Accessories: What Are They Good For?

It has been said that “the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.” That also applies to your home theater, as the right accessories can make your home theater more fun, and a breeze to operate. Check out some of the “must-have” projector accessories, all under $250. Feel free to also send this list out to those looking for just the right thing for their favorite technophile.

Oppo Up-Converting DVD Player

Unless you are still living in the `80s, or have never had an extra $20 to spend on your home entertainment system, you probably already have a DVD player. So why should you upgrade to a better DVD player?

The best answer is simply, DVI. Digital Video Interface (DVI) is a relatively new video connection that outperforms all other previous connection types in terms of image quality, with the exception of HDMI, which is built upon the same standard but carries 8 channel audio as well as video. Specifically the DVI signal helps to eliminate flicker and to deliver a clearer picture. The Oppo also up-converts DVD signals for better looking images and is scalable to 576P (PAL)/720p/1080i. So it is a great, low-priced, accessory to help you take advantage of a native 720p video projectors full capability.

What the experts say:

“If you are avid videophiles on a budget, a savvy computer user, or an amateur video editor, then the Oppo Digital OPDV971H is a DVD player worth your money. This player was capable of playing basically any file we threw at it across a range of recordable media and brands.”

~ ECoustics

Benefits: High quality video images over DVI connection, low price, versatile compatibility.

Cost: $199

Click here for more on the Oppo DVD player

Dual Component/HDMI Cable

One very common issue among our customers is the requirement for both a component cable and an HDMI cable to set up their theater. So, our Projector Experts worked with Liberty Wire and Cable to develop a special cable to meet the needs of those customers.

For example, if you have an up-converting DVD player with an HDMI output and a receiver with only component inputs running other electronics (Playstation, VCR, cable TV box), you can hook the HDMI DVD player (or other HDMI source) with part of the cable and all the other components of your theater through your receiver via component input. That’s just about everything you need feeding into your projector from one cable.

Benefits: Running one cable saves you time. You save money by purchasing ‘one’ cable instead of two.

Cost: $149 – $199 (25ft. – 50ft.)

Click here for more on the Dual Component/HDMI cable.

Harmony Remotes from Logitech

Has this ever happened to you? You decide to enjoy a pay-per-view movie with your family. You look down at your coffee table and see your stereo remote, VCR remote (in your remote caddy), Tivo remote, and TV remote, but not your cable company remote. You ask everybody to check between the cushions to no avail. After an intensive 20 minute search, you find the remote in the kitchen. Of course it has. That is, unless you have already had the good sense to invest in a universal remote.

Universal remotes are a tremendously handy accessory to have, but Harmony remotes take that handiness to a new level. Whereas traditional universal remotes allow you to control all of your sources from one remote, a Harmony remote allows you to control entire “actions” with one click.

For example, with a Harmony remote you can click the “Watch TV” button, which will turn on your receiver, television, and cable box, as well as setting your TV to the proper video input, all at the touch of a button. The same goes for watching a DVD, or watching a show through your DVR.

Harmony remotes have varying feature sets, the most advanced of which have color displays and can even control your living room lighting. Setting up the Harmony remotes is pretty simple, but you will need an internet connection and an available USB port to download all of the information. The Logitech website will walk you through the setup and allows you to set preferences based on the way you want to use your remote. Much more high-tech than older universal remotes, and a lot more fun, too.

What the experts say:

“The same things that make the rest of the Harmony line outstanding are back, including an easy-to-use Web interface for programming the remote; a Help button that makes troubleshooting a breeze; and a comprehensive database of remote codes that makes it possible to control even your air conditioner.”

~PC World

Benefits: One remote controls virtually your home entertainment activities, many with one click. No batteries required, as remote comes with recharging dock (on select remotes).

Cost: $149 – $249

Click here for more about Harmony Remotes

Avia Calibration DVD

We have created our own fast and easy guide to calibrating video, but it doesn’t get your video looking nearly as good as it will after using good video calibration software.

Beyond the basic five video elements we mention in our tutorial, there are 180 test patterns included for adjusting and testing display parameters such as power supply adequacy, geometry, convergence, resolution, gamma, color decoder accuracy, and screen hot-spotting. Each pattern is accompanied by explanatory text, and live video demonstrations show you exactly what to look for while making adjustments. The Avia disc is as close as you can get to professional calibration, for $50, instead of hundreds.

Benefits: Accurate color from all sources you use. No more frequent color adjusting, or disappointment with details or color depth.

Cost: $49.95

Click here for more about Avia Calibration DVD

Want to know more about these or other projector accessories?

Contact a Projector Expert today. They can help answer your specific questions and give you the best available prices on projectors and accessories.

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