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  1. Jonathan Smith

    New Media Room - HDTV, HTPC, Home Theater

    I have been considering building an HTPC to use with digital cable (including HDTV). I am also still fairly new to the idea of a media computer, but I have done a fair amount of reading, so here is my best attempt at addressing your questions... The typical setup would connect the HTPC video...
  2. Jonathan Smith

    newbie question about my hdtv w/ screen ratio

    If you are watching an HD feed, it should fill your screen like you thought. HD is, by definition, 16:9 aspect ratio material. I would recommend going into your cable box's menu system and check to see if there's a setting somewhere for an output aspect ratio. You may also have to set the...
  3. Jonathan Smith

    DVI-D Single Link vs. Dual Link Cable

    The short answer is that you do not need a dual link cable. There is almost no equipment out there that takes advantage of the second link. Single link cables have more than enough bandwidth to support HD signals, so they are fine for our purposes as HT enthusiasts. A dual link cable provides...
  4. Jonathan Smith

    Where to find 4mm machine screws

    My local Lowe's had the 4mm screws in 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 mm lengths.
  5. Jonathan Smith

    Is there a front projector kit (projector,screen etc) under $2000 that's worth it?

    I'll second the recommendation for the Infocus 4805. I am one of many owners who have been extremely pleased with the purchase.
  6. Jonathan Smith

    First projector

    The Infocus X1 is a highly regarded HT projector. I know it used to retail for $1000, and it may even be less by now. If you haven't already done so, be sure to check out http://www.projectorcentral.com . They make recommendations in every price range, and their opinions are very well respected...
  7. Jonathan Smith

    Infocus 4805 and screen size

    When I move a foot or two closer, I start to notice the the individual mirrors during bright scenes. It doesn't look "bad", but it's distracting enough to me that I'd rather sit back a little further to get a more fluid-looking image. In other words, the projector's resolution becomes the...
  8. Jonathan Smith

    Recievers that allow input level adjustment for different source?

    Onkyo's higher-end line, Integra, also offers this feature as IntelliVolume. It allows you to adjust each input between -12 and +12 dB.
  9. Jonathan Smith

    Infocus 4805 and screen size

    The rule of thumb with this projector is that you want to sit back about twice the width of the screen. Ideally, you'd probably want to be a little further than 13 ft back to avoid seeing the screen door effect. However, different people have varying levels of sensitivity to this effect, so...
  10. Jonathan Smith

    Fan me! Cool me!!

    You might want to check out http://www.silentpcreview.com/ if you are interested in using a computer fan that is quieter than the one you have. They review all kinds of pc parts and are very picky about the noise level of fans and such.
  11. Jonathan Smith

    Trouble achieving 720p or 1080i...

    The information on DVDs is encoded at 480i, and progressive scanning gets you the 480p signal you are seeing. Your system can't really do any better than that--there's no more information on the DVD for it to use. Hopefully, HD DVD will take off soon and solve your problem :)
  12. Jonathan Smith

    How does digital coaxial work?

    Digital coaxial inputs are just as "normal" as optical ones. Most people agree that either connection offers essentially the same quality. That receiver has two digial coaxial inputs--they are listed as Coaxial In on the product spec page.
  13. Jonathan Smith

    Connecting a front projector to multiple sources?

    Yes, a projector like the 4805 certainly can be used as your primary display device. In your situation, it sounds like it would be best to run multiple cables to the projector. You would need an S-video cable to connect your VCR. For the cable box and dvd player, you would most likely want to go...
  14. Jonathan Smith

    Digital Cable

    Of the connections available on your box, S-video is the best and the coaxial cable is the worst in terms of picture quality. There may not be a very noticeable difference on every station, but there should be on some, particularly the digital channels. I would definitely keep the S-video hooked up.
  15. Jonathan Smith

    IRiver HP-120

    A higher bitrate means that the files are bigger, which makes the player's buffer fill up faster. The hard drive needs to spin more often to refill the buffer, which reduces the amount of time the player can run before the battery dies. I'm not sure if that's the only reason, but it's one I...
  16. Jonathan Smith

    Scientific Atlanta 8100HD

    I do not know about your specific cable box, but sometimes you have to go into the menu to select which digital audio output you want the box to use. It may be set by default to just output via the optical connection.
  17. Jonathan Smith

    IRiver HP-120

    1. Yes. All of my music is ogg vorbis at quality 5 (roughtly 180kbit/sec), and my battery gets closer to 8-10 hours rather than 16. 2. I didn't know 1.4 was out yet. I'll have to check it out. 3. No. It is better to charge the battery regularly before it is dead. I forget the science...
  18. Jonathan Smith

    Maybe the answer to my prayers.....check out these seats!

    Check out http://www.htaccessory.com/ and http://www.leather-direct.com/ Keep in mind that the page you linked to said that the chairs have vinyl on the sides and back, so you should be comparing prices for the leather/vinyl combo on the Berklines rather than the 100% leather.
  19. Jonathan Smith

    Maybe the answer to my prayers.....check out these seats!

    I can't take anything away from those seats since I don't know anything about them, but I wanted to make sure you know that you can find Berkline cinema seats for the same price when you go through a factory direct dealer. I only mention it since Berkline is a name that I've heard a lot of good...
  20. Jonathan Smith

    What would you buy with $3000?

    How good is the light control in your room? If it's good enough to make front projection a viable option, that is probably your best option for getting the best picture at the largest size you can afford. With a $3k budget, you have many options available if you go this route. Check out...
  21. Jonathan Smith

    Windows Messenger

    As an alternative to using msconfig, check out Codestuff Starter . It is a great utility for viewing all processes currently running (potentially including some that do not get shown by task manager) and controlling start up processes.
  22. Jonathan Smith

    Best $1500 Projector/Screen

    I would second the idea of making your own screen and spending the vast majority of your budget on a projector. There is a great DIY screen section over on AVS forum with lots of information on recommended methods and materials. I have no construction skills whatsoever, but I think even I can...
  23. Jonathan Smith

    My Infocus©4805 has arrived!

    It seems like most people over on AVS were buying from Crutchfield, TV Authority, and AV Science. I ended up ordering mine from a local dealer since he took the time to give me a nice demo (and I get to pick it up tomorrow ;) )
  24. Jonathan Smith

    75-Ohm round coaxial vs. component video cable's

    Shawn, What video output on your receiver are you using? Although more and more receivers are capable of doing component video switching, few of them will output the on screen menu through this connection. If you are only connected using component video, try using the RCA video output...
  25. Jonathan Smith

    Projector recommendations

    If you haven't already, take a look at http://www.projectorcentral.com/ . They give recommendations on projectors by price range. I'd also keep an eye on the new Infocus 4805 ($1500). It has received a lot of early praise. The first big shipments are just now going out, so I'm sure reviews will...
  26. Jonathan Smith

    Berkline 090s - Where to Buy??

    Another source I've seen listed on this board is http://www.leather-direct.com/ . I haven't called to check on prices yet, but I bet both will quote you a price significantly lower than your local retailer.
  27. Jonathan Smith

    Extra Component Input

    Soon after posting my reply, I came across this link over on AVS showing a product like I mentioned. The person who posted it over there seemed to think it was a good one for a fair price.
  28. Jonathan Smith

    Progressive scan with front projection?

    I would say that the chances of the deinterlacer of a $200 ps player being noticeably better than that of a $2500 projector are pretty low. Of course, it depends on the specific models you are talking about. Faroudja DCDi is considered the best technology by many people, so you may want to...
  29. Jonathan Smith

    Extra Component Input

    You could use some form of component video switching. Some receivers will perform this task for you. If your receiver can't do it, you can buy a stand-alone switch box. I think a search for component video switching will provide some useful results. When switching component video, I know that...
  30. Jonathan Smith

    Progressive scan with front projection?

    Nick, If the projector you are hooking up to has a deinterlacing chip, then you don't need a progressive scan player to get a progressively scanned image. The projector will take an interlaced signal and produce a progressive image. However, a progessive scan player could be a benefit if its...
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