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Home Theater Feb-11

Home Theater magazine takes the mystery out of home entertainment electronics. Every issue of Home Theater is packed with in-depth coverage of home theater developments in HDTV, DVD and more, previews of hot new products, objective product reviews and comparisons, including specs, ratings and opinions, DVD reviews, technical language translations into English and much, much more! Create an incredible home theater experience with Home Theater!

United States
AVTech Media Americas, Inc.
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New Web address for HT.When details began to emerge a few months ago on these first Google TV–equipped devices, it occurred to me that I’ve seen some of this before. Just a few years ago, this merging of the computer world with consumer electronics was tagged with a nift y buzz word: convergence. Its first clumsy steps were little more than dragging a full-blown PC into a home theater system and using a big-screen HDTV as a really big computer monitor with a wireless keyboard and/or mouse. Instead of enhancing functionality of either the PC experience or the home theater experience, it combined the worst aspects of both. It felt more like collision than convergence. The result of the first round of convergence? Computer monitors got bigger and cheaper, desktop…

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WE WELCOME QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS. E-mail them to htletters@sorc.com. Please note: Be sure to check the FAQ page on our Website (HomeTheater.com) to see if we’ve already answered any questions you might have. Questions about the features and functions of a particular product are best directed to the manufacturer. Questions about what product you should buy are best directed to a dealer who knows all the details of your system, your preferences, and your personal habits. All submissions are considered the exclusive property of Home Theater magazine and Source Interlink Media. Due to the volume of mail that we receive, we regret that we cannot respond to every letter.Squeezing AudioLike most of your readers, I have an excellent audio system to augment the HD movie experience provided by Blu-ray Discs.…

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3d: the devil is in the glasses

Where 3D is concerned, the question on everyone’s lips is about what sits on everyone’s nose. Four-eyed 3D enthusiasts know how uncomfortable it is to wear 3D glasses on top of our regular ones. If your 3DTV is a Samsung, relief is in sight. The company has begun offering prescription 3D glasses in Korea. While details were sketchy at press time, the process involves an optometrist, an e-coupon, and a seven-day wait. The consumer ends up with a stylish-looking set of specs that combine prescription lenses with the active-shutter technology that makes 3D content pop out of the screen.3DTV is turning heads. A study by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) found that 79 percent of consumers getting their first look at the technology call it good or excellent, and half…

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dolby digital plus hits streaming services

» Netflix and RoxioNow have both adopted Dolby Digital Plus to accompany their video streaming services. They’re not the first—VUDU long ago beat them to it—but these two high-profile adopters give the surround codec more traction in the streaming marketplace. What, exactly, is Dolby Digital Plus? While it’s a surround codec that uses lossy perceptual coding like Dolby Digital, Dolby claims more refined performance than the older legacy version. While Dolby Digital Plus has appeared in a few Blu-ray releases, its penetration into the burgeon-ing video-streaming category is more significant. This is potentially a big step forward—not just for Dolby Labs, but for the quality of streaming-delivered surround sound. It means that for quality-conscious audio/video buffs, streaming might finally be coming of age.…

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cea rolls out red carpet for consumers

» The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the largest trade group representing CE manufacturers, is now inviting consumers to join. CEA has created a new category of Consumer Technology Enthusiasts. If you’d like to join in beta tests of products before they hit the street or participate in a special online community for CTEs, here’s your hot ticket. CEA also hopes CTEs will lend greater urgency to the association’s public-policy initiatives and lobbying efforts. The first 1,000 people to join were permitted to attend the last day of January’s annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, although CEA cautions that the privilege of CES attendance is not open to all Enthusiasts. See ce.org.…

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fcc adopts new cablecard rules

» The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted new and tougher rules for digital-cable-ready devices. Cable systems must support set-top boxes whether they’re rented from the cable operator or bought in a store. They can’t charge higher subscription rates to consumers using store-bought devices. Consumers must be allowed to install their own cards, so that the installation experience will be the same whether the devices are rented or purchased. When cable ops provide CableCARDs, they must offer the latest multi-stream version of the technology. The CEA commented: “We have felt like Lucy holding the football with every cable industry failure to support competition in the set-top box marketplace. A robust CableCARD regime will yield greater choice in how consumers view video in their homes.”…