Ever drive a car where the controls just didn't feel right? Recently, my wife and I were shopping for a small SUV, and we looked at the Honda CRV. But at nearly 6-foot-4, I was unable to get my knees under the steering wheel. It might be the best SUV in the world, but ergonomically, it just didn't work for me.
With all the hullabaloo over format wars and switching to server-based storage, many of you are probably planning new additions to your home theater system. Well, I'm planning one, too, but it won't be a Blu-ray or HD DVD player, a hard-disk video server, or any other cutting-edge piece of technology.
Jeremy Levee of Houston, Texas, wrote to say that he enjoyed my "Step by Step" column on how to mount a flat-panel TV. But he realized that a TV on the wall is just artwork until you've fed it the proper cabling and asked if I might shed some light on wiring behind walls. Jeremy, your wish is my command!
For every job, there is the "right" tool. Just as you wouldn't grab a hammer to open a bottle of champagne, you wouldn't install a front projection system in a sunny room. DirecTV subscribers, unfortunately, have always needed an extra, often unwanted, "tool" in the form of a standalone satellite receiver.
Step 1: Check file compatibility While computers can accept a variety of music file types, servers have more limited compatibility. If your server isn't "friendly" with your formats, you'll either have to re-rip, download, or buy them all over again, or convert them to a compatible format, which will cause additional compression artifacts.
You can't rush a good thing, and some things just aren't ready until they're ready. With electronics, coming to market too early usually means a product that's lacking in features, full of bugs, and short on performance.
With few exceptions, multiroom audio systems still distribute music the same way they did 20 years ago: Central stacks of source components and amplifiers route signals to speakers around the home over hundreds of feet of speaker cabling. But this approach has its drawbacks. Resistance, capacitance and inductance build up over long wires, adding up to signal losses and compromised performance.