Books & Videos

Table of Contents

  1. Chapter 1 Buying Gear

    1. Hacks 1–8

    2. Master Theater-Speak

    3. Audition Before You Buy

    4. Buy from Chain Stores with Skepticism

    5. Buy in Person from Electronics Boutiques

    6. Shop Intelligently at eBay

    7. Find High-End Equipment Online

    8. Buy Cabinets for Your Gear

    9. Plan Your Room Décor

  2. Chapter 2 Video Components

    1. Hacks 9–20

    2. Get the Right TV

    3. Your TV's First Steps

    4. Move Your TV Safely

    5. Fix Panasonic's Picture Glitch

    6. Figure Out Aspect Ratios

    7. Avoid Cheap Projectors

    8. DVHS on a Budget

    9. Cover Black Bars with Letterbox Mattes

    10. Improve the Picture on Rear Projection TVs

    11. Paint Your Theater a Neutral Color

    12. Backlight Your TV

    13. Add Metal Plating to Support a Center Speaker

    14. Squeeze Your TV into Your Basement

  3. Chapter 3 Audio Components

    1. Hacks 22–27

    2. Get the Right Receiver

    3. Watts Are Meaningless Without Context

    4. Amplify the Front Soundstage

    5. The Mythical Burn-In Period

    6. Use Gain Offset to Regulate Volume

    7. Use Dynamic Range Compression to Regulate Volume

  4. Chapter 4 High Definition

    1. Hacks 28–35

    2. Ensure You Can Get HD Programming

    3. Get the Right Type of HD Set

    4. Add a Set Top Box

    5. Properly Size Your HD Image

    6. Get the Right Antenna

    7. Erect an OTA Antenna

    8. Don't Use Portable Signal Strength Meters

    9. Resolve Problems After Buying an HDTV

  5. Chapter 5 Speakers and Wiring

    1. Hacks 36–47

    2. Organize Your A/V Racks

    3. Get the Right Speakers for the Job

    4. Select the Perfect Rear and Side Speakers

    5. Little Speakers Can Create Big Problems

    6. Add Bass Shakers to Feel the Lows

    7. Lower the Resonant Frequency of Aura Bass Shakers

    8. Use Subwoofers as a Poor Man's Bass Shaker

    9. Convert In-Wall Speakers to In-Ceiling Speakers

    10. Banana Plugs Trump Bare Wires

    11. Use the Same Speaker Wire Lengths (Not!)

    12. Use Thicker Wiring for Longer Runs

    13. Bi-Wiring and Bi-Amping Speakers

  6. Chapter 6 Subwoofers

    1. Hacks 48–54

    2. Learn Sub Talk

    3. Choose the Right Subwoofer

    4. Match the Sub to Your Room

    5. Hook Up Your Subwoofer Correctly

    6. Optimize Subwoofer Placement

    7. Use Multiple Subwoofers

    8. Remove Subwoofer Hum

  7. Chapter 7 Connectivity

    1. Hacks 55–59

    2. Cable Basics

    3. Watch Out for Entertainment Centers

    4. Don't Be Swindled into Buying Overly Expensive Cables

    5. Use Your Receiver for Video Switching

    6. Understand Component Video Switching

  8. Chapter 8 Calibration

    1. Hacks 60–74

    2. Choose the Right Seating Distance

    3. Get the Best Calibration Tools

    4. Choose the Right Calibration DVD

    5. Calibrate Speakers with a Sound Meter

    6. Set the Receiver's Reference Level

    7. Avoid Using THX Optimizer

    8. Avoid Using Internal Test Tones

    9. Set Your Speakers to "Small" in Your Receiver Setup

    10. Hack Your TV's Service Menu

    11. Clean the Optics on RPTVs

    12. Reduce Focus Problems on RPTVs

    13. Reduce Lens Flare on RPTVs

    14. Focus Your Front Projector

    15. Don't Mess with Odd Screws

    16. Annual Home Theater Tune-Up

  9. Chapter 9 Do It Yourself

    1. Hacks 75–83

    2. Build Your Own Speaker Stands

    3. Add Rollers and a Stand to Your TV

    4. Construct a Screen for Projection

    5. Mask Your Screen

    6. Construct Speaker Cables Using CAT 5

    7. Home-Grow Your Power Cables

    8. Build a 16-Bay UHF Antenna

    9. Ground Your Outdoor Antenna

    10. Build a Lens Hood for Your RPTV

  10. Chapter 10 Remote Controls

    1. Hacks 84–89

    2. Add a Programmable Remote

    3. Program Your Remote with ProntoEdit

    4. Create Custom Graphics for Color Remotes

    5. Learn IR Codes the Smart Way

    6. Work around Proprietary Remote Systems

    7. Disable NetCommand for Faster Response

  11. Chapter 11 HTPC

    1. Hacks 90–93

    2. Choose the Right Display Resolution for Analog-Input HDTVs

    3. Add Custom Resolutions with PowerStrip

    4. Adjust the Overscan on Your HDTV Display

    5. Play Video Games in Custom Resolutions on HDTVs

  12. Chapter 12 TiVo

    1. Hacks 94–100

    2. Must-Skim TV

    3. Navigation Shortcuts

    4. The 30-Second Commercial Skip

    5. Streaming Internet Audio Broadcasts to TiVo

    6. Signing Up for the Home Media Option

    7. Remotely Scheduling a Recording

    8. Moving Shows Between TiVo Units

  1. Colophon