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Last update: 2013-06-28

Podcast #589: SID Display Week 2013

2013-06-28

The Society for Information Display held their annual Display Week conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada last month from May 19 - 24.  The show came and went without so much as a mention on the HDTV Podcast, but in our reading and research since the show, it turns out some very cool innovations were on display. Next year’s show will be in San Diego, we might have to make a day trip out of it.

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Podcast #588: Netflix SuperHD

2013-06-21

We received an email from Mark in Watertown South Dakota asking us about our opinion of Netflix SuperHD and we thought it would make a great idea for a feature. If you haven’t heard of it before, Netflix SuperHD claims to provide superior 1080p video quality for the same price as regular streaming. But not everyone is eligible. 

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Podcast #587: CE Pro Brand Analysis 2013 and Home Theater Design Tips & Mistakes

2013-06-14

CE Pro, the magazine for professional consumer electronics installers, is back with another annual installment of the CE Pro Brand Analysis. They put out the survey every year to determine what brands dealers, integrators and resellers offer the most. While we were checking out this year’s update, we came across another White Paper about Home Theater Design Tips & Mistakes that covered some points we thought would be worth talking about.

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Podcast #586: Denon AVR-2313CI and HSU VTF-3 MK4 Subwoofer

2013-06-07

If you have been listening to the show for the last few weeks you probably know that Ara added some new gear to his home. In the family room he added a Denon AVR-2313CI 7.2 AVR ($600 Buy Now) and in the media room he added a HSU Research VTF-3 MK4 Subwoofer ($649 Direct from HSU Research). This episode gets into Ara’s impression of both products.

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Podcast #585: Rec. 2020: UHD Decoded

2013-05-31

There’s a lot of buzz in the home theater industry around the forthcoming Ultra High Definition, or UHD televisions, sometimes called 4K TVs. It turns out the UHDTV specification, often referred to simply as Rec. 2020, gives us quite a bit to be excited about, quite a bit more than just a bump in resolution. When we’ll ever get content for it, or whether or not televisions will really be able to take advantage of it anytime soon remains to be seen. But the spec looks good.

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Podcast #584: Plasma vs LED

2013-05-24

We have been talking about the demise of plasma for at least three years. But with each passing year manufacturers come out with plasma TVs that are simply the best TVs on the market. In a CNET article titled Best HDTVs Overall, the top 5 TVs were plasma, and that doesn’t even include the forthcoming Panasonic ZT60 which won best of show at CES. In this episode we’ll try to compare and contrast plasma and LED LCDs and see if there is a real reason why LEDs are putting plasma out of business.

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Podcast #583: OLED vs 4K for your next TV

2013-05-17

We’re willing to admit, and we probably aren’t the only ones, that 3D simply is not the next big thing in home entertainment. Sure it sounded cool on paper, but in reality 3D at home just doesn’t provide the immersive 3D experience you get in a theater. Couple that with eye fatigue, headaches and seizures and 3D hasn’t delivered. Of the two options vying for the title of next big thing, OLED and 4K, which one has a better chance of claiming the throne?

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Podcast #582: Pioneer VSX-70 7.2 Home Theater Receiver

2013-05-10

Recently manufacturers announced their new AVR lines. Pioneer was no exception. We were able to obtain one of their entry Elite models the VSX-70. The VSX-70 has an MSRP of $750 and is available now.

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Podcast #581: TV Buying Trends and an Interview with OpenRemote.org

2013-05-03

We like to occasionally take a look at the top selling products at Amazon as a barometer of what is occurring in the larger Consumer Electronics market. Sometimes what we find shocks us, other times is confirms our suspicions, and sometimes it just flat out doesn’t make any sense at all. Yesterday we took a look at the top 10 selling HDTVs. What we found was in some ways surprising, but it certainly wasn’t shocking.

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Podcast #580: Mohu Sky HDTV Antenna

2013-04-26

We here at the HDTV and Home Theater Podcast are always looking for new products that make your home theater better. So when we find products that claim to revolutionize something we can’t wait to try them out. We read about the Mohu Sky HDTV Antenna and how it used military technology and kind of chuckled to ourselves about how could that make a difference. Since we were within the specs of the claimed 60 mile radius we decided it was worth yet another antenna test. And yes it does make a difference!

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Podcast #579: Room Correction 101

2013-04-19

A lot of emphasis is traditionally placed on buying the best equipment you can afford for your home theater. Ask just about anyone and they’ll tell you to stretch your budget as far as you can, dig deep to make sure you’re getting the right receiver or amplifier, buying those outrageously expensive speakers or paying too much for speaker wire or interconnects. If you do that, your home theater will sound amazing and you’ll be the envy of the neighborhood.

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Podcast #578: Is a 7.1 System Worth it?

2013-04-12

We recently received an email from a listener who was asking whether a 7.1 system was something that he should wire his home with. This got us thinking that there are probably a few listeners that may benefit from a discussion on whether a 7.1 system is worth it for them.

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Podcast #577: Roku 3 Review

2013-04-05

Despite Roku being the pioneer in modern streaming boxes, the Apple TV has become the device all others are measured by.  But has that changed with the recent release of the Roku 3 just a few weeks ago?  We aren’t sure about that, but we know Roku has certainly become even more compelling.  At only $99, there’s really no downside to it (buy now).

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Podcast #576: One Week with a Tablet Remote

2013-03-29

We are on record of being huge fans of the Harmony remote control. Why not, before the Harmony our coffee tables had four remotes and practically required a user’s manual just to turn the home theater on. With a good universal remote, buttons labeled “Watch TV” or “Watch Blu-ray” make using the system as simple as pressing one button.

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Podcast #575: Tis the Season for Receivers: Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo, and Pioneer

2013-03-22

In an effort not to be outdone by their peers, many Consumer Electronics companies try to announce their new products at the same time everyone else does. This makes it very easy for us the consumer to know what we want to buy. We don’t have to wait for that last straggler to tell us what’s coming before we plunk down our hard-earned cash. Right now it’s AV receiver season. If you’re in the market for a new receiver for your home theater, have we got a show for you.

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Podcast #574: WD TV Play and Projector vs Large Format TV

2013-03-15

Media players have become the bridge to all our content. Whether that content is located in the cloud or on a server somewhere on your local network, these media players turn the digital bits into hours of multimedia enjoyment. We’ve looked a few devices over the years and they keep getting better and better. The WD TV Play is the latest one we look at and at $70 (Buy Now) its priced in about the middle of the pack. 

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Podcast #573: The Future of THX and Roku 3

2013-03-08

When Netflix decided to get into the streaming business, the company needed a device in your home theater to stream movies to. Just weeks before the box, codenamed Griffin, was to hit store shelves, the project was canceled. But it didn’t die, it came to market under the Brand name Roku and started its own little revolution.  Roku continues to innovate and recently announced the launch of the Roku 3.

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Podcast #572: iTunes vs Vudu vs Blu-ray

2013-03-01

We’ve watched streaming media go from incredibly choppy and blocky to smooth and nearly HD. As bandwidth increases so does the quality of streaming media. You can easily listen to CD quality audio but streaming Blu-ray quality video is a ways off... or is it? We have an interview with Mark Henninger, an AVS Forum “Newsbreaker”, and we discuss a series of articles he wrote where he compares movies on iTunes, Vudu, and Blu-ray. …

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Podcast #571: 802.11ac - Wireless you can believe in

2013-02-22

Most of us have wireless networks in our homes these days, there’s nothing like the convenience of instant Internet without wires. But we’ve also come to the painful realization that our wireless networks just can’t live up the the rigors of HD streaming, especially if we want to stream multiple videos to different TVs. But as they say with technology, if you don’t like it, just wait a while and someone will fix it. Supposedly the new wireless spec, 802.11ac, can do just that.

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Podcast #570: HDMI Cable Throwdown, High Priced vs Generic

2013-02-15

A few weeks ago we received an email from a good friend of the show, Jack, telling us about an article he read about HDMI cables. He pointed us to a comment to the article where a reader said that with better HDMI cables changing channels resulted in the tuner locking onto it about a ½ second faster than with cheap cables. (Note: in the accompanying video we credit Michael with sending us the email and actually seeing a difference in lock speeds. Michael helped us with the setting up the test cases).

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Podcast #569: Wireless HDMI Options

2013-02-08

We have reviewed a handful of wireless HDMI systems in the past, and have been impressed each time at how much better they’re getting and how quickly the prices have fallen. An unfortunate incident in the Russell home recently required a replacement wireless HDMI setup, kicking off a new round of research into what is available on the market now.

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Podcast #568: Super Bowl 2013 and Smart Thermostats

2013-02-01

There are a few reasons you would want to automate your home. Very close to the top of the list is saving money. And the one item that uses the most energy is your heating and air conditioning system. Today we’ll take a look at four thermostats that let you monitor and control your HVAC system from anywhere in the world. When you decide to build out a complete automation system these thermostats can be integrated right in.

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Podcast #567: Insteon Hub Review

2013-01-25

To take full advantage of an automation system, you need a server running that can take action based on events that may occur, these are often called "triggers." You can run a software package on a computer you leave on 24/7 or you can buy a dedicated device for it. If you’re like us and have Insteon devices in your home, one option to look into is the Insteon Hub from SmartHome.

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Podcast #566: Slingbox 500 Review

2013-01-18

We have had slingboxes for the past 5 years and they have come in quite handy! There have been plenty of Sundays where the Slingbox has allowed us to keep up with our favorite football team. In general the Slingbox is life saving device for those of us who spend some time on the road. Today we take a look at the latest Slingbox, the Slingbox 500. It has a street price of $288 and is available now. …

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Podcast #565: CES 2013 Wrapup

2013-01-11

Another CES has come and gone. At the risk of being permanently banned, we've brought back everything we saw and did in Vegas to share it with everyone who couldn't be there. As with every CES, we saw some amazing things and some not so impressive ones as well. Big themes from this year were: 3D is waning, 4K (UltraHD) is emerging, and Plasma may be on the verge of a comeback. …

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Podcast #564: CES Preview 2013

2013-01-04

Each year we make our way through the California and Nevada deserts to spend some quality time with the latest in electronics. Today we will focus on what the large manufacturers are planning on showing. This information is compiled by reading through the countless press releases we get sent each day starting in November. The next show will focus on what we see when we are there in person. …

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Podcast #563: Home Theater Predictions for 2013

2012-12-28

Time for the HT Guys to look into our crystal ball and try and predict the HDTV and Home Theater landscape for 2013. Our crystal ball is never as clear as a good HDTV but we always give it a shot nonetheless.

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Podcast #562: 2012 Year in Review

2012-12-21

We go out on a limb every year and try to predict what the new year will bring in the realm of HDTV and Home Theater. More often than not, that limb snaps and we come crashing down.  Every so often we get a glimpse into the crystal ball that comes out close to accurate. Let’s take a look back at what we thought would happen in 2012 to see how well we did on the predictions.

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Podcast #561: HT Guys Home Theater in a Box 2012

2012-12-14

There are so many Home Theater in a Box systems out there many of which cost less than $400. But seriously, what can you get for $400. A good center channel typically costs more than most HTIB systems on the market today. Each year we try to assemble a Home Theater in many boxes that we would be proud to show off in our homes. Our system will have at a minimum a HDTV, Blu-ray Player, Receiver, and 5.1 speakers, all for less than $2500. …

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Podcast #560: Receiver Buying Guide 2012

2012-12-07

So if we haven’t spent enough of your money this year we get to spend some more. We continue our holiday buying guides with receivers. Our goal with these guides is not necessarily about getting the latest product. Its about getting a good product at a great price so you may see some of last year’s gear on the list. All these receivers are readily available online or at a big box store. This year there are some fantastic deals to be had! …

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Podcast #559: HDTV Buying Guide 2012

2012-11-30

As promised, we’re back for another annual edition of the HDTV buying guide and just in time for Christmas - we’d like to think it’s back by popular demand. In years past we’ve broken the categories down at times by size and at other times by price. Both are valid, sometimes as a shopper you want to maximize the budget you have to spend, other times you know the size you need and want to find the best set. This year we’ll return to breaking them down by size. …

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Podcast #558: Home Theater in a Box Buying Guide

2012-11-23

Each Holiday season we put together buying guides to help you make it a bit easier for you to make some decisions on what to spend your hard earned cash on. We kick the 2012 season with our Home Theater in a Box buying guide. To be honest and upfront with you, we are not big fans of HTIB systems because they typically compromise on everything. However, we understand that something is better than nothing and for those of you on a budget this is the best way to improve your experience without breaking the bank.  …

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Podcast #557: Black Friday 2012

2012-11-16

It's almost Thanksgiving here in the US, and with that comes the biggest holiday of the HT Guys' year: Black Friday. The key to a successful Black Friday is preparation. You need to know exactly what store you want to go to, what you want to get, and when you need to be there. …

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Podcast #556: 3M Streaming Projector with Roku

2012-11-09

We received an email about a month back asking us to take a look at the 3M Streaming projector with Roku and since we are suckers for this kind of stuff, we thought why not! It fits in your hands, can run on batteries, and comes with a Roku Streaming stick. We have to say this little guy is a blast to use! …

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Podcast #555: Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3010 Projector

2012-11-02

After Braden’s projector blew a second bulb, he thought that maybe being a little sneaky and buying a whole new projector was the right way to get the purchase past the finance committee. He would be upgrading an Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8100 for an Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3010. After all if you’re going to upgrade projectors, you might as well go 3D. …

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Podcast #554: Logitech Harmony Touch Review

2012-10-26

We love gear at the HT Guys and when a new remote comes out we have to take a look. Recently Logitech released the Harmony Touch - a remote that combines a touch screen with physical buttons. We’re not big fans of a totally touch screen remote so we were pretty excited to take a look at one that combines the best of both worlds. …

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Podcast #553: New Boxee, Cloud DVR and Superhero Movies

2012-10-19

Cord cutters rejoice, the new $99 Boxee will delight and amaze you, and it is a much more normal size and shape. One unique feature of the new Boxee is cloud storage for all your saved DVR content, we're not convinced this is as good as it sounds on paper. And if Sci-fi movies aren't your thing, we close out today with a discussion of Superhero movies. …

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Podcast #552: DIY Cabling, 4K TVs and Sci-Fi Movies

2012-10-12

This episode covers a wide range of topics, from various DIY ways to hide cables in your home theater to why 4K is more important than 3D, but maybe not as important as TV manufacturers would hope.  We close out with a discussion on Sci-Fi movies and the role Science Fiction has played in shaping home theater and consumer electronics.  Ok, maybe not, but it sounds good. …

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Podcast #551: The CD Player Turns 30

2012-10-05

The HT Guys decided to do a little look back on the digital format that changed the music industry, and set the stage for other formats that would change the movie industry as well. We knew back when it came out that the CD was going to be huge, we probably couldn't have guessed just how huge.

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Podcast #550: Solid Signal HD Blade

2012-09-28

Every time we publish a story about cutting the cord we get a ton of interest. Whether it be a new online service or a new antenna to be used for pulling in free, over-the-air HD signals, our listeners and readers respond with great feedback. So when we found out about a new indoor antenna called the HD Blade we were excited about putting it through its paces.

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Podcast #549: Black Friday 2012 Predictions

2012-09-21

Black Friday 2012 is coming. In about two months the deal seeking crowds will descend upon stores like Walmart, Target and Best Buy with reckless abandon, gobbling up every deal they can get to before supplies run out. If you’re lucky enough to get to the electronics section without being trampled, you can usually find some pretty good deals. But will they be good enough to wait for if you really want that new TV right away?

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Podcast #548: CEDIA 2012

2012-09-14

Each year CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association) holds an event where the industry gathers to show new off new gadgets and technology. We’ve been to a few of these and have enjoyed them quite a bit, maybe even more than CES. It takes the parts of CES that we care about and condenses it down to a lot less walking. We didn’t go this year but that won’t stop us from talking about some of the highlights from the show.

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Podcast #547: News and Announcements from IFA 2012

2012-09-07

The annual IFA show in Berlin, dubbed “Consumer Electronics Unlimited,” is the second largest consumer tech show in the world - second only to CES in Las Vegas. They are expecting to set new attendance records this year, surpassing the more than 1,400 exhibitors and 239,000 attendees that showed up last year.  Berlin is a bit too far for us to drive, so we have to cover the show virtually.  IFA, or Internationale Funkausstellung, has been around since 1924 and was originally an international radio exhibition. …

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Podcast #546: New TV for Fall 2012

2012-08-31

It's not as bad as it used to be. Sure we all made it through another Summer with almost nothing to watch on TV.  But between Gordon Ramsay, USA Network, Netflix and Hulu, it wasn't all bad.  But now it’s time to rejoice. Football is back, and in just a few short weeks all your favorite shows will be back on, and perhaps a few new ones will make it to your favorites list.

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Podcast #545: Vizio Co-Star with Google TV

2012-08-24

The Vizio Co-Star may have the Logitech Revue to thank for the uphill battle it faces in convincing consumers that Google TV is the right choice for their living room. When we reviewed the Revue almost two years ago, there were some aspects of it we really liked. But it never quite caught on with the masses. Vizio is hoping that the Co-Star can change expectations; and at a price of only $99, it sure is a lot easier for many of us to at least check it out. …

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Podcast #544: SVS SB12-NSD Subwoofer Review

2012-08-17

If you have been listening to us for a while you know that we feel subwoofers are essential home theater gear. There are so many units on the market it may be hard to decide which one to buy. Some subwoofers can fill giant rooms with bone crushing sound but they cost a small fortune to own. What do you do if you have an apartment or small room and you still want a great sounding sub? We’re glad you asked. The SVS SB12-NSD (MSRP $650) is a 12 inch sealed sub that packs great sound into a small package. …

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Podcast #543: Google Fiber TV

2012-08-10

We’ve been wondering for a while when the Sage TV technology would make its way back to the market as a Google offering and rumor has it, the day has arrived. The information circulating in the blogosphere is that the Sage TV team helped provide some of the tech behind the new Google Fiber TV that was recently unveiled. The service looks very intriguing, and knowing that it’s backed by Sage TV know-how is even more reassuring. …

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Podcast #542: Traveling with all your Media

2012-08-03

Summer vacations have changed quite a bit since we were kids. We used to have to invent games to play to pass the time while in the car or on a plane. But nowadays there are so many options for media, there’s never a dull moment. You can even pull your devices out when you arrive to make sure you have something to watch if you need a little down time in front of the television …

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Podcast #541: 3 Budget Receivers, Unique Remotes and WiFi Headphones

2012-07-27

Episode 541 is packed with information, from a CNet discussion on their favorite 3 (budget) receivers to the new STRIVA wi-fi headphones from Koss. Mixed in there is a list from Electronic House with 10 very unique remote controls that are sure to start as many conversations as movies in your home theater. …

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Podcast #540: 4 Great TVs, Home Tech Trends and more on the DTV Green Dish

2012-07-20

There was a disturbance in the HT Guys force after our initial revue of the DTV Green Dish, a.k.a Dishtenna so we decided to post a little bit of an update to the original review.  We also discuss four very highly rated HDTVs you should consider if you're looking to buy a new one and ten technology trends that may change the way you live. …

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Podcast #539: DTV Green Dish - Dishtenna Review

2012-07-13

The best way to cut the cord without giving up TV is to go the old fashioned route, put up an antenna and watch all the HDTV you want absolutely free. It’s amazing that the signals are still floating across the air free of charge, but they are. But what do you do if you’re too far away from the local broadcast tower to actually receive very many channels, if any? You may want to give the new DTV Green Dish, aka Dishtenna a try. …

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Podcast #538: Pioneer VSX-1122-K Review and Z-Wave Automated Door Locks

2012-07-06

We love getting new toys to play with so when the Pioneer VSX-1122-K ($599.99) showed up at the HT Guys HQ we couldn’t wait to put it through its paces. The 1122 is a 7.2 receiver that packs 90 watts per channel. It measures 17.13 x 6.63 x 14.29 in inches (43.5 x 16.8 x 36.3 in centimeters) and weighs 22 pounds (~10 kilos) and looks pretty much like all other receivers from the outside. …

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Podcast #537: Wiring Up Whole House Video...Or Not

2012-06-29

The Mac Mini Video Server project has brought in a steady stream of interested readers over the years. Who wouldn’t want to build their own movie jukebox for a fraction of the cost of a professionally installed movie server? The first thing you notice about the project is how easy it is, the second thing you notice is the cost and the third thing might be the fact that you just aren’t wired up for it. …

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Podcast #536: Movie and TV Piracy

2012-06-22

This is not a typical topic for the HT Guys but recently we received a lot of emails about the fact the HBO series “Game of Thrones” is the most pirated show today. We stated that if the show was available for download at a reasonable price it wouldn’t be pirated as much. A listener wrote us and gave us his take (Pirating American TV Programs) on why show are pirated outside the US. …

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Podcast #535: Cloudee, Watch It and CE Pro 100 Brand Analysis 2012

2012-06-15

CEPro, the magazine for professional consumer electronics installers, puts out a survey every year to determine what brands dealers, integrators and resellers offer the most. It's an interesting list to take a look at. Typically a reseller will have a few different reasons for choosing a favorite brand than the rest of us, like profit margins or marketing support, but often the reasons are the same. They want products that please their customers and are reliable. …

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Podcast #534: Show-off Blu-rays and Father's Day Gift Guide

2012-06-08

It's that time of year again where Dads get to to have the spotlight for a whole day! If you are like us, the love of your family is all you need to make your day worth it! But if the family insists on getting you something it may as well be something that you will enjoy. After all, who needs another tie!  Print out this page and leave it someplace where the family can find it. Our goal was to create a list that didn’t break the bank so even your teenagers could find something that would make you smile! …

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Podcast #533: Amazon, Dishtenna and Google Chromebox

2012-06-01

Google has been making slow and somewhat quiet attempts to enter the Operating System space for a while. The last major concerted effort manifested as a new form of netbooks running the Google Chrome operating system dubbed Chromebooks. These new netbooks were supposed to be a huge hit, but haven’t quite taken off yet. Samsung recently announced an upgrade to the Chromebook line as well as a twist on the Chromebook with a new offering called the Chromebox. …

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Podcast #532: Cable Show 2012 and D-Link MovieNite

2012-05-25

Each year cable industry people meet to discuss topics like multi-screen video services, cloud-based business applications, and innovations in personalized content delivery. The Cable show is like CES for cable operators. On today’s show we’ll discuss a few items that may have impact on your HDTV experience. …

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Podcast #531: Quantum Dot Display Technology

2012-05-18

OLED TVs may have stolen the show at CES 2012, but just when you think it’s safe to be an early adopter and pick one up, you might want to hold off. There’s a new display technology on the horizon that backers claim will not only outperform OLED, but also be cheaper to manufacture. And it has a much cooler name - it’s called Quantum Dot display or QLED. And if that doesn’t sound like you’re living in the future, we don’t know what does. …

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Podcast #530: Harman Kardon AVR 2650

2012-05-11

Ever since we saw (or better yet heard) our first demo of Dolby Volume we couldn't wait to find a reason to upgrade one of our receivers with this capability. That's going on four years now! So when Ara's Yamaha "Broke" he thought what better excuse to buy a receiver with Dolby Volume. The receiver he settled on was the Harman Kardon 2650. …

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Podcast #529: Google Drive and Outdoor Theater Screens

2012-05-04

Until recently, it felt like the weather was changing here in Southern California. We clicked over to daylight savings time; we had a few days of nice, sunny BBQ weather and it felt like the season of backyard movies was upon us. Since then it's gotten a bit gloomy again, but we always like to be prepared, so we've put together a list of screen options for you if you finally want to make the jump into outdoor cinema. …

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Podcast #528: Mohu Leaf Plus Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna

2012-04-27

We reviewed the Mohu Leaf Indoor HDTV Antenna back in July (Podcast #489) and thought it was the best indoor HDTV antenna we have ever tested. We’re here to tell you that is no longer the case. Enter the Mohu Leaf Plus Amplified Indoor Antenna (Buy Now $73.99). The Plus retains everything we loved about the original and adds amplification to help you pull in more channels. …

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Podcast #527: The Hopper by Dish

2012-04-20

Sometimes it’s OK to arrive fashionably late. It doesn’t always matter when you arrive to the party, what matters is what you bring with you when you get there. Dish Network has proven that waiting can pay off. Their recent entry into whole home DVR, the Hopper, brings some pretty cool features to the party. …

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Podcast #526: Audioengine A5+ Premium Powered Speakers

2012-04-13

We love looking for speakers that make whole house audio simple and provide high quality sound. There are plenty of choices out there, but few can fill a large room with sound and deep bass all from a package that measures 10.75" (27cm) x 7" (18cm) x 7.75" (20cm). We are talking about the Audioengine A5+ (Buy Now $399) powered speakers. …

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Podcast #525: Acer H6500 DLP projector

2012-04-06

When we started the podcast back in 2005, CRT projectors dominated home theater. As great as they looked, they were big, expensive and required routine maintenance to keep them in top form. Today there are a wide variety of digital options that are both inexpensive and very easy to install and maintain. One option for those interested in trying out a 100” or 120” TV in their home theater is the Acer H6500 DLP projector. …

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Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol - Blu-ray Review #24

2012-04-03

Super-agent Ethan Hunt dangles from skyscrapers and otherwise takes daring to new heights on another operation from the Impossible Missions Force. Helping Hunt get the job done is droll fellow IMF agent Luther Stickel. (Buy Now $21.99) …

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Podcast #524: Eden, Amazon and the Ultimate AVR

2012-03-30

This week we are going to design the AVR of the future. This is a group effort! We will provide you with initial specifications and we would like you to add features that would make our new AVR the Ultimate AVR. Now we just need someone to build it. …

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Young Adult - Blu-ray Review #23

2012-03-27

Taken aback when she receives a letter from an old boyfriend announcing that he's just had a baby with his wife, divorced fiction writer Mavis Gary decides to return to her small hometown and reconnect with her former lover. (Buy Now $24.99) …

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Podcast #523: Google Play

2012-03-23

We promised more Android coverage, so here you go, our take on Google Play. If you’re familiar with iTunes and iCloud from Apple, you’re probably pretty familiar with the concept behind Google Play. Of course, Google would like to think it’s a new idea, according to the official site... "Now your favorite music, books, movies, apps, and games are all in one place that's accessible from the Web and any Android device. Discover, buy and share like never before." …

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The Adventures of Tintin - Blu-ray Review #22

2012-03-20

Blockbuster filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson team up for this 3-D motion capture adaptation of Georges Remi's classic comic strip, centered around the adventures of fearless young journalist Tintin (Jamie Bell) and his trusty dog, Snowy. (Buy Now $27.99) …

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Podcast #522: Crystal LED HDTV Technology

2012-03-16

It was pretty clear that the OLED TVs demonstrated by LG and Samsung stole the show at the last Consumer Electronics Show we went to. We were really impressed by the color, contrast and sharpness of the picture. Check out this video we shot in the Samsung booth (Samsung Super OLED HDTV). However, there are some issues that need to be resolved before we see mainstream OLED HDTVs in sizes that we would want in our living rooms. …

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Immortals - Blu-ray Review #21

2012-03-13

In Ancient Greece, King Hyperion searches for a powerful weapon that will free the bloodthirsty Titans and enable them to overpower the gods and enslave mankind. Unable to interfere directly, the gods choose a champion to defend them: Theseus. (Buy Now $22.99) …

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Podcast #521: Simple.TV - A DVR for a Connected World

2012-03-09

We were recently asked what DVR we would recommend for someone who wanted to cut the cord or simply connect a standalone DVR without paying additional fees to their cable or satellite company. We struggled to find anything we could enthusiastically recommend. But we had overlooked this year’s Best of CES Home Theater Winner: Simple.TV. At $149 it seems to fit the bill exactly. …

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Footloose - Blu-ray Review #20

2012-03-06

This musical remake of the infectious 1984 hit finds dance-lovin', big-city kid Ren MacCormack stuck in a small town where dancing is illegal. As he rebels against the town and its influential Rev. Moore, Ren falls for the pastor's lovely daughter. (Buy Now $21.99) …

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Podcast #520: Wireless Surround Speakers

2012-03-02

We receive emails from time to time asking us for advice on wireless surround speakers. When we first started the podcast there weren't too many options available and today we have plenty. The early wireless solutions had noise issues and today the noise has been dramatically reduced. On today's show we will talk about some of the options out there to help you bring surround sound to areas where running cables may not be possible. …

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Tower Heist - Blu-ray Review #19

2012-02-28

When a group of workers at a ritzy Manhattan condo realize their boss has swindled them out of their pensions, they vow to reap their own justice. With the cooperation of the building manager, the group devises an ingenious plot to recover the funds. (Buy Now $20.49) …

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Podcast #519: Skifta - May your stuff be with you.

2012-02-24

The concept of 'cutting the cord' is more than just dropping cable or satellite to get rid of a monthly bill. It’s also about the freedom and convenience of being able to access whatever content you want, whenever you want it, and on whatever device you’d like to play it back on. As smartphones and tablets continue to proliferate, we can only assume they’ll play a big role in that new world. Qualcomm hopes Skifta can help get you there. …

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True Grit (1969) - Blu-ray Review #18

2012-02-21

John Wayne landed one of his last great screen roles as crusty lawman Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn, who reluctantly helps teenager Mattie Ross (Kim Darby) pursue her father's killer. True Grit is more a character study than many of Wayne's formulaic Westerns. The rousing final showdown between Wayne and the villains adds to the Duke's long list of outstanding movie moments. (Buy Now $14.99) …

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Podcast #518: Cord Cutting - A Financial Analysis

2012-02-17

Cord cutting has been in the news quite a bit lately.  A week doesn’t go by when we don’t receive an email from a listener telling us about how they have cut the cord and couldn’t be happier. Every email prompts us to consider a life without cable bills but inevitably there is something that keeps us from taking the plunge. A recent email from Van in Odenton Maryland got us thinking. Could we combine OTA with a Tivo Box and iTunes and a AppleTV and essentially eliminate our Pay TV bill altogether? For this paper study we will use Ara’s TV usage as the base. …

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Podcast #517: What is OLED and why do we care?

2012-02-10

One of the big hits at CES this year were the Samsung and LG OLED displays. Sure we’ve seen OLED TVs in the past, but they were 55” screens this year, and they looked great. But why all the hype? Why do we even see references to AMOLED in cell phone commercials? Is OLED really that big of a deal? …

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Drive - Blu-ray Review #17

2012-02-07

A Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver is lured from his isolated life by a lovely neighbor and her young son. His newfound peace is shattered, however, when her violent husband is released from prison. (Buy Now $19.99) …

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Podcast #516: Listeners Respond

2012-02-03

There are many times when we ask our listeners for their opinions on topics we discus on the show. On last week’s show we asked you what you thoughts were on two subjects, How you would improve the Harmony Remote and would you pay $25 for day and date VOD titles. Since we received so many responses we thought we’d take a bit more time to share and discuss your emails as our main feature for today’s show. …

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Dolphin Tale - Blu-ray Review #16

2012-01-31

A badly maimed juvenile dolphin is given a new tail, and a new life, through the efforts of the humans who save it in this true-life adventure saga. After losing its tail to a crab trap, the dolphin is doomed until a young boy spots its plight. (Buy Now $22.99)

 

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Podcast #515: Pioneer Elite N-30 Networked Audio Player

2012-01-27

The HT Guys love music and when a product comes along that lets us enjoy it, we want to take a look. The Pioneer N-30 is just such a device. It's a networked device that lets you listen to your favorite music whether it's on a computer, iPad, or on one of over a thousand Internet radio stations from around the world. The N-30 will have a MSRP of $499 when it becomes available. At the time of this writing we could not find it available from the usual outlets. …

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Real Steel - Blu-ray Review #15

2012-01-24

In a future world where flesh-and-blood boxers have been replaced by towering mechanized fighters, pugilist-turned-promoter Charlie Kenton reconnects with his estranged son, Max, to convert a discarded machine into a World Robot Boxing contender. (Buy Now $24.99) …

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Podcast #514: CES 2012: Part 2

2012-01-20

It's never enough to just talk about CES, we have to put eyes on all the goodies for ourselves. This year we did a whirlwind, one day, Vegas and back, Consumer Electronics Show supertrip. We hit the show on the final day and it was awesome. All the technology was the same, the TVs didn't look any different than they did on Monday, but all the crowds had left and there were almost no lines for any of the demos. …

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Moneyball - Blu-ray Review #14

2012-01-17

An all-star cast brings to life the true story of Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), a former jock turned general manager who uses unconventional methods to bring the best players to the Oakland A's, a major league baseball team struggling against financial hardship. (Buy Now $19.99) …

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Podcast #513: CES 2012: Part I

2012-01-13

It's that time of the year again, time to pack up and head out to Vegas, baby, Vegas for another Consumer Electronics Show. CES always has something fun and memorable in store for us, and we're sure 2012 won't be any different. We haven't actually left yet, so for this show we're telling you about what we've heard.  Next week, on Part II, we'll tell you about what we've seen. …

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Contagion - Blu-ray Review #13

2012-01-10

Soon after her return from a business trip to Hong Kong, Beth Emhoff dies from what is a flu or some other type of infection. Her young son dies later the same day. Her husband Mitch however seems immune. Thus begins the spread of a deadly infection. For doctors and administrators at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, several days pass before anyone realizes the extent or gravity of this new infection. They must first identify the type of virus in question and then find a means of combating it, a process that will likely take several months. As the contagion spreads to millions of people worldwide, societal order begins to break down as people panic. Buy Now $24.99 …

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Podcast #512: What's Hot Right Now (2012 Time Capsule)

2012-01-06

We often look back at the technologies and prices of years gone by with shock and amazement.  Instead of simply trying to remember what things were like “back then” we thought it might make sense to put together a snapshot of the current HDTV landscape we can refer back to in the future. …

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Podcast #511: HDTV and Home Theater Predictions for 2012

2011-12-30

2011 was in some ways a wild year for HDTV and home theater, but in many other ways, fairly uneventful. We didn’t fare so well in our 2011 predictions, so we’re back this year with a vengeance. A lot of thought, research and soul searching went into these and we’re really hoping for a better than 50% score this year. Without further ado, the HT Guys HDTV and home theater predictions for 2012. …

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Podcast #510: HT Guys 2011 Prediction Results

2011-12-23

Every year in late December or early January we look into our crystal ball to see what the coming year will bring in the way of HDTV and Home Theater. Each year we struggle to get a score of 50%, and in many years we fall way short. So let’s take a look at 2011 and see how we did. …

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Cowboys & Aliens - Blu-ray Review #12

2011-12-20

It’s 1873 when gunslinger Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) awakens in the Arizona desert with no memory of his past and a mysterious metal shackle encircling his wrist.  Stumbling into the nearby town of Absolution, Lonergan discovers a tightly closed community that takes its orders from the iron-fisted Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) — and Dolarhyde has a bone to pick with Lonergan. But the colonel’s influence wanes when the desolate city is attacked by monsters that drop from the sky with blinding force and abduct the helpless townsfolk one by one. As Lonergan’s memory slowly returns, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of mysterious beauty Ella (Olivia Wilde), he assembles a posse comprised of former opponents: townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors. United against a common enemy, they prepare for an epic showdown for survival. Buy Now $24.99 …

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Podcast #509: Home Theater "In a Box" 2011

2011-12-16

As you know, we typically are not big fans of Home Theater in a Box (HTIB) systems. In years past we've decided to put our own "box" systems together, complete with TV, Blu-ray player and the audio system as well. Last year we had a $10,000 system and a $5,000 system. This year, with prices going the way they have, we decided to be even tougher on ourselves and try to produce a complete system for $1,500 or less. …

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Blu-ray Review #11

2011-12-13

James Franco headlines the reboot of the immensely popular Planet of the Apes franchise, a prequel which boasts cutting-edge CGI effects and a gripping story set in modern-day San Francisco, where scientists are conducting genetic research on apes. The evolved primates, including Caesar (Andy Serkis), develop advanced intelligence and revolt against being used as lab rats, unleashing a war for dominion over Earth. …

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Podcast #508: Home Theater Projector Buying Guide

2011-12-09

This is our first time doing it, and we’ll admit, it presents some unique challenges, but we did it anyways. This is our first ever HT Guys Projector Buyer’s Guide. Of course no projector is complete on its own, it still needs a screen, and the screen plays a large role in how the projector will perform, but the same could be said of receivers and speakers as well. Instead of lumping them into cost categories, we just picked our fave 6 (couldn't use that other number due to trademark infringements). …

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The Hangover Part II - Blu-ray Review #10

2011-12-06

In this booze and laugh soaked sequel to The Hangover, the buddies from the earlier film's bachelor party reunite for a wedding trip to Thailand where one of them, Stu Price (Ed Helms), is planning to tie the knot. Stu is determined that his own pre-wedding party should be a restrained and dignified affair, but between the habits of his friends and the multiple distractions of Bangkok, fate has other plans in store for him. Buy Now $19.99 …

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Podcast #507: HDTV Buying Guide

2011-12-02

If we didn’t spend enough of your money with the Receiver Buying Guide on Episode 505 and you still have some budget left, you’re in luck.  Today we’ll give you our choices for what HDTV to buy in several different price categories.  Of course screen size goes up as prices go up, just as you’d expect. And similar to the Receiver Buying Guide, this guide isn’t about getting the latest and greatest. Its about getting a good value for your money and something you’ll enjoy for years to come. …

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3:10 To Yuma - Blu-ray Review #9

2011-11-28

In this remake of the 1957 classic, Dan Evans agrees to transport the captured outlaw Ben Wade to the nearest town with a rail station, where they'll catch a ride to court in Yuma. But all the while, Wade's henchmen are plotting their next move. …

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Extra Edition #3 - Interview with Jim Carroll of Savant

2011-11-28

From time to time we will record special editions where we speak with people in the industry. Today we have a discussion with Jim Carroll of Savant. Jim is the Co-Founder and General Manager, Residential Business of Savant Systems LLC. He is responsible for leading sales, marketing, engineering, and operations for Savant. …

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Podcast #506: Calibration Corner

2011-11-25

Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday in the US we are taking a little time off. But we won’t leave you hanging, we have a Calibration Corner with Ray Coronado of SoCalHT.com. We’ll be tweeting up deals all weekend long. Follow us on twiiter @HDTVPodcast (Ara) @BradenRussell and @RodWilliams …

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Blu-ray Review #8

2011-11-22

Cunningly clumsy Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) meets his match when mysterious beauty Angelica (Penélope Cruz) forces the pirate to join her in search of the Fountain of Youth in the fourth installment of the humorous and action-packed "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise. Sparrow tries to determine whether Angelica is friend or foe while the riotous adventure sets him aboard a vessel belonging to the fearsome pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane). Buy Now $24.99 …

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Podcast #505: Black Friday 2011 and Receiver Buying Guide

2011-11-18

Its that time of year again where the HT Guys get to spend your money. We start of our buying guides with receivers. BTW, this guide is not necessarily about getting the latest product. Its about getting a good product at a great price so you may see some of last year’s gear on the list. All these receivers are readily available online or at a big box store. This year there are some fantastic deals to be had! Enjoy! …

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - Blu-ray Review #7

2011-11-15

The final chapter begins as Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue their quest of finding and destroying the Dark Lord's three remaining Horcruxes, the magical items responsible for his immortality. But as the mystical Deathly Hallows are uncovered, and Voldemort finds out about their mission, the biggest battle begins and life as they know it will never be the same again. Buy Now $19.99 …

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Podcast #504: New ways to watch TV

2011-11-11

Going way back in the history of watching TV at home, we all used to have antennas so we could watch over the air broadcasts.  Eventually Cable TV service emerged and changed the way we would get our favorite shows at home.  Then came Satellite, then IPTV and we were in heaven.  Fast forward a few years and prices for TV service have constantly skyrocketed, leading us all to become frustrated at the lack of options.  But there may be a way out. …

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Super 8 - blu-ray Review #6

2011-11-08

During the summer of 1979, a group of friends witness a train crash and investigate subsequent unexplained events in their small town. Buy Now $24.99 …

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Podcast #503: Dolby Transform Contest Winners and ZVOX Z-Base 580

2011-11-04

Way back on Podcast #417 we reviewed the ZVOX 575 and at that time we felt it was a great solution for an apartment dweller, den, or a bedroom because its so dead simple to setup. Today we are taking a look at the latest in the ZVOX family, the Z-Base 580 (Buy Now $599). The 580 builds on the solid base of the 575 and adds some great new features. …

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Captain America - Blu-ray Review #5

2011-11-01

Marvel launches another super franchise with this action-packed origin story, which follows Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) as he volunteers for a secret experiment during World War II. Transformed into a superhero named Captain America, Steve goes after the Axis. With his perfect physique and heightened reflexes -- and his sidekick, Bucky (Sebastian Stan) -- Steve battles the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), a super soldier created by Italian fascists. Buy Now $24.99 …

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Podcast #502: Optoma Neo-i DV20A Projector Review

2011-10-28

You’ve heard us talk about projectors with built-in DVD players before, typically in conjunction with a feature on backyard or outdoor theater. But who uses DVDs anymore? OK, bad joke, but to be fair, more and more people are storing movies and videos right on their smart phones, portable media players and tablets. If that’s you, and your phone happens to be an iPhone, or you happen to use an iPod, Optoma has built the Neo-i DV20A projector just for you. …

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Green Lantern - Blu-ray Review #4

2011-10-25

Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), a brash, talented test pilot, is chosen by an alien force of warriors to become their representative on Earth and use his new powers as the Green Lantern to promote order and justice before conflict destroys his world. Despite being the first human to wear the ring that bestows his abilities, Hal must combat villain Parallax. Fellow pilot Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) aids Hal in his quest to save the galaxy. Buy Now $28.99 …

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Podcast #501: TV Reliability

2011-10-21

We recently read and discussed an article by the HD Guru about disposable TVs (Vizio Disposable HDTV Sellers: Do They Have Your Back?) and thought it might be a good idea to discuss TV reliability. Armed with this information you can decide whether its worth paying a bit more for a TV that will last longer than some of the cheaper “Disposable” brands. This information comes from Consumer Reports. They surveyed 209,000 readers between 2007 and 2011 to determine Brand Reliability. …

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Horrible Bosses Blu-ray Review #3

2011-10-18

Disgruntled buddies Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) can't leave their miserable jobs, so they cook up a creative strategy for eliminating each other's micromanaging and maniacal employers (Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey) instead in this crackpot comedy. Peculiar advice from con artist Motherf**ker Jones (Jamie Foxx) gets the scheme in motion, but the pals can't keep the wheels from flying off. Buy Now $24.99 …

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Podcast #500: A Look Back at 500 Episodes of HDTV Talk

2011-10-14

It is hard to believe we've done 500 episodes of the HDTV and Home Theater Podcast.  So much has changed in the almost 7 years we've been doing this, and so much has stayed the same.  It's been a great time; we've enjoyed sharing it with our listeners and are looking forward to 500 more. …

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Fast Five Blu-ray Review #2

2011-10-11

Vin Diesel and Paul Walker head up an all-star reunion of the explosive Fast franchise set in sultry Rio de Janeiro. Former cop Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and his girlfriend Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) bust Mia’s brother Dom (Vin Diesel) out of prison, blasting across South America to elude the authorities. Finding themselves backed into a corner in Brazil, they assemble an elite team of top racers to help pull off the one last job that could mean freedom for them all. But hard-nosed federal agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is hot on their trail, and so is a corrupt and powerful businessman who wants them dead.  When Hobbs and his strike force launch an all-out assault to capture the Torettos and their team, he can’t separate the good guys from the bad. Instead, he must rely on his instincts to corner his prey…before someone else runs them down first. Buy Now $16.99 …

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Podcast #499: ZyXEL 500 Mbps Powerline Ethernet Adapter

2011-10-07

It seems like every new home theater device wants a network or an Internet connection these days. Your TV wants to be connected, your Blu-ray player, even some receivers want to be online. Not to mention dedicated media players and gaming devices. If you don’t have a hard wired connection to your theater gear, you can usually try WiFi, but even good connections can be unreliable at times. That’s where a good Powerline adapter can make all the difference. …

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Transformers Blu-ray Review #1

2011-10-04

A mysterious event from Earth’s past threatens to ignite a war so big that the TRANSFORMERS™ alone will not be able to save the planet. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and the AUTOBOTS™ must fight against the darkness to defend our world from the DECEPTICONS’™ all-consuming evil in the smash hit from director Michael Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg. Buy Now $19.99 …

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Podcast #498: Accell UltraCat HD

2011-09-30

Up until now the longest HDMI cable run the HT Guys were able to successfully transmit video across was 50 feet. Those cables were pretty thick and hard to snake through walls and attics. We've tried longer cables but had no luck beyond 50 feet. Thanks to Accell there is a product that will allow you to extend your HDMI up to about 330 feet. The UltraCat HD HDMI extender uses HDBaseT technology to send video over Cat5e/6 Ethernet cables.  You can even send IR signals over the same cable. The device has an MSRP of $500 and is available today. …

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Podcast #497: Optoma HD33 3D 1080p Projector

2011-09-23

One complaint we have about 3D is that it needs to be immersive if you are to appreciate the effect. Since most of us can’t afford 100 inch plasmas, a front projector is pretty much the only choice you have for this type of experience, albeit an expensive one. Enter the Optoma HD33 (Buy Now $1500). Its a 1080p DLP projector that supports 3D. …

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Netflix Special

2011-09-22

Ara is in India so we weren't able to discuss the Netflix news of the past week. But judging by the volume of the email its something that a lot of you wanted our take on. So from Ara's hotel room in Hyderbad and the HT Guys world headquarters in Southern California we give you our take in an HT Guys Special Podcast. …

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Podcast #496: ZyXEL AeroBeam Wireless HD Video Kit

2011-09-16

Through the years we’ve had the opportunity to check out several wireless audio, video and wireless HDMI systems. This week we’re adding one more option to your list of choices for wireless HDMI. If you’ve always wanted to use a front projector for huge home theater, but never wanted to cut up the ceiling to run cables, you’ll want to listen to this review. It’s the ZyXEL AeroBeam Wireless HD Video Kit (WHD6215). …

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Podcast #495: JVC 47-inch BlackCrystal 120Hz LCD HDTV

2011-09-09

The HT Guys have been JVC fans for quite some time, dating back to CRT tube TVs in years gone by.  Braden has a JVC rear projection TV still in use in his home and Ara has a JVC projector in his theater.  When we got the chance to talk to Tom Paterniti, VP of Sales for JVC BlackCrystal TVs and also check out a brand new 47” BlackCrystal LCD for ourselves, we jumped at the opportunity. …

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Podcast #494: Reflections, Streaming Movies and IFA

2011-09-02

IFA is essentially the Consumer Electronics Show of Europe. It is held in Berlin Germany and is attended by most of the same companies that attend CES. Although we couldn’t attend this year. We have been eagerly eyeing press releases coming over from Germany. Here are a few that caught our attention. …

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Podcast #493: Step by Step DIY Home Automation

2011-08-26

Many of our listeners have lights on timers so that their homes look lived in when they are away or so they don’t come into a dark home. With the end of Summer and day light savings quickly approaching, we thought it would be a good idea to give you some step by step tips for home automation so you never have to reset your timers again! …

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Podcast #492: Projectors and Mistakes

2011-08-19

Have you ever wondered what the biggest mistakes are that people make when buying a new HDTV?  Or perhaps you're looking for ideas for projectors to use in your home theater.  Forget that, you want to know how to get NFL Sunday Ticket on your PS3.  We've got all that and more on an action packed episode of the HDTV and Home Theater Podcast.  And for your reference, the answer is 22 minutes. …

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Podcast #491: Portable Media Streamers

2011-08-12

A trend that we have been following for a while now is portability of your media. In the future many believe that the cloud will house all our media and make it available to us everywhere we go. But until we have universal high speed access at low costs we will remain dependent on physical storage. The current crop of portable devices have at most 64GB of storage so often you have to compromise on what media you take with you. …

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Podcast #490: PlayLater by MediaMall Technologies

2011-08-05

Have you ever sat down to watch a TV Show or Movie at your favorite streaming site, only to find that what you wanted to watch is no longer available? Sure, maybe you saw it just yesterday, but for some reason it has disappeared now. If so, you’ll want to check out a new application called PlayLater by MediaMall Technologies, the makers of PlayOn. …

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Podcast #489: MOHU Paper Thin HDTV Antenna

2011-07-29

We’ve been talking about cutting the cord quite a bit lately.  One of the primary components required is a TV antenna so you can pick up all the free digital goodness flying through the airways. If you are those lucky enough to live within 30 miles of your TV Transmitters then we have discovered probably the best thing you’ll ever plug into your HDTV. Its the paper thin HDTV antenna made by MOHU and it goes for $44 (Buy Now) and its made in the USA. …

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Podcast #488: Painting Your Home Theater

2011-07-22

A couple weeks ago on Episode 485 we talked about how to paint your own home theater projector screen. That might not be something you plan to take on, but you might have to paint the walls in your home theater or main TV room. If you get that item on your todo list, we’ve got a few pointers to help maximize your effort for an optimal HDTV experience. …

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Podcast #487: Next Generation Audio

2011-07-15

We received a few emails of late asking why there are more Blu-ray titles being released with DTS-HD Master Audio vs Dolby True HD. So we thought we’d take a look at the formats and see if we could determine why. …

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Podcast #486: Smell-o-Vision and Streaming Movies

2011-07-08

For TV manufacturers, the HDTV transition was a huge success. We all went out and bought new televisions, some of us even bought more than one. So far, the push for 3D televisions hasn't been quite as successful. Most of us have decided to sit this one out. So what would it take to get us all to run out and buy a new TV? What if your TV could actually produce the smells you see on screen? That might be a more immersive experience than 3D. Of course, that's a power you don't want falling into the wrong hands...  …

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Podcast #485: Painting Your Projector Screen

2011-07-01

For many, a true home theater is one that has a projector and screen. This type of setup can range in cost from a few thousand to tens of thousands or dollars. Most of the cost goes into the projector but a good percentage is also taken up by the screen. Ara’s Black Diamond II screen goes for about $2700 online. Today we are going to discuss a way to save as much as 95% on the cost of screen and still have a high quality experience. All you need is some specialized paint, elbow grease, and a weekend. We’re talking about painting your screen onto a wall. …

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Podcast #484: The Next Next Big Thing

2011-06-24

It seems the Home Theater industry has a new “next big thing” every few months. We read articles and blog posts from authors who claim anything Apple releases will be the next big thing that will revolutionize something somewhere. Others think anything that comes out of Google will reshape the modern technology world. We’re going to go out on a limb and talk about something that doesn’t come from either company.  We know, we know …crazy. …

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Podcast #483: Over the Air TV Signals - Are They Still Needed?

2011-06-17

On the last two shows we discussed comments made by CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro stating that, "using huge swaths of wireless spectrum to deliver TV to homes no longer makes economic sense. Congress should pass legislation to allow for incentive auctions so free market dynamics can find the best purposes for underused broadcast spectrum, such as wireless broadband." In the CEAs findings they stated that only 8% of the US population EXCLUSIVELY receives their TV signals through the air. We feel that this number is artificially stated as low. The survey polled 1,256 adults but it did not say where the respondents were located. If the survey was done in rural communities that number may be as high as 25%.

 

 

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Podcast #482: The Best HDTV Widgets

2011-06-10

An HDTV Widget is an application that runs on an Internet-connected HDTV, sometimes called a “Smart TV” or other home-theater device, like many Blu-ray players, a Roku, the Boxee Box or a Google TV, that offers functionality beyond the traditional TV watching experience. There are a plethora of these widgets, some useful, some not so useful. We’ve assembled our list of the best, or most useful, HDTV Widgets available right now. …

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Podcast #481: 720p vs 1080p or More Compression vs Less Compression

2011-06-03

Last September Apple released the AppleTV 2 and one of the things people complained about was that it was only 720p. We have talked on this program many times that resolution is not the most important specification of a good display or projector. Especially when you talk screen sizes less than 50 inches. There is study after study that says MOST people need to sit six feet away from a 50 inch TV to see the difference between 720p and 1080p. …

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Podcast #480: What is RVU?

2011-05-27

DirecTV recently began testing what they’re calling a new “media center” that will allow customers to watch live and DVR recorded programming on any TV in the house without the need for a set-top box in each room. This new media center is built on a technology called RVU. But what exactly is RVU? There’s an RVU Alliance, but what do they do? What does “RVU” even mean? …

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Podcast #479: HDMI 1.5 Wish List

2011-05-20

When we bought our first devices that supported HDMI way back in 2006 the hot devices could handle the HDMI 1.1 specification. At that time the big deal was an AV receiver that would take next generation audio formats decoded on Blu-ray players and sent to a receiver that could accept PCM audio via HDMI. HDMI is still the only way to get next generation audio into a receiver. …

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Podcast #478: Optoma 3D Projector Package

2011-05-13

It’s hard to get the full effect of a 3D movie on a standard TV screen. There’s something about being in a movie theater, where the screen takes up the entire wall, that allows the 3D to really come to life. Trying to get that big screen, IMAX feel on a home TV can be challenging. But what if you could watch 3D at home on a giant projection screen? Would that make it worth making the jump into 3D? …

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Podcast #477: Panasonic DMP-BDT110 Blu-ray Player

2011-05-06

We have been doing this show for the past six years and have had an opportunity to review a lot of Blu-ray players. So when the Panasonic DMP-BDT110 (Buy Now $135) showed up on our doorstep we were pretty sure we knew what to expect from a sub $150 Blu-ray player. We were wrong! Panasonic has raised the bar for every player out there regardless of price. …

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Podcast #476: Costco Round-up 2011

2011-04-29

The HT Guys and the HDTV and Home Theater Podcast celebrated a 6 year anniversary just a few weeks ago. Hitting a mark like that got us to reminisce about the good old days of HDTV. The days when CRT and rear projection sets dominated store shelves. The days before 3D, Blu-ray and 1080p. Back in those days, we used to occasionally visit our local Costco to see what deals we could find. …

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Podcast #475: Zediva and the Blu-ray Process

2011-04-22

Recently we were talking with an old friend of ours who works for a movie studio in the Blu-ray production facility. This got us thinking about what it takes to create a disc filled with all that high definition goodness. Today we are going to take a high level look at what is entailed in producing a Blu-ray disc. …

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Podcast #474: Mobile DTV

2011-04-15

According to the Open Mobile Video Coalition, Mobile Digital Television, or Mobile DTV, will be available in 71 million homes in the US in the next 12 months.  That equates to roughly two-thirds of all US households by this time next year.  With that almost instant market penetration, we’re bound to see some shifts in HDTV, home theater and certainly consumer electronics.

Amazon Prime: Stream movies and save on shipping; you're bi-winning.

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Podcast #473: Microvision ShowWX Plus Pico Projector

2011-04-08

Last year Braden and Ara added projectors to our respective media rooms. We have been absolutely thrilled with the experience. There really is nothing like watching a movie on a 100 inch plus screen. Lately we have been reading about smaller scale projectors - so small that they will fit in your pocket. They are commonly referred to as Pico Projectors. Pico Projectors are a class of projectors that can be held in your hand. About the size of a smart phone, they are ideal for travelers and college students. …

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Podcast #472: Crossover Frequency

2011-04-01

We got a Twitter question from a listener about how to set the Crossover Frequency for his speakers and subwoofer, so we thought it might be worth while to explain the concept for everyone. For some this may be review, but if you’ve struggled with crossover, or have just left it set at the default because you didn’t know what to do with it, this is for you. …

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Podcast #471: Hannspree 42 inch 120Hz LCD HDTV

2011-03-25

Back when we started this podcast (six years ago on Thursday) we never dreamt of being able to purchase a 42 inch LCD for around $460. And if you could would it be any good? Today that dream has come true with the Hannspree ST42DMSB 42 inch 120Hz LCD HDTV. As you would expect with a 42 inch TV at this price point there aren’t a ton of bells and whistles. What you get is a solid basic HDTV that can be used in your main or secondary room without breaking the bank. …

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Podcast #470: Samsung BD-D6500 Blu-ray player

2011-03-18

There’s a lot of talk about streaming movies eventually taking over for conventional disc based media like DVD and Blu-ray. But we all know the quality just isn’t quite there yet to eliminate Blu-ray entirely. So what are you to do? Why not buy a Blu-ray player that also streams movies so you’re covered for both cases? If it also supports 3D, you’re triple covered. That’s what you get with the Samsung BD-D6500. …

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Podcast #469: B&W P5 Headphones

2011-03-11

Portable music players have been around since the 80’s. Back then it was the Walkman, today its an iPod or a cellphone. Regardless of what you use to listen to your music on the go you need headphones. And depending on the quality of how your music is encoded, headphones can have a major impact on what your hear. Today we are reviewing headphones that are designed with those who demand the highest quality sound in mind, the B&W P5 (Street Price $300) …

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Podcast #468: Easy Home Theater Audio Tweaks

2011-03-04

It seems like there was a lot going on in the news this week, so we have a bunch of current events to cover - everything from iPad 2 to AllRovi.com.  Then we go over some tips from an article at Electronic House called Acoustics Matter: Easy Home Theater Audio Tweaks.  The article has some good ideas for how to get the most out of your home theater audio equipment and configuration. …

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Podcast #467: SRS iWow 3D and Amazon Instant Streaming

2011-02-25

This week Amazon announced that Amazon Prime members will get instant streaming of 5,000 movies and TV shows. We are big fans of Amazon Prime. You get free two day shipping on almost anything Amazon sells. But with free unlimited streaming of 5,000 movies its a no brainer...or is it? …

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Podcast #466: HSU Research Speakers

2011-02-18

Recently Braden started looking for some new speakers for his house. Recommendations came flooding in, but one that really intrigued us came from good friend Ray.  He suggested we check out what HSU Research has to offer.  We know they make great subs, but were unfamiliar with their speakers, so we decided to check them out. …

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Podcast #465: McTiVia Review

2011-02-11

In the traditional sense a computer connected to your TV is commonly referred to as a Home Theater PC or HTPC. This requires you to dedicate a computer connected to the TV or at least use a Media Extender device like an Xbox 360. On today’s show we look at a device that is part Media Extender and part HDMI extension cord.  We are talking about the McTiVia ($230 with shipping) and it works with both Windows and Macs. …

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Podcast #464: Pioneer VSX-1120-K Audio/Video Receiver

2011-02-04

We recently switched our go-to value receiver to the Pioneer VSX-820-K.  For under $300, it packs in a great deal of features.  But it also makes some sacrifices to get the cost down that low.  So for those who want to step up to a 7.1 receiver, we decided to check out the Pioneer VSX-1120-K.  Right now it’s just over $200 more at a street price of $535.

Check out our sponsor TheaterInvite.com

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Podcast #463: Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray Player

2011-01-28

Oppo has been around since 2004, about a year longer than the HT Guys. We’ve watched them go from a company that built high performance upconverting DVD players to one that builds high performance Blu Ray Players. Today we take a look at the latest in the Oppo lineage, the BDP-93. The player is all black with a brushed aluminum face. The fit and finish is first rate and looks great in our equipment stack. The BDP-93 has a MSRP of $499.99.

Check out our sponsor TheaterInvite.com

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Podcast #462: Where are they now?

2011-01-21

Being at CES this year made us think back to the many booths we’ve visited and exhibits we’ve seen in prior years.  There have been major highlights in years past that seem to have faded into the sunset.  Some of the things we were excited about just a couple years ago were nowhere to be seen this year.  Where did they go?

Check out our sponsor TheaterInvite.com

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Podcast #461: Panasonic TC-P58VT25 3D Plasma

2011-01-14

Ara has been watching his Panasonic TC-P58VT25 58-inch 3D 1080p VIERA Plasma HDTV (Street Price $2500) for about a month and thought it would be a good time for a review. When Ara purchased the TV it was going for about $2700, now you can buy it for about $2500.

Dolby Volume Contest

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Podcast #460: CES 2011

2011-01-07

It's hard to believe that another year has gone by and we're back on our annual trek to Las Vegas to pay homage to the consumer electronics industry.  The Consumer Electronics Show is always a fun adventure, showcasing some of both the best and the most peculiar devices imaginable.  Last year we were bombarded with 3D; this year it was all about connected TVs and tablets. …

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Podcast #459: Predictions for 2011

2010-12-31

It’s that time of year where we try to look into the future and predict the state of the industry. Last year we improved our accuracy a small fraction but we’re still hanging in around 30%. So let’s take another shot for 2011.

Dolby Volume Contest

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Podcast #458: 2010 Prediction Results

2010-12-24

Each year we try to look into the future and predict the state of the industry. The last few years we have been about 30% accurate but that doesn't stop us from trying. Let’s take a look back at what we thought 2010 would bring to see how we did.

Dolby Volume Contest

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Podcast #457: Home Theater "In a Box"

2010-12-17

Typically the HT Guys are not big fans of Home Theater in a Box (HTIB) systems but for today's show we are making an exception. But these are not your typical HTIB systems. We decided to create two "Special" (Air Quotes required) HTIB systems. Actually, these systems come in many boxes and the components don't even come from the same manufacturer.

Dolby Volume Contest

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Podcast #456: HDTV Buying Guide 2010 and Dolby Contest Winner Announced

2010-12-10

Our HDTV buying guide comes back by popular demand, just in time for Christmas. We’ll break them down by size again, which gets pretty close to breaking them down by price as well.  The 2010 edition shows that same falling price trend as years past, so you don’t have to feel guilty when you drop hints on what you “deserve” to see under the tree this year.

Check out our sponsor TheaterInvite.com

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Podcast #455 Interview with Ray Coronado THX Certified Calibrator

2010-12-03

We often talk about professional calibration on our show and when Ray reached out to both of us to offer his assistance in calibrating our newly purchased projectors we thought it would be good to have Ray on our show. …

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Podcast #454: Receiver Buying Guide

2010-11-25

The HT Guys buying guides have become an annual tradition, and something that we really look forward to putting together.  We hope you enjoy this year’s edition!

Dolby Ultimate Home Entertainment Contest

 

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Podcast #453: Audioengine N22 Desktop Audio Amplifier & Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8700UB Projector

2010-11-19

Just after Braden installed his front projection theater, we recorded Episode 441 to go over the finer details of the installation and strategy behind it.  Braden has an Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8100 (Street Price $1650) in his home theater and he dreamed of it growing up to be an 8500UB.  For the last few days, it actually grew up to be the newer 8700UB just released by Epson.

 

Dolby Ultimate Home Entertainment Contest

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Podcast #452: Logitech Revue and Google TV

2010-11-12

We have talked in the past about the various options for streaming content to your TV and Google TV always emerges as one of those options.  In fact, we’re on record as saying that Google TV may even revolutionize the consumer electronics industry by becoming the base operating system TVs and Blu-ray players are built on.  When we got the opportunity to review the Logitech Revue, we jumped at the chance.

Dolby Ultimate Home Entertainment Contest

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Podcast #451: Nixeus Fusion HD Review

2010-11-05

We love Media players! So when we we given the opportunity to review yet another player we took it. By the way, with so many players on the market it can become difficult to know all the players. Thanks to a cool spreadsheet that Veronica Belmont got started its a bit easier. Check out the Networked & Set Top Boxes Google spreadsheet. Its like a program for set top boxes!

Dolby Ultimate Home Entertainment Contest

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Podcast #450: Networked & Set Top Box Master List

2010-11-02

Today we have a short interview with Veronica Belmont of Tekzilla. We talk about a Google Document she created, and handed over to everyone, that compiles a list of everything you want to know about almost every set top box out there.

Dolby Ultimate Home Entertainment Contest 

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Podcast #449: Epson MovieMate 85HD

2010-10-29

We typically have some sort of backyard or outdoor theater discussion every summer when the weather is nice and we’d all like to take our movie watching to the great outdoors. We didn’t do one this year, but maybe that’s a good thing. Epson recently released the MovieMate 85HD, a perfect backyard theater projector. But it’s good for much more than just outside, so you can even use it during the rainy season.

Dolby Ultimate Home Entertainment Contest

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Episode #6: AV After Dark

2010-10-28

Its been a while but now that Tom has settled in down under we thought it would be fun to bring you another installment of AV After Dark. You can find AV Rant at their website (AVRant.com). We really enjoy these collaborations and hope you do too. Thanks to listener Ted for both the Intro and Outro music. Check out more of his work at www.thesysmusic.com. You can find both the HT Guys and AV Rant iPhone app in the iTunes music store.

 

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Podcast #448: Apple's Airplay

2010-10-22

Its no secret that we both love our whole house audio systems. Judging from the email we get its pretty clear our listeners like whole house audio as well. Braden uses the Logitech Squeezebox setup and I use Apple’s Airport Express. We tested and really like Sonos as well.  So when Apple introduced their latest sharing technology called Airplay, we were intrigued to see what it offers over existing technologies.

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Podcast #447: Google TV and CEDIA Themes

2010-10-15

We talked a few weeks back on Episode 444 about the new product announcements from the 2010 CEDIA show in Atlanta.  CEPro magazine recently posted an article about the 10 things they learned from the show.  Their themes point out what could be some interesting trends for home theater over the coming months and years. …

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Podcast #446: Home Theater of the Future

2010-10-08

We’ve been doing this show for going on six years. During that period we’ve seen the Home Theater world go through a lot of changes. Technologies have been announced and have either  completely failed or never lived up to their potential. We’re looking at you SED, HD DVD, and MoCA. To be fair MoCA is the closest to being a reality but its taking a long time. …

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Podcast #445: brite-View Air SyncHD and Bye bye Blu-ray

2010-10-01

Netflix just launched their service in Canada, but they aren't planning to ship a single disc. The entire service is what we refer to as "Watch it Now" or their streaming video service. They're also on record as saying that if they were starting in the US right now, they'd do the same thing: skip discs entirely and go straight to streaming. Microsoft has recently also predicted that Blu-ray will go the way of the HD-DVD very soon (article). So what do these companies know that we don't? …

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Podcast #444: CEDIA 2010

2010-09-24

Each year CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association) holds an event where the industry gathers to show off their wares. We’ve been to a few of these and actually enjoy the show more than CES. It takes the parts of CES that we are interested in and compresses it down to a more manageable show. We didn’t go this year but that won’t stop us from talking about some of the products we think are interesting. …

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Podcast #443: Cutting the cord with ivi.tv

2010-09-17

Although neither of us have actually taken the plunge, we’ve talked quite often about canceling the cable or satellite bill in favor of Internet video and over the air TV. We know several of you have given it a shot, but there’s always been one big hangup. What about live TV? A new website called ivi.tv wants to fill that gap.

Check out our HT Guys Gear at our Cafe Press Store!

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Podcast #442: Home Automation for Beginners

2010-09-10

Over the last few months we highlighted Home Automation companies that were on the high end side. While these system are what we all dream of, almost all of us can’t afford them. However, there is no reason that we can’t have a fully functional home automation system without breaking the bank. When we read an article at Electronic House entitled Home Automation FAQs for Beginners we thought it would be a good idea to talk a bit about Home Automation for beginners. …

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Podcast #441: We can go bigger

2010-09-03

The term “Home Theater” has become pretty subjective. Years ago it meant exactly what it sounds like: an actual theater in your home. Typically reserved for only the super rich, it slowly grew more mainstream as prices fell and DIY solutions came to market. Eventually, the term has come to describe any home audio-visual setup that has surround sound and perhaps a larger than normal television. …

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Podcast #440: Vizio XVT553SV LCD HDTV Review

2010-08-27

With football season just around the corner you may be in the market for a new HDTV to watch your favorite team try and make it to the Superbowl. We’ve seen a few technologies come and go and each of them try to produce a picture that’s as good as plasma. The latest is LED. The Vizio XVT553SV will run you about $1900 for the 55 inch version and its loaded with all kinds of goodies that we can finally say that Plasma may have finally met its match. …

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Podcast #439: Fall 2010 TV Schedule

2010-08-20

Pat yourself on the back, we did it again.  We all made it through another Summer with nothing to watch on TV.  Whether you had stored up a bunch of shows on your DVR to get you through the dry season, or relied heavily on Netflix and Hulu, you made it.  And now it’s time to reap the reward.  Football is back, and in just a few short weeks all your favorite shows will be back on, and perhaps a few new ones will make it to your favorites list. …

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Podcast #438: Crestron

2010-08-13

In the continuation of our ongoing series on home automation we discuss Crestron.  Perhaps the biggest name in home automation, Crestron is the standard by which other automation products are measured.  Crestron solutions are found in the home, corporations, hospitals, education and more. Like other solutions, Crestron home automation packages give you control over your lighting, climate, and entertainment. Here is a little of what Crestron supports. …

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Podcast #437: Onkyo TX-SR608 Review

2010-08-06

Ever since we talked about Dolby Pro Logic IIz and Audyssey DSX in Episode 425, we've had a strong desire to experience them for ourselves.  And what better excuse is there to buy a new receiver than the new "9.1" surround options?  That brought us to the Onkyo TX-SR608 home theater receiver.  It's a 7.1 receiver that will do just about everything you want, and a little more. …

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Podcast #436: Are High End Audio/Video Retailers a Dying Breed?

2010-07-30

We all know someone who has to own the absolute best gear on the market. They don't care how much it costs. Whether its a receiver that "reproduces sounds that only dogs can hear" or its the guy who buys the most expensive video processor for his equally expensive projector, we all have stories of friends or acquaintances that match that description. …

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Podcast #435: Can Blu-ray pull it off?

2010-07-23

Blu-ray would like to supplant DVD and take over as the dominant video format in households all around the world.  We see the advantage from a pure quality perspective, but believe that costs have to line up for it to actually happen.  With so many forces pulling against it, can Blu-ray really become the successor to DVD? …

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Podcast #434: Life|ware

2010-07-16

Today as part of our ongoing series on home automation we discuss Life|ware.  Life|ware™ is software developed by Exceptional Innovation that allows you to seamlessly merge control of your home along with your world of digital entertainment. …

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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown 07-12-2010

2010-07-12

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday June 18th …

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Podcast #433: Bye bye HDMI; Hello HDBaseT

2010-07-09

There’s been a lot of activity on the Internet recently around the new HDBaseT Alliance. Bottom line, they want to replace HDMI with standard Cat5e or Cat6 cables.  The group was launched in December 2009, but recently announced that LG Electronics, Samsung and Sony have thrown in their support.  This, along with a finalized spec, have moved the HDBaseT idea to the forefront of home theater news. …

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Podcast #432: Home Theater Acoustic Treatments

2010-07-02

We all want great sounding home theaters. We spend our hard earned cash on receivers, speakers, subwoofers and TV/Projectors but one area many of us overlook is the actual room acoustics. Bare floors and walls can ruin an experience by allowing sound waves to bounce off these surfaces and create audio distortions. The net result is the most expensive systems will not live up to their potential. Acoustic treatments can absorb the sound waves and prevent echoes, reverberation, and audio distortion that reduce the enjoyment of your home theater. …

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Podcast #431: Quartics, Insteon, X10, ZigBee and Z-Wave

2010-06-25

We've started to talk quite a bit lately about home automation.  Granted it isn't exactly an HDTV or Home Theater topic, but we think it fits quite well.  After all, most home theater installers also offer some form lighting control.  If you can add your own lighting, window covering and screen control to your home theater, it makes perfect sense. …

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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown 06-21-2010

2010-06-21

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday June 18th …

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Podcast #430: Pioneer VSX-820-K Audio/Video Receiver

2010-06-18

Every Fall, just before Christmas, we do a receiver buying guide to help our audience decide on what to buy. Last Fall our value receiver was an Onkyo SR607 which sold for $320. After spending time with the Pioneer VSX-820-K ($280) we have a new king! The VSX-820-K is a 5.1 system that has 4 HDMI inputs and does next generation audio. …

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Podcast #429: TV Specs and Settings - Are they for real?

2010-06-11

There is a great article at Maximim PC by Dr. Raymond Soneira called "Display Myths Shattered: How Monitor & HDTV Companies Cook Their Specs."  We're going to distill it down to a few soundbites and add a little bit of HT Guys color commentary along the way.  But if you find the information interesting or useful, we would encourage you to read the full article. …

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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown 06-07-2010

2010-06-07

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday June 4th …

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Podcast #414: Wal-mart is buying Vudu

2010-02-26

Rumors surfaced earlier this week, but it has been confirmed …

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Episode #3: AV After Dark

2010-02-22

Welcome to the third installment of A…

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Podcast #413: HT Guys HDTV Recommendations

2010-02-19

We receive emails from listeners all the time asking us which…

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Podcast #412: VIA: Vizio Internet Apps

2010-02-12

If you happened to watch the Super Bowl and paid attention to…

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Podcast #411: Aperion Audio Home Audio Link (HAL)

2010-02-05

Pretty much since we have been doing the HDTV and Home Theate…

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Podcast #410: The Details Behind 3D TV

2010-01-29

Far be it from us to stay away from the latest juicy new idea…

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Podcast #409: LED TV Technology

2010-01-22

When we first started our podcast there were five competing t…

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Special Edition Podcast

2010-01-20

Interview with Clint DeBoer of…

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Podcast #408: CES Roundup

2010-01-15

We decided to once again make the trek out to Las Vegas to ge…

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Podcast #407: Preview of CES 2010

2010-01-08

We know its kind of late to be talking about what we expect t…

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Podcast #406: Predictions for 2010

2010-01-01

Each year we try to look into the future and predict the stat…

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Episode #2: AV After Dark

2009-12-28

Thanks for listening and everyone hav…

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Podcast #405: Listener Q & A

2009-12-25

Merry Christmas to all and to all another HDTV Podcast episod…

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Podcast #404: 2009 Prediction Results

2009-12-18

Each year we try to predict what will happen in our industry …

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Podcast #403: Last Minute Shopping Guide 2009

2009-12-11

You know we're always looking out for you, so we've decided t…

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Podcast #402: RedEye Remote Control and HTiB Buying Guide 2009

2009-12-04

Typically we are not big fans of Home Theater in a Box (HTIB)…

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Podcast #401: What we're thankful for '09

2009-11-27

Thanksgiving is a time to, well, to give thanks.  So th…

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Episode #1: AV After Dark - Inaugural Edition

2009-11-23

Welcome to this inaugural edition of …

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Podcast #400: Black Friday Preview

2009-11-20

On today's show we will discuss the expected Black Friday de…

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Podcast #399: Receiver Buying Guide 2009

2009-11-13

The HT Guys buying guides have become an annual tradition, a…

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Podcast #398: HDTV Buying Guide 2009

2009-11-06

It's time for our annual HDTV buying guide. Just like last y…

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Podcast #397: Logitech Squeezebox Radio Review

2009-10-30
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Podcast #396: HD Fury 2 and Home Automation with Insteon

2009-10-23

As Daylight Savings time draws to a close those of us with l…

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Podcast #395: brite-View CinemaTube and Philips Prestigo SRU8008

2009-10-16

We'll admit it, there are other companies that make remot…

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Podcast #394: Zune HD

2009-10-09

All of us have a need to take our content on the road for on…

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Tom Andry of AV Rant Interview

2009-10-06

Ara had the opportunity to speak with …

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Podcast #393: Harmony 700 Universal Remote

2009-10-02

Not content with what the HT Guys have declared the best uni…

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Podcast #392: Belkin Gigabit Powerline Ethernet Adapter

2009-09-25

With so many devices connecting to the Internet th…

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Podcast #391: Denon Review, CEDIA 2009 Part 2 and Front vs. Rear Pro

2009-09-18

We received a great listener review of the Denon<…

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Podcast #390: CEDIA 2009

2009-09-11

CEDIA stands for "Share this episode

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Fall 2009 TV Schedule: Podcast #389

2009-09-04

It's that time of year again.  The weather begins to coo…

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Popular Options for Blu-ray Players: Podcast #388

2009-08-28

Now that you can find Blu-ray players at Wal*Mart for less th…

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Football, At Home or Away? Podcast #387

2009-08-21

It's football season, and we're ready to watch a serious amou…

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DIY Whole House Music: Podcast #386

2009-08-14

We talked last week about 7 tips for creating an entertaining…

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HP MediaSmart Server LX195: Podcast #385

2009-08-07

Imagine with me, if you will, a day when a small…

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Oppo BDP-83 Blu Ray Player: Podcast #384

2009-07-31

It was in September of last year that we first g…

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Podcast #428: Aperion Audio SLIMstage30 by Soundmatters

0000-00-00

The HT Guys love simplicity and sound bars are exactly that, simple to setup and use. Today we take a look at a new entrant into the field, the Aperion Audio SLIMstage 30 (Street Price $799).…

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Episode #5: AV After Dark

0000-00-00

No technical difficulties this time so you have all three of us for the entire show! We talk a bit about TV past, present, and future. We have some ideas for what to get your home …

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Podcast #427: brite-View Air HD Review

0000-00-00

A few weeks ago water damage in Braden's home forced him to remove the ceiling in his family room.  He took advantage of this "opportunity" to run some new cables to allow for the instal…

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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown 05-24-2010

0000-00-00

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday May 7th …

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Podcast #426: 2009 - 2010 TV Season Ratings Recap

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Each year in the middle of May the TV season wraps up here in the US. High Definition TV is a big part of our HD experience and from time to time we like to take the pulse of what Americans…

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Podcast #425: Surround Sound - The New Formats

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We came across an article at Home Theater Magazine about the various 7.1 speaker configurations available today.  It got us thinking.  Do we take the standard 7.1 configuration: 3 i…

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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown 05-10-2010

0000-00-00

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday May 7th …

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Podcast #424: Home Automation - Control4

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Lately we have become big fans of home automation. While not exactly home theater, home automation is like a first cousin. Home automation is routinely used to control home theaters. After al…

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Podcast #423: Home Theater Market Trends

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Every so often we like to take a look at the top sellers at Amazon.com in various Home Theater categories.  We use this information as a thermometer to roughly gauge the market as a whole.…

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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown 04-26-2010

0000-00-00

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday April 23rd …

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Podcast #422: Sonos S5 Review

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We're big fans of being able to listen to your music in any and every room in your house. In the past that meant connecting your multi zone receiver to speakers placed throughout your house. So…

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Episode #4: AV After Dark

0000-00-00

Braden's computer cut out early in the podcast so it's only Tom and Ara this time. Netflix weighs in heavily in this podcast with a bit on their migration to the Wii and how they'v…

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Podcast #421: Logitech Squeezebox Touch Review

0000-00-00

Sure it's the HDTV and Home Theater Podcast, but we like to dabble a little in the peripheral edges of home theater from time to time.  One such area is whole house audio.  Braden h…

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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown 04-12-2010

0000-00-00

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday March 26th. …

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Podcast #420: iPad Review

0000-00-00

Everyone must be aware by now that Apple has released a new product called the iPad.  It's selling pretty well and, according to some, may become the next big thing in technology. We've …

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Podcast #419: Dell Inspiron Zino HD

0000-00-00

By now you know that Ara has built himself a nice HTPC out of a Mac Mini. We've received a bunch of email asking us to define a similar system using a PC. There far more options using a PC th…

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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown 03-29-2010

0000-00-00

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday March 26th. …

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Podcast #418: Front Projector Technologies

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We have to admit, we got a little giddy when we got an email from Jason asking us to go over the various technology options available for front projector home theaters.  With rear projec…

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Podcast #417: ZVOX 575 Single-Cabinet Surround Sound System

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We understand that many of our listeners don't have the space for a full blown home theater system. However, those same listeners don't necessarily want to listen to their movies through the…

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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown

0000-00-00

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday February 26th.  …

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Podcast #416: Cryptography, DRM and You

0000-00-00

We talk about DRM quite often.  Technically it stands for Digital Rights Management, but we did have a listener recommend we try to change that to Digitally Restricted Media.  The poi…

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Podcast #415: Switched Digital Video

0000-00-00

Last week Braden wrote that Cablevision is planning on rolling out network DVR (Cablevision To Roll Out RS-DVR In April) functionality in April. This technology has got us excited because it sh…

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