Friday, June 30, 2006

home theater speaker: Ethereal Home Theater Speaker Cable Delivers All the Sound –

Posted by Denise Salvaggio on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 01:59 pm:

Denise Salvaggio
EVOK Advertising
1025 Greenwood Blvd. Suite 175
Lake Mary, FL 32746

407-302-4416 (p)
407-302-4417 (f)

HOLLY HILL, FLA., JUNE 26, 2006: Ethereal Home Theater’s EM series speaker cables deliver high-end performance at reasonable prices. The series features 14ga. high purity (99.99%) oxygen-free copper and a low-loss polyethylene dielectric that presents the cleanest possible signal path between the receiver and speakers. Cable termination is completed with gold-plated heavy duty pins, with the tip at a 40-degree angle for a more secure connection.

The color-coded high gloss metal terminations are protected by non-conductive black plastic molded overlay. As with all EM series products, an elegant black braided sleeve covers and protects the main body of the cable.

Available in 2, 3 and 4-meter lengths. MSRP: $41.99, $51.99 and $56.99, respectively. Phone: 866-839-9187.

Based in Holly Hill, FL, with offices in Long Beach, CA, Metra ( is a leader in the auto sound industry as parent company of such consumer and professional installation brands as Axxess, Install Bay/FishMan, Raptor, Silencer and Tsunami, as well as the Ethereal ( brand of home audio/video interconnects.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Home Theaters Give You an Escape From Reality

There's nothing quite so satisfying as being able to immerse yourself in total darkness before seeing a crystal clear studio logo pop onto the big screen while a blast of 5.1 digital surround sound overtakes your senses and rumbles beneath you. You are experiencing the rush of watching a movie in a theater. But not just any theater, it's your home theater ...

by Heather Peters

There's nothing quite so satisfying as being able to immerse yourself in total darkness before seeing a crystal clear studio logo pop onto the big screen while a blast of 5.1 digital surround sound overtakes your senses and rumbles beneath you. You are experiencing the rush of watching a movie in a theater. But not just any theater, it's your home theater speaker.

That's right. No one kicking the seat behind you, throwing candy at your head or talking on the phone during the best scenes; if they do you can kick them out yourself!

In many ways the home theater experience far surpasses the big screens of movie theater chains. Not only the annoyances listed previously, but there's also the factors of cost and convenience.

With the price of a movie ticket running somewhere around $10, plus the cost of snacks, you could easily afford your own home theater just by skipping those evenings out for a year or two. Depending on how expensive your tastes are possibly even sooner than that. And there's no need to wait for the 7 o'clock showing or stand in line; you can start, stop and schedule your movie showings whenever it's convenient for you.

As true home theater enthusiasts we'd been designing our perfect escape since before we bought our house. We were just looking for the perfect house to fit our dreams. We found it a few years ago and proceeded to design our dream theater with gusto. We had most of our cinema equipment (just needing a few finishing touches like the 5.1 digital surround and more monster cables) so we dug into planning everything from seating arrangement and style, to carpet color and decor, to the large hinged wall with secret escape route (doesn't every kid want one?)

By doing most of it ourselves we saved thousands of dollars but it also took about a year to "finish." Well, it's finished enough for us to enjoy, we are always working on the little touches here and there. Many people hire professionals to design and build their theater's, which saves a lot of time (but not always money.)

After a long hard day at work, or an evening of frustrating parenting, the need to escape reality can become overwhelming. Being able to drop ourselves into complete darkness and seclusion and then immerse ourselves in a full senses banquet of sights and sounds from Hollywood we can quickly forget our own headaches and get wrapped up in the big screen. Those two hours are sanity savers without ever needing to leave the house (or get candy thrown at our heads).

Learn more about the world of home theaters at You can have your own theater experience without the theater headaches.

Copyright Heather Peters -

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

home theater speaker: THX Introduces Certification Program for Integrated Home Theater Systems

SAN RAFAEL, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 21, 2006--THX Ltd., the leading provider of technologies, certification programs and quality assurance standards for the entertainment industry, today introduced the first THX specification for Integrated Home Theater Systems. This newest THX Certification Program focuses on overall system design and performance, rather than individual component performance. It addresses the consumer electronics industry's largest market segment, consumers seeking mid-priced, easy-to-use home theater receiver/speaker packages.

Through a joint collaboration with Onkyo, the first system to meet the design and performance standards set by THX is the Onkyo HT-S990THX, a 7.1-channel speaker/receiver system that is now available to consumers at an SRP of $1,099.

THX Certified Integrated Home Theater Systems are geared to small home theater environments and residential living rooms, a space currently filled by home theater-in-a-box (HTiB) products. During the design and certification process for the HT-S990THX, THX worked closely with Onkyo to evaluate how each component performed as an integrated unit or system. Because the HT-S990THX was developed and successfully tested by THX as a system, its components -- receiver, speakers and amplifier -- are optimized to work together to deliver a THX quality audio experience in an affordable "all-in-one" package.

"The THX Certified Integrated Home Theater specification provides CE manufacturers a means to bring more affordable, high quality audio to the masses," said Robert Hewitt, vice president of sales at THX. "For years, THX has defined quality and performance in high-end home entertainment. Now, with the THX Integrated System specification and the Onkyo HT-S990THX, we are introducing a new category of home theater systems, one that bridges the gap between lower-priced HTiB products and premium home theater systems."

The HT-S990THX offers home theater enthusiasts full-blown THX performance and meets all THX requirements for output, noise, cross talk and distortion. In addition, the system meets all THX electrical and infrastructure parameters for playing at THX reference levels, features Boundary Gain Control (BGC) to help adjust bass response in smaller rooms, and includes all of the THX listening modes -- THX Cinema2 Mode, THX Music Mode and THX Games Mode.

"The HT-S990THX demonstrates a true breakthrough in system design and performance," said Paul Wasek, marketing and product planning manager from Onkyo. "We worked closely with the THX engineering team for several years to develop a home theater system that was worthy of THX certification. This collaboration has resulted in a system that combines the convenience of an 'all-in-one' speaker and receiver package with the performance of higher priced separate home theater components. With the HT-S990THX, home theater shoppers are afforded a THX Certified system that really cranks, at a price tag that won't break the bank."

THX Certified Integrated Home Theater Systems will appeal to a wide range of home entertainment enthusiasts, from movie and music buffs to video gamers. The systems' price tags and performance features will attract consumers who have recently purchased a high definition television (HDTV), users of MP3 players who want to take their tunes beyond their headsets, and gamers looking to take advantage of multi-channel soundtracks on next-generation consoles.

For more information about the THX Certified Integrated Home Theater Systems, visit


THX Ltd. is dedicated to developing new ways to make the creation, delivery and presentation of entertainment content more efficient, more powerful and more enjoyable. Today, the world's premier commercial cinemas, post-production studios, car audio systems and home entertainment products incorporate THX technologies and have achieved the coveted THX Certified status. For more information, visit

THX and the THX Logo are trademarks of THX Ltd., which may be registered in some jurisdictions. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 19, 2006

home theater speaker: Onkyo Delivers World's First THX Certified Integrated Home Theater System

Posted by Gordon Sell Public Relations on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 05:04 pm:

For photographs and high resolution JPEG image files, please visit

UPPER SADDLE RIVER (6/19/06) -- Onkyo has introduced the HT-S990THX, the world's first home theater speaker package system to carry THX certification. Consisting of an XM-Ready 7.1-channel A/V receiver and complete 7.1-channel speaker package, the HT-S990THX combines the performance of much higher priced separate components with the convenience and affordability of an all-in-one system.

The HT-S990THX A/V receiver features a precise 32-bit DSP and is capable of decoding Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, and DTS 96/24. Additionally, it includes processing for Dolby Digital ProLogic IIx, DTS Neo:6, THX Cinema2, THX Music, and THX Games which enable it to derive convincing surround sound from any two- or five-channel audio source. All audio channels feature 192kHz/24-bit digital to analog converters for clear, detailed reproduction, and the receiver's amplifier modules feature Onkyo’s exclusive WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology) for outstanding reproduction of even the most demanding audio sources.

For ease of integration, the receiver has a wide range of connectivity options, including HD-capable component video switching for up to three high definition A/V source components such as HDTV tuner, DVD player, and gaming console. There are also three composite/S-Video inputs and two outputs, as well as four assignable digital audio inputs. Additionally, the HT-S990THX boasts Onkyo’s exclusive RI control system, enabling command of numerous components through a single remote and allowing for use with the company’s DS-A1 iPod dock.

In addition to a built-in AM/FM tuner, the receiver also features a rear panel XM Connect and Play port, allowing users to connect a portable XM Passport portable antenna and receive their XM Satellite Radio subscription directly through the home theater. The HT-S990THX even includes integrated Neural Surround processing, making it compatible with the service's XM HD Surround programming for 5.1-channel surround sound radio broadcasts.

The HT-S990THX’s powerful receiver is accompanied by an impressive speaker package that has been designed with ease of installation in mind. It features a set of seven two-way speakers that are perfectly tonally matched to each other. The front and center channel speakers each include a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter and dual 5-inch woofers constructed from Onkyo's acclaimed A-OMF (Onkyo Micro Fiber) cones. The front and center channels are also magnetically shielded to prevent interference with video reproduction when placed near a TV. Side and rear surround speakers all feature 5-1/8 inch a-OMF woofers and the same tweeter found in the front channels to deliver a seamless 360-degree soundstage. Deep bass reproduction is handled by a powerful 12-inch subwoofer with integrated 230-Watt power amplification module. The Onkyo HT-S990THX home theater system is currently available with a suggested retail price of $1099.

Onkyo, which takes its name from the Japanese "On" meaning 'sound' and "Kyo" meaning 'harmony,' has been producing precision audio components for over a half-century. The company's philosophy is to deliver products that are superbly designed and built to a consistently outstanding standard of excellence. Today, Onkyo is at the forefront of the home theater and digital revolutions. For more information about this and other fine Onkyo products, visit or call 800-229-1687.

# # #

home theater speaker: Surround Your Head With Sound

Mike Kobrin - PC Magazine

June 16

Stereo audio is nice, but 5.1-channel audio provides a much more immersive experience for movies and even certain kinds of music. So how can you get that surround-sound effect late at night while the kids are sleeping or when you're on a red-eye flight across the country? Why, 5.1-channel headphones of course!

"True" 5.1-channel headphones actually have multiple speakers in each earcup, with the intention of emulating the front, rear surround, center, and subwoofer channels of a home theater speaker setup. Surround sound with headphones is not as convincing as it is with actual speakers located in front and behind you, but it provide much better experience for movies than standard stereo headphones. Most of the difference is in how the headphones handle bass; movies generally require more "rumble," which occurs in a very low frequency range. To get this effect, many surround headphones wind up being bass-heavy, making them less suitable for listening to music.

I have tested three different solutions—the FID irock! 1051 Theater Surround Headphones, Voyetra Turtle Beach Ear Force HPA, and LTB WR-51 Cinema 1—for getting the most out of your DVDs without driving your family or neighbors nuts whether you're at home or on the go.

The FID irock! 1051 Theater Surround Headphones have three speakers in each earcup. The headphones plug into your PC's USB port, and you can use the included software to adjust the level of each speaker independently. The build quality is pretty cheap, though, and they're not the most comfortable headphones on the market. Still, they do provide a low-cost entry into the surround headphones space.

The Voyetra Turtle Beach Ear Force HPA has four speakers in each earcup, with the subwoofer driver overlaid over the other three speakers. Interestingly, the low-frequency driver vibrates a bit to give you a bit more rumble for explosions in movies and games. They require a 5.1-channel sound card with discrete outputs for each channel, though Voyetra also makes a 5.1-channel USB adapter called the Audio Advantage Roadie for systems without a 5.1-channel sound card (check back soon for my review of that product). An inline controller gives you separate volume wheels for each audio channel. The best thing about these headphones is that they sound excellent even for regular music listening, and they're quite comfortable.

The LTB WR-51 Cinema 1 have three speakers in each earcup, but they distinguish themselves by being the world's first wireless 5.1-channel headphones. The headphones receive audio signals over the 2.4-GHz frequency band from a base station which you can plug into your PC or standalone DVD player via coaxial or optical digital cables. The headphones are very comfortable, and with a little tweaking of the equalizer on your PC or stereo system, these sound pretty good for regular music listening. But the wireless signal isn't particularly robust, so you'll get some dropouts if you move around too much.

Want to know what else distinguishes these headphones from one another. Then check them out on our comparison table.

Depending on your needs (not to mention your budget), one of these headphones could give you the surround sound you've been craving. Read on to find your best fit.

Reviewed in this story:

FID irock! 1051 Theater Surround Headphones ($39.99 direct)
These entry-level surround headphones plug into your PC's USB port.

Voyetra Turtle Beach Ear Force HPA ($99.95 direct)
These headphones require a 5.1- or 7.1-channel sound card, and they sound excellent for both movies and music.

LTB WR-51 Cinema 1 ($345 street
These wireless 5.1-channel headphones let you enjoy movies without being tethered.

Copyright © 2006 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Friday, June 09, 2006

home theater speaker: New technology adds to video game play

By Jonathan Takiff
Knight Ridder

The Gizmo: While spiffy new systems from the "Big 3" of the video-game industry (Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft) dominated reports from last week's Electronic Entertainment Expo, there were plenty of other newsworthy unveilings at the Los Angeles trade show.

Environmental excitement

High-definition graphics and novel controllers that you wield like a sword or baseball bat aren't the only new ways to pull users deeper into a game. At E3, Philips unveiled a breakthrough called amBX to expand the game field and the player's sense of participation with light-, climate- and vibration-producing peripherals.

Coming first for PC play this fall, then for new-gen game systems in 2007, amBX will work with all games. But it will function most effectively with new games packing a proprietary coded "script."

Here's one scenario: When a lightning storm strikes on screen, amBX LED lights will flicker, transforming the whole room. Or, as you move across a desert landscape, color-shifting lights turn a brownish hue.

Put pedal to the metal in an auto-racing game and you'll really feel the wind in your face, the breeze blowing from small amBX fans.

If your vehicle crashes, you'll feel it in your hands and across the desktop, the impact reverberating through a wired, rumble-enabled amBX wrist pad.

Eight to 12 amBX-enabled games from four publishers will be available around the system's launch, starting with the global-adventure/puzzle-solving "Broken Sword IV" from Revolution Software and THQ.

A starter kit of amBX peripherals, including pairs of fans and LED lights (the latter neatly built into the tops of small desktop speakers), will cost in the $100 to $150 range from Philips' Peripherals and Accessories division. The rumble maker adds $20 to $30.

As the system is modular and linkable, many more devices can be easily added. For use with game consoles in a living room setting, Philips will offer larger lights to position around the space like a home theater speaker system, creating an enveloping game chamber. The peripheral array also is likely to include fast-response heaters and "active" furniture.

Noted game peripheral maker SpectraVideo PLC has likewise signed on to make amBX products under its Logic3 brand.

More from the floor

GestureTek's video gesture recognition technology will be deployed in the Xbox Live Vision camera for Xbox 360, Microsoft's answer to (and elaboration on) the Sony EyeToy.

Sony demonstrated a novel way to use its PSP portable system in tandem with the new PS3 game console. On an auto racing game, hold the PSP out to your side and it becomes a rear view mirror, showing who's creeping up behind you.

Nokia wants to make game playing a lot easier on mobile phones. A single button push on new N Series and S60 devices will take users instantly to Nokia's next-generation mobile gaming platform and N-Gage virtual arena, coming in 2007. (Current N-Gage owners will have to trade up to to play on the new system.)

Microsoft chief Bill Gates was also touting increased compatibility between the Xbox 360, the soon-to-come Windows Vista PC operating system and mobile phones. With any of those devices and a cross-platform "Gamer tag" ID, users will be able to communicate through the Xbox Live game network to send e-mail, chat or share content. used E3 to launch a line of pricey, custom gaming PCs from Velocity MicroPC.

Alienware and introduced a goofy line of PCs built into cases resembling a Dodge Magnum, Charger or Viper, plus limited-edition desktop and notebook PCs decorated with a big "Superman" logo, tied to the upcoming "Superman Returns" film.

Toshiba Satellite notebook computers (and soon, many other brands of PCs) will add a virtual gaming console, developed and managed by online game publisher WildTangent.

Five top-selling casual games will be built into the notebooks. Plus, the computer will link to a portal for fast and seamless download and installation of 3-D-quality games.

WildTangent also announced a new "currency" to pay for games on a per-session basis. "Wild Coins" are virtual tokens with a 25-cent retail value that consumer can earn, win or purchase to play downloadable games.

Ziff Davis Game Group has just launched the beta version of, a search site to locate comprehensive game news, reviews, cheats, screenshots and more.

The broadband entertainment network GameTap hopes to keep subscribers coming back with its new "Sam & Max" game series, played in episodic, cliffhanger fashion like an old movie serial. Will this dynamic, dog and rabbit duo survive to fight crime again? Tune in and play next week!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

home theater speaker: Transmit Clean Digital Audio with Digital Coaxial Cables

In the world of digital audio, there are two types of cable to choose from; optical cables which use light to transmit signal and digital coaxial cable. These audio cables will enable your home theater system to transmit digital data between components. T...

by M.Bulot

In the world of digital audio, there are two types of cable to choose from; optical cables which use light to transmit signal and digital coaxial cable. These audio cables will enable your home theater system to transmit digital data between components. This will provide you with superior sound quality over typical RCA audio cables.

How Digital Coaxial Cable Works

Digital coaxial cables employ the same principles as other coaxial cables. The inner conducting layer is surrounded by an outer conductor as well as the rubbery insulating layer outside the cable. The digital signal is sent through the inner conductor as it travels between components. During the course of its transmission, the signal routinely comes in contact with the outer conductor. The outer conductive layer is created with materials that act as a reflector for the signal, thereby bouncing it back off of its surface. The signal will continue to reflect within the confines of inner conductor until it reaches the receiving component.

Dedicated to Digital Audio

Digital coaxial cable has only one purpose; to deliver digital audio between components. This is in complete contrast to RF coaxial cable which transmits both video and audio along the same path. As you may suspect, dedicating the entire bandwidth of the cable to sending only digital audio has excellent ramifications for your home theater's sound quality. This practice results in greater signal fidelity between the transmitting device and the receiving component. Greater signal fidelity means that the sound you hear from your home theater speakers will be truer to the way the sound was originally recorded.

Benefits of Digital Coaxial Cables

Digital coaxial cable also has another benefit related to its dedication to digital audio. In the manner that signal transmission usually takes place, the digital signal from the source, a DVD for example, is sent to a digital-to-analog converter (DAC). The signal is converted to analog and sent through the given cable where it reaches the receiving component on the other side. This component uses an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) to reconstruct the digital signal as closely as possible. During this process, errors and variations can be introduced to the signal resulting in audible artifacts and distortions that diminish your home theater's sound quality.

Unlike with other audio cables, digital coaxial cable can transmit digital signals along its length without the need to convert to analog. Digital coaxial cable is capable of by-passing this process and delivers a cleaner signal to your home theater receiver.

Applications of Digital Coaxial Cables

Connections for digital coaxial cables can be found on everything from DVD players to home theater receivers. If it uses digital audio, then chances are there is a manufacturer who has made that component with digital coaxial cables in mind.

About the Author

Jon Martin is the Webmaster of the Home Theater Accessories Resource. The Home Theater Accessories Resource is your guide to home theater accessories.

This article came from the Connecting Home Theater Components section of the site.

Copyright M.Bulot -

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