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Issue # 036: What's New
Date: 23rd May 2010

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.

May 2010: Welcome to Issue 36 of the Practical HT Guide Update

Hi, the Practical Home Theater Guide e-zine is back!

But first, apologies for not having published the e-zine for the last year or so; unfortunately, a number of unplanned commitments cropped up in the process that made it impossible for me to keep on publishing the site newsletter. Now that running this website has become my full time activity, I am in a better position to get back to publishing this newsletter on a more regular basis once again.

In this issue:

Blue bullet

Amplifier Power: How much amplifier power do you need to attain a desired level of loudness?

Blue bullet

Correct Speaker Placement: Optimum placement for an immersive listening experience

Blue bullet

Is it worth investing in 3D TV now? Challenges of 3D TV in the home

Audio Amplifier Power: How much power do you need?

Audio amplifier power is a much debated issue and often a grossly misunderstood term; in particular, many relate amplifier power solely and directly with speaker loudness, which is not exactly the case.

Determining the amount of amplifier power necessary to match your expected level of loudness or listening pattern is critical for both an enjoyable listening experience in the home theater, and for the safety of your gear - speakers and amplifier alike. That's correct, having adequate amplifier power reduces the risk of you literally frying your speakers out of your attempt to get more power from your audio amplifier by sending it into clipping.

The required amplifier power has to be seen in the light of both your home theater speakers efficiency and the room size. All three are equally important and need to be taken into account when planning an audio set-up.

More information on this hotly debated issue is available in our article:
Audio Amplifier Power: Amplifier output, Sound Quality and Speaker Loudness


Note: This article forms part of a series of guides appearing under the Home Theater Sound section of the site. Related content includes:

Understanding Amplifier Specs: What makes a good home theater amplifier?

Time Delay Settings in Surround Systems: Correct delay settings are essential for a unified sound-field.

Tips for Better Sound: Simple steps you can take to a better home theater sound.


Home Theater Speaker Placement: Optimum placement for an immersive experience.

Home theater is not just watching movies - it is the experience of being immersed into the movie action itself. This would not be possible without the enveloping atmosphere created by surround sound.

speaker placementHome theater sound systems require at least five main speakers and a sub woofer, hence the reference to a 5.1 speaker playback setup. More advanced audio playback systems may feature six (6.1 setup) or seven (7.1 setup) full-range audio channels for greater realism.

Surround sound requires that the various sounds produced by the different speakers originate from specific positions within your home theater room. Knowing these requirements will help re-create the sound producers intended it to be.

Furthermore, as we further explains in our guide to Home Theater Speaker Placement, there are also distinct differences in speaker placement requirements between multi-channel music listening and watching movies.

This discussion appears under the Audio Speakers section of the site; additional speaker guides appearing under this section include:

Home Theater Speaker Basics: An introduction

Speakers for Multi-Channel Audio: Discussing the different types of speakers and speaker requirements associated with the different surround sound channels.

Home Theater Speaker Choice: What to look for when shopping for audio speakers for use in multi-channel audio.

Understanding speaker specs: Explaining the different terms associated with audio speakers.


Is it Worth Investing in 3D TV now? Discussing the challenges of 3D TV in the home

3D TVsResearch firms are expecting that sales of 3D HDTVs will exceed 4 million units by the end of this year - while peaking to 78 million units globally by 2015.

Yet, we believe that these predictions are a bit too optimistic when considering the challenges 3D television technology has to overcome to become the mainstream TV technology in home entertainment.

And as we will further explain in our article - Challenges of 3D TV in the Home, it is not just a matter of the present bad economy. A less immersive 3D experience, lack of 3D content, consumer reluctance to upgrade, and the burden of the 3D LCD shutter glasses, all contribute to make what some have dubbed as the greatest development in TV entertainment since color television, less fun than originally many thought it would be - at least for the time being.

You are welcome to join in our discussion and submit your opinion on this issue on our site here.

More information on 3D HDTVs is available on our site under the 3D TV section of the site; articles available include:

3D Television Technology and Human Vision
renders the impression of depth while displaying an image over a 2D surface. This is not exactly the way we see an object in space and has its implications.

Optimal Viewing Distance for an immersive 3D Experience
You need to watch out closely on your 3D TV viewing distance to ensure a great immersive 3D experience. Not only, your 3D TV screen size and TV viewing angle with respect to your seating position also play an important role in delivering a realistic 3D experience.

3D Technology - Not for everyone
3D Television is not for everyone - and this is not a matter is a technology that is still too expensive for the average family. Some persons are literally 3D TV blind.

3D Television Formats
3D Television comes in various formats; there is no format war on the horizon but it is still worth knowing the main differences between the most common formats in use today.

3D Television FAQs
Questions always crop up with a new technology. We do our best to answer most of the common questions in this FAQ.

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.


Stay tuned to Practical Home Theater Guide!

Take care,



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