Let’s be honest. Wires suck. They’re ugly, intrusive, binding, and seemingly everywhere you look. We’re right smack dab in the middle of an era where we all have so many personal electronic devices and gadgets that it seems as though every electric outlet in our homes needs an adapter to accommodate many more inputs than the two for which it was designed. That’s why I was happy to review the new Polk Omni S2 Rechargeable Wireless Speaker. I’ve been looking for a new wireless speaker for my home office for some time now … and the Polk Omni was given the honour of being my first guinea pig.
When it comes to creating a home theatre room, there are really no set rules. What might work for one person, one space, and one budget, may not work for you, your space, or your budget, and that’s ok. A home theatre doesn’t need to be created in a 1,000 square foot dedicated space. It can be created in your basement, living room, or even a dorm room. All you need are a few key components to get the most immersive viewing experience possible.
On a scale of one to ten, ten being Geek Squad Agenttechnologically savvy, and one being “I’ve-been-stranded-on-a-deserted-island-since-1960-jeepers-VCRs-are-nifty-gadgets” technologically savvy, I consider myself to be a solid seven. However, there is something about home entertainment systems that have always terrified me. In fact, I’ve typically left the dismantling and set up of my own system to my father, even though I am well aware that he is about a two on my very scientific scale. But with the XLIX Super Bowl and the 87th Academy Awards right around the corner, I decided it was time to do a little digging into how I can make both viewing experiences the best ever, and what I discovered was shocking – setting up a home entertainment system like a pro isn’t rocket science at all! Here are the five “S’s” to keep in mind to help you make the most out of your viewing, gaming, or listening experience.
on 01-17-201503:00 PM - last edited on 01-30-201508:24 AM by BBYMartin
You don’t have to be a pro to get rid of your cable subscription—all you have to do is call your cable provider. But what you need to figure out is how will I get great entertainment to watch. The good news is that there are more options every day for finding excellent content. But quitting your cable subscription cold-turkey can be pretty intimidating, especially if you tend to watch a fair bit of cable. I am going to try to make it easier.
byhootie01-09-201510:48 AM - edited 01-10-201511:43 AM
Now that CES 2015 is wrapping up, it is worthwhile taking a step back and see where the various TV makers are headed in 2015. Although 4K Ultra HD is the main theme, each manufacturer seems to have taken quite a different spin on how they are delivering 4K. And there are many more new buzzwords and new technologies to figure out. Here is a summary of what happened at CES with TVs.
on 01-08-201511:44 AM - last edited on 01-09-201509:33 AM by BBYMartin
I have always said the best feature you can buy in any TV is size, and the Super Bowl is a perfect reason why. Even after all the hype, the big game is a lot of fun to watch; on a giant screen the home experience is so much better. Add some food and friends and you can’t help but have a fantastic time.
What has been clear at CES 2015 is that 4K Ultra High Definition is going mainstream with all the brands. Everyone seems to be introducing more 4K sets than 1080p HD and are making 4K that much more affordable. Everyone always tries to out-do each other at CES, and Sharp’s one-upmanship is not based on another unique approach to 4K technology. Instead they want to leap-frog everyone else by bringing in 8K technology.
LG brought 7 new 4K OLED TVs to CES, and not to be outdone Sony is bringing 10 new 4K TVs to the show. Sony has always been a big proponent of 4K Ultra- High Definition TV, and with a lot more 4K models they are making it their mainstream product. What is obvious out from CES is that Sony is taking a different approach than their competitors.
byhootie01-05-201511:04 PM - edited 01-06-201510:47 AM
CES 2015 started today and LG made some big announcements about where they are going with their TV lineup. CES always provides an excellent preview of what the upcoming year will bring. It looks like 4K is going mainstream, which isn’t a big surprise. But where LG is going with 4K is a bit of a surprise, and a nice one at that!
The one thing that will round out that awesome big screen TV and sound system is the proper home theatre seating arrangement. Do you only have one recliner that everyone fights for? Are most of your seats not directly in front of the TV? Are you really comfortable when you spend a few hours watching TV? Is theatre seating only available at the movie theatre? The good news is you can now get excellent theatre seating for your home, and it has better features than they have at the movie theatre!
on 12-26-201404:20 PM - last edited on 12-29-201404:40 PM by BBYMartin
The Polk Audio SB1 Soundbaris one of the most impressive soundbars you will find. Not only does it have excellent sound that greatly improves your home theatre experience, you can use it to wirelessly fill your home with sound by adding other speakers, and they don’t even have to be Polk. Similar to Sonos, Denon HEOS, or Bose Soundtouch you can create a variety of sound experiences throughout your home with a tremendous amount of ease and no messy wires.
When it comes to TVs, there are a few big brands that lead the pack – Sony, Samsung, LG, and Panasonic, to name a few. But in 2002, armed with $600,000 and a vision, three entrepreneurs from Irvine, California introduced a new player to the game: VIZIO. Since then, they’ve skyrocketed to success and are currently ranked #2 in HDTVs and #1 in Smart TVs and sound bars in the US; and in September of this year, VIZIO expanded out of its home market to bring its award-winning product line to Canada.
We have done quite a number of TV reviews or detailed overviews this year, so I thought it would be good to look back at all that investigation and identify what I think are the best TVs this year. If you are shopping for a new TV it is a hard decision to make because there are so many brands and models to choose from. Here are my top picks for 2014, and each for different reasons.
byhootie12-17-201405:44 PM - edited 12-18-201409:13 AM
TVs keep getting bigger with a clearer, richer picture and Christmas or Boxing Day is a very popular time for people to upgrade their technology. If you are getting a new TV, and even if you aren’t, it is also a great time to get those accessories that will make any TV experience a lot better. These must-have accessories make great Christmas presents and if Santa was not so nice, Boxing Day sales are sure to give you a second chance.
on 12-16-201412:53 PM - last edited on 01-30-201511:27 AM by BBYMartin
The Pioneer X-CM32BT Micro System is a relatively compact little unit that can be deceiving. If asked to describe where it lands in the crowded arena of audio playback systems, I’d have to say it lies somewhere between massive amplifier/receiver systems and compact all-in-one mobile device docking stations. It reminded me of hi-fi systems of a couple of decades ago, but in a much smaller package.
The system will play many audio formats and media. Radio, CD’s and digital audio files (MP3/WMA) are all supported.
on 12-12-201405:43 PM - last edited on 12-15-201404:21 PM by BBYMartin
I like gifts that I typically wouldn’t buy for myself even though they are so cool or useful that I would love to have them. Gifts that I want but just can’t seem to justify buying for myself. Well, here are some unique home theatre gadgets that easily fall into that category. They are cool because they are very useful, but might not be something you would think to give even though your gadget guru will likely really like them.
on 12-10-201410:39 PM - last edited on 12-11-201408:32 AM by BBYMartin
If you have an aspiring home theatre buff on your Christmas list, or just someone with some great home theatre gear, here are some ideas on how to fill their stocking with smaller stuff that can come in real handy. They qualify as stocking stuffers because they are small enough to fit, OK a couple of them you might have to have stretch socks, and they are very inexpensive.
The LG BP145 Blu-Ray Player can make a great gift this Holiday Season, especially if you were to combine it with a couple of great movies. This player makes it easy because it is small enough to fit in anyone’s system, and very inexpensive so it leaves budget room to add a movie or two. It is a brand-name LG product and comes with some pretty decent features.
on 12-04-201412:20 PM - last edited on 12-04-201401:16 PM by BBYMartin
As commercialized as Christmas has become, it is one of the best times for family. One way to bring them home is with fun home entertainment gifts that everyone can enjoy. Here are some good gift ideas that will help any family enjoy the Holidays a lot more. After all who doesn’t like improving their home theatre experience?
When it comes to projectors, I’m what you would call a rookie. I like to think of myself as tech-savvy, but anytime I’m in a meeting where a projector needs to be set up for a presentation, I defer to my colleagues. When I’m at my parent’s house and my nieces and nephews ask me to put a movie on in Grandpa’s theatre room, I defer to Grandpa. So when I was asked to review the BenQ 1080p DLP Home Theatre Projector (HT1075), I was a little nervous. However, as it turns out, BenQ’s claim that with this projector, “home entertainment is only a push of a button away!” is pretty spot-on.
on 11-27-201405:41 PM - last edited on 11-28-201411:01 AM by BBYMartin
I was pretty excited to review this Audio Technica turntable, as it was a good opportunity to digitize some of my older classic vinyl records. This turntable is also a higher quality machine that is full of the features that I was looking for. It has a lot of flexibility since you can digitize LPs, play them through a receiver, a computer or directly through speakers. It also has DJ capabilities to create a lot of special effects, whether you are a DJ or not.
on 11-26-201408:07 PM - last edited on 11-28-201412:07 PM by BBYMartin
This question was asked by one of our readers, because they were going to buy the Samsung 120W Sound Bar (HW-355) and wanted to hook it up to their receiver but weren’t sure if that was possible. Sound bars are extremely popular because they are a simple way to take your TV sound to a new level. They are easy to set up, don’t take up much space, and generally not pricey. Most are designed to connect directly to your TV so what about connecting to your receiver instead?
The vinyl revival is very real. Vinyl album sales have been growing steadily for the last 10 years, and growth just last year was over 30%. CD sales have been steadily declining and surprisingly even digital music downloads declined last year. To accompany the surge in vinyl, record players of today have features that weren’t around when vinyl was king many moons ago. So here’s a short primer on what to look for in a record player these days.
I have a theory. A product that has a long name is almost always better than a similar product with a short name. Take, for example, my favourite coffee indulgence: a large-triple-shot-extra-hot-no-foam-sugar-free-vanilla-soy-cappucino. Now, doesn’t that sound a million times better than plain old “coffee”? I think so. And if my exceptionally scientific theory has any merit at all, then the LG 65” 4K Ultra HD 240Hz IPS Smart TV might just be the king of the TVs. All kidding aside, this TV is packed with features that are sure to please.
In keeping with the “long names are better” theme, let’s break down name of this TV to illustrate all that it hsa to offer.
on 11-18-201408:16 PM - last edited on 11-21-201410:32 AM by BBYMartin
This LG OLED Smart TVis loaded with lots of great features but the best feature of all is its absolutely fantastic picture. In fact CNET who do detailed reviews of hundreds of TVs have claimed that it has the “Best. Picture. Ever.” Picture quality is the most important attribute of any TV and this one is at the top of the list, but it doesn’t stop there because it has so much more to offer.
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