Video Accessories Roundup


Home Theater Image Gallery Yours may not be as extravagant as this $6 million set up, but even you can afford to have a pretty incredible experience with the right equipment. See more pictures of home theaters.

Buying a nice display is only the beginning of creating a home theater -- you've got to buy something to pump in the movies and television programs. Get the right video accessories and source equipment for that new HDTV and surround sound system, and you'll be ready to start enjoying your home theater.

From VCRs to Blu-ray players, we'll teach you all about the technology behind various video accessories so that you can make the right choice for your home theater set up.

 

 

 

 

How DVDs Work

A DVD is very similar to a CD, but it has a much larger data capacity.
A DVD is very similar to a CD, but it has a much larger data capacity.
Tom Grill/Photographers Choice RF/Getty Images

Wonder why DVDs have become the movie medium of choice? These incredible discs have at least seven times the storage capacity of CDs -- that's why DVD movies can fit in all those "extras," like deleted scenes, multiple formats and directors’ commentary. Find out how DVDs are configured to hold all that data.

Find out How DVDs Work.

 

 

How DVRs Work

The TiVo Series2 DVR can record up to 80 hours of your favorite TV shows.
The TiVo Series2 DVR can record up to 80 hours of your favorite TV shows.
Photo courtesy Amazon.com

Digital video recorders like TiVo may be the future of television -- set your own TV lineup, record everything at once and skip the ads. And if you've heard the DVR catchphrase -- "Pause live TV!" -- you may be wondering just how such a feat is accomplished. Learn all about digital video recorders.

Learn How DVRs Work.

 

 

 

How VCRs Work

The VCR may be on the way out, but it's still a mechanical marvel.
The VCR may be on the way out, but it's still a mechanical marvel.
©2000 HowStuffWorks

The VCR is one of those devices that seem simple for the outside -- but what's going on behind the scenes is amazing. 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 on the way out, but it's still a mechanical marvel. Take a look inside!

Learn How VCRs Work.

 

 

How HVD Works

Holographic Versatile Discs can store lots of information.
Holographic Versatile Discs can store lots of information.
Photo courtesy Optware

Holographic memory systems offer more storage capacity and faster transfer rates than CDs and DVDs, but they've also been too expensive and complex to mass produce. Learn how the holographic versatile disc (HVD) has improved upon previous methods of holographic storage.

Find out How HVD Works.

 

 

 

 

How Blu-ray Discs Work

Blu-ray data reading is performed with a blue laser and at high speeds.
Blu-ray data reading is performed with a blue laser and at high speeds.
Photo courtesy Blu-ray Disc Association

Say goodbye to DVD as the top-of-the-line digital storage format: It pales in comparison to Blu-ray. New blue-laser discs feature an unbelievable capacity of 27 to 50 GB -- that’s about five times what you can fit on a DVD. Learn about the techniques that make Blu-ray the next big thing in digital video storage and check out its competition.

Learn about How Blu-ray Discs Work.

 

 

How HD Upconverters Work

An HD upconverter solves problems stemming from the collision of old technology with new technology.
An HD upconverter solves problems stemming from the collision of old technology with new technology.
Photo courtesy Amazon.com

For most of us, HDTVs, HDTV-ready TVs, HD receivers and HD programming is more than enough HD tech to digest. So what’s this new addition? What exactly are we trying to “upconvert”? Find out what HD upconverters do and why you might want one.

Learn about How HD Upconverters Work.

 

 

How Video Formatting Works

"This film has been modified from its original version." What does that mean?
"This film has been modified from its original version." What does that mean?
©2000 HowStuffWorks

When you watch a movie on your TV, you're not always seeing exactly the same movie that played in the theater. In fact, sometimes the differences are pretty drastic. A lot of video formatting is necessary to fit a movie onto a TV screen. Learn about the changes a movie goes through so you can watch it at home.

Find out How Video Formatting Works.

For more information about home theater components, check out these links: