Home Audio & Video Systems

Home audio and video setups are as individual as the people who own them. At its most basic, a home theater includes a TV, some speakers and an audio/video source. Find out about the newest home theater components, and how they work together to give you a superior entertainment experience.

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Even though the storage capacity of a DVD is huge, the uncompressed video data of a full-length movie would never fit on a DVD. In order to fit a movie on a DVD, you need video compression.

EyeVision promises to revolutionize the way we think of instant replays. If you watched Super Bowl XXXV, you saw EyeVision in action. Learn how the camera view "flies" around the field to show you every angle.

By Shel Brannan

In any sound system, ultimate quality depends on the speakers. The best recording, encoded on the most advanced storage device and played by a top-of-the-line deck and amplifier, will sound awful if the system is hooked up to poor speakers.

By Tom Harris


Digital television boasts up to 10 times the detail of regular analog TV, and DTV stations are on the air in full force. Find out all about this top-of-the-line format and the future of television.

By Marshall Brain

If you recently got a DVD player you might be wondering what all those connectors on the back are for. Don't worry, you don't have to use them all -- a lot of the connectors are actually redundant.

When the picture has to be BIG, a traditional CRT monitor isn't practical. For an oversized image, projection television is a must. Learn how these video systems produce a high-resolution image for a huge screen.

By Tracy V. Wilson & Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

It wasn't too long ago that VHS tapes dominated the home video market, but now, DVDs have all but wiped them out. Learn how a DVD player reads a disc, see what to look for when buying a player, and read up on a little DVD history.

By Gayle A. Alleman


CDs are certainly more widespread these days, but you've probably heard at least one audiophile insist that records have a better sound quality when it comes to their favorite music. How can this be?

Millions of people receive their television signal through a cable TV connection. Most of them don't actually know what "cable TV" is, what it does or how it got its name. Find out!

By Curt Franklin

Closed captioning is useful for deaf individuals, noisy places and even as a language learning tool. How do the characters' spoken words appear at the bottom of the screen?

Liquid crystal displays are found in everything from digital watches to laptop computers. In a relatively short period of time, they've crept from a fascinating novelty item to a technology standard. Learn about the science (a liquid crystal?) and technology behind LCDs.

By Jeff Tyson


As of 1999, all new television sets sold in the United States have to contain a V-chip. How does the V-chip screen for undesirable content?

Is it true that you have to be very careful handling CDs and never allow your hands to touch anything but the edges?

How do VHS tapes prevent you from bootlegging a copy of a movie? Find out here!

If you've ever tried to record the picture on a TV with a video camera, you know the results can be messy. Learn what causes flickering when you try to record a television set with a video camera, and how you can avoid it.


Like soap bubbles and grease slicks, CDs reflect rainbow colors. What makes this happen?

There are several formats for distributing music. The mp3 digital audio file and the plastic compact disc are the most common, but what about the Minidisc, and how does it differ from a CD?

Most people know that digital technology has some big advantages over its predecessor, analog. But how does a digital recording differ from an analog recording, and what keeps the quality of digital from degrading over time?

What is the difference between DVD-audio and CDs? It all has to do with their sampling rate.


How can six hours of video fit on a $2 tape? What happens after you slide that tape into the slot? The VCR may be yesterday’s tech, but it's still a mechanical marvel. Take a look inside!

By Marshall Brain

Ever wonder how we got from vinyl records to CDs? Learn about analog and digital recording and shop for related products.

By Marshall Brain & Jonathan Strickland

Before compact discs, you had to rewind and fast-forward to get to a particular bit of information. Not so with digital storage -- the CD makes pinpointing data a split-second task. Find out how CDs (and CD-ROMs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs) hold and let you retri

By Marshall Brain

When the first high-definition television (HDTV) sets hit the market in 1998, movie buffs, sports fans and tech aficionados got pretty excited, and for good reason. Ads for the sets hinted at a television paradise with superior resolution and digital

By Tracy V. Wilson


A fascinating look inside a TV's remote control (including the printed circuit board)!

By Marshall Brain