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CUSTOM INSTALLATION EQUIPMENT REVIEWS

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 09, 2007 1 comments

NAD is bringing a new preamp-tuner-processor and two new multichannel power amps to CEDIA.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Aug 16, 2007 0 comments

Home theater is the integration of big-screen television and surround sound. But how often do you see the two product categories integrated with <i>each other</i>? That's what makes a new system from Atlantic Technology and Epson so special.

Adrienne Maxwell Posted: Sep 14, 2006 0 comments
Wholehouse audio for the real world.

Everyone likes the idea of wholehouse audio. Who doesn't want the ability to access their music library in any room of their home? It's in the implementation that things get tricky. Do you invest a couple of grand in a dedicated audio server for your gear rack, plus amplification and speakers for each room and all that wire you'll have to run through the walls to connect everything? Or do you opt instead for the $150 digital media player that taps into your PC's music library? Of course, you'd need one for each room. . .and several audio systems, too. Oh, and knowledge of home networking is kind of important. For many, neither path is a realistic or desirable option.

Gary Altunian Posted: Jul 05, 2006 0 comments
Fill your home with music.

Wholehouse music distribution systems are rapidly gaining in popularity. Homes are increasing in size and number of rooms, and, for many homeowners, a wholehouse music system adds to the value and enjoyment of their homes. There is also no shortage of options for music distribution systems. A simple solution is a multiroom, single-source system: Each room has its own pair of stereo speakers that are connected to a receiver, and a multiple-speaker selector is installed in a central location. This is a good option if you want to listen to the same music in every room, but it is likely that each member of the household would prefer his or her choice of music. More elaborate systems provide multisource, multiroom capability, allowing different users to listen to their individual choices of entertainment in different rooms. Sonance's DAB1 Distributed Audio System may be the best choice if you're looking for ease of use and flexibility in a multiroom, multisource audio distribution system.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Feb 21, 2006 0 comments
A controlling interest in your home theater can turn into a wholehouse-friendly takeover.

Silly girl. My wife thinks our home theater system ought to sound great and be easy to operate. She also wants one remote control to work the gear, the lights, and whatever else she desires dominion over.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Oct 15, 2005 Published: Oct 30, 2005 0 comments
Any signal, anywhere? Yeah, pretty much.
Increasing droves of con-sumers are installing networks in their homes to accomplish boring feats such as sharing printers or perhaps more diverting applications like music sharing. But, not until I reviewed the offerings from SkipJam did I fully understand how much entertainment a home network can provide. SkipJam has designed a platform-agnostic networking system in which a single wholehouse configuration can work seamlessly with an existing CAT-5 (Ethernet), Wi-Fi, coaxial cable, or power-line network—or any combination of these different standards. You will need a properly functioning network in place, independent of the SkipJam installation. But, if you want to add one more location wirelessly, for example, it's no problem.
Chris Chiarella Posted: Jun 16, 2005 0 comments
iDeclare: Your portable music player is now your home music server (with photos, anyone?).

We've been writing about digital music and the various hardware options, including home audio servers and portables, for several years now. Among portables, there is no denying that the iPod is king, with a popularity that transcends mere market share. People have even taken to wearing the distinctive white headphones with any old portable stereo, in an attempt to achieve that iPod look, while many old-school iPod owners (yes, it's been around long enough to give rise to different schools) have switched to more traditional ear gear, just to eschew any sense of jejune trendiness. The iPod is standard issue here in New York, along with a little vial of pepper spray and a big scoop of attitude. Thanks to Hewlett-Packard, iPod technology is now available to the teeming PC throng, although we have never had an appropriate occasion to cover the iPod in the pages of Home Theater before.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Nov 07, 2004 Published: Nov 01, 2004 0 comments
Outsourcing can be a good thing when it comes to home entertainment.

With a handful of exceptions, truly flexible multiroom entertainment is beyond the reach of most A/V receivers. Sure, lots of manufacturers rapturously talk about their second-zone outputs like they're some sign of the Second Coming. In most cases, however, a receiver's second-zone outputs aren't much better than giving a blind man the keys to your car. Maybe you'll eventually get where you want to go, but not without a lot of anxiety.

Chris Lewis Posted: Oct 01, 2003 0 comments
Wholehouse systems are primed for a run, and one-box solutions may be the trigger.

Every year, predictions that the fully connected home has almost arrived resound across the country. To hear it told, someday soon, we'll all look back and laugh at how barbarian we were back in the dark ages before we could walk into a room, hit a button, and instantly be swept up in music or movies that originate in a remote closet or basement that never offends the eye with its black-box contents. Why does the optimism continue year after year without blockbuster results? Because it is true. Wholehouse audio/video and home networking are going to explode; it just hasn't happened yet.

Mark Elson Posted: Jun 27, 2003 Published: Jun 28, 2003 0 comments
A little motorization can add a lot of enjoyment, both functionally and aesthetically.

Plasma TVs swing and pivot in midair with the help of articulating arms. Motorized speakers unhinge and then retract. Projectors and screens gracefully descend from ceilings and then magically disappear. TVs rise and fall with the help of hydraulic lowboys. Drapes open and close at will. Seats (and parts of your anatomy) move and shake. Think your equipment needs to stay still? Think you need to stay still? Think again.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 30, 2001 Published: Oct 01, 2001 0 comments
This A-BUS makes it easy to "Take the 'A' Train" in any room in your home.

Three computers and one broadband Internet connection in my house means that there's a computer network in my future. Right now, it's a hypothetical network, since my ISP (Prodigy) has only succeeded in providing hypothetical DSL service. I know it's coming, though, and I'm looking forward to installing the network about as much as one looks forward to shaking hands with his proctologist. My life is complicated enough without the added grief that a router, a switcher, numerous runs of CAT-5 cable, and unsavory terms like Ethernet and TCP/IP will bring into it. I want something elegant and simple that will provide me with the intended result—in this case, Web pages that load before I've finished typing in the URL and the ability to steal hard-drive space from my kids' computer—without requiring me to complete a doctoral thesis in connectivity and network administration.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 18, 2000 Published: Jul 19, 2000 0 comments
A Touching Experience: The Crestron CNX-PAD8 wholehouse audio-distribution processor helps your A/V system reach out to other rooms.

Which is easier to find: an honest politician, an easy-to-use wholehouse A/V system, or a woman who's so in to electronics that she has the A/V gear installed in her new home before the furniture has arrived?

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 15, 2013 0 comments

When I was wandering through websites looking for speakers to review in this test, I found companies I'd never heard of. Most were selling generic outdoor speakers, but one - OSD Audio - offered something with an unprecedented mix of cool and creepy: an outdoor speaker styled to look like a life-size German Shepherd."Special purpose," indeed.

Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 15, 2013 0 comments

As I mentioned at the outset, bass is hard to do outdoors. You don't have "room gain" - i.e., the tendency of typical residential rooms to boost bass. Everyone seems to want their outdoor speakers to be about 1 foot tall, and it's hard to get deep notes out of such small boxes. Adding a subwoofer outdoors is complicated.

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