What’s on the Tube? Issue 1

A new guide to great AV and movie-related videos out there on the net

There are so many great resources for home theater hobbyists on YouTube and other video platforms that it seemed like a good idea to highlight periodically what’s been catching our eye in the wider ether. This new feature, What’s on the Tube?, is an effort to point our members in the direction of useful AV and home theater how-to videos, software and hardware reviews, interesting features and short docs on the net. All the videos will be embedded below with short explanations but I assume that, like me, you may well end up following some of the YT channels in their own right. Of course, a selection of them you may well have already seen and, if so, apologies for the redundancy. Let us know if you find this feature useful or if you have suggestions for videos and their associated posters to include.

First up is how to build a constant height cinema screen masking system using a motorized curtain rail. The Canadian owner of the channel Mixture Rich appears to be more into light aircraft than home theater, but he has a pretty good solution here to make your proscenium arch a little more professional looking. For just under CA$700, here is an option that could save you multiples of that amount for an automated system from one of the top screen manufacturers.

If you’ve got the time – actually a spare one hour and thirteen minutes(!) – then listen to and watch legendary acoustical engineer Floyd Toole delivering his Sound Reproduction: Art and Science lecture. Formerly of Harman International, Toole delves into the practicalities of speaker design, acoustics, first reflections, frequency curves and common room problems. Busting just about every myth of speaker design and psychoacoustics along the way, the sequence where he discusses blind listening tests will shake your perceptions of the audio world back down to ground zero. A serious must-watch if you love AV and Hi-Fi.

This one is a bit of light therapy which you can just enjoy with a cup of coffee. Meet Russ of New Yorkshire Workshop lovingly building a made-to-order £13,000 (USD$18,000) Garrard 301 turntable plinth. His self-proclaimed quest is to build “beautiful things from wood” and says he is one of those fortunate people who knew what they wanted to do from an early age. Thank goodness he did because the craftsmanship and attention to detail in his work is quite phenomenal. The video comes with a health warning that once you start watching this 35-minute delight you may find it difficult to turn off.

Jeff of Films at Home is a movie fan and collector with some 2,800 discs in his personal library. The reviews of media and hardware from the loft room of his house are engaging and insightful, and he takes the time to watch his regular intake of titles on both 4K TVs and projectors before delivering a verdict. Without ever being over-techie or patronizing, his relaxed approach has the ability to draw you in, and consequently his subscriber audience grows by the day. It seems he has some good insider contacts at the studios, so the Films at Home channel is a good resource for finding out what’s coming down the release schedule pike. In this video from the past few days, Jeff reveals what we can expect for 4K UHD releases later this summer and in the early fall.

To finish this first installment of What’s on the Tube?, here’s a fun piece for fans of the movie Jaws. This retrospective location scout by Nick P Was Here is one of the best and most comprehensive YouTube visits to Martha’s Vineyard and Edgartown (a.k.a. Amity Island). Go back and see where all those legendary shots were taken in 1974. I had the pleasure of finding most of these spots back in 1991, but this guy definitely did his research and checks several more boxes than I did. Nick P’s specialty in his Then and Now series is visiting locations of films specifically from the 1970s to the 1990s, so there are some great videos to check out on his channel.

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