Download Home Theater for Dummies (ISBN - 0471783250) PDF

TitleHome Theater for Dummies (ISBN - 0471783250)
TagsFor Dummies
LanguageEnglish
File Size3.1 MB
Total Pages386
Table of Contents
                            Home Theater For Dummies 2nd Edition
	About the Authors
	Authors’ Acknowledgments
	Contents at a Glance
	Table of Contents
	Introduction
		About This Book
		Conventions Used in This Book
		Just the (Techie) Facts, Ma’am
		Foolish Assumptions
		How This Book Is Organized
		Icons Used in This Book
		Where to Go from Here
	Part I: Welcome to the World of Home Theater
		Chapter 1: The Zen of Home Theater
			Appreciating the Art of the Home Theater
			Fitting Home Theater’s Many Faces into All Kinds of Spaces
			Budgeting for Home Theater
			Getting Your Money’s Worth
		Chapter 2: Defining Your Home-Theatered Home
			The Basic Home Theater
			The Complete Home Theater
			Using Your Existing Gear
			Choosing a Room
			Organizing Your Gear
			Doing It Yourself versus Hiring the Pros
		Chapter 3: The ABCs of Home Theater Audio
			Surrounding Yourself with Sound
			Dolby Galore
			DTS: Bring It On!
			Understanding the Next Generation of Surround Sound
			Other Key Audio Standards
		Chapter 4: Getting the Big (Video) Picture
			Learning to Talk Videoese
			Switching from Analog to Digital
	Part II: What Are You Going to Watch?: Source Devices
		Chapter 5: Treating Your Ears to Music
			Checking Out Your CD Player Options
			Choosing a CD Player
			The New Kids on the Block—SACD and DVD-A
			Moving Computer Audio into Your Home Theater
			Old-School Jams—Turntables
			Tuning In to Radio
		Chapter 6: Feeding Video into Your Theater
			DVD Rules the Roost
			Putting the HD in DVD
			VCRs Ain’t (Quite) Dead Yet
			PVRs Rock!
			Homegrown Video Programming
		Chapter 7: Feeding Your Home Theater from Outside Your Home
			Digital Satellite Does It All
			Cable Cornucopia
			Antennas Make a Comeback
			Neat Network-based Services
		Chapter 8: Introducing the Home Theater PC
			Meet the Home Theater PC
			Getting an HTPC the Easy Way
			Other HTPC Software Packages
		Chapter 9: Gaming Galore
			Integrating Cool Consoles into Your Home Theater
			Integrating PC-based Gaming into Your Home Theater
			Adding Extra Game Controllers
		Chapter 10: Accessing Digital Content at Home and Over the Internet
			Learning about Digital Content for Your Home Theater
			Gauging Your Network Requirements
			Making Your Content Digital
			Finding Sources of Content On-line
			Using an MCE PC to Access Content
			Using a Media Server or Adapter to Access Content On-line
			Taking Your Video with You
	Part III: Watching and Listening: Display and Control Devices
		Chapter 11: The Heart of a Home Theater: The A/V Receiver
			Digging In to the A/V Receiver
			Making the Separates Decision
		Chapter 12: Speaker of the House
			Understanding How Speakers Work
			Setting Up Surround Sound
		Chapter 13: Understanding Your Display Options
			Learning the Lingo
			Getting Equipped for HDTV
			Choosing a TV
		Chapter 14: Comparing Display Technologies
			Sticking with the Tried-and-True Tube
			Thin Is In—Flat-panel TVs
			Getting Into Projection TVs
		Chapter 15: Remote Controlling Your Home Theater
			Sifting through Remote Control Options
			Going Universal
			Programming on Your Remote
	Part IV: Putting It All Together
		Chapter 16: Home Theater Cable Basics
			Working with Short Run Cables
			Working with Long Run Cables
			Identifying Other Cable Odds and Ends
		Chapter 17: Hooking Up Your A/V System
			Planning the Room Layout
			Hiding Unsightly Cables
			Attaching Components to the A/V Receiver
			Powering the Network
		Chapter 18: Plugging into a Whole-Home Entertainment Network
			Introducing Whole-Home Entertainment
			Connecting to a Whole-Home Audio System
			Sharing Video Components throughout the Home
			Interfacing with Your Telephone System
			Connecting to Your Computer LAN
	Part V: Letting Your Home Theater Be All It Can Be
		Chapter 19: Tweaking Your A/V System
			Calibrating Your Video
			Adjusting Your Audio System
		Chapter 20: Customizing Your Home Theater Environment
			Mounting Your (Expensive) Display (Carefully!)
			Soundproofing and Improving Acoustics
			Dealing with Home Theater Lighting
			Controlling Your Home Theater Environment Remotely
			Getting Comfy
		Chapter 21: Moving Up to the High End
			Introducing High-End Home Theater
			Separating Your Amps
			Moving into Integrated Systems
			Exploring High-End Video Systems
			Using High-End Controls
	Part VI: The Part of Tens
		Chapter 22: Ten (or So) Accessories for Your Home Theater
			Wireless Headphones
			Power Conditioner
			Shake It Up, Baby! (With Transducers)
			Motion Simulators
			Turn It Up! Turn It Down! Turn It Up Again! Argh!
			Riding Your Bike on TV
			Putting Your Face on the TV
			Putting Fish in Your TV
			Improving Your Game Console Connection
			Turning Down the Lights Automatically
			Stick This on Your DVD!
			Disc-O!
		Chapter 23: Ten Great Sources for More Information
			Home Theater Magazine
			Ultimate AV
			Stereophile
			Sound & Vision
			Electronic House
			Crutchfield
			CNET.com
			Home Theater Forum
			Home Theater Talk
			AV Science
			eBay
			Other Sources
	Index
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

by Danny Briere and Pat Hurley

Home Theater
FOR

DUMmIES


2ND EDITION

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Page 193

Center speakers
We start with the center speaker. On the one hand, the center speaker is
probably the most important speaker in your system; on the other hand,
it’s (supposedly) optional. How can that be, you ask?

Well, many people say the center speaker is optional because the left and
right speakers can handle the sound that comes from the center speaker.
However, we think that you miss out on a lot, and we don’t recommend
this setup at all. The front center speaker, we feel, is critical and not at all
optional, but some budget crunchers will try to convince you that it is.

Now, why is it critical? Ah, our favorite subject. The center speaker anchors
your on-screen dialog and serves as a seamless connection between your left
and right speakers. As that boat zooms by from left to right, you don’t want
to have a gap in the middle of your sound field (a concern as screens get
larger and larger). Center speakers are usually located behind the screen or
above or below displays so that you can localize the on-screen sound as
much as possible.

To achieve this seamless harmony with the left and right front speakers, your
choice of center speaker is important. Don’t skimp on the center speaker in
favor of your other front speakers. Each speaker (left, center, and right) is
equally important and should be of similar size, similar capability, and prefer-
ably come from the same manufacturer. In fact, if you can use an identical
model speaker for the center, left, and right speakers (we talk about them in
just a second), do it. Many folks can’t do this because they’ve chosen tower
speakers for their left and right speakers, and can’t possibly install a tower
speaker on top of their display as a center channel speaker. (And if you’re not
using dipole or bipole speakers for your surround channels, you should con-
sider using another identical pair of speakers for your surrounds as well.)

Make sure any speakers that will be close to a cathode ray tube (direct-view)
video display are video shielded — especially the center speaker. If not, the
speakers will cause video distortion on your screen. This is most important
for your center speaker (which may rest directly on top of your display), but
can also be an issue for your left and right speakers if they are close to the
display as well.

Left and right speakers
We’ve cheated somewhat by talking a lot about the front left and right speak-
ers already in this chapter. If possible, these speakers should be

173Chapter 12: Speaker of the House

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� Full-range speakers: Yes, even if you plan on using a subwoofer.

� Ear-level: We’d recommend this level even for your bookshelf-style
speakers. If the speakers are large, try to arrange it so that the tweeters
are at ear level.

� Of similar performance capability as the center speaker: We’d even
say they should come from the same manufacturer.

We talk in Chapter 2 about whether you can use your existing speakers with
your home theater, and the bottom line is that if you do, try to buy a center
speaker from the same manufacturer and class for the best results.

In an ideal world, you use exactly the same model of speaker for your center,
left, and right speakers — all your front speakers. This isn’t always practical,
but we highly recommend you buy all three of these speakers from the same
manufacturer and make sure that the manufacturer has designed them to be
timbre matched — in other words, that they sound alike. This ensures that
you get a more seamless listening experience.

Surround speakers
No matter what the setup of your speakers for surround sound — whether
you have two, three, four, or more side and back speakers — your surround
speakers play a fundamentally different role than your front speakers. You
want things highly localized in the front part of your sound field, but the sur-
round field is more diffuse.

Now we can get back to the bipole/dipole speakers we discuss earlier in
the chapter. Recall that the purpose of the center speaker is to provide
highly localized speaker information; it’s coming from the center of the
screen. There’s a high correlation between what you see on the screen
and where the sound comes from.

And likewise, the left and right speakers are to provide more lateral, but still
highly localized and directed, sound. Together, the three represent the frontal
face of your home theater sound experience. When there is a specific sound —
the clash of swords, the shout of the main character, the click of a trigger
being pulled back — the sound comes predominantly from these speakers.

The surround speakers have almost the opposite duty. Although you will
hear discrete sounds from your surround speakers, their main duty is to
create the sense of environment, the background, the unobvious. So if there
is a howling wind, the pitter-patter of a rainstorm, or the background of a
busy city, it comes from these speakers.

174 Part III: Watching and Listening: Display and Control Devices

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