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HDTV SETUP

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Rob Sabin Posted: Jan 31, 2012 2 comments
If you've got your heart set on a new big-screen for the big game, you're in luck. The days leading up to Super Bowl Sunday are the traditional last, best chance for retailers to dump their remaining inventory before new models hit shelves in the spring. The competition is as fierce among stores this week as it will be on the field this weekend. But your primary TV shouldn't be an impulse purchase, and jumping on the first hyper-bright picture or low pricetag that catches your eye is a recipe for long-term remorse. So, slow down, take a deep breath, and tackle these tips to guard against the dreaded Monday morning quaterbacking.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 08, 2011 0 comments
Flat-panel HDTVs have undergone rapid changes in technology and pricing. There are now two types of 3D systems for you to decide between, screen sizes have continued to inch up, prices have come down, and the battle between LCD and plasma for image-quality supremacy has heated up, with the latest generation of top-line LED models challenging plasma’s long-held position at the top of the enthusiast heap.
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Rob Sabin Posted: Jul 11, 2011 2 comments
It’s a given that most readers of Home Theater are that guy—the one friends and family call when they need a new HDTV. But it doesn’t stop there. Because after your 82-year-old grandmother finally tosses out that old Sylvania console and buys a 52-inch LCD on your expert recommendation, you still have to help with the picture settings. We can’t have nana blowing out her sensitive retinas on the factory torch mode, now can we? Oh, what those eyes have seen...
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 20, 2009 0 comments
Tips and tricks for making your system tweakin’ awesome.

Unless you have really expensive tastes, it’s easy to see how spending several thousand dollars on your home theater system can make some very noticeable improvements. That kind of cash could buy a bigger TV, a larger projection screen, a brighter projector, a beefier amp, or a stouter subwoofer. Any of these would put some extra kick in an already kick-butt system. But maybe—like me—you don’t have piles of cash sitting around begging to be stuffed into a store’s cash register. Perhaps you just bought your first HTIB, recently added to your existing system, or (again, like me) you’re simply a classic cheapskate. Whichever it is, let’s say you’ve maxed out your A/V budget for the year. Now what?

Joshua Zyber Posted: Feb 09, 2009 0 comments
In movies, one size never fits all.

By now, most home theater fans have undoubtedly grown used to seeing letterbox bars on many movies they watch. In today’s high-definition era, any content with an aspect ratio that’s greater than a 16:9 (a.k.a. 1.78:1) HDTV screen must be presented with black bars on the top and bottom of the frame. Blu-ray viewers have many examples of this. Approximately half of all modern theatrical films are photographed in the scope aspect ratio of 2.40:1. Iron Man, Tropic Thunder, and Wall-E fall into that category. Scope photography is sometimes referred to as 2.35:1 for reasons that are too complicated to explain in detail here. Just know that 2.40:1 is technically correct, although many people in the industry continue to use the term 2.35:1 interchangeably. At the other extreme, material narrower than 16:9 (classics like Casablanca and The Adventures of Robin Hood are 1.37:1) will have pillarbox bars on the sides. In the middle, movies composed for 1.85:1 (such as the The Sixth Sense, Hellboy, or Knocked Up) nearly fill an HDTV.

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Gary Merson Posted: Mar 26, 2008 0 comments
The rest of the 07 crop.

In the November 2007 issue, I tested 74 HDTVs for their ability to process 1080i signals, the highest resolution standard found on most of the broadcast and cable networks. A number of the remaining HDTVs to be introduced in 2007 arrived too late for our November issue. We decided to follow up with some more displays. Due to space constraints, this article will refer to previous articles more than we normally do. On the bright side, all the articles mentioned (including the November 2007 test) are available on this site.

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Gary Merson Posted: Nov 15, 2007 0 comments
The 2007 HDTVs

This time last year, we tested 61 2006 HDTVs to learn how they process all the detail contained within 1080i, the most common high-definition broadcast format. It's the highest resolution format the majority of HD broadcasters and cable channels use, including CBS, NBC, CW, HBO, and Showtime. The results of our 2006 tests were quite disappointing; less than half of the HDTVs were able to properly process the interlaced broadcast signal to the TV's native, progressive resolution. This year, we have expanded our testing to include 74 HDTVs that range from 19 to 67 inches. We have added a new test for 1080p displays to judge their resolution with motion as compared to their stationary resolution. This test illustrates how all HDTVs lower the amount of detail you can see when the camera is panning or where there is action in a scene, such as on a football field. More on this later.

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Adrienne Maxwell Posted: Nov 11, 2007 0 comments
How to set up your TV to look its best.
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Shane Buettner Posted: Apr 30, 2007 0 comments
You've just come home with that new TV. Want to know how to get the best picture you can, in about five minutes? Even if you've never done more with your TV than turn it on before grabbing the popcorn, we can help you get the best picture from your TV using nothing more than a DVD you already own.
Geoffrey Morrison Posted: May 21, 2007 Published: Apr 21, 2007 0 comments
Have no fear. HTis here.

There is a lot of confusion for most people as to what they should look for when buying a TV. With the plethora of acronyms, abbreviations, nomenclatures, technologies, and other multisyllabic synonyms for "huh?" this is hardly surprising. While we feel, as you would expect, that prodigious study of Home Theater magazine would educate you to make an informed decision, we also appreciate the need for a boiled-down version for those new to the home theater world—the Cliffs Notes version, if you will. Well, let us oblige.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 08, 2007 Published: Mar 09, 2007 0 comments
Test your own TV like we do it.

To test your display's performance, you'll need not only specialized test generators and measurement devices, but also actual video material. After all, just because a display measures well doesn't mean it's anything you want to look at. For that matter, there are no objective measurements for things like scaling and deinterlacing. For consistency, we try to use the same or similar test DVDs (and now HD DVDs) for our testing in each display review and in our video Face Offs. If you want to see how your TV stacks up—or you wonder what we're talking about every month—here are most of the test discs we use and why we use them.

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Gary Merson Posted: Oct 11, 2006 0 comments
Earlier this year, we tested 54 2005 HDTV sets to learn how they process all the detail contained within 1080i high-definition signals. The results were disappointing. Slightly less than half of the models tested failed to properly deinterlace a 1080i high-definition signal, resulting in a loss of picture resolution. Thanks to our readers' response to dealers when shopping for high-definition TVs, a number of manufacturers took notice.
Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jan 08, 2005 Published: Sep 08, 2006 0 comments
Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love 720p.
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Gary Merson Posted: May 03, 2006 0 comments
Which displays have it and which don't.

The current top HDTV broadcast resolution is 1080i (interlaced). Most television and cable networks use it, including CBS, NBC, the WB, HBO, Showtime, HDNet, The Movie Channel, Starz HDTV, and others. What happens to this HDTV signal when one of the latest digital HDTVs processes it? Does it take the full 1,080 lines of transmitted resolution, change the signal from interlaced to progressive (called deinterlacing), detect and compensate for motion, and send it to the screen, as it should? Or does the display's processor cheat you out of seeing all the detail within the broadcast?

Bob Gatton Posted: Oct 28, 2005 0 comments
ISF's Joel Silver tells our readers what they can do to optimize their displays' performance.

BG: What was your goal in founding the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF)?

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