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Christmas Gift Guide
"This home theater is six years in the making. We are constantly changing things, which is why the AV room looks the way it does. With no further delay, let's start with the tour."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"Using the Lutron Grafik Eye, I was able to wire four separate lighting zones and store four different scenes. All of which are programmed into the remote control to change depending on which device is selected."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"This image shows the AV racks. A few sheets of plywood, some paint, and some metal trim is all it took. I still need to work on the fit and finish, but all in all, it gave me the look I was after."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"This is the AV room, what a mess! I almost didn't take these pictures."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"Believe it or not, once a quarter I rip out every single wire and start over. Practice makes perfect. Actually, even though you can't tell by these images, I cannot stand seeing a messy installation. It has always been a pet peeve of mine. Unfortunately, we change things so often that I always end up with wires that were left over from previous setups."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"This room not only stores the AV components, but also our Apple X-SERVE and a seven terabyte Raid server. On this server we store all of our home videos, music, and pictures, which can be viewed from any screen in the house."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"Ah yes, the sound. Some may say that video is the most important aspect of a home theater, while others say sound. I personally think sound is more important, which is why we spent at least three times as much for our speakers. We muddled through four sets of speakers until we finally found the Martin Logan Ascent i Electrostatics. These speakers dispense sound throughout the room without a single sweet spot."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"This is my center channel, the Martin Logan Cinema."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"I am also using smaller, ceiling-mounted Martin Logans in the rear. This is only a 7.1 surround system, but it never skips a beat."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"Are electrostatic speakers for everyone? Heck no--but all I can say is that these sound fantastic in this room along with my Paradigm PW-2200 sub up front."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"Both of my subs are powered by a Parasound amplifier pumping 150 watts to each driver."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"I have both an Xbox and PlayStation 2 with wireless controllers. I can never get enough of Gran Turismo 2."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"Apple TV is a cool toy to watch movie trailers on."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"The RSQ karaoke machine with wireless mics is a fantastic device. The only issue is that it shares the same IR codes as my Grafik Eye, so it gets a little funky with lighting when you hit the play button. However, by the time people gather up enough 'courage' to sing, they've already had a few drinks, so lighting really doesn't play a major role at that moment in time."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"I love my Yamaha RX-Z1 receiver--it's a fantastic unit."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"The TiVo Series 3 is great for recording and watching high-def."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"You can spend a ton of money on video, but I personally don't think it's worth it. In my opinion, the Mitsubishi XD450 is the best bang for the buck for entry-level home theater projectors. At less than $2,500, you can have a system that projects a 1,280x1,024 computer image, and displays high-definition signals from a TiVo Series 3 box like nothing you have seen before."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"I'm going to make this short and sweet. Universal Remote Control MX-850: buy it! I've tried no less than five other remotes ranging in price from $300 to $1,500. They all failed! This remote does it all--macros, lots of hard buttons, backlighting, RF and IR, and easy to program."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
"I have tried countless software packages in order to come up with the perfect "grandma-safe" jukebox to interface with my Planar Touch Screen for parties. I was not able to find a single package that worked. That is, until I found Sonos. Of all the gadgets in our house (and there are many), I have to say the Sonos zone player is my favorite."
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
Name: Paul
Location: Pennsylvania
Favorite DVD: So many to choose from, but The Fifth Element comes to mind
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Paul
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