After months of anticipation, speculation and mastication (What, you didn’t eat in the last few months?), the Apple TV has finally been unveiled. If there’s one thing you can say for Apple’s reveal, it’s that the new Apple TV is better than the old Apple TV. Then again, that’s not saying much at all.
For this week’s Roundtable, we’re taking a break from our usual movie list discussions. We’re going to shift gears a little bit and talk about something more personal. Most home theater owners like to decorate their HT rooms with posters, memorabilia, knickknacks, and other interesting odds and ends to celebrate their favorite movies, TV shows, and pop culture happenings. Let’s take a look at some of our personal favorites.
I don’t know how the weather is where you live, but we’ve been having a heat wave here in Boston. Even if the temperature itself may not seem so bad (generally 80s to 90s), the humidity has made everything gross and sticky. It’s the kind of weather where you don’t want to leave air conditioning for a minute. That’s becoming a real problem for me, because the air conditioning in my apartment doesn’t extend to my home theater room. As much as I’d love to fire up my gear and watch a bunch of movies and TV shows, the thought of it is practically unbearable. Does anyone else have this problem?
A couple weeks ago, I ran a post referencing over to an article about the 20 most common home theater mistakes and how to fix them. Now, my friend and former DVDTalk colleague Jason has written his own list of suggestions called “Five Ways to Make Your Home Theater Better than the Rest.” It’s worth a read, and not just because he’s a pal of mine. (Though that doesn’t hurt. I have smart friends.)
Remember when all home theater hook-up consisted of was the need to screw the pointy RF coax cable from the VCR into the TV? Sure, the picture and sound quality were crap, but we didn’t know any better at the time. We’ve come a long way since then, haven’t we? (Well, at least some of us have. My mother, not so much.) Through the evolution from RCA composite cables to S-video to Component video, we learned the benefits of separating out the various portions of the picture and sound signals to their own separate carriers. Then with HDMI, we learned how to combine them all back into one cable again. Now, an alliance of manufacturers has developed a new A/V connection called HDBaseT that it hopes will give HDMI the boot, and become the new all-in-one connection standard for home video and audio equipment. The question is, do we really need it?
Remember ‘Minority Report‘? After that movie came out, tech developers seemed to lose track of everything that wasn’t a fancy hands-on interface. This started out simply enough, with an increase in the amount of touchscreen phones hitting the market. But the new range of motion control products takes it too far.
A web site called televisions.com has compiled an interesting list of The 20 Most Common Mistakes in the Home Cinema. The article has a lot of worthwhile tips and advice, and points out many errors in home theater design that I see all the time.
Did everyone have a productive weekend? I spent mine putting the remnants of my home theater room back together after it was torn apart last week to repair the water damage that occurred earlier in the spring. I must say, it’s certainly nice to have all that crumbling plaster and mold cleaned up. The process of getting here has been quite an ordeal, however. As I posted previously, I had to disconnect all my electronics, pull my speakers off the walls, pull my movies off their shelves, and move everything away from the damage areas. That much was plenty of work in itself. Unfortunately, putting it all back together again turned out to be even harder. Destruction is always easier than reconstruction, isn’t it?
Ah, memories… This really takes me back. Back to the wild and woolly days of the high-def format war. When did that end, two years ago? It feels like an eternity. I’m reminded of this, strangely, as a direct result of my current home theater crisis. While my HT room is in disarray, having all of its water damage and mold patched up, I’ve needed to transfer files from my main computer that resides there to a laptop. So I went digging through some drawers for a USB stick, and this is what I found – a USB stick branded with the HD DVD logo. And that got me thinking back over the events of the last four years.
Do you dream of having a Pip-Boy strapped to your wrist detailing your vital statistics, streaming communications, and – Why not? – playing video and audio files to your heart’s content? Hey, that’s fine with me; you can want whatever you want. Just don’t sign me up for your crazy future. I like my business and pleasure separate, thanks very much.