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HDTV and Home Theater Podcast

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This is a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. We will bring you news, reviews, and how-tos. We encourage your participation, and can be reached by email at [email protected] Please send us your comments and questions.
Recent Episodes for HDTV and Home Theater Podca...
DATE: Fri, 01 Oct 2010
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Podcast #445: brite-View Air SyncHD and Bye bye Blu-ray

Netflix just launched their service in Canada, but they aren't planning to ship a single disc. The entire service is what we refer to as "Watch it Now" or their streaming video service. They're also on record as saying that if they were starting in the US right now, they'd do the same thing: skip discs entirely and go straight to streaming. Microsoft has recently also predicted that Blu-ray will go the way of the HD-DVD very soon (article). So what do these companies know that we don't?

DATE: Fri, 24 Sep 2010
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Podcast #444: CEDIA 2010

Each year CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association) holds an event where the industry gathers to show off their wares. We’ve been to a few of these and actually enjoy the show more than CES. It takes the parts of CES that we are interested in and compresses it down to a more manageable show. We didn’t go this year but that won’t stop us from talking about some of the products we think are interesting.

DATE: Fri, 17 Sep 2010
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Podcast #443: Cutting the cord with ivi.tv

Although neither of us have actually taken the plunge, we’ve talked quite often about canceling the cable or satellite bill in favor of Internet video and over the air TV. We know several of you have given it a shot, but there’s always been one big hangup. What about live TV? A new website called ivi.tv wants to fill that gap.

DATE: Fri, 10 Sep 2010
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Podcast #442: Home Automation for Beginners

Over the last few months we highlighted Home Automation companies that were on the high end side. While these system are what we all dream of, almost all of us can’t afford them. However, there is no reason that we can’t have a fully functional home automation system without breaking the bank. When we read an article at Electronic House entitled Home Automation FAQs for Beginners we thought it would be a good idea to talk a bit about Home Automation for beginners.

DATE: Fri, 03 Sep 2010
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Podcast #441: We can go bigger

The term “Home Theater” has become pretty subjective. Years ago it meant exactly what it sounds like, and actual theater in your home. Typically reserved for only the super rich, it slowly grew more mainstream as prices fell and DIY solutions came to market. Eventually, the term has come to describe any home audio-visual setup that has surround sound and perhaps a larger than normal television.

DATE: Fri, 27 Aug 2010
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Podcast #440: Vizio XVT553SV LCD HDTV Review

With football season just around the corner you may be in the market for a new HDTV to watch your favorite team try and make it to the Superbowl. We’ve seen a few technologies come and go and each of them try to produce a picture that’s as good as plasma. The latest is LED. The Vizio XVT553SV will run you about $1900 for the 55 inch version and its loaded with all kinds of goodies that we can finally say that Plasma may have finally met its match.

DATE: Fri, 20 Aug 2010
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Podcast #439: Fall 2010 TV Schedule

Pat yourself on the back, we did it again.  We all made it through another Summer with nothing to watch on TV.  Whether you had stored up a bunch of shows on your DVR to get you through the dry season, or relied heavily on Netflix and Hulu, you made it.  And now it’s time to reap the reward.  Football is back, and in just a few short weeks all your favorite shows will be back on, and perhaps a few new ones will make it to your favorites list.

DATE: Fri, 13 Aug 2010
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Podcast #438: Crestron

In the continuation of our ongoing series on home automation we discuss Crestron.  Perhaps the biggest name in home automation, Crestron is the standard by which other automation products are measured.  Crestron solutions are found in the home, corporations, hospitals, education and more. Like other solutions, Crestron home automation packages give you control over your lighting, climate, and entertainment. Here is a little of what Crestron supports.

DATE: Fri, 06 Aug 2010
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Podcast #437: Onkyo TX-SR608 Review

Ever since we talked about Dolby Pro Logic IIz and Audyssey DSX in Episode 425, we've had a strong desire to experience them for ourselves.  And what better excuse is there to buy a new receiver than 9.1 surround?  That brought us to the Onkyo TX-SR608 home theater receiver.  It's a 7.1 receiver that will do just about everything you want, and a little more.

DATE: Fri, 30 Jul 2010
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Podcast #436: Are High End Audio/Video Retailers a Dying Bread?

We all know someone who has to own the absolute best gear on the market. They don't care how much it costs. Whether its a receiver that "reproduces sounds that only dogs can hear" or its the guy who buys the most expensive video processor for his equally expensive projector, we all have stories of friends or acquaintances that match that description.

DATE: Fri, 23 Jul 2010
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Podcast #435: Can Blu-ray pull it off?

Blu-ray would like to supplant DVD and take over as the dominant video format in households all around the world.  We see the advantage from a pure quality perspective, but believe that costs have to line up for it to actually happen.  With so many forces pulling against it, can Blu-ray really become the successor to DVD?

DATE: Fri, 16 Jul 2010
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Podcast #434: Life|ware

Today as part of our ongoing series on home automation we discuss Life|ware.  Life|ware™ is software developed by Exceptional Innovation that allows you to seamlessly merge control of your home along with your world of digital entertainment.

DATE: Mon, 12 Jul 2010
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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown 07-12-2010

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday June 18th??

DATE: Fri, 09 Jul 2010
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Podcast #433: Bye bye HDMI; Hello HDBaseT

There’s been a lot of activity on the Internet recently around the new HDBaseT Alliance. Bottom line, they want to replace HDMI with standard Cat5e or Cat6 cables.  The group was launched in December 2009, but recently announced that LG Electronics, Samsung and Sony have thrown in their support.  This, along with a finalized spec, have moved the HDBaseT idea to the forefront of home theater news.

DATE: Fri, 02 Jul 2010
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Podcast #432: Home Theater Acoustic Treatments

We all want great sounding home theaters. We spend our hard earned cash on receivers, speakers, subwoofers and TV/Projectors but one area many of us overlook is the actual room acoustics. Bare floors and walls can ruin an experience by allowing sound waves to bounce off these surfaces and create audio distortions. The net result is the most expensive systems will not live up to their potential. Acoustic treatments can absorb the sound waves and prevent echoes, reverberation, and audio distortion that reduce the enjoyment of your home theater.

DATE: Fri, 25 Jun 2010
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Podcast #431: Quartics, Insteon, X10, ZigBee and Z-Wave

We've started to talk quite a bit lately about home automation.  Granted it isn't exactly an HDTV or Home Theater topic, but we think it fits quite well.  After all, most home theater installers also offer some form lighting control.  If you can add your own lighting, window covering and screen control to your home theater, it makes perfect sense.

DATE: Mon, 21 Jun 2010
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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown 06-21-2010

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday June 18th??

DATE: Fri, 18 Jun 2010
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Podcast #430: Pioneer VSX-820-K Audio/Video Receiver

Every Fall, just before Christmas, we do a receiver buying guide to help our audience decide on what to buy. Last Fall our value receiver was an Onkyo SR607 which sold for $320. After spending time with the Pioneer VSX-820-K ($280) we have a new king! The VSX-820-K is a 5.1 system that has 4 HDMI inputs and does next generation audio.

DATE: Fri, 11 Jun 2010
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Podcast #429: TV Specs and Settings - Are they for real?

There is a great article at Maximim PC by Dr. Raymond Soneira called "Display Myths Shattered: How Monitor & HDTV Companies Cook Their Specs."  We're going to distill it down to a few soundbites and add a little bit of HT Guys color commentary along the way.  But if you find the information interesting or useful, we would encourage you to read the full article.

DATE: Mon, 07 Jun 2010
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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown 06-07-2010

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday June 4th??

DATE: Fri, 04 Jun 2010
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Podcast #428: Aperion Audio SLIMstage30 by Soundmatters

The HT Guys love simplicity and sound bars are exactly that, simple to setup and use. Today we take a look at a new entrant into the field, the Aperion Audio SLIMstage 30 (Street Price $799). Sound bars are great solutions for small rooms, bedrooms, or dens. The SLIMstage 30 is sleek, compact, and when using the Bravus 8A subwoofer, a powerful sound system. If you already have a subwoofer you can save $200 by ordering the same system without the 8A. Each version comes with mounting brackets in case you want to attach the sound bar to the wall just below or above your flat panel TV.

DATE: Wed, 02 Jun 2010
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Episode #5: AV After Dark

No technical difficulties this time so you have all three of us for the entire show! We talk a bit about TV past, present, and future. We have some ideas for what to get your home theater lovin father. Can you game Pandora? We talk about our voting strategies. Ara asks, "Is it OK to record the Pandora One Stream"? Best Buy and Tivo team up. Is that a good thing? Finally, we talk low cost receivers. Thanks for listening.

DATE: Fri, 28 May 2010
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Podcast #427: brite-View Air HD Review

A few weeks ago water damage in Braden's home forced him to remove the ceiling in his family room.  He took advantage of this "opportunity" to run some new cables to allow for the installation of a front projector.  Of course, one of the necessary cables in that endeavor was HDMI.  But not everyone wants to rip out their ceiling to run HDMI.

DATE: Mon, 24 May 2010
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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown 05-24-2010

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday May 7th?

DATE: Fri, 21 May 2010
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Podcast #426: 2009 - 2010 TV Season Ratings Recap

Each year in the middle of May the TV season wraps up here in the US. High Definition TV is a big part of our HD experience and from time to time we like to take the pulse of what Americans are watching. On today's show we want to recap the top 20 shows based on Nielson's rating system.

DATE: Fri, 14 May 2010
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Podcast #425: Surround Sound - The New Formats

We came across an article at Home Theater Magazine about the various 7.1 speaker configurations available today.  It got us thinking.  Do we take the standard 7.1 configuration: 3 in the front, 2 on the sides, 2 in the back, for granted?  If we could put the speakers anywhere we wanted to, where would they go?

DATE: Mon, 10 May 2010
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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown 05-10-2010

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday May 7th

DATE: Fri, 07 May 2010
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Podcast #424: Home Automation - Control4

Lately we have become big fans of home automation. While not exactly home theater, home automation is like a first cousin. Home automation is routinely used to control home theaters. After all who wouldn't want to press one button on a controller and have the lights dim, audio system turn on, and have the projector playing the latest movie off your video server?

DATE: Fri, 30 Apr 2010
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Podcast #423: Home Theater Market Trends

Every so often we like to take a look at the top sellers at Amazon.com in various Home Theater categories.  We use this information as a thermometer to roughly gauge the market as a whole.  At least that's what our crack market research team tells us we can do.  There are always some interesting tidbits of information that emerge.

DATE: Mon, 26 Apr 2010
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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown 04-26-2010

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday April 23rd

DATE: Fri, 23 Apr 2010
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Podcast #422: Sonos S5 Review

We're big fans of being able to listen to your music in any and every room in your house. In the past that meant connecting your multi zone receiver to speakers placed throughout your house. Sonos makes the entire process a snap. Each Sonos S5 ZonePlayer is a 5 speaker system with an all digital design that produces high quality audio. 

DATE: Mon, 19 Apr 2010
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Episode #4: AV After Dark

Braden's computer cut out early in the podcast so it's only Tom and Ara this time. Netflix weighs in heavily in this podcast with a bit on their migration to the Wii and how they've signed more deals that delay new releases. What does that mean for you now and what do Ara and Tom think that holds for the future? Ara has some suggestions on HD Camcorders. What is the real cost of 3D? How will they get you to buy? Would you shop at a Brick and Mortar Circuit City? Thanks for listening.

DATE: Fri, 16 Apr 2010
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Podcast #421: Logitech Squeezebox Touch Review

Sure it's the HDTV and Home Theater Podcast, but we like to dabble a little in the peripheral edges of home theater from time to time.  One such area is whole house audio.  Braden has a whole house system based on Logitech Squeezebox devices and their Squeezbox Server software.  Logitech recently released a new Squeezebox Touch player, so of course, we wanted to try it out.

DATE: Mon, 12 Apr 2010
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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown 04-12-2010

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday March 26th.??

DATE: Fri, 09 Apr 2010
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Podcast #420: iPad Review

Everyone must be aware by now that Apple has released a new product called the iPad.  It's selling pretty well and, according to some, may become the next big thing in technology. We've had a chance to play with it for a while, so we'll give you our take on it. Our biggest question: How does it apply to the HDTV and Home Theater market?  There have big some huge fads in the past, and some have been huge duds.  We'll let you know if the iPad makes the grade.

DATE: Fri, 02 Apr 2010
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Podcast #419: Dell Inspiron Zino HD

By now you know that Ara has built himself a nice HTPC out of a Mac Mini. We've received a bunch of email asking us to define a similar system using a PC. There far more options using a PC than a Mac and they come in all shapes and sizes. Ara touted size and quiet operation as a major factor in his love of the Mac Mini. So when we saw that Dell had a box that was roughly the same size as a Mac Mini we ordered one and put it through its paces. The Dell Inspiron Zino HD we bought cost $747, about $150 more than the Mac Mini. The Dell comes with something you can't get on a Mac, a Blu-ray drive.

DATE: Mon, 29 Mar 2010
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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown 03-29-2010

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday March 26th. ?

DATE: Fri, 26 Mar 2010
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Podcast #418: Front Projector Technologies

We have to admit, we got a little giddy when we got an email from Jason asking us to go over the various technology options available for front projector home theaters.  With rear projection television fading into the sunset, we don't often get the opportunity to talk about the various merits of LCD, DLP, and LCoS projection technologies anymore.  It'll be like the good old days.

DATE: Fri, 19 Mar 2010
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Podcast #417: ZVOX 575 Single-Cabinet Surround Sound System

We understand that many of our listeners don't have the space for a full blown home theater system. However, those same listeners don't necessarily want to listen to their movies through the TVs tiny speakers. For them a single unit solution is what the doctor ordered. The ZVOX 575 (Buy Now $699) is such a system that takes all of 10 minutes to un-box and start enjoying fuller richer sound from your home theater.

DATE: Mon, 15 Mar 2010
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Blu Ray Top Ten Countdown

Our Semi Monthly countdown of the top ten Blu Ray titles as measured by Amazon.com. Today's show is based on sales as of Friday February 26th. ?

DATE: Fri, 12 Mar 2010
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Podcast #416: Cryptography, DRM and You

We talk about DRM quite often.  Technically it stands for Digital Rights Management, but we did have a listener recommend we try to change that to Digitally Restricted Media.  The point of DRM is to protect digital media files from piracy.  The actual result of DRM is a lot of frustration for those who just want to watch movies and listen to music.

DATE: Fri, 05 Mar 2010
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Podcast #415: Switched Digital Video

Last week Braden wrote that Cablevision is planning on rolling out network DVR (Cablevision To Roll Out RS-DVR In April) functionality in April. This technology has got us excited because it shows that Cable is pushing itself to compete with Satellite, FiOS and U-Verse. One area that cable still falls a little short when compared to these other services is the number of HD channels they offer. A new technology called Switched Digital Video is being deployed that will allow cable companies to increase the number of HD channels they offer. But not every is happy about it.

DATE: Fri, 26 Feb 2010
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Podcast #414: Wal-mart is buying Vudu

Rumors surfaced earlier this week, but it has been confirmed by official press release that Wal-mart is planning to acquire Vudu, a pioneer in the instant movie service market.  Wal-mart has tried to get into the online video game once before.  Does this mean the death of what otherwise was a great technology, or is it a huge step in the right direction?

DATE: Mon, 22 Feb 2010
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Episode #3: AV After Dark

Welcome to the third installment of AV After Dark. This time they guys discuss the Olympics and how it differs from market to market. What sport are Ara and Tom fans of? You'll never guess (or maybe you will). Is there a future for OLED? What is Hulu doing right, what are they doing wrong? What about Netflix? They guys weigh in. Panasonic black levels are addressed as are recommendations for displays. Ara went to Mecca... we mean Macworld. Thanks for listening. You can find the AV Rant at their website. We really enjoy these collaborations and hope you do too. Thanks to listener Ted for both the Intro and Outro music. Check out more of his work at www.thesysmusic.com. 

DATE: Fri, 19 Feb 2010
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Podcast #413: HT Guys HDTV Recommendations

We receive emails from listeners all the time asking us which HDTV we recommend. That list will vary depending on the use case and budget of the emailer. On today's show we'd like to tell you what our picks are for a typical use scenario for low to medium budgets.

DATE: Fri, 12 Feb 2010
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Podcast #412: VIA: Vizio Internet Apps

If you happened to watch the Super Bowl and paid attention to the commercials, there were some really good ones.  Bud light had a few, Doritos had a couple, but there also might have been a few that didn't make much sense to you.  One of those could have been the Vizio add for their newly refreshed Vizio Internet Apps offering.

DATE: Fri, 05 Feb 2010
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Podcast #411: Aperion Audio Home Audio Link (HAL)

Pretty much since we have been doing the HDTV and Home Theater Podcast we have had listeners ask us about wireless solutions. We have been pretty happy with products from Rocketfish™ and AudioEngine. Today we take a look at the Aperion Audio Home Audio Link (HAL) which will transmit high quality uncompressed audio up to 100 feet.

DATE: Fri, 29 Jan 2010
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Podcast #410: The Details Behind 3D TV

Far be it from us to stay away from the latest juicy new idea in home theater technology, 3D.  It's been all over the news and the blogs for a while, recently culminating with a huge display at CES.  Whether or not the technology actually catches on is a discussion for a different day.  Today we're going to talk about the technology behind it.

DATE: Fri, 22 Jan 2010
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Podcast #409: LED TV Technology

When we first started our podcast there were five competing technologies vying for your living room. Today its pretty much down to LCD and Plasma. Most would say LCD is running away with the market but Plasma is hanging in there. So what about LED? LED is not a new TV technology but rather a different way to light the LCD. A Liquid Crystal Display is a glass panel that works by controlling the opacity of segments of itself by varying the electrical signal. Each individual segment, called a pixel, acts as a shutter to control the amount of light being passed through. The light source is what we will be focusing on today

DATE: Wed, 20 Jan 2010
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Special Edition Podcast

Interview with Clint DeBoer of AudioHolics. Discussion of Lexicon $3500 Blu Ray player It's an Oppo BDP-83. Normally we'd launch into a statement like this with more tact. We may, for example, wax eloquent about the Lexicon BD-30's beautiful chassis or it's billet aluminum front face. We could tell you about the heft of the unit, or the fact that comes double boxed with enough padding to warrant throwing it off the FedEx or UPS truck while it's still moving. While all of that is true, the Lexicon BD-30 is still an Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Player. And what's more, it's not just using the same parts - they actually stuck the player inside - chassis and all. This would be OK, were it not for the $3000 premium and THX certification. As Sherlock Holmes would say: The game is afoot! Entire Article...

DATE: Fri, 15 Jan 2010
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Podcast #408: CES Roundup

We decided to once again make the trek out to Las Vegas to get our own impression of all the hype coming out of CES.  We didn't go last year, and we missed it a little, so we had to go this year.  By far the biggest theme of the show this year was 3D.  Some of what we saw was really good, some was really bad and of course some was just downright strange.

DATE: Fri, 08 Jan 2010
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Podcast #407: Preview of CES 2010

We know its kind of late to be talking about what we expect to see at CES since there is only two days left of the show, but what the heck. Here we go!

DATE: Fri, 01 Jan 2010
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Podcast #406: Predictions for 2010

Each year we try to look into the future and predict the state of the industry. The last few years we have been about 30% accurate but that doesn't stop us from trying. With technology moving so fast its difficult to know where its going to end up in just one year but its still fun to try!

DATE: Mon, 28 Dec 2009
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Episode #2: AV After Dark

Thanks for listening and everyone have a happy New Year. You can find AV Rant at www.avrant.com. We really enjoy these collaborations and hope you do too. Thanks to listener Ted for both the Intro and Outro music. Check out more of his work at www.thesysmusic.com.

DATE: Fri, 25 Dec 2009
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Podcast #405: Listener Q & A

Merry Christmas to all and to all another HDTV Podcast episode.  May your tree be full of gifts to help you enjoy HDTV and Home Theater even more this coming year and may your stocking overflow with great gadgets.

DATE: Fri, 18 Dec 2009
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Podcast #404: 2009 Prediction Results

Each year we try to predict what will happen in our industry and each year we usually miss the mark. On today's show we take a look back at our predictions for 2009.

DATE: Fri, 11 Dec 2009
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Podcast #403: Last Minute Shopping Guide 2009

You know we're always looking out for you, so we've decided to revisit the last minute shopping guide we assembled last year.  We know you've been busy, and so have we, but if you screw up on the gift you get for special someone in your life, you'll be paying for it for a long, long time.  We do recognize that procrastination could be strategic, you need to make sure you get the absolute perfect gift, so we aren't trying to judge here.  Whatever the reason, if you still need a gift, we have some tips for you.

DATE: Fri, 04 Dec 2009
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Podcast #402: RedEye Remote Control and HTiB Buying Guide 2009

Typically we are not big fans of Home Theater in a Box (HTIB) systems. Its not because the electronics are not good. In most cases the electronics are decent middle of the road components. The area we feel HTIB systems break are the speakers. When you consider that the manufacturer needs to bundle 7 speakers in a system that goes for $500 how good can the speakers be?

DATE: Fri, 27 Nov 2009
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Podcast #401: What we're thankful for '09

Thanksgiving is a time to, well, to give thanks.  So that's what we're going to do; give thanks for everything we have in our lives.  The things we're most thankful for: our families, our health, our friends, and our wonderful listeners, don't make good topics for a show about HDTV and Home Theater. So as is tradition over the last five Thanksgivings, on today's show we give you our list of consumer electronics things we are thankful for.

DATE: Mon, 23 Nov 2009
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Episode #1: AV After Dark - Inaugural Edition

Welcome to this inaugural edition of AV After Dark. This podcast is planned to be a once a month collaboration between the HT Guys and AV Rant. This month we discuss such burning topics as Windows 7 and how un-sucky it is (mostly). Why do Blu-ray players come with composite video cables? Braden has the answer. What is Managed Copy? I'm not sure any of us really knows. The Oppo-83SE - is it for you? Hint - No. Netflix via the PS3 - experiences. Is the Wii really worth it as an exercise device? The guys weigh in. Thanks for listening. You can find AV Rant at their website and the HT Guys right here. We really enjoy these collaborations and hope you do too.

DATE: Fri, 20 Nov 2009
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Podcast #400: Black Friday Preview

On today's show we will discuss the expected Black Friday deals we can all look forward to on the day after Thanksgiving. Last year the cheapest Blu Ray player was $128 and a  50 inch 720p plasma was going for $900. This year the cheapest Blu Ray player comes in at $78 and you can pick up a 50 inch 1080p plasma with a Blu Ray player for $1000. There are so many deals out there we can't talk about all of them.

DATE: Fri, 13 Nov 2009
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Podcast #399: Receiver Buying Guide 2009

The HT Guys buying guides have become an annual tradition, and something that we really look forward to putting together.  Last week we covered TVs, this week we'll do A/V Receivers.  We'll break them down into price categories, just like last year, $500 or less, between $500 and $1000, and greater than $1000. It's become commonplace for receivers to support Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio, so we'll be looking for other features to distinguish each unit this time around.

DATE: Fri, 06 Nov 2009
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Podcast #398: HDTV Buying Guide 2009

It's time for our annual HDTV buying guide. Just like last year, we're listing them by size instead of technology. Prices have dropped quite a bit in just 12 months, and there are some really exciting deals available right now. This year the prices for tier one manufacturers are even more affordable. Without further ado, here is the list for 2009:

DATE: Fri, 30 Oct 2009
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Podcast #397: Logitech Squeezebox Radio Review

On Episode 386 we got into the details of Ara's whole house music system based around Airport Express and iTunes.  Braden has a whole house audio system based on Logitech Squeezebox devices and their Squeezbox Server software.  Logitech let us play with a new Squeezebox Radio.  It's pretty cool.

DATE: Fri, 23 Oct 2009
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Podcast #396: HD Fury 2 and Home Automation with Insteon

As Daylight Savings time draws to a close those of us with lights on a timer need to do our bi-annual ritual of readjusting the settings so lights are on when it gets dark. This year Ara decided that he wanted to look into home automation so his lighting could be set once. He decided to go with an Insteon System starter package that included two lamp controllers, one appliance controller, a computer interface, access points for the mesh network, a remote control, and software.

DATE: Fri, 16 Oct 2009
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Podcast #395: brite-View CinemaTube and Philips Prestigo SRU8008

We'll admit it, there are other companies that make remote controls.  We decided to try one this week.  The Prestigo 8008 is a cool remote with a color screen, but how does it stack up to the entry level Harmony 510?  Excellent question. And we had a chance this week to take a look at the CinemaTube from brite-View.  It's a network media player that supports full 1080p/60 video and Dolby Digital and DTS audio, so it's right up our alley.  After all, who wants to stream video if you can't get it in high def?

DATE: Fri, 09 Oct 2009
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Podcast #394: Zune HD

All of us have a need to take our content on the road for one reason or another. There are plenty of devices that can do that for you. Anything from an iPod or a laptop to a portable media center. You can choose the ultra portability of an iPod but you'll give up video quality. If you want HD quality you can use a laptop or portable media center but those are a bit bigger and more difficult to drag around with you. Today we are taking a look at the ZuneHD. With the Zune you can have ultra portability and HD video quality in one nice looking package. Save $10 on any order of $50 or more of Insteon Products at SmartHome. Use Checkout Code EHTGUYS. Offer good through 10/12.

DATE: Tue, 06 Oct 2009
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Tom Andry of AV Rant Interview

Ara had the opportunity to speak with Tom Andry of AV Rant.We hope you enjoy this bonus mid-week show! Save $10 on any order of $50 or more of Insteon Products at SmartHome. Use Checkout Code EHTGUYS. Offer good through 10/12.

DATE: Fri, 02 Oct 2009
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Podcast #393: Harmony 700 Universal Remote

Not content with what the HT Guys have declared the best universal remote on the market, Logitech continues to put out new Harmony Universal Remotes.  Of the two most recent models on the market, the Harmony 700 and the Harmony 900, we've had a chance to look at the 700.  It is the less expensive of the two, and can be found in retail stores and online for an MSRP of $150 US (Buy Now).

DATE: Fri, 25 Sep 2009
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Podcast #392: Belkin Gigabit Powerline Ethernet Adapter

With so many devices connecting to the Internet these days we like to see products like Powerline Ethernet adapters come to market. In general the technology has improved vastly since our first review back in 2006. At that time we reviewed a product that was rated at 85Mbps and we were lucky if we got 10 Mbps. So imagine our excitement when we heard about the Gigabit Adapter from Belkin (Model # F5D4076).

DATE: Fri, 18 Sep 2009
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Podcast #391: Denon Review, CEDIA 2009 Part 2 and Front vs. Rear Pro

We received a great listener review of the Denon AVR-3310CI Home Theater Receiver, so we'll share that with you. We also found a slightly different take on this year's CEDIA show with a few more products to talk about. Then we dive into the ageless debate, what to buy: a Front or Rear Projector for your home theater.

DATE: Fri, 11 Sep 2009
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Podcast #390: CEDIA 2009

CEDIA stands for "Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association". Each year they have an expo where manufacturers show off there wares. This year the show is in Atlanta. While the HT Guys did not go we have friends who did attend. Listen to the show for some first hand reports from the show. In the mean time we run down some of the announcements that came out of the show.

DATE: Fri, 04 Sep 2009
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Fall 2009 TV Schedule: Podcast #389

It's that time of year again.  The weather begins to cool, leaves start to change colors, Football is back and we get a bunch of new HDTV shows.  When we were kids we looked forward to Christmas and the first day of summer.  As adults, we look forward to the fall more than anything else.  Some of our favorite shows are coming back with new episodes and we get the opportunity to fill the DVR with brand new series to see what sticks.

DATE: Fri, 28 Aug 2009
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Popular Options for Blu-ray Players: Podcast #388

Now that you can find Blu-ray players at Wal*Mart for less than $150 we thought it would be a good idea to present five slightly more expensive options that you may want to consider. Spending a little more can get you a more capable player that won't feel obsolete by Christmas.

DATE: Fri, 21 Aug 2009
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Football, At Home or Away? Podcast #387

It's football season, and we're ready to watch a serious amount of football. For us, it's one of those things that you miss in the off season, but you don't really realize how much you miss it until it it's back. A recent San Diego Chargers pre-season game was blacked out because they didn't sell enough tickets. To see it live, you've have to attend, which isn't cheap. Is it worth it?

DATE: Fri, 14 Aug 2009
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DIY Whole House Music: Podcast #386

We talked last week about 7 tips for creating an entertaining whole-house audio system.  We talk this week about all the tools and technology you need to build your own.  Of course wireless is the easiest way to get there, we've got all the particulars to get you up and running.

DATE: Fri, 07 Aug 2009
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HP MediaSmart Server LX195: Podcast #385

Imagine with me, if you will, a day when a small box no bigger than a standard dictionary will be able to hold as many pictures as you can ever take, as many songs as you could ever listen to and a ton of movies and video as well. That day has come, and HP calls it the MediaSmart Server LX195. We got a chance to play around with one, and really liked it.

DATE: Fri, 31 Jul 2009
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Oppo BDP-83 Blu Ray Player: Podcast #384

It was in September of last year that we first got wind that Oppo was developing a Blu Ray player. Since then we have received a boatload of emails asking us when it would become available. The good news for those who have asked is the answer is it is available today! The BDP-83 can be found online for $499.99 and is available at the HT Guys store.

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