• Do we really need silver, oxygen-free copper and Teflon to make the best cables? A lot of discussion of quality cables focuses on the materials used in cable construction. Just as with any physical product, the materials cables are made out of influence their performance characteristics, and so people want to know...

  • Not sure if you infrared remote conrtol for your TV, VCR, Stereo etc. is working or outputting signals? You already replaced the batteries in it but… Try this! Take an AM radio and tune it to an unused channel. Inbetween bands. While listening to static, point the remote at the AM antenna...

  • Things change. Usually for the better. In consumer electronics (CE), that usually means faster, smaller and cheaper. Now, however, things are changing faster than ever, raising consumer expectations and disrupting historic industry product development and market planning patterns. Technology shifts, shorter life cycles and other unexpected requirements have become part of the...

  • I just returned from testifying on Capitol Hill on legislation that would ease the legal ambiguity for products that can be used to record copyrighted content. Seated between the legendary Motion Picture Association of America’s Jack Valenti and the brilliant Stanford University professor Lawrence Lessig, I was struck by how technology is...

  • Alan Parsons wishes it wasn’t so. But like it or not, the senior vice president of Pioneer’s...

  • by Alan Lofft (bio), Axiom Audio After last month's Axiom AudioFile appeared (February), an attentive reader emailed me and suggested that my detailed instructions on 5.1-channel home theater speaker setup had unjustly ignored tips for stereo (two-channel) playback. He pointed out that many enthusiasts, even those with 5.1-, 6.1- or 7.1-channel home...

  • Fig 1. Standard Dolby Digital 5.1 / DPL II Setup Let’s deal with the “standard” Dolby Digital...

  • Everything you ever didn’t want to know about wire and should probably have been afraid to ask The components in a home audio/video system are pretty complicated to anyone without a good understanding of electronics; but wire–good, old-fashioned wire–is something we can all understand. It’s made out of metal, and it connects...

  • Answers about Digital Cable Ready and the CableCARD New Rules Make DTV Transition Easier The FCC has...

  • “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” This is a very appropriate saying with...

  • Thinking Outside the Home-Theater-in-a-Box It’s interesting to walk onto a busy retail floor on a Saturday afternoon and eavesdrop on customers agonizing over their HDTV selection. Flat panel, CRT or projector? Front projection or rear? Plasma, LCD or DLP? Big (42-inches), bigger (60-inches) or behemoth? Now you’d think, after putting all that...

  • Hack #67 from Home Theater Hacks by Brett McLaughlin (O’Reilly Media). Avoid setting your speakers, even if they are towers, to the “large” setting in your receiver’s setup menus. Receivers and preamp/processors typically have two settings for your speakers: “small” and “large.” You need to get past what these words actually mean...

  • Hack #63 from Home Theater Hacks by Brett McLaughlin (O’Reilly Media). With a calibration DVD and sound...

  • Hack #39 from Home Theater Hacks by Brett McLaughlin (O’Reilly Media). Speaker manufacturers are enticing more and more consumers to go with small, mini-, or micro-speakers for even the front and center channels. Although these speakers might look great, they just can’t do what the large speakers can do. These days, many...

  • BUYING A DIGITAL TELEVISION Digital Television (DTV) is an entirely new technology that will ultimately replace today's analog television system. Digital signals are transmitted using computer code '" ones and zeroes – which means they are less susceptible to interference and provide a higher quality picture and sound than analog. High-definition TV...

  • Hack #37 from Home Theater Hacks by Brett McLaughlin (O’Reilly Media). Speakers are the most obvious features of any home theater, and they can turn even a lousy movie into an in-depth, surround sound experience. Learn how to choose the best speakers for your room. Speakers will stand out in any theater,...

  • Hack #25 from Home Theater Hacks by Brett McLaughlin (O’Reilly Media). Running your components and cables for some arbitrary length of time when they are first purchased isn’t helpful, but letting them power on and sit for a few minutes before watching movies or performing calibration is. With even simple home theater...