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.

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How Digital Television Works

Digital television boasts up to 10 times the detail of regular analog TV, and DTV stations are on the air in full force. Find out all about this top-of-the-line format and the future of television.

Why are there so many different connectors on my DVD player?

If you recently got a DVD player you might be wondering what all those connectors on the back are for. Don't worry, you don't have to use them all -- a lot of the connectors are actually redundant.

How Projection Television Works

When the picture has to be BIG, a traditional CRT monitor isn't practical. For an oversized image, projection television is a must. Learn how these video systems produce a high-resolution image for a huge screen.

How DVDs Work

It wasn't too long ago that VHS tapes dominated the home video market, but now, DVDs have all but wiped them out. Learn how a DVD player reads a disc, see what to look for when buying a player, and read up on a little DVD history.

Is the sound on vinyl records better than on CDs or DVDs?

CDs are certainly more widespread these days, but you've probably heard at least one audiophile insist that records have a better sound quality when it comes to their favorite music. How can this be?

How Cable Television Works

Millions of people receive their television signal through a cable TV connection. Most of them don't actually know what "cable TV" is, what it does or how it got its name. Find out!

On television, how does closed captioning work?

Closed captioning is useful for deaf individuals, noisy places and even as a language learning tool. How do the characters' spoken words appear at the bottom of the screen?

How LCDs Work

Liquid crystal displays are found in everything from digital watches to laptop computers. In a relatively short period of time, they've crept from a fascinating novelty item to a technology standard. Learn about the science (a liquid crystal?) and technology behind LCDs.

What does a V-chip do and how does it work?

As of 1999, all new television sets sold in the United States have to contain a V-chip. How does the V-chip screen for undesirable content?

What happens if I touch the surface of a CD?

Is it true that you have to be very careful handling CDs and never allow your hands to touch anything but the edges?

How do CD-R discs work?

Normal CDs cannot be modified -- they are read-only devices. But a CD-R disc needs to allow the drive to write data onto the disc. What's different about the CD-R?

How does copy protection on a video tape work?

How do VHS tapes prevent you from bootlegging a copy of a movie? Find out here!

What is all the flickering when I try to record a television set picture with a video camera?

If you've ever tried to record the picture on a TV with a video camera, you know the results can be messy. Learn what causes flickering when you try to record a television set with a video camera, and how you can avoid it.

Why do CDs reflect rainbow colors?

Like soap bubbles and grease slicks, CDs reflect rainbow colors. What makes this happen?

What is a MiniDisc and how does it differ from a CD?

There are several formats for distributing music. The mp3 digital audio file and the plastic compact disc are the most common, but what about the Minidisc, and how does it differ from a CD?

Can you explain the basic difference between analog and digital technology?

Most people know that digital technology has some big advantages over its predecessor, analog. But how does a digital recording differ from an analog recording, and what keeps the quality of digital from degrading over time?

What is the difference between DVD-audio and CDs?

What is the difference between DVD-audio and CDs? It all has to do with their sampling rate.

How VCRs Work

How can six hours of video fit on a $2 tape? What happens after you slide that tape into the slot? The VCR may be yesterday’s tech, but it's still a mechanical marvel. Take a look inside!

How Analog and Digital Recording Works

Ever wonder how we got from vinyl records to CDs? Learn about analog and digital recording and shop for related products.

How CDs Work

Before compact discs, you had to rewind and fast-forward to get to a particular bit of information. Not so with digital storage -- the CD makes pinpointing data a split-second task. Find out how CDs (and CD-ROMs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs) hold and let you retri

How HDTV Works

When the first high-definition television (HDTV) sets hit the market in 1998, movie buffs, sports fans and tech aficionados got pretty excited, and for good reason. Ads for the sets hinted at a television paradise with superior resolution and digital

Inside a TV Remote Control

A fascinating look inside a TV's remote control (including the printed circuit board)!