Friday, August 16, 2013

DIY Roundup: 10 Links and More to Help You Build Your Home Theater

Whether you are looking to build your first home theater or makeover an existing space, it’s tough to figure out where to start. Much like an artist staring at a blank canvas, you need some inspiration to help you make the leap from empty basement or den to fully functional home theater. We have collected some links from this blog and our website to help you get going on a home theater of your very own:
  1. Building Your Very Own Home Theater – Where to Start?
  2. DIY Home theater Video from Lane Furniture
  3. Ancient Tips to design Your Home Theater – Feng Shui Ideas
  4. “Theater-in-a-Box” Packages
  5. How To Install a Home Theater System
  6. DIY Home Theater Design
  7. How To Measure for Home Theater Seating
  8. Designing Your Perfect Home Theater
  9. Setting Up Home Theater Acoustics
  10. Entertainment on Any Budget – Economical Home Entertainment
Red and Gold Home Theater Room
Image from shutterstock.com
These articles are a great starting point, but when you are in the thick of building your home theater, it helps to have a community of like-minded enthusiasts to answer questions, offer encouragement and share their own projects. To help you on that front, here are three of the top forums used by the home theater community:
  1. AVS Forum
  2. Home Theater Forum
  3. Audioholics Forum
With these links (and the rest of the Internet) at your fingertips, you have no excuse not to get out there and start building the home theater room that you have been dreaming of. Of course, when the time comes, you’ll want to invest in the perfect seating to cap off your home theater space.

Friday, August 2, 2013

3 Reasons that the Google Chromecast Might be the Next Big Thing for TV

Google Chromecast Dongle
Image from Google.com
Much to-do has been made over Google’s big new innovation to hit the home theater market. Well, not physically big as it is the size of a thumb drive!) Some people say that it isn’t ready for prime time yet while others trumpet its innovations and ease of use. This little gadget is the Google Chromecast, and it packs a big punch into a little package.

After looking at what others have said about the Chromecast, it is our opinion that this little dongle is a great buy. Here are 3 major reasons that influenced our decisions:

3. Features vs. Price – As of this writing, the Chromecast only streams three content sources: Netflix, You Tube and Google Chrome. Bigger set-top boxes like the Apple TV and Roku have hundreds of channels. The thing that caught our attention was the channels that Chromecast offers now. Netflix is the largest streaming television service out there, and having access to the huge content library of YouTube as well as your own stash of videos pretty much covers almost everything else. Plus, with a $35 dollar price tag, Chromecast gives you plenty of bang for the buck.

2. Ease of Use – Instead of coming with a remote, the Google Chromecast links to an app through your smartphone, tablet or computer. This allows you to control the TV with your mobile device. Reviews that we researched online give this feature a glowing review. Plus it works with Android and iOS operating systems as well as Windows 8.1 and the latest MAC OS. One reviewer even switched between his Android and iPhone without any problems.

1. Open Source Development – Instead of relying on a proprietary system or expensive development kit, the Chromecast is an open source device with all of its code, specs and secrets on the web for all to see. This opens the door to any developer who wants to create an app for the Chromecast. It may not have many channels now, but rest assured that the Chromecast will quickly build its channels and features to catch up to its bigger set-top box brothers.