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  1. Bill_Br

    Best Virtual Aquarium or Fireplace Software?

    Thanks, Chris. I'll give it a try. Bill
  2. Bill_Br

    Best Virtual Aquarium or Fireplace Software?

    Hi, I recently purchased a 42-inch LCD TV that a PC can be connected to. I'm looking for suggestions for the best virtual marine-life-aquarium and fireplace software (not necessarily packaged together) that can be run on a PC and will work with a wide-screen TV. Preferably, the aquarium...
  3. Bill_Br

    How to Tell If HBO Movie Will Be Letterbox or Full Screen?

    Hi, I recently upgraded to an HD Digital Video Recorder (DVR) from Comcast. Included in our lineup are the HBO and Showtime HD channels. Immediately, I noticed that several of the Showtime movies are shown in letterbox, which I prefer. On the other hand, while HBO has (in my opinion) a better...
  4. Bill_Br

    Comcast HD Actually 480p???

    Thanks everyone for your ideas. It helped to know that Comcast is in fact broadcasting HD programs with a full HD signal. Everything seems to be working fine now. I have a hunch that when I was testing the equipment, the HD channels I was viewing happened to be broadcasting non-HD signals at...
  5. Bill_Br

    Comcast HD Actually 480p???

    Jeremy, no technician was involved. Comcast has a self-install option where the users do it themselves. That's what I did. On the Scientific Atlanta DVR box, you can access a setup feature by pressing two buttons simultaneously on the front of the box, and you can make other adjustments by going...
  6. Bill_Br

    Comcast HD Actually 480p???

    Hi, I subscribe to Comcast Cable in Minneapolis. A few days ago, I upgraded from a Scientific Atlanta 8300 standard definition DVR to an 8300HD. No matter what HD settings I input into the DVR, the window on the front of the DVR says that the output is 480p. I could phone Comcast to ask if...
  7. Bill_Br

    Can Our Non-HD Projector Access HD Cable Signals?

    Thanks for the info. As the saying goes, when all else fails, read the manual. When I finally drilled down into the details of the user manual, I found that one of the projector's 15-pin inputs is dual purpose RGB and component signal. I've ordered a 25 foot RCA-component-plugs-to-15-pin cable...
  8. Bill_Br

    Can Our Non-HD Projector Access HD Cable Signals?

    With everyone's help, I now have a better idea of the capabilities of the projector. I see that component video may be an option after all. I've attached a portion of a diagram from the Toshiba projector user manual. I erased some parts for clarity and added my notes in red. Does it appear...
  9. Bill_Br

    Can Our Non-HD Projector Access HD Cable Signals?

    Thanks, folks! Great info for an HD newbie like me. I have just a couple of questions based on the info that you've given me so far. First, is it true, then, that the HD signal from a provider like Comcast is component only; that they do not provide an HD S-video option? (Are all HD signals...
  10. Bill_Br

    Can Our Non-HD Projector Access HD Cable Signals?

    Hi, The TV we use for informal viewing is hooked up to Comcast cable, but because the TV isn’t HD, I currently don’t subscribe to Comcast’s HD service. The projector we use for the home theater that we recently set up can show either DVD movies or the cable TV channels. The picture from...
  11. Bill_Br

    White or Gray Screen if Can Control Image Brightness?

    I finally decided to purchase a 60 x 80 inch Grandview white screen with 1.0 gain. It was offered on eBay new for a very good price, and I haven't been disappointed. By darkening the ceiling near the screen and using a curtain and black material to mask the non-picture area on the screen, I've...
  12. Bill_Br

    Need Advice on Room Darkening Material

    Hi, I’m going to need some black material for curtains and other uses to minimize the reflected light in my new home theater, front projection setup. I’d like to keep the cost to a minimum. Any suggestions concerning the type of material to use (good cost to value ratio) and where to get a...
  13. Bill_Br

    White or Gray Screen if Can Control Image Brightness?

    Hello, I’ve posted here before concerning my attempt to determine whether to buy a white or high-contrast gray screen. In a previous post, I mentioned that my setup will be in a basement family room, so the room can be completely darkened. The walls are a dark, simulated wood paneling, and...
  14. Bill_Br

    White or Gray Screen? Would Like Input

    Toshiba TDP-T91. Bill
  15. Bill_Br

    White or Gray Screen? Would Like Input

    Hi, I need to decide whether to purchase a white or gray on-the-wall projection screen for my new home theater setup. One online source says, “We hear claims that today's high contrast DLP projectors have rendered gray screens obsolete. This is not so. It is true that high contrast projectors...
  16. Bill_Br

    Anyone Get Buzz from HT-S790 by Upgrading Wires?

    John, I can't speak for the 780, but I suggest that you Google "HT-S590 hum" and see how many hits you get addressing this issue for that specific unit. Onkyo tech support even admitted in a response to an e-mail query of mine that using heavier wire causes the hum because the impedence is...
  17. Bill_Br

    Anyone Get Buzz from HT-S790 by Upgrading Wires?

    Hi, A few months ago, I bought an Onkyo HT-S590 system. I immediately upgraded the speaker wires and experienced the buzz that I learned afterwards (from forums like this one) was very common with that receiver. I solved the problem by replacing a couple of the wires with the ones that came...
  18. Bill_Br

    Front Projection Screen Option Shock

    Thanks for the tip, Chad. I'll do that. Bill
  19. Bill_Br

    Front Projection Screen Option Shock

    Wow, how to decide which projection screen to buy for a home-theater system? For example, below are just three of many options on eBay, ranging from about $25 to $100: "Acoustically transparent screen has a gain of 1.0 and is bright white for a large viewing angle. "The most versatile...
  20. Bill_Br

    How to Adjust Image for Projector Tilt?

    Thanks, Jim. After starting this thread I did a little more research and discovered that, yes, the projector does have that feature. Strangely, the manual that came with the unit doesn't mention it but another user manual that I found online for the exact same unit does explain how it works. Bill
  21. Bill_Br

    How to Adjust Image for Projector Tilt?

    Hello, We have a Toshiba TDP-T91 projector that we'd like to use in a home-theater setup. If we set up the projector directly behind where we'd be sitting and had it aiming at right angles at a screen set up at eye level, well, naturally our fat heads would get in the way. Therefore, we're...
  22. Bill_Br

    Is There a Better Way to Connect Speaker Wires?

    That sounds like a plan. It's best, I presume, to snip off the old ends first, since they already are frayed from being forced into the holes. Then, strip off some insulation and cut away, what, about half the wires before applying solder? Bill
  23. Bill_Br

    Is There a Better Way to Connect Speaker Wires?

    I misspoke when I said "16 gauge" wire. It's actually 12 gauge. (I forget for the moment that with gauge the higher the number the smaller the size.) I don't recall seeing any plastic, but the wire is difficult to keep twisted. "Most push-in connectors should be able to accept normal wire...
  24. Bill_Br

    Is There a Better Way to Connect Speaker Wires?

    Thanks for the tip, John. They're a bit pricey when you consider how many speaker connections are involved. I'll have to give it some thought. I'm wondering how hard it would be for someone to make their own connectors.... Bill
  25. Bill_Br

    advice for a first time buyer

    I just bought an Onkyo HT-S590S system from Circuit City. Had to replace the receiver because of a hum problem but the new unit is working great. When I researched the unit on the web before buying it, most of the user reviews were enthusiatically positive. The only negative is that very thin...
  26. Bill_Br

    Is There a Better Way to Connect Speaker Wires?

    The Onkyo HT-S590 audio system that I just purchased has a lot of great features, but one problem is that it comes with very thin speaker wires. So, I swapped the supplied wires for Monster 16g wires. Unfortunately the speaker-wire push-in terminals on the back of the receiver have such small...
  27. Bill_Br

    ONKYO S590- humming noise only during surround sound

    Following up on my previous msg ("I purchased an HT-S590 a few days ago...."), Circuit city replaced my HT-S590 with a new unit, and that seems to have solved the humming problem. So, it's not an issue with every unit. Bill
  28. Bill_Br

    ONKYO S590- humming noise only during surround sound

    John, I purchased an HT-S590 a few days ago and have been having the exact same problem as you. I am also using a heavier-gauge wire, and the hum stops when I disconnect the center speaker. On another audio forum where people have reported the same problem, I learned two things: First...