Sending a TV program to another room, Easy Media Creator, poor-looking DVDs

Week of August 27, 2006

Q: I want to have a TV in my garage, but don’t want to wire it for satelite. (That is what I use in the rest of the house.) Is there a product that can project the signal from the house to the garage?

-Don Anderson, Minneapolis, MN

A: The Terk LeapFrog LF-30S will transmit the audio/video signal up to 150 feet away and allow you to change channels on your satellite box. It retails for $99 and can be seen at www.terk.com.

Q: In a recent column you recommended Adobe Premiere Elements for video editing. I was also condidering Roxio Easy Media Creator 8. Do you think Adobe is the better product?

-Robert Albrecht, Wichita, KS

A: Easy Media Creator is more of a general purpose media and disc burning software than a specialized video editing application. If you want to edit video on a Windows computer, Premiere Elements is the better product and the industry standard for consumer-level applications. You can get Premiere Elements 2.0 in a bundle with Photoshop Elements 4.0 for under $150, so check out the bundle if you do any photo editing.

Q: I have over a hundred DVD titles and I find that if the orignal film was poor the DVD is poor in clarity. I have an LCD HD/TV with component DVD connections. How does HD-DVD improve the orignal if it is poor? Am I to spend another bundle on HD-DVD disks for perhaps marignal improvement?

-Pete Luban, Thousand Oaks, CA

A: Digital remastering may enhance the quality of any film transferred, whether to DVD or HD-DVD. It is unlikely you will find films with poor technical quality transferred to HD-DVD unless a concerted effort is made to improve the image, as the higher resolution format would only enhance the flaws.

Unless your TV screen is over 32 inches the difference between a good progressive-scan DVD player and HD-DVD may not be that great, and unless a movie is an absolute favorite, I would not re-buy it on HD-DVD. It may be hard to find a duplicate version, anyway. At the moment HD-DVD selection is sparse.

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