Dolby's standard for the Blu-ray disc format, which competes with the DTS-HD Master Audio format in the high definition lossless audio world though they use very different technologies to achieve results...

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Dynamic Loudspeaker

Dynamic Loudspeaker

Dynamic loudspeakers are the most popular loudspeakers in the world of home systems. They can be found in all kinds of configurations and in different speaker types from bookshelf speakers to floorstanding speakers...

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Electrostatic Loudspeaker

Electrostatic Loudspeaker

Electrostatic speakers are speakers that are designed to utilize an electric field to generate the vibration to create sound. There are a lot of advantages to these types of loudspeakers, as well as many disadvantages...

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Energy Star

Energy Star

In the pursuit of making electronics more energy efficient, a standard for efficiency requirements needed to be set, one that would be recognized internationally. That standard is Energy Star...

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Ethernet

Ethernet

Ethernet defines standards such as wiring and signs for LANs (local area networks). But, contrary to popular belief, there is more than one type of Ethernet cable to get you on the internet...

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Firmware Update

Firmware Update

Firmware updates are an amazing tool in consumer electronics. They allow companies to continue to improve their products and fix problems that may arise without having to release a new product...

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Five Tips to Successfully Set Up Your Blu-ray Player

Five Tips to Successfully Set Up Your Blu-ray Player

Once you've got your Blu-ray player in your home, you are only part of the way there. These five tips will help get you the rest of the way to getting your player up and running so you can enjoy HD content....

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Foot Lambert

Foot Lambert

Foot-Lambert is a measurement of luminance that is used to make measurements for not only projectors, but LCD HDTVs and plasma HDTVs, although it used primarily in the United States...

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HD DVD

HD DVD

HD DVD was the competitor for Blu-ray during the HD disc format war. HD DVD was backed by Toshiba and based on the pre-existing technology of DVD-Video, which Toshiba held many of the patents for...

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High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)

High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)

HDMI is the high definition home theater standard for cabling. Originally, more of video cable than an audio cable although updates to the HDMI technology has changed that, and it now offers an impressive list of features....

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High-Definition Music Downloads

High-Definition Music Downloads

High Definition Music Downloads are the future of audio. They combine the high fidelity of formats like SACD and DVD-Audio with the convenience of MP3 downloads from iTunes. The best of both worlds...

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Home Automation

Home Automation

Home Automation is the ultimate form of control. Not only can a user control their home theater, but also lighting, climate control, and even security options. Given that, it would make sense that this form of control requires several components...

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Home Theater Personal Computer (HTPC)

Home Theater Personal Computer (HTPC)

Home Theater Personal Computers or HTPCs allow users to store all their media in one place, be that movies or music, and access it through a network. These devices can be customized in a multitude of ways and are very powerful additions to a home theater...

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Home Theater Seating

Home Theater Seating

Home Theater Seating is one of the true luxuries when customizing your theater. You can give your guests (and yourself) incredibly comfortable chairs that recreate the atmosphere of a movie theater. There are all kinds of options...

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How To Build a Home Theater In a Less Than Perfect Room

How To Build a Home Theater In a Less Than Perfect Room

The first two videos in THX's new home theater resource video series. Designed to be a practical and simple guide, these videos begin the process of building your home theater with placement planning and more....

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In-wall Subwoofer

In-wall Subwoofer

In-wall speakers tend to not have much bass because of the lack of cabinet volume and small woofer drivers. Due to this, more and more in-wall speaker companies are making in-wall subwoofers that are designed to fit inside the space......

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Internal Video Processor

Internal Video Processor

In the early days of high-end video, up-conversion or video processing was done via a black box external component. Ultra-high-end digital video players like Meridian-Faroudja, DVDO and Runco today still use external video processing to get the best image money......

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Internet Radio

Internet Radio

Internet radio is the next evolution of music consumption, stemming from the creation of the MP3. It is a term that applies to many services that stream audio over the internet...

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Jaggies

Jaggies

Jaggies refers to a particular type of artifact that can occur during video media playback. It is a pretty unpleasant thing to see in the image. Fortunately there are solutions that can be put into place...

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Jitter

Jitter

Jitter is a digital timing issue that affects digital devices, such as DVD players and CD transports. High levels of jitter can result in a decrease in sound quality, and in worst cases, audible artifacts. High-end digital audio products aim......

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Keystoning (or Keystone Effect)

Keystoning (or Keystone Effect)

Keystoning is a visual effect created by a trapezoidal image. It is usually a problem associated with video projectors. Fortunately, there are solutions to fix this problem and restore the proper image...

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LCD Versus Plasma

LCD Versus Plasma

Liquid Crystal Displays or LCDs and Plasmas have many different advantages and disadvantages. It is important to evaluate each of these lists when deciding which television to buy...

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Lighting Control

Lighting Control

Lighting control is a very important part of a home theater set up. If you want the best picture, it is important to have complete control of the lighting in your room. There are many ways to go about this...

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Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)

Liquid Crystal Displays or LCDs, along with plasma displays, revolutionized the home theater industry. Although, there are many different kinds of LCDs that come with different advantages or disadvantages...

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Low-Frequency Effects (LFE) Channel

Low-Frequency Effects (LFE) Channel

The low-frequency effects channel (LFE) in a home theater system is more commonly known as a subwoofer. It is a speaker specifically designed to play only the lowest frequencies of audio, from about 120 Hertz on down. Movie mixing engineers......

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MHL

MHL

MHL stands for - Mobile High-Definition Link and is a technology found in many devices, displays and accessories today. MHL-enabled smartphones and tablets connect to HD displays, delivering HD content and immersive surround sound, while simultaneously charging the phone. The......

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MPEG-2 Audio Layer 3 (MP3) File

MPEG-2 Audio Layer 3 (MP3) File

MP3 audio files are a lossy compressed music file common among all portable music players including Apple's iPod and iPad. In most cases they offer 1/10th the file size of uncompressed CD audio. Sound quality, though is often quite poor.......

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Masking Video Screen

Masking Video Screen

A masking video screen can help with displaying anamorphic content through different kinds of motorized technologies. There are several different options that go about this process in different ways...

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Media Server

Media Server

Media servers are audio and video components that store audio and video content and play it back on demand for consumers, without the need for bulky discs and/or slow load times. Home Theater PCs (HTPCs) are considered media servers,......

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Merdian Lossless Packing (MLP)

Merdian Lossless Packing (MLP)

Meridian's Lossless Packing (MLP) is the main technology behind DVD-Audio. Its lossless compression scheme was groundbreaking and competed favorably with Sony's DSD technology found in the SACD format. MLP is capable of reproducing a master-quality audio presentation in stereo or......

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OLED

OLED

OLED or Organic Light-Emitting Diodes is a flat screen television technology that allows for incredibly thin television sets and an amazing picture. There are lots of cool things of the OLED technology...

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Outdoor Video Screen

Outdoor Video Screen

Outdoor home theater is one of the newest trends in consumer electronics. The idea of the swim-up or backyard home theater is tempting to all Americans as they look to technologically upgrade their homes or entertain their families during the......

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Passive Subwoofer

Passive Subwoofer

A passive subwoofer is a sub without a power amplifier and possibly without a crossover network. Audiophiles sometimes like to mix and match amplifiers to get better performance from their subs. Today's subwoofer is usually active, meaning that it......

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Picking and Placing Your Display, Speakers and Subwoofer by THX

Picking and Placing Your Display, Speakers and Subwoofer by THX

In episodes 3, 4, and 5 of their home theater information series, THX goes into the process of placement. These episodes teach consumers how to place displays, speakers, and subwoofers....

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Point 1 (.1)

Point 1 (.1)

The "point 1" (.1) channel of a surround system is one of the most confusing terms for consumers. Point 1 refers to the LFE or subwoofer in a surround system. The LFE, or point 1, only plays low-frequency audio material,......

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Positioning Speakers and Making The Most of Your Gear's Settings Plus the THX Optimizer: Videos From THX

Positioning Speakers and Making The Most of Your Gear's Settings Plus the THX Optimizer: Videos From THX

The next installment in THX's Home Theater Made Easy series discusses how to aim and calibrate your speakers, how to take advantage of your gear's settings, and how to use the THX Optimizer...

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Projector Mount

Projector Mount

If you want to go with a video projector for your home theater, you are going to need a projector mount. There are all kinds of different mounts that will suit any configuration a user could need or want...

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RS-232

RS-232

RS-232 is serious form of control for a system and, in fact, an entire household. This connector is the protocol preferred by integrators for several reasons...

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Rainbow Effect

Rainbow Effect

Rainbow effect is most commonly, pretty much exclusively, found in single-chip DLP projectors that use a color wheel to create all the different colors necessary for an image. Occasionally, this process can create rainbows...

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Refresh Rate

Refresh Rate

Refresh is a measurement of how often a frame appears on a screen. There is a wide array of refresh rates that work to different levels of effectiveness...

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Rimless In-wall Loudspeaker

Rimless In-wall Loudspeaker

One of the newest trends in in-wall loudspeakers was started by Sonance. The company has engineered in-wall speakers that have no baffle, which means they can sit absolutely flush to the drywall. While on the surface it seems like this......

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Roll-down Video Screen

Roll-down Video Screen

Roll-down screens have been around forever. Most of us remember them from third grade, when the teacher broke out the projector to show educational films. The least expensive home theater screens can be manually rolled down, although most are......

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Room Acoustics

Room Acoustics

You can spend all the money in the world on gear, but it will never sound as good as possible if your room isn't properly set up. There are all kinds of different treatments that can be used to get the most out of your room...

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Round Loudspeaker

Round Loudspeaker

Round loudspeakers are a new class of speakers that are small and often mounted to match an HDTV system installation. Their lack of reflective surface area and diminutive size make them very desirable to consumers. They are almost always......

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SXRD

SXRD

SXRD is a technology developed by Sony and have a lot of advantages over other technologies, including a very impressive contrast ratio among others...

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Satellite Radio

Satellite Radio

Satellite radio is a pay service that allows users to pick different radio channels by several different sorting systems. There are also much less strict rules about censorship on satellite radio...

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Screen Door Effect

Screen Door Effect

The screen door effect is an effect that occurs with projectors, occasionally causing images to distort. It appears to the user as if they are looking through a screen door, thus the name....

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Screen Gain

Screen Gain

Screen gain is a measurement system used with projector screen. This system measures the amount light a screen reflects or absorbs. There are many factors that go into deciding the amount of screen gain that is right for your projector...

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Selecting Surround Speakers, Electronics and Remote Controls From THX

Selecting Surround Speakers, Electronics and Remote Controls From THX

Episode Six - Selecting Surround Sound Speakers This video gets into the basics of selecting surround sound speakers from traditional speakers to di-pole speakers to tri-pole speakers. The location is the 1950s post and beam home being outfitted with a......

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Side Channel Speaker

Side Channel Speaker

Side-channel speakers are what took 5.1 to 7.1 surround. 7.1 surround consists of speakers in the front left and right, a center speaker, rear left and right speakers, as well as a side left and right speaker, along with a......

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Sound Box

Sound Box

Today's in-wall speakers are far more sophisticated than those in the old days. Gone are the days of simply cutting a hole in between a few studs and slapping some drivers into your drywall. Most of today's top-performing in-wall......

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Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD)

Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD)

SACD or Super Audio Compact Disc was an attempt to mass market high resolution music, similar to DVD-Audio, but SACD was supported by Sony and Philips....

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Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD) Player

Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD) Player

SACD players play Super Audio CDs (SACDs) and convert their digital audio (DSD) into either stereo or 5.1 music signals. There are single-disc SACD players, as well as five-disc SACD changers. SACD players can be stereo-only or multi-channel SACD......

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Surround Sound

Surround Sound

Surround sound is about trying to recreate the aural experience of a movie theater in the home. It requires several speakers to achieve the enveloping sound needed, but exactly how many is up for debate...

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Touch Screen Remote

Touch Screen Remote

Touch screens are the next evolution in control beyond a simple universal remote. In fact, it would be safe to call these the kind of all home theater remotes...

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Trinnov Room Correction (EQ)

Trinnov Room Correction (EQ)

Trinnov room correction is a direct competitor to Audyssey room correction. Trinnov technology is being added to receivers such as Sherwood Newcastle and only requires a unique microphone to let the receiver and its processing do their audio magic.......

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Tuners

Tuners "(AM/FM)"

Tuners are the original receivers, picking up AM/FM radio signals, as well has HD and satellite radio. No single component has stood the test of time like the tuner, as new models are continuing to be made today...

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USB DAC

USB DAC

USB DACs are Digital-to-Analog Converters that are specifically designed to work with your computer. The idea is to allow you to keep all your music stored on your PC, and then use the USB DAC to convert the music......

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Ultra HD (Ultra High-Definition)

Ultra HD (Ultra High-Definition)

UltraHD is the term for the next level of high definition home theater technology, moving beyond the established 720p and 1080p resolutions. Read on to find out the specifics of the new format....

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Universal Player

Universal Player

During the DVD-Audio/SACD format war, Pioneer tried to bridge the gap with the first "universal player" that would play both formats. Sadly, it was too little, to late, and both formats are nearly dead. Over the years, other companies like......

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Universal Remote

Universal Remote

Universal remotes make life much easier as they allow you to consolidate your many component remotes into one remote to control everything. But which kind of remote should you choose...

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Video Calibration

Video Calibration

If you want to get the utmost performance out of your screen, a video calibration will be in order. There are several different methods ranging from the basic to the top of the line, which will serve different levels of desire, depending on the user...

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Video Up-conversion

Video Up-conversion

Video up-conversion uses a computer processor to scale an image up to higher resolutions. Several different kinds of components have been developed for the process, be they stand alone units or source components that have the technology integrated...

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Why Blu-ray Is Still Better Than Streaming Today

Why Blu-ray Is Still Better Than Streaming Today

Now that streaming video-on-demand services like VUDU, Netflix, and iTunes offer movies at a 1080p resolution, many people have sounded the death knell for the Blu-ray high-definition disc format. Blu-ray may very well be the last mass-market video disc format,......

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Windows Vista

Windows Vista

Most media servers on the market today and nearly every home theater PC (HTPC) uses a Microsoft operating system. Hot on the heals of the eventually loved XP, Vista was not one of Microsoft's biggest success stories. Specifically, it......

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Wireless Internet

Wireless Internet

Wireless Internet has become widespread throughout our modern world, wirelessy transmitting Internet data between routers and computers and mobile devices....

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Wireless Speaker

Wireless Speaker

Most consumers dislike having to run cables from the front of the room where their system is, to the back of the room where the surround speakers need to be. One way to help with this problem is wireless......

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iPad

iPad

The iPad is a tablet PC developed by Apple. It has popularized the tablet PC category much in the same way it's little brother the iPod did for portable media players. Released in April of 2010, the sold over......

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iPhone

iPhone

iPhone is a cellular phone developed by Apple and available on the AT&T and Verizon networks. The iPhone is best known for its full-face LCD touchscreen and colorful graphical user interface. In addition to functioning as a cell phone,......

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iPod

iPod

The iPod is a portable media player developed by Apple. It is nearly ubiquitous in the portable media player market, and is often synonymous with the category. First released in October of 2001, the iPod has quickly become one......

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iPod Dock

iPod Dock

iPod docks are the way to hook up your iPod to your sound system. There are all kinds of models, from the standalone model to components that have dock connections built into them, made by many different companies...

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iTunes

iTunes

iTunes is a free media manager software from Apple. It comes with all iPod/iPhone/iPad products, and is the most common media manager. The graphical user interface is easy to use, which is its biggest claim to fame. Anyone with......

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