Your Home Theater System Bible

Google Your TV

google your tvWhat’s fascinating about technology is the fact that it just won’t stop to get better. Perfection is what it is all about—from beginning to end. That an end to a creation is not actually finite as when it has been used or tested, it will later usher in a new creation.

Just to illustrate–before the internet was made available to the majority of the computer-literate users, many feared that this discovery may alter the way they communicate and do day to day living. As connection to and within the web would always require bits of information about the user like an IP address to be sent over a gateway that has the ability to reveal the physical location of the user, most would be concerned about their privacies being limited by the web. This, of course, caused more developments in the area of virtual communication technology geared to address such concerns.

As more and more people get used to the technology and experienced the benefits that machines like the computer can do, even children as well as older people became even more interested to unlearn what they already knew about how to do things.

Now, people even in remote places would find ways just to get connected to the web in different ways. Even the workplace that has long been confined to the physical realm can now be reached in just a few clicks. From morning ‘til dawn, people gets to use technology, particularly the web, thus making the world a global village.

Mr. Google can now be a friend even to the technologically-challenged. Especially now that those who love to make their homes as their special place to relax and recondition themselves after a tough day at work, in the school, or with the children and other day to day responsibilities.

Today, the web is the whole world’s gateway to all sorts of information—audio, video and text. As such, more and more people are finding the web an alternative source of content for their home theatres. If you are one of those who’d rather have content delivered to your TV rather than through a separate media player or direct from the TV channels, you need to consider both the benefits as well as advantages connecting the internet to your home theatre through your home network.

First the advantages.

This setup would definitely give you better access to a variety of content that you have either store on a pc or streamed from the internet and sent to a network media player/media streamer, network-enabled Blu-ray player, home theatre receiver, or TV for viewing or listening on your home theatre system.

Moreover, having your home theatre linked to your home network will give you the comfort of accessing any available content at any time you want to.

But what about the disadvantages?

Note that since contents that you intend to play to your home theatre display device are either directly streamed of downloaded and saved to your hard disk or a usb, the audio and video quality may not be as good as those that had been stored on physical media sources, such as CDs and also Blu-ray Discs. Thus, there would be instances when content are highly compressed that they may look pixelated on a bigger display screen.

If you are streaming audio and video content directly from the net to your home theatre display screen, then a high-speed broadband connection may be necessary. Plus the fact that you would need to wait for the content to be fully streamed (which actually takes a lot of time, especially if you would be streaming high density files direct from the internet).

You also need to consider the fact that various internet-ready players are compatible to specific type of content.
More importantly, you have to realize that not all internet content is free. Note that you will also find sources that will charge certain content to be paid before downloading for personal use.

Considering all these, it’s now up to you to decide when, what or whether to google your TV or not.

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Posted on September 27, 2013 by Alphonso Soosay 0 Comments Short URL

Dolby vs. DTS: Is there a Better Format?

DD vs DTSHome has never been the same with the advent of the home theatre. Viewing and listening has since then been even more entertaining, relaxing and more interactive. With the recent innovations (ie automated controls via personal IP, more flexible interconnects, and so on) it has even provided a lot more control for every home theatre user.

Just as the use of technology, including those that are associated with home theatres, a number of competing brands representing the various devices that complete a home theatre set up also surfaced which provided consumers more options to select from. With the competition also came better costing alternatives for the consumer. The market slowly begun to be filled with varied brands claiming to offer better quality as well as cost. Consequently, the consumers became even more difficult to please.

Amongst the developments that took place aimed at providing a better home theatre experience, was the introduction of more sophisticated sound formats that define the quality of sound produced by a home theatre device.

With the dawn of Dolby surround in movie theaters, it did not take long before the consumers were able to acquire the advantages of this technology into the audio-video marketplace. But as always, the customers once presented with a better alternative, will soon look for a much better option. Consequently, in 1982, Dolby came up with Dolby Digital (DD, a fully discrete digital 5.1 channel surround format that was produced for both the theaters as well as home audio/video marketplace.  A year later, Digital Theater Systems (DTS) joined the competition claiming that its coding system sounded better because of the higher bit rates and also less compression that it requires.

Both these formats have their own pros and cons–each has apparent sonic advantages.  Nonetheless, it has been remarkable to note the impact of these developments over the past years. Hardware vendors, likewise, begun to offer a multitude of player options that has the ability to cover a wider range of consumer budgets. Even so, record labels have been offering software that can support such formats at a slow pace and with options that do not include the greater part of the consumer marketplace.

Note that neither of these two was created for DVD. Both DTS and DD were developed to supply 5.1 discrete channels of digital sound in cinemas on 35mm film at the same time staying entirely well-matched with typical devices.

The DTS sound track, on the other hand, is not on the film but on a separate CD and has been matched with SMPTE time code indications on the film.  DTS claims that it sounds better as it provides better compression than Dolby. Dolby contradicts saying that any conclusions cannot be drawn mainly from the raw compression data as it all depends on how well the codec, either the compression/decompression system, has been constructed.

There a number of points that can be stated regarding the positive attributes of either format. Still, it will depend on the user’s total experience.  Testing options would definitely be vital, before actually picking the device that would complement your home theatre system.

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Posted on August 31, 2013 by Alphonso Soosay 0 Comments Short URL