You work hard all week long, and after a long day on the job it sometimes feels best to plop yourself down on the sofa and fire up the home entertainment system. While your television set handles the visuals, your A/V receiver (also referred to as a home theater receiver) does much of the heavy lifting in both the audio and the video departments.
A/V receivers act as the audio and video hub of home entertainment systems. For example, you can connect the output
Meet the Class of 2012. We’ve organized some 160 television models by manufacturer. Within each brand, we’ve separated the sets according to display technology and whether they have the smarts to connect to a home network and the Internet. Of course, if you prefer a TV that knows nothing beyond an antenna or cable connection, such sets are covered here, too.
A brand synonymous with TV picture quality, Sony’s 2012 offerings include an entry level 32-inch LCD TV, the
The new digital divide is between smart TVs and not-so-smart TVs. That’s because top-of-the-class television sets today function more like computers than the passive monitors of even a few years ago. The newest TVs are Wi-Fi-capable, embed dual processors and sport USB and Ethernet jacks. They can stream photos, music and video as readily from the Internet as from a computer or storage device in another room or a USB device plugged directly into a side port on the TV. They have built-in browsers, let you use Twitter to write and view comments
If your home theater system is missing a solid projector, then the Pyle Pro PRJSD188 is worth checking out. It’s a feature-rich projector that supports 1080p full HD and 720p HD, as well as both rear and front projection. The all-in-one projector can be ceiling or table mounted. Plus, if you need to set the projector at an angle, the PRJSD188 is equipped with +/- 15° keystone correction. It also comes with a reflecting mirror that
The BenQ Joybee GP2 is a powerful projector that’s ideally suited for today’s mobile users, thanks to its integrated iPhone/iPod dock and ability to run on battery power. In addition to the dock, it features a USB port, HDMI input, SD card slot and 2GB of internal memory, so it can interface with all kinds of media players and
There was a time when many households contained a projector screen, used mainly to show 8mm and Super 8 home movies and slide shows. Unfortunately for the manufacturers of those screens, camcorders and digital cameras made them more or less obsolete. Once people were given the ability to present home movies and slide shows on a TV, there was no longer any need to haul out the projector and screen and dim the lights. Most of those screens were left to waste away in basements.
But what goes around comes around. Projector screens in the home
We live in a world where we rely more and more on digital media. We share photos with friends and family through websites like Flickr and Facebook. We discover new music via digital download. We rent movies over the Internet.At the same time, accessing all of this digital media can be a virtual juggling act. You may forget to sync your iPod and be without new music and podcasts. E-mailing photos can be a hassle and a half -- especially if you're trying to send the latest digital captures of little Quentin to his elderly Uncle Conrad & Aunt
How things as mundane as backup drives became objects of desire says as much about sleek design as the value we place in digital storage. Under the glossy black finish of HP’s SimpleSave hard drives – two portable and three desktop models – sits the stuff we care about: our documents, photos, videos, music, and more. They may be copies of files
When I was picking up my demo unit of the Sony VAIO EB series notebook for this review, I had a very important choice to make. "Which color do you want?" I took one look at the two computers in front of me -- one blue, one black -- and without hesitation said "I'll take the blue one." Thankfully, I didn't have to make a choice from the entire array of colors that the
While a certain slate computer that rhymes with "rad" has been criticized for lacking such standard notebook features as a camera, multitasking, Flash support, USB inputs to attach peripherals, and video outputs like HDMI, the HP TouchSmart tm2 Notebook PC (tm2-1070us) has them all. Call it a laptop and a tablet. Whatever you call it, this convertible has to be one of the more innovative
More than 84% of people between the ages of 18 to 24 listen to music on their computers, even though the sound quality they produce is hideous. An entire generation is missing the real impact of their tunes! To counter this disturbing trend, HP teamed up with Dr. Dre and Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine to design its Beats Sound System for Notebook computers, and audio quality was a top priority. There are lots of ways that music
When you’re looking to cut cable’s ballooning costs, a one-time purchase of a TV antenna can be significantly less than even a one-month cable bill. Best of all, there’s no monthly subscription fee. The antenna pulls in free over-the-air TV stations that include the commercial networks, PBS affiliates and independent stations in your area.
Depending on the program, you’ll receive HDTV (1080i or 720p) quality with 5.1 discrete channels of digital sound. The picture from an over-the-air antenna may actually look better than what you get from an
One of the best reasons to put on headphones (besides to hear music that’s truly worth listening to) is to shut out the world around you. However, it's difficult to quiet down noisy environments, like the cabin of an airplane or the chatter in an office. If you're looking for an escape from the drone of a 737’s engines, office building air ducts or the mouths of co-workers, you should definitely give noise-canceling headphones a try.
All active noise-canceling headphones work in a similar fashion. They feature external microphones that “
As the A/V component of choice to show off your Full HD TV’s or projector’s chops, the Blu-ray Disc player has evolved beyond garden-variety DVD and CD players and is better viewed as an all-purpose media player. Each of these Blu-ray players can scale up the picture quality through its HDMI output, affording a face lift to titles in your aging library. There’s little reason to replace a DVD player today with another DVD player.
Some of the Blu-ray players in this roundup are 3D capable, a feature you’ll definitely want if you or the gift
When multiple remote controls occupy the TV room, they clutter the coffee table, disappear into the recesses of the davenport and make for an uncomfortable stretch when the one you need is out of reach. There has to be a better way.
To the rescue comes the universal remote, a handheld device that replaces all your other remotes yet can control every audio and video component in a home theater. Such remotes vary in sophistication. All but one in this survey contains a color screen or appropriates the touch screen of the user’s iPhone, iPod