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Recent DIY Audio Articles

AV Tip: Where to Look for Home Theater Help

AV Tip: Where to Look for Home Theater Help

We know, we know...you are an expert in everything. Mounting a TV, wiring an outlet, framing a wall, programming a home automation system, or building a DIY speaker—you've got it covered. If only that were true. The truth is, we all need help. Coming from the custom install world, I can attest to the horrible mistakes that can be made when someone chooses not to ask for help. Depending on what you're doing, the consequences of guessing could be minor (having a speaker a few dB too loud/quiet) to all-out catastrophic (having a TV fall down, which scares the cat who then darts off and knocks over a candle, which then catches the curtains on fire, and then your entire home burns down, but the fire spreads over a clothes line and burns down the entire city block, which causes a local chemical factory to catch fire and explode, leading to a toxic cloud floating across the world and hurting millions of people). Seriously, don't create a toxic cloud, ask for help.

Looking for help setting up your home theater? Here's an overview of the best places to find answers to all your AV questions.

— February 10, 2013 17:05 in DIY Audio and Wiring

AV Tip: Eliminate Background Noise In Your Home Theater

AV Tip: Eliminate Background Noise In Your Home Theater

Background noise can drown out soft dialogue in movies or soft details in music. Unfortunately, most people only think about blocking noise from leaving a home theater, instead of stopping noise from coming in. Here are a few tips to keep noise out of your home theater.

For the best sound quality keep the background sound in your home theater to the minimum.

— January 01, 2013 01:30 in DIY Audio and Wiring

AV Tip: Conceal Your Speaker Wire

AV Tip: Conceal Your Speaker Wire

We love speakers but hate seeing wire run down the wall or across the floor. More importantly, your spouse probably hates it too. Luckily, with a few tools and some guidance you can hide the wires in the wall, often times without having to do any repair work. The key is knowing how to run the wire, so we came up with a few tips. Don’t worry if these tips don’t explain everything, a more complete “How to Conceal Wire in Your Home” article is in the mix.

We love speakers but hate seeing wire run down the wall or across the floor. Here are some tips to help you hide your wires.

— December 24, 2012 06:55 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Pimp Mom's Car - How Pioneer Transformed a Jeep Liberty

Pimp Mom's Car - How Pioneer Transformed a Jeep Liberty

At Audioholics we love audio. We love it. Wait, scratch that... we love GOOD audio. And with that said, it's with great pain that we ride in a vehicle that doesn't live up to the standards of an audioholic. And believe me when I say that MOST vehicle sound systems don't live up to those standards. But even taking into account that most vehicles will never sound as good as a well-tuned home theater system, there was one car that was absolutely horrendous. This car was the worst. It had boomy bass that didn't play low, nor did it know enough to call it quits when it received frequency content it had no business trying to reproduce. A car with high frequencies that used to attract cats in heat from across the neighborhood and cause bleeding in the ears of small children. A car who's audio system could turn even your favorite song into a poisonous cacophony of grating chord-filled agony.

At Audioholics we love audio. Wait, scratch that... we love GOOD audio. And with that said, it's with great pain that we ride in a vehicle that doesn't live up to the standards of an audioholic.

— May 10, 2012 15:00 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Using a Relay Rack for Accessible AV Equipment

Using a Relay Rack for Accessible AV Equipment

Many readers of our website know that we're avid fans of getting your flat panel TV off the furniture and onto the wall. In fact we've written several different articles about this in the past. But what may not be so obvious, because we haven't yet made a big enough stink about it, is that we also love to make those flat panels seem almost "magical". How do you do that? By hiding the source components and equipment that make them work and send them their signal. Now, you may not want to do this with truly high-end gear and if you take lots of pride in your assortment of amps, pre-processors, flagship Blu-ray players and other equipment, but, if you're like most people, that doesn't describe you. If you're like most people, you've got a mainstream AV receiver and some source components that get the job done, but don't rise to the level of "glamorous" or "high-end".

To hide your AV equipment you need a few things. For one, you need a closet or space to put them in. Secondly, you need a rack or shelf system and the proper accessories to make everything accessible.

— October 31, 2011 05:35 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Upgrading In-ceiling Speakers for Whole Home Audio with Niles

Upgrading In-ceiling Speakers for Whole Home Audio with Niles

While many of us would love to spend the majority of our day locked in our man-caves or home theaters listening to music on our big audio rigs, the reality is that we don't. In fact, most of our time at home is spent in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom or family room. This being the case, whole house audio should be a part of your home if it is not already. And it shouldn't be an afterthought. Many newer homes, especially in tract-housing developments, come with pre-installed systems, but many times these consist of cheap speakers with paper cones that have been installed by the alarm guy who "specializes in home audio."

While many of us would love to spend the majority of our day locked in our man-caves or home theaters listening to music on our big audio rigs, the reality is that we don't. So how do we upgrade?

— October 19, 2011 07:00 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Naples Florida Home Does More Than Golf

Naples Florida Home Does More Than Golf

There are home theaters that focus on luxury, some that focus on high-end equipment, and others that are themed. This latest, from Electronic House's "Cool Homes" section, is all about golf. And that's not a description of the home or the theater itself, mind you. It's just that, while some people have to load up the car and drive to get their golf on, John and Pamela Blakely just look right outside. This is because they live inside the well-regarded Grey Oaks Country Club in Naples, Fla. Surprisingly, however, the couple’s favorite hobby does not involve shooting 18 holes or even carrying bags for the other homeowners. Instead, the two have been fixing up houses since the mid-1990s. And when we say fixing up houses - we mean fixing up BIG houses.

There are home theaters that focus on luxury, some that focus on high-end equipment, and others that are themed. This latest, from Electronic House's "Cool Homes" section, is all about golf.

— August 26, 2011 04:53 in DIY Audio and Wiring

NetGear Powerline AV500 Adapter Kit Review

NetGear Powerline AV500 Adapter Kit Review

Why review a NetGear Powerline AV500 Adapter Kit? Well, it seems these days everything requires an Internet connection - at least for anything having to do with home theater. So what do you do if you don't have your house wired for Internet? What if you want to stream movies and your wireless connection can't quite cut it? Well the HomePlug Powerline Alliance got together a ton of companies and created a standard for networking over power lines. You can use your home's existing electrical system - the regular power outlets you have all over the place - and transmit networked audio, video and data. And it's not expensive to do. Devices like Netgear's Powerline AV500 Kit are set to revolutionize the way we connect our homes and our gear. You should check it out, because our testing shows that it beats wireless hands-down - it just may forever change the way you look at networking.

Devices like Netgear's Powerline AV500 Kit are set to revolutionize the way we connect our homes and our gear. You should check it out, because our testing shows that it beats wireless hands-down.

— July 25, 2011 11:55 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Largest Elan g! Control System Ever Built

Largest Elan g! Control System Ever Built

There’s a lot you can do with a home control system. They are so smart and powerful that if you wanted to automate the dog you probably could. Not quite, but there’s no limit—other than your budget—to the amazing setups possible when you’ve got the right system, the right professional installing it and a really creative mind. The Elan g! system programmed by AudioVideo Specialists for a 10,000-square-foot suburban Chicago home epitomizes the extent of a well-executed home control plan. The g! system accomplishes these and other feats by seamlessly integrating a variety of electronic systems under one main control processor. Tied together in this home are a whole-house audio and video system, lighting, heating and cooling, security, surveillance cameras, motorized window treatments, irrigation and pool and spa controls.

The Elan g! system programmed by AudioVideo Specialists for a 10,000-square-foot suburban Chicago home epitomizes the extent of a well-executed home control plan.

Lisa Montgomery — July 08, 2011 06:00 in DIY Audio and Wiring

JBL Synthesis Sports-Themed Theater

JBL Synthesis Sports-Themed Theater

Say you're an avid sports fan and you want the biggest and loudest theater possible. Check. Home system design and installation company Audio Video Interiors (AVI) of Middleburg Heights, Ohio, will tune up a rockin' JBL Synthesis speaker system that will make you feel every bone-crunching gridiron hit. Say you want the best HD video possible, with superwide CinemaScope capability and the ability to produce an image that will pop even when the room lights are on? Check. AVI will mount Digital Projection's monster Titan Reference 1080p projector with an anamorphic lens to produce those superwide pictures. On the other end of the room will be a 14-foot-wide Stewart Filmscreen CineCurve display to show those CinemaScope movies in all their glory. Say you want a multi-screen theater, but don't want to compromise on the size of a big screen...

Audio Video Interiors (AVI) tuned up a rockin' JBL Synthesis speaker system that makes you feel every bone-crunching gridiron hit while an iSky fiber-optic starfield shines down from above.

Steven Castle — June 01, 2011 20:20 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Cayman Islands Theater Includes Real Balcony

Cayman Islands Theater Includes Real Balcony

Electronic House has an article about a pretty cool home theater located in the Cayman Islands. The theater room was built from teh ground up and includes 19 custom-designed theater seats and bar stools in the main seating area and a dozen more in an elegantly styled balcony behind the back row of chairs. Suggested by the homeowners, the balcony was a first for many of the contractors who designed, configured, installed and programmed this one-of-a-kind home cinema. We've seen a lot of rooms, but never one with a real balcony - kudos to the designers and the thought process that went into it. Mobile Technology, an Alpharetta, Ga.–based firm, was hired to program the Crestron system that runs all of the equipment inside the theater and in the main house.

Electronic House has an article about a pretty cool home theater located in the Cayman Islands. The theater room was built from the ground up and includes custom-designed theater seats and a balcony.

— May 12, 2011 02:40 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Installing an Articulating Flat Panel Mount in a Corner - Part Two

Installing an Articulating Flat Panel Mount in a Corner - Part Two

Hopefully, you've read some of our others articles on mounting flat panel displays on the wall. In either case, most faithful readers know that around here, we're very passionate about yanking people out of the 80's, ditching their built-ins and wall units and putting their televisions up on the wall, nice and tidy. But what about corner locations? Not as easy, right? Perhaps, but there are some simple tricks and tips you can employ to make sure you have a successful time of placing your flat panel on the wall, even if it means positioning it in a corner-mounted location. Once again we teamed up with MonoPrice to locate and implement a solution.

Once again we teamed up with MonoPrice to locate an articulating mount and successfully place a flat panel television on the wall. This time we positioned it in a corner-mounted location.

— April 21, 2011 02:10 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Mounting Your Flat Panel TV on Your Wall - Part One

Mounting Your Flat Panel TV on Your Wall - Part One

As many of you know, we are proud advocates for getting that flat panel off of your furniture and onto the wall. In our opinion, what's the point of having lightweight, flat televisions if you're not going to put them up on the wall. Suspending in the middle of a vast open space unlike anything previously possible with CRT-style TVs? I mean seriously, if I see one more person trying to jam that new 42-inch flat panel TV into their stupid 1980's-era wall unit I'm going to start knocking heads around. It's electronics sacrilege.... there should be a law... or something.

As many of you know, we are proud advocates for getting that flat panel off of your furniture and onto the wall. Otherwise, what's the point of having lightweight, flat televisions?

— February 09, 2011 07:46 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Danny Bonaduce's Lame Home Theater

Danny Bonaduce's Lame Home Theater

Where can you watch reruns of "The Partridge Family" in style? An article at CE Pro says In Danny Bonaduce's Hollywood-area home. But given the lame layout, difficult room configuration and lack of any real advanced technology showing up in any of the photos, we'd have to respectfully disagree and say that Danny should definitely consider spending a bit more money next go-around. The child star from the classic 1970s TV show, now a famous disc jockey, has listed his Spanish-style home in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles for $4.2 million. According to the L.A. Times, the 1926 four-bedroom, six-bathroom home is new fully restored. The 8-seat dedicated theater in the home isn’t exactly lavish. In fact, it's a bit of a joke. The small projector sits in "the money seat" at armrest level in the front row of the theater. There are freestanding tower speakers that act as the front left and from right speakers, as well as the rear surrounds. The subwoofer is placed conspicuously in front of the screen.

Where can you watch reruns of "The Partridge Family" in style? An article at CE Pro says In Danny Bonaduce's Hollywood-area home. But given the lame layout, and lack of tech - we'd have to disagree.

— December 02, 2010 03:55 in DIY Audio and Wiring