How do you stream video from a Media Center PC to a TV in another room? Options for wiring?

For what you’ve described there are a few wireless video transfer systems you may want to look at – specifically the Belkin Remote TV product. It works at higher frequencies than other brands, and won’t be interfered with by wireless networks and phones. It will connect to the media center PC and give you a high resolution component video output to connect to your LCD TV. This will get the signal to your TV, but as far as controlling it you’ll need to get control of the media center in your room. For this you can buy a Media Center PC remote at Best Buy and other stores, and then buy an IR Repeater/Blaster. The blaster will allow you to use this new remote in the other room to control the media center.I know this seems like a lot but other than running cables directly to it, that’s pretty much the only way. As far as direct wiring it, if you’re only going to be watching Divx movies then you can get an extra long S-Video cable, along with Audio cables and run from the A/V outputs on the media center to the inputs on your LCD TV, then get the remote and repeater as explained above for control.

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Can an SDTV work with HDTV Broadcasts?

Absolutely. SDTVs were specifically created to receive HDTV broadcasts, but what they do is reduce the resolution for 480i which is basically what a standard DVD movie produces. (Done so that anyone can afford a digital television). You have a tuner built into the TV that receives HD broadcasts, but downconverts them to “analog” so that it can be displayed on the SDTV. Another thing a lot of people aren’t familiar with is that you can get HD Satellite or Cable boxes and connect them to any TV through a composite video cable (yellow). Say you had an HD in one room and an older analog set in another, or an SDTV in another room you can have an HD Satellite box in the main room, and have the same box in the other room, but just connect a coaxial or composite cable to the TV and still watch the HD channels, just not in HD resolution.

How do I get better sound out of my XBOX 360 through my DVD built in sound system without an Optical Input?

When it comes to Home Theater systems with DVD players built into them, this tends to be the number one complaint. Although you don’t have an optical input on the unit, you do have the analog audio inputs (Right , White ) which you can connect the XBOX 360 to. It will not produce the 5.1 surround sound that the system is capable of, but it should have a surround mode for gaming, or general purpose that will make the gaming experience more complete. If you want to enhance the sound even more check out upgrading the Audio/Video cables to Monster Game Cables from Monster Cable, they will maximize your picture and sound to its best capabilities. Also if you want more of the surround experience use the Level settings on the system to raise the level of the Surround Speakers so that there is more active sound from behind you. If it really gets down to you wanting the optical input, you can switch out the receiver, and more than likely keep the existing speakers, or switch out the speakers as well since you have the wires run through the wall. But if you do that you will either end up using the XBOX360 as your DVD player, or purchase a DVD player as well. There are some really good HTIBs out there now for under $500, one in particular from Sony, comes with an up-converting DVD player, and HDMI connectivity on the receiver for future use as well.

How do I connect my Television to my Surround Sound System?

Hopefully this isn’t as complicated as you feared. This depends on your TV and what else you will be connecting to the system. Here’s a few options for what you are trying to do.1) Direct TV Connection Option: If your television offers an audio output this will be the easiest of the connections, all you do is connect an audio cable from the TV’s audio output (white and red jacks), to the input of your choice on your receiver (TV/SAT, Video 1, AUX, etc). When you want to watch your TV through surround, you turn on your receiver to the correct input and trun on your TV, and you’re good to go. There may be an option in your TV menu as well to leave the audio output as fixed – choose this option if available, this means that as you adjust the volume on your TV, it won’t mess with the sound through the receiver.2) Using a Cable or Satellite Box: If you have a cable or satellite box connected to the TV, the sound quality will be better than coming directly from the TV. For this you will utilize the audio outputs on the back of the boxes, either Analog Audio (red and white), or a digital output (optical or digital coax). From the back of the box, connect one of the cables from the audio out (analog or digital) to your receiver to whichever input you choose, and now when you watch your cable or satellite, you will have sound from your receiver and/or your TV. (This is my preferred choice).3) Using a VCR: If your TV doesn’t have an audio output, and you’re not using a cable or satellite box this is pretty much the only other option (if you have a VCR that is). If you have a stereo VCR and your TV signal (basic cable/antenna) is running through the VCR, you will connect an Audio cable from the Audio output on the back of the VCR to whatever jack you prefer on your receiver. All you do is leave your VCR on when you want to listen to the stereo, and whatever channel the VCR is on, that sound will come through the Stereo as well.

I hope this helps in your quest, I know its a lot of information, but I like being thorough.

Can I use a New Upconverting DVD Player with my older Home Theater System?

The easiest way to answer this is that: yes you will need a new sound system if you want to take full advantage of the HDMI connectivity. However, if your receiver has an additional optical input on it you will be OK. The HDMI connection is most important for Video at this stage of its life anyway. Most receivers now that accept HDMI are having issues with the digital audio, so the HDMI will go directly to the TV, and then an audio or fiber optic/coaxial cable is then run to the stereo system. If you’re in the market for just an upconverting DVD player and not a Blu-Ray or HD DVD player then take a look at the Sony HT-7000DH for $500 (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?… It’s an HTIB system with an upconverting DVD player and receiver with HDMI capabilities. Great buy for what you get.

I hope this helps.

What is the difference between “RIP” and “BURN” when dealing with CDs?

Most music programs like iTunes and Windows Media offer both of these features, so this should relate to all of them.Rip = means to put the music files from the CD onto your computer’s hard drive. For instance when you load a CD into your computer using iTunes or Windows Media player and you want to add the music to your “Library” you choose, Rip. This will take the music from the CD and “Rip” it to your hard drive.Burn = means to take the music files from your computer, and record them on to a blank CD. So when you select the music files that you want to put on a blank CD you would use the “Burn” option to record the music to the blank disc.

I hope this helps.

I’m looking to get a 5.1 receiver, but my source isn’t digital, what can I do for the best sound?

If you’re looking at a new receiver, all you need to do is make sure that the unit offers Dolby Pro Logic II (or IIx if its a 7.1 receiver), or DTS Neo surround capabilities. These features are specifically for listening to non digital sources and recreate a 5.1 – 7.1 experience for VHS, Cable, Satellite, whatever you connect to it. If the source is in Dolby Pro-Logic then the sound will be very good in Pro-Logic II mode. If its just a stereo signal it will still sound pretty good and give you more of an experience than a standard Dolby Pro Logic receiver, because more signal is sent to the rear speakers.

I Hope this helps.