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Saturday, October 17th, 2009
6:21 pm - New to community

So I'd love to get some opinions, ideas, maybe even photos if anyone has.....

There was a time when a home theater fanatic could purchase component after component.. Amps, Receivers, EQs and preamps, CD players, VCRs, Laserdisk, Power conditioners, etc....etc..... and all where the same size. When stacked neatly they looked like a carefully arranged stack of high tech equipment.

Now however we've added to our collection game consoles of every size and shape, not one with a flat surface for further stacking. Media streaming devices, network players, Location shifters, Home Theater PCs, every size from paperback to Microwave oven. All of this adds up to a misshapen cacophany of mismatched gadgets and googahs in an arrangeemnt only vaguely resembling neat. Not to mention three times as many cords running everywhere.

I have a yamaha Amp, Sony DVD library, Apple TV, Roku Netflix Player, WD Tv, WII, Playstation 3, and Xbox and Xbox 360, HDMI switch and 2 USB hard drives and it's all I can do somedays to not feel like a radio shack truck exploded against one wall of my living room.

I'd love to know what creative approaches people in similar situations have taken to acheive form equal to function in their setups. Perfect cases for their HTPCs, the perfect stand that does the job but doesn't take up too much room, clever cable management, etc.....

Thanks four your time and info:)

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Sunday, February 22nd, 2009
11:38 pm - Noob needs help connecting PC to older HDTV

Im very new to all this HDTV and video stuff, and am messing with my computer, and I have it connected to my HDTV projection tv, so I can watch movies and shows Ive downloaded..its a pain though.

I build the computer myself, has a 1.6 cpu intel and 1 GB of ram. I have movies and music stored on a 300 GB hard drive but my Windows drive is only 30 GB of which is running very low on space.

I have the tv connected with a DVI cable to the DVI video card in my PC.

I have to manually drag the video player from the desktop over to the TV, and position it so I can see it. Its a pain.

I know other home theater geeks have their computers connected and stuff like this but not sure how.

Of course they have much more expensive LCD/PLASMA TVs that are better for this then my older projection tv which is not good for doubling as a computer monitor at all...just for videos and stuff. Eventually Ill upgrade to a nice 42 inch + LCD but for now I cannot afford it.

Anyone give me any advise how to do this?

I have that firefly/snapshot video card with the crappy remote control also, but I stopped using it, because it Windows crashes it every dammed time I open it and try to use it.

Also, is Windows XP Home right for this situation or do I need Vista or Media Center?

I dont want to be able to use the TV for web surfing, as the resolution on the Projection TV loosk horrible when I try but video looks ok.

I canceled my cable tv, cause I can download or watch my programs on their websites for free. I dont watch much tv as it is to pay for it.

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Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
12:29 am - Good HTDV options for gaming?

I have an Xbox 360 (and finally caved-in and bought a PS3), and I decided I was ready to buy an HDTV. I bought a Samsung LN40A650.

The picture quality is absolutely incredible. Clear, crisp, amazing color and contrast, everything...

But it has horrible lag:

I don't watch movies, I don't have cable. I bought this TV specifically with gaming in mind. While, yes, I probably should have researched online for input and also tried the TV in store, I got a good deal when I was in the store, and figured I'd just get it and shouldn't have to worry.

Well unfortunately, I do have to worry. I've already tried all resolutions, vga/hdmi/component, etc. It's unacceptable for gaming.

I'm returning it sometime this week, and I'm gonna go for something else; does anyone have any suggestions on HDTV for gaming? When TVs list "response time," they're talking about how long it takes for the picture element to change, it has nothing to do with how long it takes the internal circuitry to process the signal information. Thanks in advance if anyone has any suggestions :)

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Tuesday, January 6th, 2009
7:04 pm

Backstory: I'm contemplating building my own PVR and I'm doing sort of part-scouting and research at present. I have not yet purchased anything, so my PVR is only an idea at present.

I'm wondering which version of Windows is least wrong for my needs.

So here's what it's gonna do:

Run WITHIN VirtualBox. (I prefer a Linux distro for my primary OS on this potential PVR.)
Run Silverlight for Netflix Watch Instantly within Firefox because Moonlight doesn't do it. (This is my primary reason for "needing" Windows at all.)
Run iTunes - not necessary, but nice.
Run Safari - also not necessary, but nice.
Run VirtualBox in worst case scenario. (If something were to go wrong with my Linux install, I want to be able to run Linux in VirtualBox to play with until I can figure out what's wrong and fix it.)

If at all possible, interface with the wireless card. If not, obviously I must at least have ethernet, because otherwise I can't access streaming video.

I have a dual processor on the parts I think I'm buying (used, from my brother), so I probably need to go with 64 bit.

So, XP Professional? XP Media Center? Vista Home Premium 64 bit? Something else?

I want what will work the best for the least money. I don't *think* I need Media Center, but then again, I don't know anything about Windows anymore with regard to features because I never run it at home.

Thank you so much for your time!

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Sunday, October 21st, 2007
9:51 am - HDTV audio help

 I have a Vizio HDTV with a cablevision  explorer 4250 HD cable box. I am using the HDMI cable from the box to the TV. I bought a Panasonic SC PT-1050 Home Theater system. I hooked up to the left and right audio out on the cable box to the AUX left + right audio in on the DVD player. When I listen to the TV through the Surround system the volume is VERY limited. When listening to a CD or DVD the sound is awesome. I had the same problem with a Phillips system before this. I returned the system thinking it was the problem but obviously it wasn't. Am I doing something wrong? When I tried the audio out from the TV to the DVD I got no sound at all. Does anyone have any ideas? 
gp4free in need of VOLUME!

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Wednesday, October 17th, 2007
9:58 am - Flash card in PS3

Can Playstation 3
1) show photos
2) play sound files
3) play movies

from a flash card?

(2 comments | comment on this)

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007
12:45 pm - HDMI home theater setup

If I need to connect a Blu-Ray (e.g. PS3) to a home theater system and a TV through HDMI, I understand that the setup will be Player->Receiver->TV. The problem is that the receiver HDMI connection only supports 1080i.
What should I do to get the sound through the home theater and keep the video signal at 1080p?

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Tuesday, August 21st, 2007
10:25 pm - Hi there first post here.

I am assuming from reading the posts below that "Help me, I know nothing" posts are welcome. So thanks for whatever anyone can offer in terms of advice.

Just bought a Vizio HDTV, connected to a DirecTV DVR receiver. I am thinking audio and am totally freakin' confused. I have an old Sony Receiver and assume this is obsolete in terms of connecting to the new equipment. I am looking for a relatively low cost option for getting some surround or virtual surround sound. The TV has a Digital Audio Out (Optical) port if that means anything. Do I need to buy a receiver or just speakers? Or does it all connect to the DirectTV receiver? Any HTIB options you would recommend? I would like to avoid one that has a DVD player as I am thinking of waiting the whole HDDVD/Blueray thing out...

Thanks in advance for tolerating my ignorance...

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Sunday, March 18th, 2007
6:08 pm

Hi folks,

Anyone here connected their PC up to a 1080P HD TV?

I'm trying to, with a Radeon X850 Pro to a Sharp LC-46XD1E, using a DVI > HDMI lead. I can get 1080I, but not 1080P (although I swear I had got 1080P initially). Picture's still great, but I'm trying to figure out why I can't get 1080P. If I select 60Hz as a refresh rate I get an out of range error from the TV, and yes, it's 1080P capable.

Any ideas?


current mood: frustrated

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Saturday, March 10th, 2007
9:15 pm - High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection

So, this may be an inapropriate post, but seeing as how it deals with the new HDTV standard (ok, not that new), I thought those who did not already know might want to learn something new. I, myself, just found this out tonight as I've been totally ignorant of the HDTV standard, and now, all its hidden encrpytions.

Did you know, that most new HDTVs are equipped with High-bandwidth Ditial Content Protection? Windows Vista also employs this clever little hindrence. Basically, if the source device (say, a Blu-Ray player, or Windows Vista) deems your display or output device to be "compromised" or unable to support the DCP signal, you will automatically receive a downsampled output, instead of the content you, the end user, paid for.

I don't know about you, but I am simply outraged. I'm sure this all slipped under the noses of almost every end user, except those especially knowledgeable in the electronics market. I can see no viable reason for implementing such a cripling technology. It would be the same thing as your car equipped with a sensor, and if you didn't put the highest octane fuel in your tank, the car would refuse to start, or would run at a decreased speed.

Can anyone play devil's advocate and prove me wrong on this, for the sake of my sanity?

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Thursday, January 12th, 2006
9:45 pm

Amazon is offering the really sweet looking Samsung HL-R5067W 50" DLP HDTV for $1600 (here's the link). I was seriously considering purchasing this as my first HDTV. What I'm wondering, if anybody has the answers to these questions, are:

1) How is the HDCP support? I don't want to be left out in the cold as far as forward compatibility goes.

2) How does this thing look with a computer hooked up to the DVI port? I read one review where the reviewer said DNIe processing made any computer desktop look terrible. I'm probably not going to use this as a computer monitor, I'm just curious.

Any other thoughts on the TV would be appreciated, as I'm pretty much new to the practical side of HDTV (been reading and dreaming about them for years).

(2 comments | comment on this)

Monday, January 2nd, 2006
4:22 am - Black Level Option

I have a Panasonic F87 DVD changer, which I really like. I've started fine tuning my system and I noticed an option in the video setup called "Black Level Control." I've tried to read up and find out more information about this feature. Here's why.

The two options are "Darker" and "Lighter." Lighter was the one selected already. Since I'm calibrating my TV to the equipment, I want to make sure that the equipment is mimicking the reference signal as much as possible. I need to know whether "Darker" is actually darkening the picture, or if "Lighter" is actually lightening the picture. Either is a modification of the original picture, so it matters to me to know the difference. So for instance, if "Darker" were darkening the picture, I'd choose "Lighter" and calibrate based on that setting.

Any help is appreciated :)

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Sunday, January 1st, 2006
3:32 pm

Finally got around to re-tweaking my system:

1x InFocus X1 projector
1x Harman Kardon AVR 45
1x Harman Kardon / JBL TC-1000 remote
1x Polk RM1600S center channel
1x JL 10" sub w/ RCA electronics
2x Sony SS-MF600H Speakers (front)
2x Genexxa/Optimus/RCA LX5 Speakers (surround)

Also, for DVD's, I'm running a PC w/ an optical 7.1 capable sound card, a PS2, a US and a Japanese Dreamcast, an N64, a GameCube, and a Genesis.
pictures belowCollapse )

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Thursday, September 15th, 2005
7:55 pm - New Toys = Gleeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

I gave up after 116.9dB. Needless to say, I won't be listening to it at that level often -- Only when I can torture someone like yurmother, Muahahahahahahaha.

Oh yeah, what's new is the speakers: Definitive Technologies Power Monitor 900's.

(7 comments | comment on this)

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005
8:44 am

I could use help figuring out a weird problem with my home theater setup that's been bothering me for a long time.

Any hardcore A/V geeks out there wanna try their hand at this?

Read more...Collapse )

(1 comment | comment on this)

Sunday, April 24th, 2005
2:15 pm - New to LJ, new to community

Hello all. Just thought I'd introduce myself to my fellow home theater junkies here on LJ. I've built 2 home theaters so far. For the first one, I converted the single car port of my 3-car garage into a small dedicated space using mostly Pioneer Elite and Polk Audio equipment. That was nice, but when I moved I knew I wanted something fancier, so this is what I did:

(Click image to enlarge)

More details and an equipment list can be found on my site: The Vault

Anyone here a member of avsforum?

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Wednesday, April 13th, 2005
12:14 am - DVD upconversion player...

I'm in the market for a High Definition Conversion DVD Player. Obviously with DVI, Component etc. connections. Any suggestions?

current mood: confused

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Sunday, April 10th, 2005
2:27 am - DVD and black bars on TV

whats the point for having a wide-screen tv and you still get the black bars on top/bottom of the screen when watching DVD's etc.? Doesnt that defeat the purpose?

current mood: annoyed

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Thursday, April 7th, 2005
9:08 pm - Need some Tivo advice

I'm looking to get a PVR, Tivo or some other system, and need some advice. I don't want to have to pay the monthly fee to Tivo, so I'm planning on manaully setting recording times, unless there in some other legal way (alternate servers, etc?).

I also would like a way to network the device with my PC, so I can backup any shows I decide to save to the computer, and eventually out to DVD for archival purposes. I don't watch that much cable TV (we have Comcast here) but there are a few TV shows I enjoy and would like to be able to save (Project Greenlight, for one).

Any any one recommend a *good* website with clear answers to what I am looking for. As a long time geek I'm not afriad to modify a existist machine to do what I want. I had been thinking of setting up another PC to do some of the same stuff, but my TV Tuner is kinda fading, and I'd rather have a stand along machine for this if possible, so a HTPC could be used for other purposes at the same time.


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3:31 am - DVI to VGA


I have a 2yr old 55" Philips HDTV ready big screen TV and a laptop with a DVI connection. The other day i tried to hook up my laptop to the TV with a (very short) DVI cable. My problem is, the TV does not have a DVI connection but a VGA looking one. I tried searching for DVI to VGA cable but could not find anything. Does a cable like that exist?

current mood: sleepy

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