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Home Audio & Video Systems

Home audio and video setups are as individual as the people who own them. At its most basic, a home theater includes a TV, some speakers and an audio/video source. Find out about the newest home theater components, and how they work together to give you a superior entertainment experience.

Topics to Explore

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What were the first HDTVs?

A high-definition television is a pretty common sight these days, but it wasn't that long ago when seeing one was a real curiosity. When did the first HDTV make the scene?

Should you have your HDTV professionally installed?

In general, you don't need to have a professional install your new HDTV set, but it still might be worth your while. What might make installation worth the added expense?

What's a scanning backlight?

LCD HDTVs are often criticized because they have difficulty showing a true black color. This is because LCDs use scanning backlights. What do they do?

5 Accessories to Get for Your HDTV

Your HDTV is the centerpiece of your home entertainment system, and that's the way it should be. But what lead actor doesn't require the help of a strong supporting cast?

What does refresh rate on my HDTV mean?

When someone goes in to buy an HDTV, he or she might be bombarded with lots of electronics jargon. It's important to know: What's refresh rate?

How 3-D TV Works

When you think of watching a movie in 3-D, you may think of those goofy glasses with multicolor lenses. But that's the old way to do 3-D. Now, you might not need glasses at all.

How Apple TV Works

Apple TV has been around since 2006, but it's fallen out of favor with Apple fans as the company turned its attention toward music lovers. Now, Apple TVs are flying off the shelves as users discover their compatibility with HDTV.

TV Evolution Pictures

TVs have come a long way since the early days. Tune in to see how televisions have evolved from the clunky sets of the 1940s to today’s streamlined, Internet-accessing units.

Top 10 Digital Home Tips

These digital home tips will help you create a home theater for your family. Learn about top 10 digital home tips at HowStuffWorks.

Home Theatre Projects

Let these home theatre projects inspire you to create a digital entertainment system in your home. Learn about home theatre projects at HowStuffWorks.

Digital Entertainment Tricks and Tips

Digital entertainment tricks and tips will help you create a home theater. Learn about digital entertainment tricks and tips at HowStuffWorks.

How FlatWire Works

Home theater systems look great in ads, but where are all the wires? If you want that look in your home, you'll have to fish all the wires through the wall, or you can use FlatWire.

Home Theater Pictures

Home theaters come in all shapes and sizes. Check out these pictures to get ideas for building or updating your very own home theater!

HDTV Pictures

HDTVs are one of the more popular electronics item on the market. Do you know what is available? Take a look at this gallery to see new HDTV technologies and styles.

What's the difference between high fidelity and high definition?

You're probably familiar with high fidelity, or hi-fi audio, but what about high definition? What's the difference? And which, if either, is better?

Does digital sound better than analog?

The compact disc promised better sound than the vinyl record it replaced, yet some still prefer vinyl. Why do some audiophiles still love analog recordings?

How Ultra-high Definition Works

If bigger is better, then ultra-high definition TV will be the best way to watch television in the not-too-distant future. This larger-than-life technology will immerse viewers in a world of realistic quality.

Do I really need a digital converter box for my TV?

On Feb. 17, 2009, TV sets in the United States will need a converter to watch local stations. Is your television ready for the switch?

How Switched Digital Video Works

Switched digital video is one solution to the increasing demand for bandwidth. How does it affect your video on demand, and phone and Internet connections?

How Satellite HD Works

Satellite HD offers crisp, clear visual displays and immersive 3-D sound. How is it different from cable and satellite TV?

How HDMI Works

HDMI is more than a port on the back of a TV (and the often expensive cable that fits inside). It's a set of rules for allowing high-definition electronic devices to communicate.

How Internet TV Works

Internet TV is relatively new -- there are lots of different ways to get it, and quality, content and cost can vary greatly. Internet TV streams television signals over the Internet to a person's computer screen or TV set.

How Virtual Surround Sound Works

The typical home-theater setup, with its surround-sound speakers and subwoofer, doesn't work for every home. That's where virtual surround sound comes in. Explore how human hearing and some cool technology allow two speakers to sound like five.

How TiVo Works

In 1997, TiVo promised its customers that they wouldn't have to worry about television schedules or learn to program their VCRs. Learn how the typical TiVo set works and what services TiVo provides.

How Netflix Works

The Netflix red envelope has become a staple in the home entertainment market. How did this DVD and streaming entertainment service get started, and what's next?

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