Episode 541 is packed with information, from a CNet discussion on their favorite 3 (budget) receivers to the new STRIVA wi-fi headphones from Koss. Mixed in there is a list from Electronic House with 10 very unique remote controls that are sure to start as many conversations as movies in your home theater.
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- Dish alters AutoHop amid legal battle
- Netflix and YouTube are Smart TV Favorites
- Google TV now lists movie New Releases, to let users control YouTube vids from phones and tablets
- 10 Most Unusual Remote Controls
- Best (budget) AV receivers
- Audioholics Interview: Michael J. Koss Introduces STRIVA Wi-Fi Headphones
- DIRECTV adds a ton of HBO On Demand Content
- Redbox and Verizon's Netflix competitor goes into alpha test
- Netflix Q2 2012 earnings: 530,000 more US subscribers and a return to profitability
- Apple TV sales up 170%, reaches installed base of 6.8 million AirPlay-ready HDTVs
- Google TV will get its own version of AirPlay
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Home Theater Terms
- Throw Ratio - When buying a projector, one of the key measurements you must know before you pay is the projector’s throw ratio. The term throw by itself is the distance from the projector lens to the center of the screen. The throw ratio is that throw distance to the screen divided by the width of the projected image, or essentially the width of screen it will support. Since it is a ratio, there are no units associated with it; you can use feet, inches, meters, miles, whatever you like. Bottom line, the throw distance will narrow down which projectors are right for your room. If you want to have a 200 inch screen, the projector will need to be able to do that from wherever you plan to mount it. If you can only accommodate an 80 inch screen because of the wall space or room layout, you need to factor that in as well. Because of zoom lenses, most projectors have a throw ratio range. As long as your throw distance and desired screen size fall in that range, you’re all set.
- Bitstream - Technically a bitstream is no more than digital information expressed in binary form (0’s and 1’s) moving from one device to another. But when we use the term in a home theater context, we’re typically referring to a specific kind of information - namely audio information - moving from a source device, such as a blu-ray player, to an audio processing device, such as a standard AV receiver. Audio in the bitstream state hasn’t been decoded yet; it is still in its encoded form: Dolby Digital, DTS, etc. When the bitstream arrives at the receiver, the receiver is responsible for decoding it, converting it to analog and sending it to the speakers. In cases where the receiver is incapable of decoding a particular audio format, the source device can decode it and instead of sending the bitstream, send the decoded audio as linear PCM.
- Luminance - The part of a video stream that determines the brightness, or the black and white component, of the picture or video on screen. The luminance value produces shades of grey that match brightness levels perceptible to the human eye. In an analog component video cable the luminance value is kept separate from the color values, or chrominance, to produce a more pristine image. Luminance values are carried on the green or ‘Y’ cable while the chrominance values are carried on the other two cables, the red (Pr) and blue (Pb) cables. For analog video, component cables are typically considered the best compromise between compression and quality. In digital video signals, such as HDMI and DVI, the video is in a digital format, so the luminance portion of the stream is simply encoded as part of the color values.