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April 2007
AV Education on MHT:
Explaining Video Number Soup

In response to a popular news story from AVRev.com, Jerry Del Colliano explains in easy to understand terms all of the numbers and terms that often confuse consumers looking to buy an HDTV. Wanna know the difference between 480i and 480p? You have come to the right place. We even look into the future technologies at the digital cinema level such as 1440p and 4k technologies.

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All About Video Display Resolutions



March 2007
AV Education on MHT:
All About Home Automation: Part 2

Last month Adrienne Maxwell took a hard look at the world of big time home automation including media center PCs, touch panel remotes and beyond. This month in part two of her home automation feature - Adrienne takes on the more affordable world of DYI home automation. You don't need a $100,000 plus budget and a $150 per hour system integrator at your house for three months in order to control your system, automate your shades and even cool down your room. Read about what is possible this month on ModernHomeTheater.com...

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All About Home Automation



February 2007
AV Education on MHT:
All About Home Automation: Part 1

You know the basics of a Crestron or AMX system but read more and more about the tricks that "system integrators" can pull off with the latest tools, equipment and programming. Adrienne Maxwell has written a two part feature on all you need to know about home automation today. From music servers to lighting control to media center PCs and way beyond - she gives you a real world look at what can be done and why you might do it. Before you sign on the dotted line for that $100,000 "whole-home" solution that allows you to turn the vacum system on from your home theater - learn the ropes here first.

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January 2007
AV Education on MHT:
How To Choose The Right Video Connections On Your HDTV

One of the most complex problems facing the millions of HDTV consumers is how to actually hook up your HDTV sources to your HDTV set. Not all video cables will work such as old favorites like composite video cables. Other more friendly HD cables like HDMI and component video make for better solutions but there are tricks to being successful. Adrienne Maxwell explains the problems and deals out the solutions.

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December 2006
AV Education on MHT:
What You Need To Know Before Buying A Video Projector

Complicated doesn't even start to describe the process of getting ready to make an investment in a front video projector. There are the brands, the aspect ratios, the throw distance, the chip set, the screen fabric and so much more.

Adrienne Maxwell takes the time to make sense of all of the details of the decision and makes it make sense for you. This is a must read before you buy a video projector in today's market.

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November 2006
AV Education on MHT:
Building The AVRev.com Reference Theater Part 2: The Prewire

Publisher, Jerry Del Colliano, shares his experiences getting his state of the art theater up and working. In a world where systems are supposed to be getting more and more convergent - the idea of easy connectivity is pretty far from reality. Learn from the lessons as Blu-ray, HD DVD, 1080p projectors and various other HD sources are all wired up in a fully done-up, stadium seating theater. This is a feature that all home theater enthusiasts need to read.

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October 2006
AV Education on MHT:
How To Shop For A Next Generation Disc Player

We know it is early in the game, and the computer magazines and the home theater magazines are trashing HD DVD and Blu-ray for various reasons and motivations. AVRev.com's Adrienne Maxwell looks at the hard issues relating to actually investing in these new formats - now. Ask those who have them if they want to go back to watching movies in 480i and they will tell you - NO WAY. Perhaps it is time you start planning your move to an HD disc player this winter? Adrienne deals with the ups and downs for you.

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September 2006
AV Education on MHT:
All About Convergence: 2006 Edition

Who can keep up with the fast paced and techy world of AV-PC convergence? Adrienne Maxwell is who. As someone who has owned every generation of Media Center PC as well as made a few servers for herself - she is one of the leading experts on the topic. Adrienne gets you up to speed on everything from music servers to iPods to super high end media centers and customizable
automation software.

You too can be a convergence expert - simply click here to read more...



August 2006
AV Education on MHT:
Why Are Audiophiles Afraid Of Powered Speakers?

From my days in high-end retail, now more than a decade ago, to today’s current home theater market, I have always been perplexed as to why Americans are hesitant to invest in powered speakers. Seemingly stashing your amp neatly inside of your speakers provides a host of advantages including more rack space, less heat, potentially lower cost and beyond. Literally all you have to do is run interconnects from your receiver or, better yet, your AV preamp directly to your speakers. Simplicity is yet another advantage, but consumers aren’t yet breaking down the doors at retailers to invest in powered speakers.

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July 2006
AV Education on MHT:
How To Find High-Definition Content For Your HDTV

Walk into any sports bar in the country and you’re likely to see the same thing. Rows of brand-new widescreen flat panels adorn the walls, purchased by owners anxious to make their place “the” place to watch the big game. But don’t except to be treated to HDTV on said panels. No, what you often see are plain old standard-definition signals – even worse, plain old standard-definition signals stretched disproportionately across the screen. It begs the question, why spend thousands of dollars to upgrade to HDTVs and not shell out a little extra cash to actually show high-definition programming?

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June 2006
AV Education on MHT:
10 Reasons To Be An Early Adopter Of
HD DVD & Blu-ray


High Definition Video is many times better than DVD. Unless you are legally blind, you can see the vast difference between DVD video at 480i and the HD disc formats at 1080i. Would it be better if the players reproduced 1080p? Of course, but how many of us have 1080p HDTVs throughout our homes? It’s tough enough to convert to all HDTV sets capable of 1080i. And when you get down to it, the difference between 1080i and 1080p is noticeable but miniscule when compared to the difference between a DVD and an HD disc.

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May 2006
AV Education on MHT:
How To Calibrate Your HDTV Using
The Top Set-up Discs

So you’ve waded through all of the confusion about HDTV vs. EDTV, DLP vs. plasma vs. LCD and digital vs. analog connections, and boldly dropped your hard-earned cash on a new digital television. You’ve ordered an HDTV package from your cable or satellite provider, you’ve hooked up your DVD player, and now all you want to do is sit back and enjoy the experience. But wait. You’ve come this far. Don’t you think you owe it to yourself and your new TV to finish the job by making sure the picture looks as good as possible?

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April 2006
AV Education on MHT:
All About Extended Warranties

Anyone who has ever purchased an electronic device or component of any kind in the last 20 years has been offered the chance to buy an extended warranty. The question still remains as pertinent today as it was years ago: are extended warranties worth it? The simple answer is: it depends. In the old days of high-end audio and stereo you made investments in analog devices (speakers, amps, preamps, turntables, tube television sets), which were either awkward to move or were likely built with expensive analog parts. Today’s home theater systems are built more like computers and have lifespans that reflect more on the disposable nature of their processors than the analog nature of high-end audio components of years gone by.

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March 2006
AV Education on MHT:
Building The AVRev.com Reference Theater Part 1

Two of the immutable laws of home theater are a) your room sounds only as good as its acoustics and b) the darker you can make your room, the better your picture will look. I have known and understood these concepts for most of the nearly 10 years AVRev.com has been publishing, thanks to countless discussions and lectures from the likes of acoustician Bob Hodas, Revel speaker engineer Kevin Voecks and video gurus including William Phelps, Joe Kane, Mike Levy and Jeremy Kipnis, among many others. My problem wasn’t an inability to listen to their advice, but rather my ability to afford a home that allowed me the chance to chase down the dream of the “perfect” media room, one where the audio had the power and the immediacy of a mastering lab, paired with a picture that looked like what you might expect to see at Hollywood’s best digital editing facilities.

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February 2006
AV Education on MHT:
Archiving Your AV System and Software

It was my first college spring break, years before the “Girls Gone Wild” series of videos became popular, where my buddies and I packed up for what was going to be a four-day Mexican cruise designed for nothing other than gambling, booze, women (if they would talk to us) and general debauchery. What I didn’t understand at the time was I was about to become the victim of a gutless crime. Back in my dorm room at University of Southern California, under lock and key as well as armed security guard, was my lifetime collection of Compact Discs – over 400 in total.

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January 2006
AV Education on MHT:
Pimp my Prius

Being the self-proclaimed king of the 405 freeway, driving 32 miles each way to work, I was elated when the National Energy Bill passed that allowed 75,000 owners of Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid and Honda Insight vehicles in California to apply for stickers that would allow them to drive in the carpool lane without passengers. I had toyed with the idea of purchasing a hybrid car to do my little part to help the environment and chew up the miles without dropping large sums of money at the gas pump. I did the math: the real-world mileage of most hybrid cars is not nearly as high as the EPA states and that the car companies claim in their literature, so my already economical car was a better value and made it hard to justify the often heavy premium that one has to pay to own a hybrid car.

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December 2005
AV Education on MHT:
Cables and Connectors- A Glossary of Terms

Although many people don’t really think about it, cables and the connectors on each end are actually components in your audio or video system. Without them, there would be almost no way to get a signal from one source component to another or to a display. Clearly, the quality of this cable and associated connectors are of the greatest importance to a system’s ultimate quality and transparency. Yet, few audio or videophiles really know the terminology or the history involved with this complex mechanism for coaxing a signal to go down a wire or fiber while adding as little distortion as possible.

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November 2005
AV Education on MHT:
Which TV To Buy In Today's Market?

The most common question I am asked by people who learn that I am the publisher of AVRev.com is, “I am thinking of upgrading my TV, but which one should I get?” Who can blame them for being confused? The world of video changes at an incredible pace. Digital projectors that cost $25,000 three years ago can’t hold a candle to ones that cost $6,000 today. Rear-projection DLP sets can do 1080p resolution and have all the inputs you need for a fourth of the price that a smaller plasma cost just a year or two ago.

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October 2005
AV Education on MHT:
HDMI: One Cable Does it All

Anyone who has ever setup a receiver has asked themselves that same question. Finally there's an answer. Like a computer, HDMI connections allow for an incredible ease of connection with impressive bandwidth that can handle the highest resolution 1080p video. But all is not perfect in the world of this new format that both the Blu-ray and HD-DVD camp approve of.

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September 2005
AV Education on MHT:
The Confusing World of Video Terms: Explained

Our resident video expert, Mike Levy, has taken the most important and sometimes problematic video terms and explained them in easy to understand prose. Read this feature before a trip to the AV store and you might know more about video than the salesman.

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August 2005
AV Education on MHT:
Building Your Home Theater - Part 2: Construction Contracts

After you have selected the main players (installer, interior designer, calibrator, acoustician) for your construction team as described in Part One of this series of articles, you will need to negotiate the contracts that will govern their work for you. It is an understatement to say negotiating and drafting the contract documents is extremely important to the success of any home project be it an addition, a remodel or a dedicated home theater..

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July 2005
AV Education on MHT:
Building the Basic Badass Home Theater - Part 2: Budgeting

All of us who live in the real world have a budget for our home theater when we upgrade or start from scratch. Like a pro football team under the salary cap - the success of your system depends on how creative you can get with your finances. Bryan Dailey and Jerry Del Colliano take on the challenge of outlining a number of basic home theaters priced at $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000.

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June 2005
AV Education on MHT:
Building the Basic Badass Home Theater - Part 1: Getting Prepared

In what will be a series of stories, Revolution Home Theater's publisher, Jerry Del Colliano looks at all of the factors you need to consider before you start building or rebuilding your theater. Acoustics, seating, equipment, installers and more. This is a must read for anyone before they start with a home theater investment of $5,000, $15,000 or $150,000..

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May 2005
AV Education on MHT:
Building Your Dream Theater - Step 1: Assembling Your Team

Despite being a prolific AV reviewer, long-time writer Brian Kahn, practices law in Southern California with a special emphasis on building defects and contracting work. This month, Brian looks at all of the elements you need to consider as you look to start to build a large scale home theater system or remodel, from an angle that is designed to protect your best interests. See, you shouldn't hate ALL lawyers (just 98% of them)...

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May 2005
AV Education on MHT:
Organizing Your Music on a Server

With Apple selling over 5,000,000 iPods in the fourth quarter of 2004, there is no question that consumers are in love with the idea of getting their music onto some sort of server. Bryan Dailey looks at creative ways to use a computer to legally organize and archive your growing collection of music in a way that will help build a lasting foundation for a huge collection of music.

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April 2005
AV Education on MHT:
Installing LCD TVs Everywhere

Today's small, flat TVs make it possible to squeeze high resolution video into places never before possible at prices that seem pretty reasonable. Bryan Dailey takes us through the process of getting HD video in his new kitchen. For the do-it-yourselfer, this feature is a must.

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March 2005
AV Education on MHT:
Protecting Your Software Collection

CDs were originally sold as "perfect sound forever." Now, everyone knows they easily become scratched, warped and damaged, along with DVDs. This month we look at creative ways to protect, store and manage your audio-video software collection.

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February 2005
AV Education on MHT:
Darkness: A Theater's Best Friend

MHT video guru, Mike Levy, explores the many reasons why it is essential that you get your theater room physically dark. From film standards to video projector limitations you can help your system perform dramatically better with less daylight or ambient light in your media room.

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January 2005
AV Education on MHT:
How to Hire & Manage an Interior Designer

Many times in the process of designing a theater for your home comes the necessary evil of an interior designer. From real world lessons learned with three designers in one project, MHT publisher, Jerry Del Colliano, gives his best tips and advice on how to keep your room looking "shabby chic" or "modern minimalist" without giving up on great sound or a brilliant picture.

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December 2004
AV Education on MHT:
Is Convergence Finally Upon Us?

"Convergence" is the buzzword in the consumer electronics industry these days but what does it really mean and is it really here yet? MHT publisher, Jerry Del Colliano, looks at real-world convergence available for you today including Windows Media 10, Desktop audio, iPods, home networking, automation and beyond...

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November 2004
AV Education on MHT:
The Lost Art of the Home Theater Demo

Anyone who has been around good AV gear long enough has seen a true pro audition a system. This month, learn how to show off your system like a pro with tips from (former Beverly Hills high-end AV salesperson) MHT Publisher, Jerry Del Colliano.

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November 2004
AV Education on MHT:
The Making of a DVD-Audio Disc (Part 2)

With the DualDisc supposedly heading to store shelves in a matter of weeks, DVD-Audio has seemingly morphed itself into a position where it has sort of won the high resolution audio format war considering DVD-Audio can be on the DVD side of a DualDisc. Mark Waldrep from AIX Records takes you through the process of creating a high resolution title that can then be applied to any number of future looking formats - even Blu-Ray or HD-DVD.

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October 2004
AV Education on MHT:
The Making of a DVD-Audio Disc

With the DualDisc supposedly heading to store shelves in a matter of weeks, DVD-Audio has seemingly morphed itself into a position where it has sort of won the high resolution audio format war considering DVD-Audio can be on the DVD side of a DualDisc. Mark Waldrep from AIX Records takes you through the process of creating a high resolution title that can then be applied to any number of future looking formats - even Blu-Ray or HD-DVD.

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September 2004
AV Education on MHT:
Pros and Cons of LCD

Not everyone is in love with plasma as the perfect video technology. LCD offers a number of advantages over plasma in terms of video performance and overall lifespan. MHT video expert, Mike Levy, takes you through the ups and downs of the LCD technology to see if it is right for you and your system as compared to other hot video technologies currently on the market.

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August 2004
AV Education on MHT:
How to Buy a House With a Good Sounding Media Room

With interest rates at 40 year lows and Gen Xers by the millions looking for property one question every Revolution Home Theater reader should be asking is - Will my new house have a good theater room? If not, we say keep looking. But to be armed and dangerous with the knowledge as to if a room will sound good, room tuner and audio guru Bob Hodas gives you his tips as to what to look for when you are out there with your real estate broker.

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July 2004
AV Education on MHT:
The Pros and Cons of Plasma TVs

There was a time when bringing home a big TV was equally as bad to wives as dragging home coffin-like speakers. Today, ultra-thin plasma TV are all the rage and are selling by the 100,000's each month. But are they perfect? Not quite. MHT video expert Mike Levy takes you through the advantages and disadvantages of the hottest technology to hit TVs since color.

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June 2004
AV Education on MHT:
A Homeowner's Guide to Planning a Whole-House Audio Distribution System Part 2

Joe Hageman picks up with part 2 of his series on the intracies of home automation. Making your DVDs play in every room of your house is not as simple or affordable as you might think BUT it is possible. Click here to see what other amazing feats are possible with home automation and how you can make them reality in your system.

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May 2004
AV Education on MHT:
A Homeowner's Guide to Planning a Whole-House Audio Distribution System

Joe Hageman take you on a tour through the often tricky world of distributed audio. Getting great sounding music to beam in every room of your house has never easier but you need to know what you are getting into before you break out the trusty old drywall saw. In part one, Joe gets you the basics and highlights the possibilities of this lifestyle driven audio category.

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April 2004
AV Education on MHT:
Four Reasons Why You Need A Home Network

An internet connection in your AV rack is fast becoming as important as your power outlets. From setting your TiVO to record while you are at work on the computer to playing music from your computer in your home theater, this month we explore some of the reasons you'll want to install a network in your AV system.

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March 2004
AV Education on MHT:
Bob Hodas Sound Tips 6

MHT Audio Guru, Bob Hodas, tackles the sometimes touchy subject of equalization. While some use EQ as a crutch for poorly designed rooms, Bob urges people to consider EQ as the finishing touch on a well engineered and tuned home theater or music playback environment.

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February 2004
AV Education on MHT:
All About Projector Hush Boxes
While digital projectors are brighter, smaller and easier to setup than traditional CRT projectors - one downside remains... They are really noisy. The fans needed to keep the ultra-hot lamps cool and make a music enthusiast lose his cool. MHT publisher, Jerry Del Colliano tells the story of how he muffled the sound of his D-ILA projector that ultimately was installed directly over his favorite seating position.

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January 2004
AV Education on MHT:
Bob Hodas Sound Tips 5
Even audio guru's like Bob Hodas have to make compromises in speaker setup. See how Hodas made decisions as to speaker placement that accommodated his girlfriend, his view and his 50 inch plasma.

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December 2003
AV Education on MHT:
What is DVD-Audio
Everyone from Baby Boomers to Gen Y knows what DVD-Video is but DVD-Audio quietly is trying to replace the CD as the dominant new music format. Explore the idea of listening to music specifically designed to be played back on your 5.1 home theater system and see what added value goodies the record companies are offering you to start buying $16 discs again and MUCH more....

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November 2003
AV Education on MHT:
Bob Hodas Sound Tips 4 - Don't Let The Speakers Block The View of The Golden Gate Bridge
See how studio-tuner and audio guru Bob Hodas dealt with the challenges in his own room that included pleasing his girlfriend (in terms of speaker placement) as well as not blocking his direct view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Even audio experts have to make compromises with their systems. See how Hodas got great imaging from his speakers as well as his bay windows.

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October 2003
AV Education on MHT:
How To Install a Basic Home Theater
MHT publisher, Jerry Del Colliano shares his recent experiences with installing his bedroom HDTV system with tips and ideas for installing a small but modern home theater. Find tips on what cables to buy (and why), how to plan for your gear's install, what parts and tools you'll need and much more. Fear your home theater install no more!

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September 2003
AV Education on MHT:
Plan For The Future - Thoughts From My Prewire
MHT's publisher, Jerry Del Colliano, shares his experiences wiring the new AudioRevolution.com reference Music and Theater playback system.

Before you call the drywall contractor have you wired your house so that you can program your TiVo from your office and play NHL 2006 in real time with your buddies 3000 miles away? Learn how you can use audio and videophile grade cables even if you are taking the plunge into a professionally installed home theater. Benefit from the successes and mistakes during this complicated, real-world installation.

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August 2003
AV Education on MHT:
Bob Hodas Sound Tips 3
Audio setup stud, Bob Hodas takes on new challenges this month with speaker and room setup tips for crazy rooms including how to deal with the dreaded coffee table.

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July 2003
AV Education on MHT:
How To Impress Your Friends With SACD
No matter how much bad press the record business gets the fact is we all still love music and want it to be part of our lives whether it is on our iPods, our PCs, in our cars or at home.

Sony and Philips's SACD format is battling to replace the good old CD in the market place and in this feature Jerry Del Colliano shows you how to use some of the best demo cuts from the format to show your friends exactly why it is worth investing in. Prepare them for serious goosebumps - or at least a flashback to dorm room listening sessions with Dark Side of the Moon.

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June 2003
AV Education on MHT:
Bob Hodas on Sound Tips 2
Studio-tuner to the stars, Bob Hodas is back with more do-it-yourself audio advice dealing with "modes" in real world home theaters.

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May 2003
AV Education on MHT:
How To Make Your TiVo Skip 30 Sec. Commercials
The category of PVR or “personal video recorders” is one that is just starting to boom for the AV industry. In a recent market research study, we found that only three percent of AudioVideoRevolution.com readers currently have PVRs, i.e., products that use the TiVo or ReplayTV service to record TV.

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May 2003
AV Education on MHT:
Bob Hodas Sound Tips 1 - Proper Speaker Placement
One of the goals of MHT is to offer the best How-To education articles found in ANY publication anywhere. This month we start an on-going column with studio setup guru, Bob Hodas on how you can get the most out of your current speakers without spending a penny.

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