CUSTOM INSTALLATION HOW-TO

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Kevin James  |  Sep 25, 2012  |  0 comments

There’s no use pretending that Google TV wasn’t a dud when the first products shipped back in late 2010. In fact, sales of Logitech’s $300 Revue player were was so bad the company ran screaming from the settop-box market entirely, never to return. But now, like the Backstreet Boys and collateralized mortgages, Google TV is getting another shot, fueled by some much-needed upgrades to the software, including a more streamlined interface, improved search capabilities, and the ability (finally) to access the Android market, now called Google Play.

Kevin James  |  Sep 25, 2012  |  0 comments

There’s no use pretending that Google TV wasn’t a dud when the first products shipped back in late 2010. In fact, sales of Logitech’s $300 Revue player were was so bad the company ran screaming from the settop-box market entirely, never to return. But now, like the Backstreet Boys and collateralized mortgages, Google TV is getting another shot, fueled by some much-needed upgrades to the software, including a more streamlined interface, improved search capabilities, and the ability (finally) to access the Android market, now called Google Play.

Kevin James  |  Sep 25, 2012  |  0 comments

There’s no use pretending that Google TV wasn’t a dud when the first products shipped back in late 2010. In fact, sales of Logitech’s $300 Revue player were was so bad the company ran screaming from the settop-box market entirely, never to return. But now, like the Backstreet Boys and collateralized mortgages, Google TV is getting another shot, fueled by some much-needed upgrades to the software, including a more streamlined interface, improved search capabilities, and the ability (finally) to access the Android market, now called Google Play.

Kevin James  |  Sep 25, 2012  |  0 comments

There’s no use pretending that Google TV wasn’t a dud when the first products shipped back in late 2010. In fact, sales of Logitech’s $300 Revue player were was so bad the company ran screaming from the settop-box market entirely, never to return. But now, like the Backstreet Boys and collateralized mortgages, Google TV is getting another shot, fueled by some much-needed upgrades to the software, including a more streamlined interface, improved search capabilities, and the ability (finally) to access the Android market, now called Google Play.

John Sciacca  |  Aug 23, 2012  |  0 comments

While there are multiple ways to get TV programming — broadcast, cable, satellite, telco (Verizon FiOS/AT&T U-verse), or over the Internet — I’ve received mine via cable for as long as I’ve been a member of the TV-consuming public.

Jamie Sorcher  |  Jun 27, 2012  |  2 comments
Photos Detlev Von Kessel

A cinema under the sky can be an amazing home theater option. It turned out to be just the ticket for this Florida family who lives in sunny Sarasota and spends a lot of time outdoors. The backyard entertainment area with its swim-up theater is so well-engineered that, at first glance, it’s impossible to guess what went on behind the scenes to make it all happen.

John Sciacca  |  Jun 05, 2012  |  0 comments

Elite is Pioneer’s premier home audio line, much like Lexus is to Toyota. That means you can expect better build quality, a longer warranty, step-up features, and premium performance. New to Elite this year are two network audio players, the N-30 and N-50, that stream audio (including high-rez files up to 192-kHz/24-bit) from a computer, play Internet radio, and use Apple’s AirPlay for easy wireless networking with iOS devices. When it comes to basic features, the two are essentially the same. But there are several key performance differences between the players that make it easy to argue the case for the N-50’s $200 price premium.

Rob Sabin  |  Jun 04, 2012  |  0 comments
You have to wonder what the folks at Labor Saving Devices were thinking when they dreamed up the Wet Noodle Magnetic In-Wall Retrieval System—but thankfully they did. Until you’re struggling to fish a wire out of a closed-wall cavity, especially one with insulation, it’s hard to fully appreciate the simplicity and elegance of this popular tool.
Kim Wilson  |  May 08, 2012  |  14 comments
Photos Chris Woolman

What do you do with an underused loft space? Why, turn it into a dedicated home theater, of course! That was the challenge entrusted to Wilshire Home Entertainment of Thousands Oaks, California. The open, 400-square-foot loft required an enclosure and special acoustical materials to prevent sound leakage. The project included a new, custom staircase and the preservation of a large bay window that extends from the bottom floor to the ceiling of the second floor. It wasn’t possible to just remove it in the loft area, so it is still located behind the drop-down screen. When the theater is in use, Lutron motorized blackout shades block the light.

Kim Wilson  |  Feb 03, 2012  |  1 comments
Photos Nick Woolley

Park City, Utah, boasts three world-class ski resorts. Canyons, the largest of the three, offers ski-in and out access to The Colony, a residential area where the homeowners of this theater reside part-time. When they aren’t on the slopes, this couple likes relaxing and sharing their custom home theater with friends and family.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 30, 2012  |  0 comments

Many people love the idea of a house-wide audio system, but they may not love the idea of paying to have one installed. Plus, the fancy features that come with dedicated multiroom audio systems — such as keypad controllers with metadata feedback, and the ability to divide a home into numerous listening zones — might be more than what many people actually need.

In fact, for the way many people actually live, two listening zones may be the perfect amount: a “main” zone linked to the TV/surround system and a secondary zone for playing music, radio, or something else in a different room. Think one person watching Oprah’s Life Lessons, while a second seeks refuge on the patio with ESPN radio and a beer. If a two-zone audio system sounds like it would fit your bill, chances are that you’ve actually got most of the components for it already on hand.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 30, 2012  |  0 comments

First impressions can be a dangerous thing, especially for an A/V equipment reviewer. Allowing yourself to become predisposed to thinking that one company’s component will be this and another company’s component will be that can cloud a review and allow for the praising of some unworthy products while subjecting others to unfair criticism.

Kim Wilson  |  Jan 27, 2012  |  0 comments
Photos: Cornel Mocanu

This dedicated home theater creates a warm and inviting atmosphere where you can enjoy a glass of wine by the fire. It was built out as a retrofit in the family room, and the main feature the homeowner wanted to keep intact was the fireplace. He also wanted a wet bar and wine rack to create a homier environment.

John Sciacca  |  Dec 28, 2011  |  0 comments

Most new Blu-ray players are capable of streaming both movies and music, so why would you ever consider buying a dedicated music-streaming device? I mean, if you learned nothing else from your mother, you’re probably at least squared away on the concept of not buying the cow if you’re already getting the milk for free.

Octavio Vallarino Arias  |  Dec 14, 2011  |  1 comments
This theater is located in our beach house in Punta Barco, a popular vacation spot in Panama. Resources in Panama aren’t as abundant as in the U.S., so I consulted with Chris Huston of Rives Audio in Coralville, Iowa. I was very impressed with his simple solution. My first priority was to ensure the room was treated for optimum performance. Following Huston’s design, I gathered materials locally to build the theater.

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