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Issue #033 - What's new
The Practical HT Guide Update brings you the latest additions in a series of informative home theater design articles, unbiased system reviews, practical guidelines and free advice. If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a BIG favor and "pay it forward."
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March 2008: Welcome to Issue 33 of the Practical HT Guide Update
Is the Demise of Rear Projection HDTVs Inevitable?
This move towards slimmer designs is expected to slow down the present drop in sales of RPTVs. In addition, the cheaper price tag and the lower power consumption of rear projection HDTVs give RPTVs an added bonus over other display technologies.
But... is this enough for the survival of the RPTV set?
In our opinion, it is still a bit too early to predict. In any case, if as analysts are saying, the demise of rear projection TV is inevitable, it will surely take a couple of years for this to happen. In the meantime, you can enjoy the latest in rear projection technology from major brands and get that big screen TV at a truly affordable price.
The main problem many consumers face when choosing a rear projection TV, is simply one of getting confused by the different rear projection technologies which seem to be flourishing despite that many are predicting the downfall of RPTVs.
The reality is that TV makers are constantly coming up with new developments in rear projection. This is leading to improved picture quality, longer lamp life, reduced set-up effort, and equally important, more stylish and slimmer cabinet designs.
In particular, present-day designs make RPTVs look more like the latest flat-panel TVs than the traditional ‘big’ box television. This is more than understandable; the biggest competition rear projection TVs face comes from plasmas and LCD HDTVs.
We believe that as things stand today, rear projection HDTVs can still appeal to those looking for the cheapest big screen option while enjoying the best in picture quality that the latest rear projection technology can deliver.
More information on rear projection HDTVs is available in our guide to Rear Projection HDTV Technology. It discusses the pros and cons of the different video technologies - CRT, LCD, DLP, and LCoS - as applicable to RPTVs.
Additional information on both front and rear projection television systems is also available under the Projection TV Section of the site.
Getting the Best Out of Your System - Home Theater Set-Up DVDs
You have just managed to buy one of the latest big screen plasmas or LCD HDTVs, or upgraded to a new home theater system.
You have also completed the system set-up process in line with the user's manual. Everything is set for the big event but... is it really so?
While some may look at getting a new TV as the final step in the process of getting a better picture, yet this is just the beginning.
The truth is that you can do a lot better and squeeze even more out of your system by following a few basic tips and by investing in a suitable home theater set-up DVD.
Unfortunate, some 90% of all HDTV owners never tweak their TV display and audio settings for best performance, and instead settle for a mediocre picture and sound.
We are not saying that just by following a few key tips and by investing in a set-up DVD, you can do away with professional calibration. There are instances when you cannot do without professional help - especially if you need to open the back panel of your TV. But there are many situations where a good quality calibration DVD would do a lot towards helping you achieve better picture and improved sound.
The good thing about set-up DVDs is that you do not need to be a qualified AV professional to use one of these calibration discs to optimize your system settings for improved performance.
Set-up DVDs are relatively inexpensive; when you have already spent thousands of dollars on new audio/video gear and high quality cables, it surely cannot hurt spending 20 to 40 dollars more on a suitable calibration disc. The end result... a more rewarding home theater experience!
More information on calibration discs is available in our Guide to Home Theater Set-Up DVDs.
While it is always recommended to use of a Home Theater Set-Up DVD when calibrating your gear, yet it is still possible to get an overall improvement in system performance by simply following through a few 'Quick Set-Up Tips' detailed on our site. Admittedly, relying on your perception of what appears to be the right settings has its serious limitations, hence the need to use a calibration disc when setting up system components. However, our easy-to-follow 'Quick Set-Up Tips' would surely help you get a lot more for just five minutes of your time.
Home Theater Pictures - a great way to set your imagination in motion!
An important aspect in any home theater design is ensuring you get the right 'look-and-feel' that would help you get better immersed into the movie action.
This means that you need to develop your home theater room design concept to come up with the right room ambience. This applies to any home theater set-up - from the dedicated home theater to a bedroom or living-room home theater.
A great way to set your imagination in motion when designing a home theater is to have a look at what others have done when building their home theater.
We are not saying that looking at home theater pictures of those who have already gone through the process is enough. But it is a sure fact that taking a look at home theater pictures is a great way to help get your creativity into action.
For this purpose, we will be setting up a visitor's gallery for home theater pictures submitted by some of our site visitors. This should serve as a source of great ideas when planning your dream home theater. In addition, we would like to give our readers the opportunity to show off their home theater masterpiece on our site by taking part in our 'Best Home Theater' contest. So...
If you have a nice home theater - why not show off your home theater and share a great picture of your den with our site visitors. It is simple - just submit a picture of your home theater and add an interesting description on the appropriate form on our site. You will have a whole web-page dedicated to your home theater. Our site visitors will be able to rate your submission; it would surely be fun to see the comments it gets. The best submissions will also be featured for a whole month on our home page as the 'Best Home Theater of the Month'.
Don't know where to start with your home theater design? No problem, help is on the way!
We have published a comprehensive set of home theater guides available under the 'Home Theater Design' section of the site and that takes you through the various steps of home theater design - from basic room design considerations such as budgeting, space, acoustics and lighting, to home theater room decor, theater seating, home theater wiring, equipment placement, and more.
Furthermore, like the majority of web site, our site does contain links to other sites, such as those of our advertisers and reference Web sites. We provide these links as a convenience to our readers. We encourage you to be aware when leaving our site. We strongly recommend that once you leave our site, you read the privacy policies of such other sites, as such other sites may collect information about you.
Hope you will enjoy and profit from these additions to our site. More new content is available on our site. We suggest to subscribe to the Practical Home Theater Guide RSS feed for an immediate update once new content is available.
Take care and stay tuned!
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