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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 10, 2006 0 comments
Lucas, Rodriguez, and you?

Buy a tripod. That is my sagelike advice after three (admittedly terrible) student films and just enough film school to ruin movies for me forever. Once you have a tripod, things become much easier.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Feb 22, 2006 0 comments
You can find Part 1 in the March issue.

I consider myself a fairly intelligent person. I would say I am fairly knowledgeable in the workings of consumer electronics gear and computers. I took several film and video classes in college, and even interned at a video production house. I would consider myself qualified to work a video camera, and a computer. Then why in all things holy CAN'T I GET THIS THING TO WORK?

Chris LeGrange Posted: Feb 15, 2006 Published: Feb 07, 2006 0 comments
I love home theater, but can I find room in my heart for stereo?

I recently visited Berkeley, California, to take a tour of Sumiko, the U.S. distributor for many high-end European audio manufacturers, such as Sonus faber, REL, Primare, Pro-ject, SME, CineVERSUM, SEQUENCE, and Vienna Acoustics. They gave us several demonstrations, including a rather moving and educational listening session with their Cremona speaker line in a two-channel setup. They played several types of music for us, and, with every track, I felt myself getting more involved, more entranced, almost emotional. It wasn't unlike the first time I'd attended Carnegie Hall and listened to a symphony. I was enjoying music explicitly, not listening passively while I cooked, cleaned, exercised, and otherwise lived my life.

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John Higgins Posted: Jan 13, 2006 0 comments
Computers are everywhere, from our desktops to our phones to our planes, trains, and automobiles. If we look at movies like I, Robot (strictly from a conceptual standpoint, not a why-did-Hollywood-ever-make-this standpoint), there is a possible bleak future ahead of us. I prefer to look at Star Wars, where machines help, even if they can be annoying know-it-alls. Granted it's not our galaxy, but it is a lot more fun to watch than I, Robot (no disrespect to the Fresh Prince). What better way is there to improve your home theater experience than the addition of a PC? But what should you look for when setting out to buy one?
Adrienne Maxwell Posted: Jan 31, 2006 Published: Jan 01, 2006 0 comments
Save money, or save the planet?

Believe it or not, you can do both.

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Rachel Weintraub Posted: Dec 06, 2005 Published: Dec 07, 2005 0 comments
Getting your videocassettes with the times.

I admit it: I'm a recording junkie. For years, I recorded my favorite TV shows on VHS videotape, only to watch them gather dust in the garage. Now that I have a DVR and a DVD recorder, what use have I for those clanky, cranky cassettes? Actually, more than you might think; some of those cassettes have irreplaceable moments from my TV-watching past, moments I'd rather not lose as the tape disintegrates with age.

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Adrienne Maxwell Posted: Oct 29, 2005 0 comments
Storage and tuners and menus, oh my!

You've heard that a digital video recorder (DVR) will change the way you watch TV, and you know you want one. Beyond that, you're at a loss. How do you choose between the different models? How do you even know what to look for? Here are some questions to help guide you on your way to time-shifting bliss.

A. Grimani Posted: Aug 21, 2005 2 comments
Bass is like salt. Really, it is. Salt is a seasoning, a treat that we add to good food to make it taste even better. Bass is the same way. A sound system without it lacks the last little element that transforms an ordinary activity like listening to music or watching a movie into an extraordinary, emotionally charged experience.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Oct 28, 2005 Published: Jul 28, 2005 0 comments
Just Say No to "On Board"

I must admit, onboard video and audio have come a long way. It used to be that they were just a line item on a features list. Now both are far more capable. Compared with what you can get as a separate card, though. . .well, let's say it's not worth comparing (although I did, of course).

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Oct 28, 2005 Published: Jun 28, 2005 0 comments
I like to think of myself as a do-it-yourself kind of guy. I'd like to think of myself this way, but, in reality, this is not the case. I don't change my own oil (you want me to go under where?), I'm on a first-name basis with my mechanic (honestly, what Ford owner isn't?), and I call my landlord when the kitchen sink leaks (hey, that's why I pay rent). The two things I do myself are haircuts (thank you, King C. Gillette) and computers (sorry, no funny joke). I've been fascinated with computers since my parents bought me an Apple IIc in the mid-1980s. Since then, I've been modifying and building my own. A few months ago, some part of my brain came up with the idea to build a home theater PC from scratch—and make it silent. Keep in mind that this was the same part of my brain that thought it would be a tremendous idea to build a 13-foot-long subwoofer. Thanks to the deluge of e-mails I received after that piece (one—thanks, Mom) and the difficulty in finding a company that makes an HTPC (last count at CES, there were only 13,002 or so), I figured I'd design and build Home Theater's HTPC, the ugliest and quietest ever.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 26, 2005 0 comments
When home theater enthusiasts talk about their audio systems, they usually concentrate on components such as the disc player, receiver (or preamp-processor and power amps), and speakers. But there's another component that deserves just as much attention: the cables that connect the other devices together. Without cables, those other components would be nothing more than expensive boat anchors.
Michael Fremer Posted: May 08, 2005 0 comments
In our ongoing run-up to our 10th anniversary in early 2005, Michael Fremer looks at his experiences working on the soundtrack to the groundbreaking movie Tron. This article was first published in our Fall 1997 issue. We've made a few edits to account for changes since then (particularly in the references to laserdiscs!), but MF's description of the creation of an early-1980s soundtrack is as fascinating, interesting, and pertinent as ever. Modern digital techniques have revolutionized the film-sound business, but a good soundtrack is still a good soundtrack.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Sep 02, 2002 Published: Sep 03, 2002 0 comments
A bigger hard drive, a little time, and you're halfway there. I'm a lucky guy. My wife and I have had only one major squabble since the beginning of the year, and it was about sharing the space on our personal video recorder's rapidly filling hard drive. My problem: I've fallen behind in archiving and deleting my keeper episodes. Hers: She waits too long to watch her recorded Ally McBeal, Buffy, and Friends, and the PVR automatically purges them. Although many possible solutions exist (Ally was cancelled, thankfully), the simplest would be to add a larger hard drive. Compared with the purchase of a newer, higher-capacity PVR, this approach is quite economical, and it's a project that a home theater buff with some electronics/computer expertise can tackle.
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Chris Lewis Posted: May 09, 2002 Published: May 10, 2002 0 comments
Our first look at Ultra 2 and the first certified system from Snell and Pioneer.

It may be time to start asking the question that's asked of all pastimes with hobbyist roots when their popularity surges: Is home theater a permanent cultural phenomenon or just another fad destined to burn out before its time? Recent evidence certainly shades the former. DVD-Video has been the catalyst for an unprecedented boom in the popularity of home theater and should probably be credited with completing home theater's undeniable transition from novelty act to mainstream entertainment that began with Dolby Surround and the first inexpensive multichannel speaker system. But is home theater a cultural phenomenon the way that the computer is a cultural phenomenon? Do a majority of Americans actively seek to make it a part of their lives day in and day out? Not yet—but home theater's high-water mark is still to come.

Kevin Miller Posted: Sep 30, 2001 Published: Oct 01, 2001 0 comments
Switching scenarios for component video sources.

Switching component video sources is a double-edged sword. For a number of reasons, there's plenty of need for it; however, until recently, it was fairly expensive to do it well (read: without adversely affecting the video signal). Still, there are a number of scenarios in which video switching, transcoding, or distributing high-resolution video (particularly HDTV signals) is important.


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