Recommended Home Theater Books?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Gibbons, Mar 9, 2002.

  1. David Gibbons

    David Gibbons Auditioning

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    Dear HT folks,

    I have a copy of "The Home Theater Companion" by Howard Ferstler. (ISBN 0-02-864715-7, Schirmer Books)

    Are there any other recommended books which provide a good overview of the technologies involved in HT?

    I found Ferstler's book to provide a very good overview of the basics, but I know that the 1997 publishing date means that the latest developments are not covered.

    I note that Ferstler's perspective is rather more pragmatic than some people's. For example, he does not support the use of fancy (and expensive) custom speaker cables, instead recommending simple heavy-gauge lamp cord or similar types of wires. This might upset some folks who offer the expensive "speaker cables," but Ferstler is unapologetic.

    As a professional electronics technician, I found the book to be well written, and very good at introducing the basics.

    So, who else has written books which would provide beginners a coherent overview of the topic?

    Sincerely,

    David Gibbons
     
  2. RobertCharlotte

    RobertCharlotte Supporting Actor

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    Ah, a question that's right up my alley.

    I found Robert Harley's Home Theater for Everyone (ISBN 0964084937, 2000) very helpful.
     
  3. Mark Gurney

    Mark Gurney Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't own any books/literature on home theater and my reasoning was this: I always thought the hobby of home theater was so "ever-changing" that if you were to purchase a book on the topic, it would only wind up being out-dated.

    Being in the information technology field, I thrive on the fact that information is ever changing, so I get all my information from the Internet or magazines. Do you all think a book would provide information that could not be found in these mediums or are there any other reason to have a book on this topic? If the answer is yes, I to would be interested in what good books are out there.

    Mark
     
  4. RobertCharlotte

    RobertCharlotte Supporting Actor

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    As you might imagine, I get to answer this question every day, Mark. (If you still don't get the joke, check my profile. [​IMG])
    Books are good at conveying information in a manner easy to browse through at leisure. I can flip through a book and see a picture of somebody hooking up a speaker and have it suddenly strike me that I'm interested in reading about speaker connections. Online resources aren't great at that yet: their strength lies in organizing answers to questions you already know you have. Need to know how to connect a speaker? Follow the Hardware link, then the Connections link, then the Speakers link, and great! But as a rule, heirarchies do not support browsing. (I'm not saying that all online resources are arranged heirarchically, but I hope you will grant that many if not most are.)
    Probably more to the crux of the matter, though, is that the basics of home theater do not change all that rapidly. The definition of terms like rear projection, aspect ratio, and DTS hasn't changed much over the past 2 years (since the book I cited was published). The avant garde changes rapidly, but you shouldn't be fooling around with avant garde until you understand how to make your system avanti. [​IMG]
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Well, "DVD Demystified" (available as a link from an outer page of this fourm) is the definitive guide to DVD technology.

    "Sound Studio Construction on a Budget" by F Alton Everest is a great book on room acoustics with practical solutions. (It helps that Everest also wrote "The Master Handbook of Acoustics" which seems to be a defacto standard text on the subject.)

    "AVIA" is a DVD that should be required use/viewing for everyone. It teaches you about level-adjusting and how to adjust the various controls of a TV.

    Widescreen Review issue #15 has two articles that have no rival for HT speaker placement and time delays. Even though it was written in 1995, it is still relevant today. It's well wort the $18 for the back issue.

    Good Luck.
     

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