Stop Procrastinating and Shape Up
Your HDTV or Home Theater
Another year as come and gone and if you’re like most gadget owners you’ve probably put off some tasks that you’ve been meaning to get done. We say the time is right to stop procrastinating and get down to business. We’ve put together three guides to help:
  1. Getting your home theater or HDTV in shape (below)
  2. Organizing music, videos and photos (click here)
  3. Backing up and protecting (click here)
We’ve done the research, we’re giving you the tools you need, somewhere to start and ideas on where to go next when you get stuck - we’ll even tell you approximately how long we think each task will take.
Home Theater
This one isn’t as bad as you think it will be, we promise. Well, maybe organizing the cables, depending on your set-up, but grab a bottle of beer or a glass of wine, put on some music, and just do it.
  1. Dust is not your friend (20 min.)
    Use a can of compressed air to carefully blow out all the dust.
  2. Organize Cables (20 - 40 min.)
    They’re ugly and make any sort of physical adjustment more difficult than it should be. Here are some fun tools for getting them under control - Cable Monkey, Cord Catch, Zip Ties, Multiple Cable Catch.
  3. Calibrate the TV and Stereo System
    (30 min.)

    You spent an awful lot of money on your home theater system, you need to put in that extra small step of work to make sure you’re getting the best possible picture and sound. Everyone’s home is different, and none of them even remotely resemble a television showroom, so you need to change the setting so that they are optimal for your particular situation; proper adjustment of the device is very dependent on the room it will be placed in. For $25-$50 you can invest in a calibration disc that may include a set of filters you look through or hold up against the screen to help set color levels. Spears & Munsil’s Blu-ray calibration disc gets high marks from users. Joe Kane's Digital Video Essentials (DVE) is another popular one as well as the Monster Calibration Wizard. Tutorials on the discs explain how to perform the tests and what the tests mean. If you can afford about $300 to have a specialist from someplace like Geek Squad come to your house, you’ll get someone trained to use professional equipment like this colorimeter which suctions onto the front of your TV and provides feedback for adjusting the settings. You can always purchase the gear they use like this SpyderTV analyzer which starts at around $100.

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Let them hang!

Thanks, Sarah!

However, IMHPO this task should be left for those who will inherit your stuff. A small price to pay for the value of a home theater. Best time to arrange, rearrange or mess with cables is only AFTER you have discovered a problem that, perhaps, points to the need to do that.

I HAVE bookmarked your tips on organizing music and photos, a project that I have been avoiding. Thanks for that boost!

Thanks for taking

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me...thanks tui xach hang hieu

20-40 minutes for cable organization?

Sarah has obviously never looked behind my HT setup. Cable re-organization would take 2-3 hours. And is badly needed.


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