Archive for the 'Accessories' Category

HDTV tuners and antennas, more comments about plasma TVs

Week of June 4, 2006 Q: Do you have any suggestions or recommendations for a tuner and antenna for a HD-ready TV? -Larry Lilly A: The antenna is more important than the tuner when it comes to good reception, so I will start there. For an indoor set-top antenna, my favorite is still the amazing […]

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 […]

External viewfinders for an SLR, HDMI and DVI revisited

Week of May 14, 2006 Q:   I want to buy or make a “gunsight”   viewer to fit on my camera. When taking action photos I find it cumbersome and almost impossible at times to sight through the viewfinder or the LCD screen. I propose to build, if need be, a square wire box […]

Building a system to play back vinyl records

Week of May 7, 2006 Q:   I want to buy a new stereo system, for music reproduction only not TV or movies.   My music is still primarily on my record albums which are in great condition. I like my old rock music and enjoy classical music, especially sad violins played really loud.   […]

Will HDMI give me a better picture, avoiding HDMI cable ripoffs

Week of April 30, 2006 Q: Will I see a noticeable difference in high definition picture quality if I upgrade from the component video connection to the HDMI connection? I have high definition cable and the newest version of their box has an HDMI output (the older ones only had DVI). I have a Sony […]

Working around components that aren’t working perfectly

Week of April 2, 2006 Q: I am writing to comment on your recent column about repairing equipment, and bad experiences. The reception on my 20 year-old Sony receiver got very poor. (The amplifier was OK.) I knew it wouldn’t be cost effective to repair it, so I went to Circuit City and bought a […]

Rooftop antennas

Week or March 5, 2006 Q:   I am writing regarding rooftop antennas. I dropped cable once the price reached an obscene $53/mo and satellite is not an option because neighbor has 1 tree blocking line of sight. (ironically, the ONLY sky obstruction anywhere). I live on top of a hill, and www.antennaweb.org says that […]

Burned CD and DVD long-term viability, TV antenna reception

Week of February 5, 2006 Q: I have been copying home videos to DVD with a DVD recorder. Recently there have been reports of the purple dyes in recordable CDs deteriorating. The blank DVDs also appear to have a purple substrate. I plan on not recording over the original tapes, but could you give me […]

Rediscovering your vinyl records

Q: We have tried unsuccessfully to have our Technics turntable repaired at the local authorized repair shop.   Could you advise us where-oh-where we could buy a new turntable, and which brand you would recommend?   We still have many LP records which we would love to be able to listen to, although when CDs […]

iPod in your car, switch from Nikon to Canon when going from film to digital?

Week of December 4, 2005 Q: Recently I purchased a iPod Mini. I love it, but I cannot play it in or through my car audio system; a 2000 Toyota Camry. We have looked at various device, most seem to operate on a FM band, akin to the old FM converters of the late 1970’s. […]

Earphone power drain on iPod, Axiom and Ascend speakers

Q: have a question about headphones. I have an iRiver H10 MP3 player. The earbuds that came with the player are adequate but not great. So I replaced them with some Sony in-ear headphones. They sound terrific but they are uncomfortable to wear for more than a half hour or so. Now I’ve switched over […]

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 […]

Music on cable TV, charging batteries overseas, quality speaker brands

Week of June 19, 2005 Q: I’m looking for a system that will allow me only to listen to the Music Channels on my cable TV. I like to read in my living room while listening to music. We have TVs in other rooms, but not in the living room where we try to minimize […]

Connecting iPod to sound system, TV lamps and extended warranties

Week of July 9, 2005 Q: If I were to invest in a MP3 player, I’d like to make it more versatile and connect it to external speakers so that I could use it for home entertainment, i.e. gameroom, deck, etc. I used to have a Cambridge Soundworks system with a self-amplified subwoofer and 2 […]

Sending sound from computer to sound system, external flash units (highly recommended!)

Q: I would like to send the audio from computer to my receiver so the computer audio will come from my sound system. What do I need to buy and how to connect it? -Kim Gilbert, Wichita, KS A: You need a miniplug to RCA adapter. It is a simple cord with a miniplug jack […]

Decorating and room acoustics, converting LPs to CD with a component CD recorder

Week of April 24, 2005 Q: My husband has a home office in a bedroom upstairs in our home. He has converted the closet into an entertainment center and set up a TV/surround sound system in it. The room currently has carpet. I’d like to put in hardwood floors and a real brick veneer along […]

Digital cameras with very wide angle zoom lens

Week of February 27, 2005 Q: I’ve been looking for is a point and shoot digital camera that zooms down to about 24-28 mm (35 mm film camera equivalent) wide angle. Any ideas? Don Woodland Chatham, MA A: For readers who are unfamiliar with the term, digital camera zoom lenses usually have a specification called […]

Bang & Olufsen A8 earphones at The Apple Store

Week of February 20, 2005 Q: I have a new iPod but hate the little pod earphones. I’ve tried other Walkman over-the-ear style earphones but the sound quality suffers. There is a $150 Bose earphone that is very good but it’s big and not a good choice for exercise and other similar activities. What would […]

Improving FM reception, an iPod alternative

Week of December 19, 2004 Q: I want to improve my table radio’s FM reception. Can I use a connection to my DirecTV dish for this? I don’t know if the dish receives all signals or only DirecTV signals. If I can hook the external antenna port on the CD 740 to the dish line, […]