Tuesday, December 30, 2008

CES 2009

CES 2009
We'll be at CES again, January 8-12 2009, in Las Vegas and blogging about the latest and greatest things we check out in Audio/Video connectivity and computer accessories.
And yes, as usual, we'll also be complaining about the worst and stupidest things we see. Sometimes you just can't help but poke a little fun.

With the economy as it is, this huge show may be a little more interesting than usual. Will dealers and manufacturers scramble for objects of need, rather than objects of desire?

Things have changed drastically since last year. There's no longer a HD disk war, and the whole digital transition thing is very NOW, rather than later. Wireless Audio/Video may be looking like more fact than fantasy for a change, and the real year of the HTPC may have finally arrived. People want to find ways to save money with technology more than ever before.

Please stay tuned, it is always crazy, and always fun!
We always find some time to check out some Speakers and things in high end audio, and this time we may even throw in some of our dining reviews!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

High Definition TV Reception using an Antenna

Get High Definition TV for Free with an Antenna?
A lot of people are buying new LCD and Plasma HDTV's and Projectors everyday, but they can't get HDTV! With so many people upgrading the Cable TV companies and Satellite companies just don't currently have the installers or Boxes to go around. Sure, if you are willing to wait a month or so they'll hook you up, but what are you going to do in the meantime? A lot of other people already use antennas for their TV reception, but may need to upgrade what they have to get good results with the new digital channels. Well, the latest HDTV's pretty much all have built-in "ATSC" tuners which can receive local broadcasts over Antenna for free. All you need is an Antenna, and a bit of know-how to get it set up right.
What do you need to get started?
First, you need to determine what type and size of antenna you will need, which depends on your location. Different locations will be closer or farther away from the Broadcast Towers, and some Stations will eventually be at different frequencies after the digital changeover in February. While most stations will be in the UHF band, some stations are changing from UHF to VHF after the changeover. So how do you find out? There is a great website that walks you through selecting and directing your antenna.

Just click on the "choose your antenna" button, put in your address or just zip code and fill out a few questions and it gives you all kinds of results for every "local" TV station in any direction from you. Most people will just want to aim for the main towers in the closest city. This way you don't need to rotate the antenna to pick up different stations. Those close enough to the local stations towers can often get good reception using a small indoor antenna. Just pick up a small antenna, Those far away would generally need a larger, roof mounted job - quite a bit more of a permanent installation than you may want, but hen again, it's free digital TV and HDTV which is a nice option to have if your Cable or Satellite TV service goes down or you get sick of paying for it. Anyway, it gives you the Antenna type color code, miles from the Broadcast Tower and Compass heading referenced in degrees from magnetic North. All you need to set up the Antenna for good reception. They also have a variety of FAQ's and Resource sites which should answer any other questions you may have. Another great resource is the AVS Forum "Local HDTV Info and Reception" forum where you can ask questions and read up on what people local to you are doing for OTA (over the air) Reception.

If you decide to take the plunge, we have some of the top rated Antennas, Amplifiers and Splitters to finish the job.
Please see our Channel Master Products Section.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Series of Audio "Archiving" Articles - Turntables, Cassette Decks

Well, my recession plan to dip into old, cheap media resources is evolving it seems, and so I'll be having some fun updating some of our "how to" guides with whatever I find to work. I already promised another turntable update. An additional section about cassette decks will be added as well. Why? Well a lot of people have lots of tapes of all kinds on cassette.
I happen to have some tapes that seem important to me to archive, so I got a few cassette decks from ebay to test out.
First thing I'll say - you have to be careful! Cassette decks tend to use a lot of rubber belts and rubber wheels and heads that wear out. Second thing I'll say is you can get super mega nice decks at unbelievable prices if careful....
I'm currently listening to some old Soundgarden and Tom Waits tapes on a deck that cost me $35 with shipping and listed for $1245 as I write this, and let me tell you, the tapes sound pretty nice!
I'll mainly try to give you the links to the best info I find, as well as products.

The updates will be posted here:
How to connect your computer to your stereo

Monday, December 01, 2008

Cyber Monday HDTV Cable Sale

Last day of our Black Friday to Cyber Monday HDTV Cable Set Sale.
Connect your Cable/Satellite Box or Blu Ray Player to your HDTV, three cables for under $10!
• HDMI 6 foot Cable, HDMI 1.3 Compliant
• Component Video Cable, 6 feet long, Gold plated Contacts, HD Component Video up to 1080p
• Digital Audio Cable, 6 feet long, Optical Toslink for Dolby Digital and DTS Surround Sound