Cable vs. Satellite TV

What is a better Cable or Satellite? The following web sites should help you chose.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Consumer Reports: Cable vs. Satellite TV
  2. About.com: Comparison of cable and satellite TV
  3. JD Power: Cable vs. Satellite TV

DVD Players

Sony, Magnavox, Philips, Panasonic, and Toshiba are among the most popular brands of DVD players. With so many different models of DVD players, buyers may feel overwhelmed in purchasing a DVD player. Many of the well-known brands are excellent choices, but there is much more to consider than just the brand of the DVD player. In purchasing DVD players, there are often two basic approaches: searching for specific qualities in a DVD player or searching for the best price. Both of these approaches require a buyer to be aware of at least a few relevant factors when selecting his or her product.

When searching for specific qualities in a DVD player, the perfect product depends on what a buyer is looking for. The Progressive-scan model DVD, which has a wide choice of products, is used with a digital TV and allows for a smoother picture. Choosing a multi-disc model can be a good choice if the buyer wants continuous music or easy access to a DVD library. It is also important for a buyer to make sure that there are adequate connections. Most DVD players have enough outputs but some of the cheaper models do not. Special playback formats may also be a consideration for the buyer. Most DVD players can play DVD-R, DVD+R, CD-R/-RW, DVD+RW, and pre-recorded DVDs and CDs, but only some can play DVD-RAMS, CD-audio, and MP3 music files. It requires even more shopping around to find DVD players that play Windows Media Audio (WMA) files, video CD, and high-resolution SACD and DVD-Audio discs in original formats. A buyer may also want to present slide shows on his or her TV, which requires a DVD model that can read JPEG image files. Some DVD models even have built-in card readers that accept different kinds of memory cards. DVD players also vary in their portability and capability. Single-disc consoles are the most common and economical, but multi-disc consoles and portable DVD players are also options depending on the desires of the buyer. Some high end DVD players now are equipped to play Blue Ray discs. A buyer may have different wants regarding his or her DVD player, which will take some researching and shopping around.

When searching for the best price, there are countless websites to assist buyers in their pursuits. Certain brands of DVD players, such as Sanyo, Protron, and Coby, are known for their lower prices. Drug stores and grocery stores carry cheaper models for as low as $25. Many consumers complain that cheaper models skip a lot more, but consumers also report that even the picture quality from a lower-priced DVD player easily surpasses the picture quality of a standard VCR.

Top Online Resources:

  1. DVD Players: How to choose
  2. DVD players: Consumer Guide DVD Player Reviews
  3. DVD Coupon Post

DVD Recorder

A DVD recorder is an optical disc recorder that records video onto blank writable DVD media. Such devices are available as either installable drives for computers or as standalone components for use in studios or home theater systems. Currently in the U.S. DVD recorders are under going a transformation adding a digital ATSC tuner if it has a tuner as mandated by the FCC.

DVD recorders use a laser (usually 650 nm red) to read and write DVDs. The reading laser is usually not stronger than 5 mW, while the writing laser is considerably more powerful. The faster the writing speed is rated, the stronger the laser is. DVD burner lasers often peak at about 100 mW in CW (225 mW pulsed). Some laser hobbyists have discovered ways to extract the laser diode from DVD burners.

DVD recorders have several technical advantages over VCRs, including:

Superior video and audio quality

Easy-to-handle and smaller form-factor disc media

Random access to video chapters without rewinding or fast-forwarding

Onscreen multilingual subtitles and labeling not available on VCRs

Reduced playback wear and tear

High-quality digital copying, with little or no generation loss

Improved editing, at least on rewritable media


No risk of accidentally recording over existing content or unexpectedly running out of space during recording

Easy to find recordings due to chapter menus

DVD Recorders produced in 2007 are required to have a built in ATSC digital tuner, and so far all currently available DVD recorders do not pass the native HD signal; instead, the signal is down scaled and sometimes then up scaled. Therefore you will get better video quality from a dedicated ATSC tuner such as the Samsung DTB-H260F if you have an HDTV.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Consumer Reports
  2. superpages.com
  3. products.howstuffworks.com


Buying an HDTV can be overwhelming. When buying a HDTV, one should consider the following: budget, size of screen, resolution, widescreen or normal, features, connectivity, picture quality, accessories, and warranties. Additional purchasing tips include: Learn about HDTV’s by reading an article that discusses the basics at the beginning of your search. In order to single in on specific HDTV, look at editor’s recommendations on CNET and read the reviews. If you want a HDTV smaller than 42” buy a LCD rather than plasma HDTV. Brightness is not a big consideration and many places try to sell this as a key feature. Plasma is the better choice for a home theater because it shows dark scenes better; it can also be viewed well from all angles.

Top Online Resources:

  1. TV Buying Guide--CNET Reviews
  2. HDTV & Televisions: Reviews, compare, help, check prices: Yahoo Tech
  3. HDTV’s--Reviews and Price Comparisons--From PC Magazine


When it comes to purchasing headphones, it is recommended to go beyond the product knowledge. We need to find out what expectations we have with sound. There are hundreds of headphones on the market with different categories. One thing that may be found as a shock is that headphones that are more expensive are better than the cheap ones. Unless you are serious in using headphones in your daily life, it is recommended to spend the extra money for something that you most likely couldn't tell the difference.

Top Online Resources:

  1. On Headphones
  2. CNET Reviews
  3. Best Headphones, Headphone reviews

iPod Speakers

The iPod is getting increasingly more popular with every passing day. Sometimes headphones are not enough, though, and that is where iPod speakers come in.

There is a large market for iPod speakers today. Different brands, abilities, colors, and prices combine to make hundreds of different options. If you love bass, it would be smart to get some speakers with a quality bass system. If you want to use it for more than just speakers, the clock radio feature would be good to look for. If you are poor and just want the basics, it is possible to find a decent set of speakers for $100. Not a bad deal compared to a $4000 Hammacher Schlemmer Studio-Quality Triode-Tube iPod Speaker set. Everybody is looking for different features, qualities, and styles. What is the best option for one may be the most impractical for another. Luckily, there are many websites on the internet that can help anybody's search go a little bit smoother.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Consumer Search
  2. iPod Speaker Reviews
  3. CNET Reviews


Through my study of this topic I found that LCD TV’s are growing in popularity among consumers. The LCD first replaced the Cathode Ray Television and is now competing with plasma TV’s for supremacy. The cost of the LCD television is also decreasing in price as they become more abundant in the market. The biggest question mark that comes up for consumers is weather to buy a plasma television or to buy a LCD. The plasma television is considered to have better picture quality and black levels. The LCD is considered to have greater resolution in the picture. The best way to decide which TV is right for you is to do comparison shopping by going to http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/tv-buying-guide.htm. The LCD has come a long way in the past several years. In fact the reason that it has become so popular in the most recent years is because of advances in technology. Initially the LCD TV could only display a clear picture if your stood right in front of the TV, or only slightly to the side. Recent developments have eliminated this problem. One major thing to consider if you plan to purchase an LCD is that they do not come in screen sizes greater than 40 inches. Also the LCD may have difficulty rendering deep blacks. LCD televisions are thin, lightweight and easy to move, and some are wall-mountable, providing greater options for home theatre setup.

Top Online Resources:

  1. How it works
  2. Compare Prices
  3. TV Buying Guide: One size does not fit all

MiniDisc Players

MiniDisc Players are portable audio at its best. MiniDisc players and recorders are a great choice for portable digital audio.

MiniDisc is a disc-based data storage device for storing any kind of data, usually audio. The technology was announced by Sony in 1991. Today they are used primarily for digital audio storage. Sony is the dominant brand with MiniDisc players.

Top Online Resources:

  1. CleverJoe Reviews
  2. Consumer Search
  3. Wikipedia

mp3 Player

Mp3 players have become really popular in the last few years. An mp3 player is an electronic device that compacts music, video, and other audio so that you can have a lot of it in a small space to use in a variety of settings – for example my cousins have their own musical show and when they travel they have all the instrumental music their band usually plays on a mp3 player and they perform using the player and don’t have to haul their band with them. Nowadays you can buy an mp3 player, PDA, phone service, and the Internet all in one.

Because of the way that technology has been advancing in the last while most mp3 players do a good job, and so the problem isn’t so much in finding a decent one, but in finding the right one for you.

Seeing as the product is being compacted it is important that a buyer finds one that doesn’t lose the quality of the original recording, though most of us wouldn’t notice the quality lost by the average player (music buffs are big on buying lots of memory so that the songs are squished as much, apparently they can hear the difference – who knows).

One issue faced is determining how much memory you need. It is suggested that you buy as much as you’ll use, if you can afford it. Knowing ahead of time when and where you’ll use your mp3 player will help in knowing how much you need. For example there are players designed specifically for exercising that are more sweet resistant and can be attached easily to clothing or an arm, and you don’t need tons of space because you probably don’t workout 8 hours a day.

You can determine what size and style to buy by determining your needs. What do you need it to be able to do? Do you want it to be only an mp3 player, or do you want it to have other capabilities, such as Internet or phone features. When will you use it? Where will you use it? Knowing this will help you determine what you need.

Once you know what kind of player you want you need make sure that it has all necessary computer hookups. Also be aware of what other types of hardware you might need to buy to be able to use the player where you want it.

If you are deciding between brands, determining which has better headphones and which is easier to use will help the purchasing process. It may be worth it to purchase a better set of headphones. Batterylife and method of charging should also be considered. Most players can be charged through a computer, but some can’t charge if the computer isn’t in use – they won’t charge if the computer is sleeping (this is a complaint about iPods in particular).

Asking around before buying will help you to know what others do and don’t like about their players, someone might even let you try theirs out for a day. Realize that no matter how nice of mp3 player you buy a better one will soon come out. You need to either be content in using the one you have for awhile, even if it doesn’t have all the latest gizmos, or you need to be prepared to be continually putting forth money. Just get one that will fit your needs, and use it until you have to get a new one because it no longer can perform the functions you bought it for. Getting one that looks appealing to you might also be important; because you might likely use it less if you think you look like a dork when using it.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Cnet Reviews
  2. howstuffworks.com
  3. FixYa

Plasma Televisions

For the past 75 years, the vast majority of televisions have been built around the same technology: the cathode ray tube (CRT).

Cathode ray tubes produce crisp, vibrant images, but they do have a serious drawback: They are bulky. In order to increase the screen width in a CRT set, you also have to increase the length of the tube. Consequently, any big-screen CRT television is going to weigh a lot and take up room.

A new alternative has popped up on store shelves: the plasma flat panel display. These televisions have wide screens, comparable to the largest CRT sets, but they are only about 6 inches (15 cm) thick. The display itself consists of thousands of "cells," which are individual glass compartments injected with neon-xenon gas suspended in plasma-hence the "plasma" appellation. These cells are the basic elements comprising the picture you see on your TV screen. When the gases are electrically charged, they strike red, green, and blue phosphors.

The above Information was found on these web sites: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/plasma-display.htm


There are many decisions to make when choosing a plasma TV. The internet has a vast array of sites that explain the positive and negative aspects of each type of plasma TV. Also there are many sites that compare each type of TV to others and rate them in different area.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Consumer Reports
  2. CNET
  3. Buying guide

Portable/Handheld TVs

When purchasing a handheld TV, it is important to consider what it will be used for. It is important to decide what features are important. Some things to consider are price, size (including weight), screen size, picture quality, and battery life.

It is also important to determine whether the TV will need input or output. Will it be used to play video games or watch movies, or will it be for TV only? Some TVs have these capabilities and others don't.

These websites offer price and feature comparisons. The first website, however, does offer a few expert reviews.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Consumer Guide: Portable TVs Product Reviews
  2. portable tv - Shopping.com
  3. New TV Guide: Searching for the best portable tv? Guide to Portable Televisions

Projection TV

With so many choices in the market for televisions, and the prices making this type of purchase a fairly significant investment, it is paramount to find what is right for you, the all-important consumer.

When considering what television is going to meet your needs, projection TVs are often times the best to consider. Of the many elements to consider when buying a new TV, focus on these three: 1. Size 2. Picture quality 3. Price. Know where you are willing to compromise. Is size not too much of an issue? Will 42 inch work, or is 60 inches a must? Do you need the flat screen, or will a bit larger do? Is a semi pixilated picture ok? Or does it need to be as pure as you can get? What about name brand and reputation? All of these factors will significantly influence the price of your next TV purchase. Think carefully. Think wisely.

Lastly, when shopping for your new TV, always remember the effect of buying last year’s model today. Or, to contrast, remember the effect of buying this year's model today. Do you need the "latest and greatest" technology? Manufacturers are always developing something new. This year's is supposedly always better than last year's. Is it? Well, this year's best will be next year's discounted item. Also, last year's best will always be today's discounted item. Remember that when shopping around. Decide if you need/want the "latest and greatest". You will generally find that one year's technology enhancements do not change much of anything except for the price.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Projection TVs: Consumer Guide TV Reviews
  2. Projection TVs and Ratings
  3. Buying tips for Rear Projection TVs


Home theater Projectors and the information that the consumers need to know before they buy has been researched. There are several terms that a consumer needs to be familiar with when looking for a good projector.

Native Resolution: The quality of picture that can be reached. An image where the number of pixels is the same as in the image source will give the best quality image.

Number of Pixels: The number of pixels per inch. The higher the number, the better the picture quality is going to be.

Lumens Brightness: the brightness of the projected picture, the higher the lumens number, the better.

Contrast Ratio: the ratio of the brightest color (white) to that of the darkest color (black) that the system is capable of producing. "Full On/full off" method measures the contrast ratio of a display, while the "ANSI" contrast measures the static contrast ratio.

Aspect Ratio: the display width, of an image, divided by its height. There are two standard aspect ratios: the traditional 4:3 (1.33:1), good for standard definition video formats; and the modern 16:9 (1.78:1), used in high-definition television and European digital television.

System: the broadcast system that the projector can receive. Examples include: NTSC, NTSC4.43, PAL, PAL-M, PAL-N, PAL60, SECAM, 480i.

HDTV Compatibility: The ability of a projector to handle HDTV.

Projector Display System: This refers to the way in which an image is projected onto a screen. There are 4 display systems: LCD, DLP, CRT, and LyCos.

LCD systems produce a bright picture, strong colors, and allows for a larger screen size. The cons are that they are very expensive and they have a poor black level (the ability to give good detail).

DLP systems have a good black level and their price is falling, but they have a poor viewing range.

CRT systems have a huge screen size, good picture quality for the size, and good contrast. They can often be heavy, bulky, expensive and require installation and maintenance.

LyCos systems give a high-quality, natural picture and they don't get screen burn-ins. The LyCos systems don't have a good black level and the can be heavy and bulky. Most require occasional lamp replacements that can be rather expensive.

When looking for a home theater projector, a consumer should keep in mind how big of a screen they want in their home and the distance from the screen that a projector needs in order to fill it with a good quality image.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Howstuffworks
  2. About.com
  3. Projector Central

Speaker Systems

The objective of this research is to give people adequate resources to properly shop for speaker systems in their home. Buying a home is a big enough decision as it is, so trying to fit it with affordable appliances shouldn't be a grueling decision.

Many people want the luxuries of a big fancy entertainment system, with speakers installed in the walls and ceiling, while others simply want enough speakers to just hear the music. Since there is such a wide spectrum of different speaker systems for the home, I found some very broad websites.

When someone is getting ready to buy a house, or to finish a room or a basement, there are a few basic things they need to consider: Price, practicality, and whether they will actually use the system. Prices range from a hundred dollars up to thousands of dollars. Some people use their entertainment system as a symbol of their status, showing off how much money they can make. This is not practical at all. Find a speaker system that fits your needs and will suit you. If you aren't going to use your speaker system very much, it makes sense to find a cheaper one. But if you're a movie buff or love sports, then find a speaker system of a higher class.

Once you have decided what type and price sound system you want, there are still hundreds that would fit the description, so this research will give you some sites that have reviews all of the different speaker systems. You will learn whether some companies have better warranties, last longer than others, or have better customer service.

Though speaker systems might not seem like a necessity to have, or to know about, when buying or refinishing a house, they are definitely important. Speaker systems can get very expensive and you want to make sure that you get what you pay for with a speaker system.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Home Audio and Home Theater Resource
  2. Consumer Electronics Product Reviews
  3. Home Theater: Equipment Reviews

Standard Televisions

To allow and provide consumers with the essential information needed to fulfill their individual efforts in finding any standard television. There are many different aspects to look at when choosing a television. There is digital TV, high def., connection hookups, and a lot of other capabilities. The following websites will ensure consumers with price checking and model specific capabilities for locating their product.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Standard Televisions
  2. Standard Television
  3. Standard Televisions

TV/DVD Combos

The TV/DVD Combo’s are about as popular as VCR’s—that is to say, that they are considered more of a specialty item and are hard to find. Equally hard to find, is any information on which TV/DVD Combo’s are indeed worth their higher price tags. Even with a full subscription to consumerreports.org, there is little information that compares the various TV/DVD combos. Consumer beware! The reason they are not as popular, is because with the rapid changing TV and DVD technology, they not only become obsolete fast, but depending on the brand, if the DVD Player breaks, then you have to get another DVD player and it becomes cumbersome.

TV/DVD Combo’s aren’t for everyone—however, for those few who want an all in one solution, there are some resources out there that I have included in my resources. A few things to consider are the type of TV (HDTV, CRT), and the type of DVD player (BLUERAY, ETC.) you are looking for. There are still many options available, but be sure that there is a specific reason you are getting a TV/DVD Combo versus a TV and a separate DVD player.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Consumer Search
  2. Consumer Reports
  3. Pricegrabber

Video Game Cosoles

A video game console is an interactive electronic device that displays a game on a television or computer. A video game console distinguishes a machine designed to play video games. There are many different companies that manufacture these including:Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, to name a few.

Once you have the actual console, there is additional equipment needed in order for it to work. You also need controllers, a power supply, and the actual game you wish to play.

These are most popular for boys ages 8-22.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Game Stop
  2. Best Buy
  3. Wal-Mart

Wireless Headphones

Wireless headphones are audio headphones with no cords attached; meaning the listener does not have to get tangled in headphone cords while moving from one place to another. Wireless headphones are used in retrieving audio from non-portable electronic devices such as a TV, stereo, or a home theater system. Wireless headphones provide the listener with quality audio from nearly any source with out the inconvenience of being tethered to a stationary device.

Wireless headphones contain a transmitter which is close to the audio source that will send signals to the headset which acts a receiver. It is essential to know the higher the frequency used by the wireless headphones will cause less static interference and will promote a further range in which the audio can be transmitted from a source without interference. Each wireless headphone will specify the frequency and the range the headphones can be from the audio source while providing static free audio. Wireless headphones range can be as short as 30 feet and as large as 150 feet. Another thing to keep in mind is that the range printed on the wireless headphones package is referring to the range in optimal environments, so the consumer needs to check out the websites provided below which judge what the wireless headphones truly offer.

Another important component to consider while purchasing wireless headphones is checking the type of batteries the headphones use. Most wireless headphones contain batteries which are removable and rechargeable. It is important to know what the battery life offers with the headphones; some headphones battery life is very long, while others batteries die very quickly.

As with all headphones it is important to look for those which are durable, comfortable, and provide quality audio for your every listening need. The websites listed below provide numerous options for anyone looking for wireless headphones.

Top Online Resources:

  1. CNET
  2. Consumer Search
  3. How Stuff Works