Thursday, October 26, 2006

Features To Look For When You Buy A Digital Camcorder

A camcorder is a great way to document the important events and experiences of your life just as they happened. Still pictures are great for some things, but nothing beats a high quality recording of audio and video from a special event. Because digital camcorders record information that does not degrade over time you can actually watch it years later and it will seem like just yesterday. So if you are in the market for a compact digital camcorder here are some features to look for before you buy:

1. Make sure that you get a digital camcorder that uses a LCD screen for a viewfinder. Once you get used to using a camcorder this way you will never go back to peering through an eyepiece again. Video is often shot while a person is moving or has to walk, and watching a viewfinder allows you to still see where you are going much better than is possible when using the eyepiece. You can also shoot from angles high above your head or low down to the ground and still keep an eye on the action as you film if the LCD screen can be tilted.

2. Look for a digital camcorder that uses at least a 10x optical zoom, although 15x or 20x is even better. There are two types of zooms used on digital camcorders, optical and digital. The optical zoom is the lens itself zooming in, and it produces a nice sharp image throughout it's focal range usually. The digital zoom simply takes the image already gathered by the lens and magnifies it with no increase of video detail, so video that is shot using a lot of digital zoom can be grainy looking and not very pleasing to the eye. So try to get a digital camcorder that has at least a 10x optical zoom and try not to rely very often on the digital zoom capabilities for the best quality videos.

3. Keep any eye on the power usage of the camcorder that you want to buy. Some sip power and others drink it at a gulp, so look for a camcorder that will let you record continuously for at least 1-2 hours before recharging. Otherwise, you will need to buy an extra battery to carry with you instead.

4. Image stabilization is a very useful feature found in many digital camcorders these days as it will help eliminate some of the shakes that many folks introduce unknowingly into their videos while filming. They may not notice it while they are recording, but once you sit down and try to watch video that constantly bounces around you will really appreciate the image stabilization feature. Of course, image stabilization still cannot make up for wild swings of the camera lens, but it can help control normal camera shake.

There are other features to look out for when you decide to buy a digital camcorder, but the ones mentioned above will help narrow your choice down to those that will most likely do the best job for you and your video needs.

The Latest and Greatest Big Screen TV Entertainment Centers

There is a thing that all people love and that s entertainment. That's how we bgan our love affair with big screen TV entertainment Centers. It doesn t really matter if it s TV, music or anything else that can be considered entertainment. Years ago our parents used to go to the movie theatres for such entertainment just to get into the imaginative world of movies and dream of being the hero or the beautiful lady in the story. Now technology has brought a vast number of smart devices that our home can t even hold in any more of. The endless list of gadgets like computers, stereo systems, big flat screen TVs always waits to be extended a little more with a newer and better television

Unlike years ago when we all depended on movie theaters in order to get that great mixture of picture and sound, we now only need what is called a home theater. And there is a large range of big screen TVs available in stores like Best Buy and Circuit City that can make you sing. Even space limits are not an issue any more with the last innovation of the wall mounted, flat panel TVs that can keep you living room exactly as big as before, while delivering hours of great fun. There are sets suitable even for a bedroom, featuring a DVD player in combination with a flat panel TV.

When we got our own home, together with my wife we decided that we were going to get the perfect big screen TV entertainment center. We gathered all the specific and most detailed information available, going through every single electronic store we knew, and we didn t stop there. We took our search further on to the internet too. We found a real galore of those in the World Wide Web and surprisingly prices and offers were much better there. So even if the shopping trips really helped us to get the feeling about those and experience them first hand, we actually got our big screen TV entertainment center through internet and I can advise you to do the same.

I preferred the internet only because there is more information available there and that information is not coming out just from the seller but there are also customer feedbacks available. As you probably know, getting the perfect one of all the big screen TV entertainment centers can turn out being quite a tricky job, that s why we need to get that key information of how do they really perform. So no matter how perfect they seem to be just check the feedback in order to be sure. Apart from that feedbacks can also give you some idea of what prices are reasonable and what are not. Don t hurry, take your time and make sure to spend those dollars of yours wisely.

Video Cable Definitions

Video Cables defined

In simple terms Video cables are cables which used for transmitting video signal from one source to other. Sometime these are called Coaxial cables because most of the video cables available today are Coaxial cables.

Reasons for using different Video Cables

Different video cables are used for different purpose depending upon their applications. Some of the advantages of using these cables are:

1. Improving contrast ratio
2. Running cables longer
3. Getting less video distortion
4. Creating improved colors

Types of Video Cables

Types of video cables are based on its application. Some of most popular types or video cables are:

1. DVI Video Cables
2. Composite Video Cables
3. RGBHV Video Cables
4. Component Video Cables
5. S-Video Cables
6. Portable Projectors Video Cables
7. VGA Video Cables

DVI Video Cables

DVI or digital video interface cables are slightly larger then standard VGA cables. Ideally DVI cables creates digital link between the source of video and display device.

Composite Video Cables

The most commonly used video cables are composite video cables. These cables frequently used in Video Cassette Recorder and stereo devices. These cables are color-coded namely red, white and yellow where red is for right channel audio; white is for left channel audio and yellow for video signal. Only one cable is used for transmitting complete video signal. These are most commonly used cables type inspite of their low quality video/audio signals. The most common uses of these cables are television, Camcorder, VD player, and VCR s.

RGBHV Video Cables

RGBHV Video Cables are similar to composite video cable but difference is in the fact that video signal in RGBHV cables are divided into five. These RGBHV cables divide the color of video signal into red, green and blue. Now days most of the high end monitors, HDTV used RGBHV connection to create the high definition video quality.

Component Video Cables

In Component video cables complete video signals are divided into three. This way it provides a better image quality then compare to composite cable or S-video cable. Jacks tips of component cables are Green, Red and Blue. Most of today s DVD players, HD television sets tuners uses component cable connections.

S-Video Cables

These S- video cables are also know as SVHS cables and have variety of uses including latest television sets, satellite set top box, camcorder and SVHS VCR s etc. S-video cables divide video signals into two components like luminance and chrominance. This is the main difference between S-video cables and composite video cables.

Portable Projectors Video Cables

As their name suggests portable projector video cable needs small room for connection. Due to this space scarcity most of the portable projector cables comes with 15 pin VGA. The projector is designed to sense the video signal it is receiving and process them accordingly. These portable projector video cables uses three out of 15 pins out connection designed for component video signal.

VGA Video Cables

These VGA cables are normal monitor cables and have three rows of fifteen pins. VGA cables are primarily used for PC to projector or PC to computer monitor connections

The Top 3 Problems With Plasma TVs

It's easy to be instantly drawn to a plasma TV screen, especially one that is displaying full HDTV programming. The visual beauty is amazing. And plasma TVs tend to be among the lower cost thin screen technologies that are available today. But there are a few problems inherent to the design and you should at least be aware of them before making a buying decision.

The first is that plasma TVs use inert gases that are illuminated to display colors on the screen. The way that this is accomplished makes for very high contrast, vivid images on the screen, but it also can be affected by high altitudes. If you live above 6,000 - 7,000 feet above sea level, you should know that plasma TVs have to work much harder to produce the same image than they would at lower altitudes. This may not cause an immediate problem, but over time the monitor wears out much faster due to the extra work load. So if you happen to live in high altitudes, just bear this in mind when buying a plasma TV.

The second problem that plasma TVs can exhibit is a susceptibility to screen burn-in. This happens whenever any static image stays on the screen for a very long time and is still faintly visible even when the image changes. It is said to have been "burned-in" to the screen, and can be very irritating to see a ghost pattern still visible as you watch TV. The easy way to avoid this problem with older plasma screens is to make sure that you don't leave the TV on when you are not watching it, and especially when pausing a video game for a very long time. Thankfully though, newer plasma screen TVs have technology built in to address this problem that subtly shifts the image to surrounding pixels as you watch and essentially keeps the image moving although your eye does not detect it.

The third plasma TV problem that we will discuss is the heat it generates as it runs. Plasma screens often cause so much heat inside the unit that manufacturers usually install a fan to cool it down while operating. This actually works very well, but on some models the noise that the fan makes can become an annoyance. So listen for this problem carefully before you buy.

None of these problems are major enough to say that you shouldn't buy a plasma screen TV, but they should be understood beforehand so you can use the equipment properly, and choose the right plasma TV when you buy.

Home Theater Projector: The Ultimate in Home Entertainment

If you have been salivating for a true home theater experience a projector beats any of the new fangled television technologies any time.

Think about it, you can get images up to 120 inches whereas the largest plasmas or rear projection TVs are only 70 inches in diagonal length. Furthermore, these huge televisions cost an exorbitant amount ranging from $5000 to $10,000.

Compare them to budget projector models which sell for less than $1,500. Now's really a good time to consider them. They used to cost many thousands of dollars and prices have since fallen.

Now the market is in favor of new projector technologies such as LCD or DLP which utilize compact digital image chips which have brighter light output than CRT technologies. Now there's no need to completely see your movie in total darkness. A dimly lit room will do just as fine.

The older CRT technology were heavier at over 100 pounds. These new generation of projectors are compact and light. They weigh from 5 to 15 pounds. You can carry the lighter ones around. There's no need to rush home to watch your live sports programme. You can just simply bring it wherever you want. An example would be watching a movie in a friend's house. A compact projector is a great idea if you have several houses since there's no need to buy a projector for every home. One projector will do simply fine.

Their small size is a boon. They may either be placed on a coffee table or be mounted on a ceiling. Imagine the mammoth hulk of a projection TV taking up your previous living room space which otherwise could have been used in more better ways.

New projectors boast an array of connectivity options which regular television sets lack. You can hook it up to your PC enabling you to surf super sized web pages, watch slide show of your digital camera photos or play computer games.

Nowadays you have the option of either having a projection screen or simply using the wall to project the image on.

Setting up is easy and new projectors offer simpler solution. Normally your entertainment console consisting of all the various components such as DVD Player, Cable set top box and other AV components will be in front of the living room while the projector will be mounted at the back of the room. So how do you reconcile the difference in location for all these gizmos? You either had to move all the components back or simply lay cables from the various sources to the projector behind.

Discount Home Theater Screens

A home theater is the pride of any house. Today, the home theater has become a favorite with many people. Affordable prices have made home theaters the most wanted product in the recent times.

Home theater screens are available in different types, like manual pull down, electric, fixed frame, ceiling-recessed, tripod, truss framed, motorized, rear screens, tab-tensioned vs. tensioned vs. non tensioned, ceiling vs. wall mounted, and others. They can also be classified on the basis of their size, the material used, and the brand.

Home theaters are an indulgence. The price of the projector as well as the screen can be quite expensive. The cost of branded home theater screens can start anywhere from $500-$600. However, there are also some home theater screens that are available at a discount. There are some home theater screens from lesser-known manufacturers that are priced at around $200-$300. Most of the discount home theater screens come with advanced options such as electric control, remote control, wire 3-way controller, high effective scattered screen angle, flame retardant properties, and special masking borders. Some are these discount home theater screens are also available with a 30-day warranty. Most of them are ideal for wall as well as ceiling mounting. There are some discount screens priced as low as $69 and $79 also. These are available mostly in the 60, 72 and 84-inch categories.

Discount home theaters can be found on the Internet too. There are specific websites that include all information about the product, its picture, and reviews from customers. These reviews and the product ratings are a good way of knowing about the actual performance of the product. The screens can be compared and even ordered online directly through the local supplier.

Home Theaters: Which Ones Should I Invest In?

Going to the theatres is fast becoming out of fashion. Thanks to the advantages offered by latest technologies like DVD and satellite, folks are turning more and more to watching movies at home. Home theatres are fast gaining popularity as a good set offers one great advantage You can watch your old favorite movies which are still on VHS tapes, something which you really enjoy. Moreover, the sound is a lot better with surround sound technology and so are the latest DVD players, which offer nice quality and can copy over VCR. The video display unit, however, plays a significant role in making or spoiling your entire experience. For most of us, the display unit is just a regular television, which produces sub-acceptable to fairly good images depending on the make and model of the unit, which ultimately results in people going for High Definition.

Now let s analyze what to look for in a good home theatre setup- Quality sound, VCR to DVD players, and possibly a new T.V. set. We shall consider all these as if the money would be spent from our own pocket and that we shall be viewing movies as much as an average family in the U.S. does, which is roughly 20 hours per week.

The Logitech Z-640 6 Speaker Surround Sound System is being offered for a competent price of only $69 U.S. price. Or if you are looking for decent performance, look at the Sony HT-DDW670 Home Theater in a Box System costing approximately $179 U.S. price. Both of these will produce respectable sound without burning a hole in your pocket.

Coming down to the player unit, the Panasonic DMR-ES40VS VHS/DVD Recorder is a great deal, with its performance and efficiency, at an approximate pricing of $210 U.S. It comes in two color sets- silver and black and perhaps the best feature of this unit is that it can convert old VHS tapes, which we all have around, to DVD readily.

And now, enter the arena of display units, with HDTV sets which are available in a broad range in pricing and styling from the flat to the curved and from the small to the gigantic 50 Samsung HL-R5067W 50" HD-Ready DLP TV, costing approximately $1500 price, which is hard to turn down. But if you want your images projected across a wall, expect to shell out anywhere ranging from $1100 U.S. to several thousand dollars, and for obvious reasons, they aren t all that popular yet. So if you own a regular sized counsel that holds the T.V., the books and records, then you might probably be going to look for something in the 32 to 38 range, and these are readily available in the market, ranging in prices from seven or eight hundred all the way up to thousands. Choosing a fairly nice television, the SAMSUNG TX-R3080WH 30" Wide SlimFit HDTV w/ Built-In HD Tuner, costing approximately eight to nine hundred, is worth mentionable with good picture quality, excellent reputation and all.

Digital Cameras: for the Future and for Now

Virtually everyone now has the ability to create clear, impressive pictures that don t have to wait for a darkroom to reveal their value. The good news is for photographers and amateur photographers alike is that you have the ability to take great photographs effortlessly, you can simply delete the pictures you do not like, and you can even print-out high quality photos from your own home printer and these digital, technological capabilities exist not only in digital cameras alone, but in cellular phones as well.

Often a digital camera will not only include still photographic abilities but also can act as recording devices to make home movies and shoot your wedding, your friends or your pets anything you might take a photo of, you can now make a video of using the same digital machine!

You can alter the coloring to enhance to your photos, or you can make them black and white or old-fashioned-style brown and white. You can both enhance and blur the photos, pictures can be shaped, cropped, ten printed out on a sheet like a page of glossy, wallet sized school pictures with your computer no professionals involved!

Digital cameras are now available to suit any budget. There are hundreds of kinds of digital cameras in stock online that you can research, choose from, and purchase. Look around and discover the possibilities available for you! Digital cameras are not only convenient, fantastic, and perfect for capturing those beautiful moments in life you look back on and wish you could, well LOOK back on but digital cameras are also the wave of the future. Soon many more people will have them because not only are the technological advances rapidly being made, but also because the once extremely high costs of digital technological devices are now becoming more and more affordable.

What You Need To Know About Stereo Receivers

There has been a revolution taking place in the home entertainment and electronics field in the past decade that will change how we view and listen to entertainment forever. Not long ago, you watched TV and listened to stereo music separately. But increasingly audio and video sources have become combined and now we have a multitude of audio/video devices that we can choose to enjoy including dvd players, camcorders, video games, HDTV, and more. And with this audio/video consolidation the home stereo receiver has had to keep up with the times.

Today we have a wide selection of receivers to choose from. Of course, you can still get the most basic stereo receiver that accepts sound inputs and powers only two speakers at a time. In fact, you can get some very high quality equipment in this area very inexpensively now. In fact, you can build a very cheap and basic home theater setup by using the stereo receiver to process sound from a DVD player, VCR, and your TV.

If you get a receiver that has support for Dolby Pro Logic, Pro Logic II, and Pro Logic IIx, you can even get simulated surround sound from your home theater system if you have four or more speakers. Of course, the pro Logic formats are not digital, they are for analog sound inputs but it can help improve your sound quite a bit if you still use analog components.

For most modern uses though, you will need a receiver that can handle both digital audio and video inputs and then routes the signals to the correct component like your TV and speaker setup. On the video side look for receivers that have enough video inputs to support all the video devices that you plan to use, and also be sure that the connection types match up between the video devices you have and the receiver inputs. On the audio side, if you plan on using the digital surround sound capability that much of today's entertainment is going to, your receiver should be able to decode both Dolby and DTS 5.1 surround sound and then support at least 5 speakers and a subwoofer to distribute each channel's sound to the appropriate speaker.

You will want to have plenty of power to accomplish all of this and so for a typical home theater setup you will need about 50 watts of power for an average room, 75 watts per channel for a larger room, and for very large rooms 100 watts per channel or more will be needed to truly get the sound you want.

The top stereo receiver manufacturers are Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Onkyo, Denon, Pioneer, and Yamaha. If you browse their current offerings you will find that most of these companies make high quality products that will work well. The biggest question is what your needs are instead. Once you understand what your needs will be, you can then choose the best stereo receiver from any of those brands to fill those needs very well.

Flat Screen Displays - Coming to a Kitchen Near You!

Flat screen displays have infiltrated into our lives, and it is no surprise why. One look at that sleek thin profile, and truly stunning picture quality, is usually all it takes for one to be sold on this totally cool technology. Most people will agree that the real benefit to a flat screen display is its mounting flexibility. For the first time we can mount our TV s directly on a wall freeing up valuable floor space.

Perhaps the one room in our homes that can benefit the most from flat screen technology is the kitchen. People tend to gather, and spend a lot of time in their kitchens, making it the perfect spot for a TV. Unfortunately, kitchens are designed around food preparation, and therefore tend to be less than ideal areas for watching TV. Putting even a small TV on the countertop can occupy some vital real estate. Even a flat screen may take up too much space if left on a countertop stand.

But wait there is hope for even the most crowded of kitchens! Many aftermarket manufacturers specializing in display mounting hardware have devised some really great wall mounts for flat panel TV s. Brackets can be purchased that will let you mount the TV directly to the backsplash. This method will suspend the TV over the countertop, allowing full use of the counter s surface during food preparation. Some of these mounts can be extended and swiveled for even more viewing flexibility. You may choose to angle the TV towards you when working at the sink, then swivel it for viewing at the table.

The sky is the limit when it comes to mounting your flat screen display. Don t feel that you must settle for the cheap stand that came with the screen. Look around at some of the available mounting solutions designed to get the most from flat screen technology. A sleek display deserves a sleek mount.

LCD Televisions - Technology Uncovered

LCD is one of the biggest technologies in television at the moment, set to go head-to-head against plasma screens for the future of TVs.

But what do LCD televisions mean to you? Well, to begin with, the picture you get is a lot sharper. By now you ve probably replaced your old bulky computer monitor with a flat, LCD one, and you ve no doubt noticed the difference in picture quality and clarity. Now the companies behind LCD want it to do the same for televisions, making them flatter, clearer and altogether better.

Another thing to note is that the rise of HDTV (high-definition television) is linked to the rise of LCD televisions. HDTV allows the original TV signal to be broadcast in even better quality than a DVD, and digital LCD TVs can then display the signal perfectly.

It really makes TV as we know it today look ridiculously primitive by comparison and if you re willing to splash out on an LCD TV and an HDTV subscription, you can have it today. Every year, LCD screens are decreasing in price and increasing in size, making them an ever-better competitor against other screen technologies.

When you buy an LCD television, the main things to look for are size and price, although there are also more technical features you might be interested in, like colour depth (the number of colours the screen can display). Response time is one that is often considered important, as LCDs with a long response time can produce a blurring effect when showing pictures of something that is moving quickly. There is also a measurement called dot pitch, which roughly indicates how sharp the picture produced by the TV will be (lower numbers are better).

As a final word of advice, if you do decide to buy an LCD TV, make sure you see it in use in the shop first. You should watch to see how it handles different kinds of pictures, and what the display is like compared to other LCDs, as well as compared to plasma screens.

CD/DVD Duplication

Is there a marked difference between discs used to manufacture duplicate orders and those discs that are used to manufacture replicate orders?

Any company that need to produce CDs and DVDs need to understand fully the nature of the available products, their existing and future duplication requirements, and their budge prior to buying a CD DVD duplicator. There is no other cost-effective method for the mass production of discs than a CD duplicator. This equipment should be cheap and easy to use. It should not require a personal computer to operate and is unparalleled in terms of output per hour. A seven drive CD DVD duplicator tower configuration is a cost effective solution for any company that would like to produce low to mid level volumes on a day to day basis.

An automated CD DVD duplicator printer is like having a full-time employee that copies discs at no cost to you. A CDR can only be written with information once. Once you have recorded the information on the CDR, you cannot delete it. The CDRW disc differs from the CDR disc since it can be written to and erased a number of times. The general rule of thumb is that CDRW disc can be rewritten up to a thousand times.

Unlike compact disc recordable drives, the CDRW of compact disk rewriter drives can use both CDR or compact disc recordable and CDRW or compact disk rewritable discs. Information that can be recorded with a CDR or CDRW disc can be data, digital audio, and digital video. Maximum storage capacity of a CDR or CDRW is from 650-700 megabytes of data and 74-80 minutes of digital audio or video.

To answer our question posed in the introduction, there is no marked difference between DVD duplication from DVD replication in terms of reliability and quality.

Home Theater Ugly Secrets Revealed - Secrets #8, 9 and 10


What you should do about it:

Depends on how deeply you want to crawl into this.


This is technical but I'll simplify. Each piece of electronics - a display device (Hi-Def, digital television) has its own way of showing the picture, involving a fixed number of pixels (picture pieces). This isn't the same for all sets. It isn't the necessarily same for DVD players, converters, or whatever else you plug in to see a picture. So somewhere the data is converted. ALL CONVERSION SCHEMES ARE NOT EQUAL. THERE MAY BE LOSSES of resolution, or clarity. There may be what they call artifacts.
And here's a thrill: The TV stations don't have to use all their new digital bandwidth to broadcast in full high-definition. For example, rather than being limited to providing one analog programming channel, a broadcaster will be able to provide a super sharp "high definition" (HDTV) program or multiple "standard definition" DTV programs simultaneously. Providing several program streams on one broadcast channel is called "multicasting." The number of programs a station can send on one digital channel depends on the level of picture detail, also known as "resolution," desired in each programming stream. DTV can provide interactive video and data services that are not possible with "analog" technology. They may use some of it for something else that makes them more money. They - or the satellite channels - can, in effect, send a degraded picture alongside another new channel of degraded picture. There's nothing you can do about this. Nice.

Secret #9: ARTIFACTS.

Important background on nasty artifacts:


Like a pimple on a teen, after they see it, that's ALL they see. If you want to live in denial, skip ahead to Number 10. And these aren't REALLY secrets, because you can see them, but you might not notice right away.

What you should do about it:

Decide which you can live with and which you can't. It will drive you crazy if you let it. Or spend a fortune to get the latest technology that might have it fixed. Or just ignore it. Life isn't perfect. Be VERY CLEAR on what the warranty covers or doesn't.

Mosquito noise.

Not buzzing. It's a swirling that looks like tiny bugs flying around. You'll see it - if you do - in saturated colors.

Screen Door Effect.
It looks like looking through a screen door into your picture. (Especially - to my eye - on Plasma sets.) It's because of how the set is built (you are actually seeing the holes or spaces between picture elements). Manufacturers are aware of this and doing all they can to fix or mitigate it.


The picture breaks up into little (or bigger!) blocks. This is horrible to see unless you love modern art. It'll be seen in moving pictures of detail. This is the worst sin.


Certain people see a rainbow effect in certain DLP (Digital Light Projector) sets. You might notice it if you look slightly away from the screen. It's caused by the way the DLPs work. Some are better at this than others. There's no pot of gold at the end, either.

Pixel failure.

Since there are so many elements (pixels) to a picture, one or more can fail. THE WARRANTY MIGHT STATE that a certain number of failures is okay with them and may even be expected. IF you saw it you'd only notice it up close (see section on where to sit in relation to screen - you shouldn't BE that close. One or more might also stay lit permanently. That'll be more obvious, a tiny, tiny red in a black scene, for example. There may be millions of these dots on your screen, to give you a sense of scale. This isn't the end of the world.


What you should do about it:

Just know it. There's little you can do. (But in the audio section of I'll tell you all about how to get the best out of your sound.)

Why? It has to do with the acoustics of the room in which you listen. Each room makes the same speakers sound differently. Sometimes better, sometimes worse. You could buy a subwoofer and bring it home and HEAR NO BASS where you sit. But this will be covered in the audio section. Along with what you can do about it.

There. Now you know 3 more Ugly Home Theater secrets.
But, it isn t quite that simple. At there are more secrets revealed. I promise you won t get neurotic or your hands dirty, and I won t talk you out of what can be a tremendous and highly enjoyable leap forward in home entertainment.