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HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #685: How to care for your HDTV

By The HT Guys • May 1 2015, 12:50pm

Most of us want to preserve the life of our home theater investments. Some, who want to upgrade, may not. For those, do the exact opposite of what we talk about. For the rest of us who want to protect our hard-earned investment, to make sure our televisions to last as long as possible, there are a few simple things to remember to make sure you get the most hours you can from it. Most of these apply to any piece of electronics you have in your theater: receivers, DVRs, Blu-ray players, projectors, you name it.

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HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #684: ZyXEL 1200 Mbps Powerline Network Adapters

By The HT Guys • Apr 24 2015, 8:30am

If you have been with us for a while you know that we have been testing powerline adapters since the beginning. Our first product claimed that it could achieve 85Mbps. And in a controlled world it probably could, but in our homes we were lucky that we got 10Mbps. Still at the time, that was enough bandwidth to support Blu-ray players that didn’t come with built in WiFi.

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HDTV Expert - Soneira: New Samsung Galaxy S5 has Best Cell Phone Display Ever

By Ken Werner • Apr 7 2014, 1:24pm

Friend and colleague Ray Soneira, President of DisplayMate Technologies Corp. (www.displaymate.com), has just published the results of his painstaking tests on the display in Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 smart phone. Since mere mortals such as you and I will not be able to get a GS5 in North America until at least April 11, it […]

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Kaleidescape Cinema One - Review

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Feb 4 2014, 4:30am

Beyond the functionality and practical capabilities appreciated by most press reviewers, the primary reason of this article was to test and evaluate the storing and play back quality of Blu-ray audio/video using the Cinema One as a central/only server of content.

Kaleidescape targets the Cinema One to enthusiasts of high quality home-theaters looking to replace their existing players of physical media (CD, DVD, Blu-ray) with a product that claims to enhance the user experience by organizing and facilitating the access to a library that unifies their music and movie content.

At the end of this article I also provide a cost view for the consumer, depending on his/her style of collecting content, being physical disc, electronic, or both. In my opinion this type of investment should be evaluated not only by its upfront expenditure as a system, but also as a per-movie-cost-of-ownership when all is installed and all the movies are loaded.

Throughout the article you can also read the respo ...

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HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #614: Ultimate Home Theater in a Box

By The HT Guys • Dec 20 2013, 6:02am

There are so many Home Theater in a Box systems out there many of which cost less than $400. But seriously, what can you get for $400. A good center channel typically costs more than most HTIB systems on the market today. Each year we try to assemble a Home Theater in many boxes that we would be proud to show off in our homes. Our system will have at a minimum a HDTV, Blu-ray Player, Receiver, and 5.1 speakers.

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HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #609: Black Friday Preview 2013

By The HT Guys • Nov 15 2013, 9:08am

As the years come and go, one thing remains the same, Black Friday has some killer good deals for the home theater enthusiast. In 2008 the cheapest Blu-ray player was $128 and a 50-inch 720p plasma was going for $900. In 2009 the Blu-ray player price dropped to $78 and you could get a 50-inch 1080p plasma with a Blu-ray player for $1000. In 2013, it seems like you can get all of that, and more, for less than $1000.

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HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #605: Is Virtual Reality the Next Big Thing in Home Theater?

By The HT Guys • Oct 18 2013, 5:04am

Many of us are constantly on the lookout for the next big thing in Home Theater. When the HDTV revolution hit, we couldn't get enough. Then there was HD-DVD and Blu-ray, followed by a flop or two, like 3D. Right now it looks like it might be 4K HD. But what if 3D was just the precursor to the real next big thing, Virtual Reality.

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HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #593: Blu-ray: Here to stay?

By The HT Guys • Jul 26 2013, 7:35am

In our last episode we spelled out the reasons the Blu-ray disk, and the DVD for that matter, may not be around for much longer. That sparked some healthy debate at the watercooler and in our email. As you can imagine, pristine, high quality audio and video aren't the only reasons to hang on to the disk format. In the interest of point-counterpoint, 'we report, you decide,' this week we'll cover the reasons why Blu-ray could hang around for a while.

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HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #592: Is Blu-ray a Dead Format?

By The HT Guys • Jul 19 2013, 2:15pm

Ask anyone who knows something about home theater what is the highest quality audio and video available to mere mortals today and they will tell you Blu-ray. Blu-ray video is stunning and the audio is simply amazing. But we don't have to tell you that. So does Blu-ray have a future? The following are some reasons why Blu-ray may not be around for too much longer.

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Blu-ray Review: Magic Mike

By Ryan Gibbs • Apr 18 2013, 2:21pm

Set in the world of male strippers, Magic Mike is directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars Channing Tatum in a story inspired by his real life. The film follows Mike (Tatum) as he takes a young dancer called The Kid (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing and schools him in the fine arts of partying, picking up women, and making easy money.

Ok, as a guy I was very hesitant to watch this movie...

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Blu-ray Review: The Campaign

By Ryan Gibbs • Apr 17 2013, 2:03pm

When long-term congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) commits a major public gaffe before an upcoming election, a pair of ultra-wealthy CEOs plots to put up a rival candidate and gain influence over their North Carolina district. Their man: naïve Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), director of the local Tourism Center. At first, Marty appears to be the unlikeliest possible choice but with the help of his new benefactors' support, a cutthroat campaign manager and his family's political connections, he soon becomes a contender who gives the charismatic Cam plenty to worry about. As Election Day closes in, the two are locked in a dead heat, with insults quickly escalating to injury until all they care about is burying each other, in this mud-slinging, back-stabbing, home-wrecking comedy.

This movie is exactly what it’s supposed to be...

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Panasonic Announces Pricing & Availability For Its 2013 Blu-ray Disc™ Player Lineup

By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 10 2013, 2:20am

Panasonic, a major developer and contributor to the success of the Blu-ray format, announced today pricing and availability of it 2013 Blu-ray Disc Player lineup which was unveiled last month at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show. The line-up features two new Full HD 3D models (DMP-BDT330 and DMP-BDT230) and two 2D Blu-ray Disc Players (DMP-BD89 and DMP-BD79) as well as continuations of two successful Full HD 3D 2012 models (DMP-BDT500 and DMP-BBT01).

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Blu-ray Review: This is 40

By Ryan Gibbs • Apr 1 2013, 2:21pm

From the director of Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin comes an unfiltered, comedic look inside the life of an American family. After years of marriage, Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) are approaching a milestone meltdown. As they try to balance romance, careers, parents and children in their own hilarious ways, they must also figure out how to enjoy the rest of their lives. Featuring Melissa McCarthy, Jason Segal, Megan Fox, John Lithgow and Albert Brooks, This is 40 is a candid and heartwarming comedy about the challenges and rewards of marriage and parenthood in the modern age.

Let me begin this by stating that I’m 38 years old. So I went into this movie with the thought process that I could relate to some of the themes and situations that would be presented in this feature. After watching it...

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HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #576: One Week with a Tablet Remote

By The HT Guys • Mar 29 2013, 6:22pm

We are on record of being huge fans of the Harmony remote control. Why not, before the Harmony our coffee tables had four remotes and practically required a user's manual just to turn the home theater on. With a good universal remote, buttons labeled 'Watch TV' or 'Watch Blu-ray' make using the system as simple as pressing one button.

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Blu-ray Review: Wreck-It Ralph

By Ryan Gibbs • Mar 15 2013, 2:25pm

Ralph (John C. Reilly) is tired of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer), the "good guy" star of their game who always gets to save the day. But after decades doing the same thing and seeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decides he's tired of playing the role of a bad guy. He takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade through every generation of video games to prove he's got what it takes to be a hero. On his quest, he meets the tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch) from the first-person action game Hero's Duty. But it's the feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, whose world is threatened when Ralph accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens the entire arcade. Will Ralph realize his dream and save the day before it's too late?

Growing up in the 80’s and witnessing the birth of home gaming and mall arcade venues, Wreck-It Ralph wa ...

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Blu-ray Review: Perks of Being a Wallflower

By Ryan Gibbs • Mar 14 2013, 2:24pm

Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a modern classic that captures the dizzying highs and crushing lows of growing up. Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a moving tale of love, loss, fear and hope-and the unforgettable friends that help us through life.

I absolutely loved this film - specifically...

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HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #572: iTunes vs Vudu vs Blu-ray

By The HT Guys • Mar 1 2013, 7:47am

We've watched streaming media go from incredibly choppy and blocky to smooth and nearly HD. As bandwidth increases so does the quality of streaming media. You can easily listen to CD quality audio but streaming Blu-ray quality video is a ways off... or is it? We have an interview with Mark Henninger, an AVS Forum 'Newsbreaker', and we discuss a series of articles he wrote where he compares movies on iTunes, Vudu, and Blu-ray.

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Blu-ray Review: Death Race 3

By Ryan Gibbs • Feb 25 2013, 3:12pm

Repentant convict Carl Lucas (Luke Goss), aka Frankenstein, is a legendary driver in the brutal prison blood sport known as Death Race. Only one victory away from winning freedom, Lucas is plunged into his most vicious competition yet: the first-ever desert Death Race. Through South Africa’s infernal Kalahari Desert, Lucas is pitted against his most ruthless adversaries and powerful forces at work behind the scenes to ensure his defeat. Also starring Danny Trejo and Ving Rhames, Death Race 3; Inferno is an insane, action-packed thrill ride.

This is going to be one of my shortest reviews to date. This movie reaffirms for me that if there’s...

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Blu-ray Review: Flight

By Ryan Gibbs • Feb 22 2013, 3:11pm

Academy Award winner, Denzel Washington stars in this “riveting and powerful nail-biting thriller” from Robert Zemeckis, the Academy Award winning director of Forrest Gump and Cast Away. Airline pilot Whip Whitaker (Washington) miraculously lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board. But even as he’s being hailed for his heroic efforts, questions arise as to who or what was really at fault. Action-packed, engrossing and powerful, Washington’s performance is being hailed as “a triumph” and one that “will be talked about for years.”

Flight will rank alongside Leaving Las Vegas as one of the...

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Blu-ray Review: Guns, Girls and Gambling

By Ryan Gibbs • Feb 21 2013, 3:10pm

Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman, Christian Slater, and Dane Cook headline this outrageous action-comedy about greed, revenge, and a desert full of dead Elvis impersonators. A priceless Apache war mask has been stolen from an Indian casino causing criminals, frat boys, tomahawk-wielding hit men, modern-day cowboys, and a six-foot-tall blonde assassin to rampage through a small town in hopes of claiming the treasure first. Guns, Girls and Gambling is an action-packed comedy where the laughs pile up faster than the body count.

This is the kind of cinematic experience where everything you need to know...