Whatever your home entertainment system is, it is probably the most used thing in your entire house by everyone that lives there. Considering the number of hours your family may spend watching TV, listening to music, or playing games, etc. If you were to upgrade the system you would not only be a big hero, but it will literally provide many hours of joy for years to come. There are some fantastic ways to improve your home entertainment experience, and likely a different way to positively impact every member of your family. Here are just a few great ideas.
If you’re struggling to find the perfect gift for the men on your list this year, I have some simple words of wisdom – young or old, boys like their toys. A gender stereotype? Perhaps, but it’s a pretty safe bet that if it moves, plugs in, makes loud noises, or comes with a manual, it will put a smile on their face. So skip the sweater and shaving kit and opt for something a little less “practical” and a lot more fun!
on 11-29-201312:00 PM - last edited on 12-03-201310:55 AM by BBYMartin
Most customized home theatres that people put into their homes use cinema projectors instead of HDTV’s because they can get a beautiful extremely big picture at a reasonable cost. I think more people should seriously consider getting a projector instead of their next HDTV. I realize that it isn’t for everyone, but I recently posted on the reasons you should consider a projector. Epson has a full range of projectors so you can find exactly what you are looking for. I am going to take a quick look at three that are in different price ranges so you can get an idea of what you get.
I have always been a big fan of plasmas and Panasonic makes some of the best ones in the market. Unfortunately, Panasonic announced this month that after 2013, they are no longer going to manufacture plasmas, so this may be your last opportunity to get a fantastic HDTV. And the Panasonic TCP60ST60 is easily one of the best overall plasmas that they have ever made. It has a great picture, excellent design, and is fully loaded with features at a very good price for all that it is capable of.
Is it art, or is it entertainment? With the Samsung 4K (or Ultra High Definition – UHD) S9 TV, it’s hard to tell. With an 85” screen and crystal clear resolution, it would certainly look stellar on any wall large enough to house it. Making the art versus entertainment distinction even harder is the fact that the Samsung UHD S9 is a floor-standing TV mounted on what looks like an artist’s easel. Art meets entertainment in an 85” high definition package – sounds amazing right? Well, at a staggering $39,999 it should! So, the question is: What makes the Samsung UHD S9 worth a cool forty grand? Let me tell you …
When it comes to holiday gift giving, it’s often the case that what you want to purchase for those on your list doesn’t quite match up with what you can afford to purchase for those on your list. This is especially true for home theatre electronics. Thankfully though, this discrepancy between want and can doesn’t have to turn you into a Grinch. There are a tonne of fabulously affordable home theatre products that will make you look like a rock star come Christmas morning. Here are a few ideas to get you in the right mindset.
on 11-24-201307:47 PM - last edited on 11-29-201301:22 PM by BBYMartin
It is amazing how much smaller devices are becoming, and Philips has just come out with some mini pocket projectors that really prove that point. I am used to projectors that are the size of the metro-phone book, and at least as heavy. But these projectors are literally small enough to fit in your pocket, and I mean shirt pocket. Although I wouldn’t recommend setting up your home theatre with one of these, they can provide entertainment value in a lot of other ways.
OLED and 4K Ultra TV’s are here and are the future home entertainment. All the major TV brands have brought out these sets in the last few months, and more are coming. If you are interested in the differences between OLED and 4K, have a look at my earlier post here.
Just looking at 4K Ultra HD, I have seen a number of varying opinions about it that could create some incorrect perceptions. Let me try to sort out the myths from the realities. Here are the main ones....
on 11-21-201310:51 AM - last edited on 12-02-201302:28 PM by BBYMartin
SHARE FAST, SHARE SMART, SHARE WIRELESSLY
LG is notorious for pushing wired internet connection closer and closer to extinction. Smart Share is just one more step. Acting like a traffic officer when the power goes out, Smart Share makes sure that your devices connect in their intended way.
on 11-17-201308:37 PM - last edited on 11-20-201302:05 PM by BBYMartin
I really like seeing a good movie on the big screen at the movie theatre. What I don’t like is getting in the car on a rainy night, finding a parking spot, lining up, waiting while having to watch a bunch of ads, not being able to have a drink, and then having a tall person with big hair sitting in front of me, or a loud person with a bad cold hacking an hewing behind me. All good reasons to create a big screen theatre experience at home. Although HDTV’s are getting bigger, they aren’t yet big enough to create the same effect, but a projector can.
Before you leap out and buy your next big screen TV, you really should consider the merits of a home projector.
byhootie11-16-201311:38 AM - edited 11-16-201311:51 AM
The next generation of TV technology is here now! But which is it, 4K or OLED? Is this like VHS vs. Betamax? If you are in the market for the next best thing, why would you buy one over the other? TV technology has been tough enough to figure out what to buy – plasma or LED, 50” or 60”, contrast ratios, 3D or not, etc. And now there are two more technologies to figure out. I will provide some perspective that will hopefully make it a bit easier.
Marantz has always been known for producing high-end audio products and the Consolette is their first wireless iPod dock, which they have tried to make something special in every way, including the design. The Marantz brand has associated itself with producing high quality sound combined with advanced features for most of its products. Marantz started producing audio equipment over 60 years ago, and coincidentally the very first product that Saul Marantz sold was called the Consolette pre-amp. Since then they have come a long way with this Consolette docking station!
There are lots of Sound Bars out there, but LG decided to be a bit more innovative and created a SoundPlate. You wouldn’t expect that much sound can come out of a “plate” shaped system, but LG took on the challenge and did a lot better than I would have imagined possible. Although Bose and ZVOX both have soundbar systems that are not typical sound bar shapes, the LG Sound Plate definitely is a unique alternative based on its very flattened profile. It has surprisingly good sound so it is a great solution for movie and music lovers that want to keep their entertainment system neatly stacked up in one place, no pun intended.
OLED and 4K Ultra TV’s is where the market is going, and Sharp has entered the race in a big way, no pun intended. They have the only 70” 4K Ultra TV in the market with the introduction of their LC70UD1U. It also has the distinction of being the first 4K Ultra TV model to receive official THX 4K certification. This high-end 4K Ultra HDTV performs extremely well, and is fully loaded with every feature you can imagine and then some.
Christmas is right around the corner and I’m not sure about you, but the men on my list are always the hardest ones to shop for! It’s really unfortunate that bath products don’t go over as well with (the majority) of men as they do with women. But this year, I’m getting a head start and am doing my research to identify gifts that are sure to please. Not surprisingly, most of the hits on my radar have been tech and gadget related. So far, here are my top contenders:
byhootie10-30-201310:19 AM - edited 10-30-201310:19 AM
There are many advantages to using in-wall speakers instead of traditional speaker cabinet systems.
It is a little trickier wiring them, but once it is done it makes a much cleaner and aesthetically pleasing system. The quality of sound of in-wall speakers has improved over the years so you can get some great sounding speakers that any audiophile would enjoy. Before you automatically decide on the normal default of cabinet speakers, it may be worth considering in-wall.
As one of the self-admitted hardest people on the planet to buy a gift for, it's sometimes helpful to have a list of some of the things we secretly want or think would be great to receive. Some of us have simple tastes. Some of us have expensive tastes. Either way, this list might provide insight into some of those bits and pieces of technology we're secretly interested in, but might not let on as much as we should.
byhootie10-29-201310:46 AM - edited 10-29-201310:49 AM
Polk Audio has been around for over 40 years and has always been known by audiophiles for the quality of their home and automobile speakers. They have just launched their latest wireless speaker system, the Polk Woodbourne, which has sound that doesn’t disappoint. It comes in a fairly elegant retro design that either you will really love or really hate, there doesn’t seem to be much in-between. What everyone will love is the richness of sound from this system. It is as good as I have heard in any wireless speaker system.
So you just bought a big new flat panel HDTV, and now that you have it home all you want to do is set it up your new toy and watch the fantastic picture as soon as possible. If you are like most people you won’t spend much time figuring out how to best position it. You’ll just set it up in the most convenient spot as quickly as possible and start watching. But it is worth taking just a few extra moments. My advice is to take that little extra time once during setup as the subtle adjustments can help you enjoy your new set even more for a long time. Here are some simple setup tips.
on 10-20-201309:30 AM - last edited on 11-06-201309:09 AM by BBYLaura
Sonos has just launched a series of wireless speakers that connects to your home Wi-Fi network with the ability to play a wide variety of content throughout your home. I had a chance to test out the Sonos Play:1 (there is also a Play:3 and a Play:5) and could not help but like everything about this speaker and the entire Sonos system that it is part of. The Play:1 looks great, is extremely well made, sounds great, and has lots of flexibility in what you can play and how you can configure it – all at a pretty reasonable price.
on 10-18-201309:53 PM - last edited on 10-21-201309:29 AM by BBYMartin
If you are in the market for a 3D HDTV, it is confusing enough to figure out what TV to get and with what features. When researching different 3D models, you will discover that there are fundamentally two different 3D technologies to choose from – active or passive. “Active” sort of sounds like it should be better than “passive,” but is it really? Which one would work best for what you are looking for? How do you decide?
on 10-14-201310:27 AM - last edited on 11-05-201303:09 PM by BBYMartin
Bose has just launched a series of SoundTouch Wi-Fi music systems with three different models.
In typical Bose fashion, they are well made, have good sound, and come in a relatively small but well made package. I had a chance to test out the Bose SoundTouch 20, which is in the middle of the series, and it has some awesome features that you won’t find in many systems. “SoundTouch” is going to be Bose’s new ecosystem for networking their entire lineup of wireless speakers so this system is a sign of things to come.
The TV industry is quickly moving toward OLED and Ultra HD 4K technology, and with that comes the need for improved HDMI standards.
I realize that cables aren’t very sexy technology, but they are a necessary evil to make home entertainment systems perform up to their potential. The HDMI Forum, which oversees specifications for this technology, last month announced an upgrade to HDMI 2.0 (the current version that you probably have today is HDMI 1.4). But does this mean you should upgrade? Will doing so improve your current HDTV picture and sound? Will your current HDMI cables work with new TV’s?
on 10-05-201307:11 PM - last edited on 11-06-201309:53 AM by BBYLaura
Roku makes one of the best ways to turn your HDTV into a Smart TV by Internet streaming over 450 channels of content that you can play on your TV. Roku has been making media streaming devices since 2008, and over that time have produced a lot of different versions – the SD, HD, XD, XDS, LT, Roku2 (HD, XD, XS), and Roku 3 – and within these versions there can be multiple models. The Roku 1,2 and 3 recently launched in Canada. Sounds confusing, but they are actually making life simpler.
on 10-04-201308:14 PM - last edited on 10-07-201310:55 AM by BBYMartin
At IFA 2013 in Berlin (click left see this post) last month, LG brought out a remarkable 77” 4K OLED TV, which is the biggest OLED we have seen yet. On top of that it was 4K TV so the clarity was unbelievable! It showed that LG is serious about making OLED a reality, and was a pre-curser to bringing this technology to market. Only a month later and LG is launching OLED HDTV’s into Canada, with their 55” OLED HDTV (55EA9800). This set is pretty amazing and a great sign of things to come.
Yamaha is an excellent manufacturer of audio receivers, and the RXV675B is one of their best!
Most importantly, it delivers fantastic sound because of it’s power and advanced digital processing. What also makes it a great receiver for your home entertainment system are the features that they have included in its’ design. It will definitely add a whole new dimension to your entertainment experience, whether it watching movies or sports, playing video games, or listening to music.
on 09-28-201303:43 PM - last edited on 10-07-201312:27 PM by BBYMartin
ZVOX is not the most well known audio system, but don’t let that fool you. They have a unique line of products that are classified as sound bars but aren’t your traditional sound bar. They are really “sound bases” that act like sound bars. Because ZVOX is focused on only producing sound bases, they have refined them to make great sound while keeping them simple.
on 09-27-201303:05 PM - last edited on 11-06-201309:54 AM by BBYLaura
Samsung hosted an event in Toronto last night to celebrate the launch of their OLED HDTV’s in Canada.
Pre-orders have already begun at Best Buy. OLED is an impressive technology and Samsung has made it even more impressive with the feature set that they have included. OLED will be the new standard for videophile-quality displays, and we are now a lot closer to the reality of placing it your living room.
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