HDTV Buyer's Kit Email 4

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HDTV Buyer’s Kit
Part 4: Must-Have Accessories for Your HDTV
In our previous installment, Now That You Own an HDTV, Here’s What to Do Next, we covered what to do right-out-of-the-box. If you haven’t bought your HDTV yet, no problem; it’s a good idea to keep this email for when you do. In this installment: 5 must-have HDTV accessories that come with room for bragging rights.
HDMI Cables
Ditch your component, composite, and S-video cables. For true HD video with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio support you want to pick up at least a version 1.3 HDMI cable capable of transfer speeds of 10.2 Gbit/s. If you own or plan to buy a 3DTV and want to watch broadcast TV, games, and movies, get yourself the version 1.4a high-speed (10.2 Gbit/s) HMDI cable for the highest-quality picture.

Calibration DVDs & What the Pros Use


You can pick up a calibration DVD for around $25 -which is an easy, inexpensive way to get a brilliant picture. Most DVDs will include a set of filters to hold up to the screen for precise color & lighting calibration. Spears & Munsil’s Blu-ray calibration DVD gets high ratings from users. Also, look for Joe Kane's Digital Video Essentials (DVE) and Monster/ISF HDTV Calibration Wizard –two other popular picks. (If you see one of these DVDs on Netflix, beware; they do not include the filters.)

Pro Device
Specialists from places like GeekSquad make house calls for around $300, but you can always just do it yourself with Spyder3TV for about $100.

Surround Sound Speakers


An inexpensive, space-conscious option is to go with a soundbar. It’s thin, a little over 3 feet long, and can rest right under your TV or be mounted on the wall. They simulate surround sound, housing one to five multichannel enclosed speakers. Besides being inexpensive, the advantage here is that you connect it directly to your TV –skipping the A/V receiver. Some even let you connect a subwoofer or have a built-in Blu-ray player.

Home-Theater Speaker Systems
You can hear theater-quality sound from an A/V receiver or DVD player that connects discrete speakers for multichannel audio. Some systems even include a Blu-ray player. A 5.1 channel home-theater system is comprised of 4 satellite speakers (2 front & 2 rear), 1 center speaker, and 1 subwoofer. A 6.1 channel setup adds a speaker on the wall behind you, and 7.1 systems add 2 extra rear surround speakers. Of course, the best way to tell which home-theater system is right for you is to actually listen to it, but like a big-brained high school buddy, Retrevo has done the homework for you.
Best-Value 5.1 Channel System »
Best-Value 7.1 Channel Systems »

Go Wireless
Want real surround sound without all the wires strewn around your room? You can connect most speakers to a wireless audio receiver that picks up the wireless audio signal being sent from a transmitter that connects to your DVD player, A/V receiver, or HDTV. This skips the wires and you can place your speakers anywhere within wireless range.

HDTV Mount
They conserve space. They look sharp. And they make hooking up components easy.

Fixed Wall Mounts
They hold your TV against the wall in one position, leaving access to rear TV ports.

Tilting Mounts
They let you vertically and horizontally tilt your TV to achieve an optimal viewing angle.

Articulating Arm Mounts
In addition to the horizontal and vertical tilt action, these extend your TV out from the wall at various angles.

Universal Remotes
The two main types of universal remotes are the preprogrammed and the learning kind.

Preprogrammed Remotes
These remotes come preprogrammed with a library of codes. You’ll have to spend a little time searching for the codes that match your devices and then punch them in manually. Some are updateable for next year’s devices.
Best-Value Preprogrammed Remotes »

Learning Remotes
These let you easily transfer codes from your original remotes, and you can also connect them to your computer to receive web updates. Some have activity-based functionality where you can program one button to perform several actions like “watch a DVD movie”, which will turn on your home stereo, DVD player, and TV all-at-once. The higher-end remotes have LCD screens with lucent backlighting for low-lit rooms.
Best-Value Learning Remotes »
LCD Remotes »

More HDTV Buying Info Here
HDTV Buying Guide
These are some of the top features to consider, but there are more features to learn about like backlight technology, HDMI 1.4, and internet connectivity? Check out our complete HDTV Buying Guide.

In the Next Installment
Tips and Tricks
We’ll reveal tips and tricks that preserve and polish your new HDTV

Remember, the HDTV Buyer’s Kit is yours at no charge. You can unsubscribe using the link below.

See you next time,
The Retrevo Gang

P.S. Please send us feedback, discoveries and deals you find, so we can share them with other HDTV buyers.

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