Home theaters

A home theater, health monitoring controls, or surveillance system--which top technology trend interests you most? For many, it is a home theater.

Unleashing Microsoft Windows Vista Media Center
Mark Edward Soper.
Indianapolis, Ind. : Que Pub., c2009.
Soper, a technical educator and author, offers a handbook written both for newcomers and experienced users of Microsoft Windows Vista Media Center. Clearly written text describes, in a step-by-step manner, how to use all features of the program. The text is supported by numerous screen captures and illustrations. A sampling of topics includes setting up Media Center, viewing and recording Live TV, watching movies, importing and playing audio, adding Media Center to home networks, enhancing Media Center, tips and tricks, and troubleshooting. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Practical MythTV : building a PVR and media center PC
Stewart Smith and Michael Still.
[Berkeley, Calif.] : Apress, c2007.
MythTV is a powerful open source personal video recorder (PVR) application that runs on Linux. Developed for several years by volunteers, it offers a stable and extensible platform for automating everything one would expect from a PVR, and much more. Offering a project-based approach to implementing a MythTV setup, this guide provides the details of everything from selecting hardware to advanced customization.
Introductory guide to high-performance audio systems : stereo, surround sound, home theater
Robert Harley.
Tijeras, N.M. : Acapella Pub., c2007.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Home hacking projects for geeks
Tony Northrup and Eric Faulkner.
Sebastopol, CA : O'Reilly Media, 2004, c2005.
This book is designed for those whose idea of home improvement includes building a remote monitor for pets, a home-grown security system, or home theater PCs using either Windows or Linux. Each of the 13 projects indicates cost, time to build, and difficulty level, and includes detailed instructions for choosing and installing components, installing software or creating scripts, and possibilities for expanding or augmenting the finished project. Northrup and Faulkner are both experienced tinkerers and have taken great pains to make their projects accessible for non-hackers. Annotation #169;2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Absolute beginner's guide to home networking
Mark Edward Soper.
Indianapolis, Ind. : Que, [2004], c2005.
After explaining the components that make up different types of home networks, this guide provides step-by-step instructions for installing both wired Ethernet and wireless networks. The second half of the book discusses security, connecting to other networks, and incorporating home theater systems, digital video recorders, lighting control, and HVAC systems into the home network. Annotation #169;2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Leo Laporte's guide to TiVO
Leo Laporte, Gareth Branwyn.
Indianapolis, Ind. : Que, [2004], c2005.
Written by Leo Laporte - one of the most widely recognized voices in consumer technology today - along with Gareth Branwyn, a veteran Wired magazine writer, editor book author and certified "TiVo-holic." Sure, there are other TiVo books out there, but none, and we mean none, are written with real users in mind. All of the competitor books assume that the reader is a Linux programming, certifiable geek. We assume two things and two things only - one, you have a TiVo, and two, you love your TiVo. That's it. We arm you with the information you need to grab your tools, pop the hood on your series 1 or series 2 TiVo, and get to work: adding more storage space, networking your TiVo, adding more cache memory, and more. Not only for the hardcore hardware hacker, we cover everything from doing it all yourself, to using a prepared upgrade kit (no computer required!), to even sending it to a service center and having them do all the heavy lifting. Leo Laporte's Guide to TiVo is as user-friendly as TiVo itself, a book you can start utilizing right away, but that grows in sophistication and detail as your mastery of TiVo grows. We cover basic advice on buying, setting up, and using your TiVo, to more in-depth coverage of advanced software features and the most popular hardware hacks (such as adding more storage space and networking your TiVo). Book jacket.

Today's home theater allows a film to be experienced as the filmmaker intended. The picture is clearer than just a few years ago, screen sizes are larger, and titles are quickly available for home viewing. Perhaps the biggest improvement in current home theaters is the quality of sound--it can rival that heard at your nearby cinema.

Sounds come from all directions. We hear the voice of the person we are facing. But we can also catch the sound of the airplane overhead and car horn behind us. Early home theaters relied on analog mono sound (just one speaker), but now surround sound systems give us three-dimensional sound.

How does surround sound happen? One way is to buy or build an audio system consisting of five digital speakers, a surround sound receiver, and a subwoofer. The two front speakers are positioned on either side of the screen. A center speaker is placed above or behind the screen. The final two speakers, called the left and right surrounds, are placed on the rear sides of the theater area.

Home theater extras

Popcorn machines
Controls to close the drapes
Reclining chairs
Old theater chairs
Custom cabinets
Theme decorations

(outfit your home theater)

With speakers in place, the film's soundtrack sends unique information to each of the speakers. Sounds from the right of the screen comes the right speaker, and that on the left of the screen from the left speaker, while the center speaker plays the dialogue. The two rear speakers handle the noises and music that are part of the film's action sequences. Add in a subwoofer that handles the low-frequency pressure (or bass) in a room and you will be sure the thunderstorm in the film is occurring right in your home theater.

A home theater allows you gather friends around, grab a bowl of popcorn, and enjoy the show...all without needing a ticket.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff