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Articles & Videos: Cables & Installation

Audio cables buying guide
by Ralph Graves

Home audio cable buying guide, includes stereo RCA, coaxial digital, stereo minijack, optical digital (toslink), and XLR cables.

HDMI cables buying guide
by Steve Kindig

Choosing the right HDMI cables can be tricky. Older cables don't support the latest features. To support 4K TV and HDR (High Dynamic Range) you'll need the latest HDMI 2.0 cables. We'll explain the different versions of HDMI, and we'll offer solutions to some common HDMI hookup problems.

Speaker wire guide
by Steve Kindig

Most home speakers don't come with wire. What gauge (thickness) do you need? Is there a special kind of wire for in-wall installation? How many feet of wire will you need to buy? What kind of connectors are best? We'll help you choose the right kind of speaker wire for your home audio system.

Power line surges and lightning strikes can damage or destroy your precious audio/video gear. Learn how to select the best power protection for you.

In this article, we'll show you how to locate the TV transmitters serving your area. Then we'll look at the different types of antennas and help you choose. If you live within a few miles of the local transmitters, a small indoor antenna should work well. If not, you'll need an outdoor antenna.

If you're in the process of choosing home theater speakers, knowing the basics of speaker placement can help you make the smartest choice for your room.

First, we show you how to build a fairly simple 2- or 3-room audio system using one receiver. Want sound in more than three rooms? It can get complicated, so you may want to consult an experienced system designer. To give you an idea of what's involved, we'll look at a typical 3-zone, 5-room system.

Setting up your speakers for their best musical performance may take a little extra time, but can go a long way toward enhancing your long-term satisfaction.

There are many types of connections you may encounter when setting up your new A/V system. Find out what it all means!

Multi-room audio buying guide
by Jim Richardson

When you're building or renovating a home, it's relatively easy to incorporate in-wall and ceiling speakers In an existing home, it's much easier to use wireless multi-room speakers. Learn how to plan an easy-to-use, great-sounding multi-room audio system that suits your decor and your lifestyle.

DAC buying guide
by Kramer Crane

A DAC (digital-to-analog converter) transforms digital files or streams into music. An external DAC gives you better sound than the one in your phone or computer. Portable DACs are primarily for headphones. Larger models are for home stereo. Learn how to choose the DAC that best meets your needs.

Find out how your room affects your speakers' sound. Then get some tips on locating and treating your room's trouble spots.

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