How to Get the Most From Your Home Theater - Without Spending a Fortune

Written by Steve Faber

So you’ve scraped and saved, now you’ve finally gotten together a semi-respectable home theater system. You want even more, butrepparttar idea of spending another few thousand on new front speakers doesn’t cut it. What can you do?

There are ways to getrepparttar 151184 most out of what you have without breakingrepparttar 151185 bank. There are several areas you can look at to ensure your theater is set up correctly and performing at its best.

Cables and Interconnects – It’s imperativerepparttar 151186 signals are transferred from your source components to your speakers, going through various components alongrepparttar 151187 way, withrepparttar 151188 least amount of degradation. Make sure your audio, video and speaker cables are all of good quality and that none are old and corroded. You can use contact enhancer to be surerepparttar 151189 connection is really good.

Contact enhancers increaserepparttar 151190 contact area of metal to metal connections, such as you find with a typical RCA connection. Because ofrepparttar 151191 surface imperfections, most connectors actually make fairly poor contact. As low as 5% ofrepparttar 151192 surface area is actually in contact with each other. Contact enhancers fill inrepparttar 151193 minute gaps betweenrepparttar 151194 two connectors.

One such product is Quicksilver. It uses a silver-based solution, just like some ofrepparttar 151195 finest specialty A/V cables. You’ve really got to check this stuff out, it can make a noticeable improvement for not much money.

Make sure to userepparttar 151196 highest level of A/V connection your system supports. i.e. if you can use a component or DVI video connection from your DVD to your display device then do it. Calibration – Your video display will definitely not look its best without proper calibration. Manufacturers have a dismal record when it comes to calibrating sets atrepparttar 151197 factory. Most are TVs designed to look their best onrepparttar 151198 showroom floor, not in your home theater. In fact, a CRT based rear projection TV can have its life dramatically shortened by improper calibration.

The contrast is invariably set too high to makerepparttar 151199 set stand out inrepparttar 151200 showroom environment. This sells more TVs but causes premature tube wear. (That sells more TVs too, I guess) Proper video calibration will correctrepparttar 151201 problem.

I have used Joe Kane’s Digital Video Essentials for years andrepparttar 151202 Video Essentials laser disc before that. It is a great tool to help you getrepparttar 151203 best out of your home theater. It has allrepparttar 151204 needed video test patterns and explanations on how to properly use them. Pick one up here:

Make Your Own Lampshades

Written by Dean Novosat

When redecorating your room, you may be faced with looking for new lampshades (or perhaps a lampshade you currently have has gotten damaged). So why not make your own!

If your lamp currently has a lampshade on it, half ofrepparttar battle is already won! You have a base to start building your new shade. When selecting a material for your new shade, you can use paper, fabrics, plastic, or any heat-resistant material. Do keep in mind though, thatrepparttar 151120 surface of a 100-watt light bulb can reach over 200 degrees and could cause a fire hazard. Make surerepparttar 151121 material you choose for a lampshade is either far enough fromrepparttar 151122 light bulb, or is fire-resistant.

Next, have fun! Take a trip to your local craft store or fabric store and get some ideas for your fabric or other material for your shade. Remember,repparttar 151123 more transparentrepparttar 151124 material,repparttar 151125 morerepparttar 151126 color of your light will change byrepparttar 151127 material. If you use a lightweight, transparent green sheer material, your finished lamp will give off a greenish glow. Onrepparttar 151128 other hand, a heavy piece of velvet (or how about some thin strips of tree bark) won’t allow much light through at all. Light will escape fromrepparttar 151129 top or bottom ofrepparttar 151130 lamp only. Keep this in mind as you plan your new lampshade.

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