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Home Theater Hacks

It might be the long lines at the theater, the $4.00 for a small bag of popcorn, or the cutting-edge technology that's now so readily available to the home market. Whatever the reason, the home theater market today is booming like the soundtrack to Star Wars! Want proof? A Google search for home theater reveals over three million results. Yikes!

It's simply undeniable: More and more people prefer watching their favorite movies, television shows, and videos from the comfort of their own sofas and couches. What's also undeniable is the inexperience of most people who choose to install or upgrade their home theaters.

Until now, the knowledge, technique, and experiences of those who've encountered similar conditions to yours could only be accessed through laborious web searches, stacks of magazines, and water cooler conversations. "Home Theater Hacks from O'Reilly is the perfect remedy for this group.

A smart collection of insider tips and tricks, "Home Theater Hacks covers home theater installation from start to finish, purchase to experience. Just imagine: no frustrating trial-and-error process and better yet, no expensive appointments with installation experts. "Home Theater Hacks prevents both by imparting down-and-dirty technique not found anywhere else.

The book begins with a quick glossary of terms so you can speak the lingo when you go shopping, and then dives right into hush-hush, insider tricks. It's all covered where to find the right audio and video components, how to deal with speakers and wiring, understanding cable connectivity, mastering remote controls, how to fully grasp TiVo, and so much more. And to top it off, each of these insider tips ispresented in a concise yet delightfully entertaining style. Bringing the Jurassic Park dinosaurs into your living room has never been so easy!

A seasoned veteran with numerous O'Reilly titles under his belt, author Brett McLaughlin leaves no stone unturned in helping you customize your home theater experience to your own personal environment.

Product Details

Table of Contents

Credits; Preface; Chapter 1. Buying Gear; 1. Master Theater-Speak; 2. Audition Before You Buy; 3. Buy from Chain Stores with Skepticism; 4. Buy in Person from Electronics Boutiques; 5. Shop Intelligently at eBay; 6. Find High-End Equipment Online; 7. Buy Cabinets for Your Gear; 8. Plan Your Room Decor; Chapter 2. Video Components; 9. Get the Right TV; 10. Your TV's First Steps; 11. Move Your TV Safely; 12. Fix Panasonic's Picture Glitch; 13. Figure Out Aspect Ratios; 14. Avoid Cheap Projectors; 15. DVHS on a Budget; 16. Cover Black Bars with Letterbox Mattes; 17. Improve the Picture on Rear Projection TVs; 18. Paint Your Theater a Neutral Color; 19. Backlight Your TV; 20. Add Metal Plating to Support a Center Speaker; 21. Squeeze Your TV into Your Basement; Chapter 3. Audio Components; 22. Get the Right Receiver; 23. Watts Are Meaningless Without Context; 24. Amplify the Front Soundstage; 25. The Mythical Burn-In Period; 26. Use Gain Offset to Regulate Volume; 27. Use Dynamic Range Compression to Regulate Volume; Chapter 4. High Definition; 28. Ensure You Can Get HD Programming; 29. Get the Right Type of HD Set; 30. Add a Set Top Box; 31. Properly Size Your HD Image; 32. Get the Right Antenna; 33. Erect an OTA Antenna; 34. Don't Use Portable Signal Strength Meters; 35. Resolve Problems After Buying an HDTV; Chapter 5. Speakers and Wiring; 36. Organize Your A/V Racks; 37. Get the Right Speakers for the Job; 38. Select the Perfect Rear and Side Speakers; 39. Little Speakers Can Create Big Problems; 40. Add Bass Shakers to Feel the Lows; 41. Lower the Resonant Frequency of Aura Bass Shakers; 42. Use Subwoofers as a Poor Man's Bass Shaker; 43. Convert In-Wall Speakers to In-Ceiling Speakers; 44. Banana Plugs Trump Bare Wires; 45. Use the Same Speaker Wire Lengths (Not!); 46. Use Thicker Wiring for Longer Runs; 47. Bi-Wiring and Bi-Amping Speakers; Chapter 6. Subwoofers; 48. Learn Sub Talk; 49. Choose the Right Subwoofer; 50. Match the Sub to Your Room; 51. Hook Up Your Subwoofer Correctly; 52. Optimize Subwoofer Placement; 53. Use Multiple Subwoofers; 54. Remove Subwoofer Hum; Chapter 7. Connectivity; 55. Cable Basics; 56. Watch Out for Entertainment Centers; 57. Don't Be Swindled into Buying Overly Expensive Cables; 58. Use Your Receiver for Video Switching; 59. Understand Component Video Switching; Chapter 8. Calibration; 60. Choose the Right Seating Distance; 61. Get the Best Calibration Tools; 62. Choose the Right Calibration DVD; 63. Calibrate Speakers with a Sound Meter; 64. Set the Receiver's Reference Level; 65. Avoid Using THX Optimizer; 66. Avoid Using Internal Test Tones; 67. Set Your Speakers to "Small" in Your Receiver Setup; 68. Hack Your TV's Service Menu; 69. Clean the Optics on RPTVs; 70. Reduce Focus Problems on RPTVs; 71. Reduce Lens Flare on RPTVs; 72. Focus Your Front Projector; 73. Don't Mess with Odd Screws; 74. Annual Home Theater Tune-Up; Chapter 9. Do It Yourself; 75. Build Your Own Speaker Stands; 76. Add Rollers and a Stand to Your TV; 77. Construct a Screen for Projection; 78. Mask Your Screen; 79.

About the Author

Brett McLaughlin has worked in computers since the Logo days (remember the little triangle?). In recent years, he's become one of the most well-known authors and programmers in the Java and XML communities. He's worked for Nextel Communications, implementing complex enterprise systems, at Lutris Technologies, actually writing application servers, and most recently at O'Reilly Media, Inc., where he continues to write and edit books that matter. His most recent book, Java 1.5 Tiger: A Developer's Notebook, is the first book available on the newest version of Java, and his classic Java and XML remains one of the definitive works on using XML technologies in Java.

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