Archive for the 'How-tos' Category

Weekly column: Infrared remote enables 2-room TV use, Canon SD4500IS

Originally published second week of December 2011 Q. I have a 42-inch plasma TV monitor that does not have a TV tuner. I used to hook it up to a cable DVR, which cost an extra $15 a month on my cable bill. Since I did not use it often, I returned the DVR to […]

Excellent article on compact camera noise and ISO at

Regular readers of my weekly Q&A column have probably seen me mention why more megapixels aren’t always better, mostly because of the problem of noise and its detrimental effect on image quality. The folks at Digital Photography Review just posted this excellent an about high ISO settings and noise in compact cameras. It’s a bit […]

Buying an inkjet for photo prints? Get one with at least six ink colors

Today’s inkjet printers can create photographic prints that rival or beat the image quality of a photo lab.   Some high-end inkjets produce the best image quality you are likely to find anywhere, and under proper storage conditions the prints will last as long as conventional photographs.     Six individual ink cartridges in a […]

Cine-EQ and other useful settings

Sound Advice By Don Lindich Week 8, 2007 Q: My receiver has a button on it called “Cinema EQ”.   I do not have the manual to look it up.   What does it do and should I be using it? -Joe August, West Newton, PA A: Many DVD movie soundtracks can sound a little […]

Problems with 1968 vintage receiver

Sound Advice By Don Lindich Week 6, 2007 Q: I hav a Pioneer SX 700 receiver that I purchased new in 1968. Recently the left channel has become weak on all functions (phono,AM-FM, tape, etc.) To have both channels equal I have to adjust the balance to the left and I lose much fidelity. Do […]

Backing up from a camera to a flash drive, car stereo woes

Sound Advice By Don Lindich Week 3, 2007 Q: I have a 2GB portable flash drive. Is there any way to backup my digital camera pictures directly to the drive when I’m on vacation? -Ken Byrom, Cranberry, PA A: Wow, this is a great idea! I do not know of a way and as far […]

How to make a movie with your digital camera- it’s easy and fun!

Making movies with your digital camera is easy and fun!   Modern cameras have great movie modes that record sound too.   You can watch the movies  on your camera and computer, send them via email or even burn them on DVDs for television watching.   Many camera owners do not take advantage of this […]

“Phantom” center channel, storing an outdoor sound system

Week of October 1, 2006 Q: I followed your suggestion and purchased the Onkyo TX-SR303 surround sound receiver and two pairs of speakers. You mentioned in your column about a “phantom” setting on the Onkyo. I have 4 speakers and have to set the back speakers on speaker “B” connections so I don’t really have […]

Taking better flash pictures

Week of May 21, 2006 Q: I think at times that I need to take a digital camera course. I have been digital for 6 years and recently purchased the Olympus E-500 SLR. I have trouble with all my digital cameras (I also have an Olympus C-770 and SP-350) and most pics with any white […]

Overlooked details in home theater setup

Week of March 26, 2006 Q:What important details are commonly missed when setting up a home theater? Any helpful hints to correct things that people commonly overlook? -Kevin Gulbrandsen, Thousand Oaks, California A: There arefour that come to mind right off the top of my head. I’ll list them here, and revisit the issue in […]

Future format viability and Circuit City’s DIVX bomb

Week or January 22, 2006 Q:   Bill Gates, (and others) have proclaimed that DVDs and CDs are obsolete and will be replaced by hard drive storage and Internet distribution as soon as 2014. Many in the movie, music and computer industries seem to favor a pay-per-use entertainment model in which consumer ownership is replaced […]

What are “bookshelf speakers” and do they really belong on a bookshelf?

Week of November 6th, 2005 Q: I have seen you throw out the term “bookshelf speaker” or “bookshelf-sized speaker”. What’s the definition and context for that term as you use it? -Phil Pyram, Shoreview, Minn. A: A bookshelf speaker is one that fits comfortably on a bookshelf and is somewhat larger than the tiny teacup-sized […]

Proper subwoofer placement

Week of October 16, 2005 Q: What is the best location to place a subwoofer? I have been told ideal placement of a in a corner with walls extending 6 feet. If this placed the woofer behind a large TV in a wood cabinet with the center channel speaker, would there be any ill effects, […]

Choosing the correct speaker wire gauge, expensive wires and cables= BIG, BIG SCAM!!!!

Week of October 2, 2005 Q: I am wondering if 12 gauge speaker wire is necessary or is 14 gauge all right? I am considering using 60 to 75 feet of wire. Also, could you say something about connectors please? What do you recommend overall? John Lindborg Rogers, MN A: .For connectors, bare wire, while […]

Connecting TV to sound system, camera depth-of-field, Picasa problems

Week of September 4, 2005 Q: I have a surround sound receiver with speakers and a 27-inch TV with audio out jacks. How do I get my TV to play through my sound system? Brian Mattice Minneapolis, MN A: It is easy- simply connect the audio outputs to an audio input on the receiver (any […]

Importing video into a computer, turntable hum

Q: I have a lot of Hi8 and VHS tapes I want to import into my computer for editing and burning to DVD. I have a Canon ZR70 digital camcorder that apparently can be used ti convert analog video to digital. How does one go about this? Hyunchul Shin, Pittsburgh, PA A: The camcorder works […]

Lens flare and lens hoods

Week of August 21, 2005 Q: When taking shots of the moon & sunsets, how can I stop the light reflection of them off the camera lens? The pics show faintly depicted multi moons, and the same for the sun just before sundown. Sometimes the color of the circles will be the coating color on […]

Burn-in on CRT and plasma TVs- proper picture settings can help you avoid it

Week of August 22, 2004 Q: Many of us who own rear projection TV sets have a serious problem! Because most channels insist on displaying their logos 24/7 in the lower right section of the screen, the logos are now burned into the picture guns or tubes permanently.   Since I watch a lot of […]

Adjust your camera for better flash pictures

Week of July 18, 2004 Q: I have a Canon S-40 digital camera which I dearly love. While in Brazil, a friend with a Sony digital camera and I were taking the same flash pictures at the same time and distance. Her flash pictures were bright as if taken in day light while mine were […]

Tweaking digital pictures for the best quality

Week of December 21, 2003 Q: In a recent column, you mentioned that with “adjusting the [digital] pictures on your computer, the Digital Rebel can produce professional image quality that exceed 35-millimeter film”.   What are some of these adjustments that should be made? I have Adobe Photoshop Elements…and I’m in the process of learning […]