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Basic Accessories For Your HDTV

Basic Accessories For Your New HDTV

While many of you may have gone HD a while ago, I was content with my old, boxy TV for years. But thanks to a great Black Friday deal, I finally decided to upgrade. However, since I've never owned an HDTV before, I know that my TV upgrade saga isn't over.

There are a few things that I'll be buying to round out my viewing pleasure. While I'm not going for the ultimate home theater experience, I do have some necessities, including the ability to stream and watch content from my computer and keep everything hassle-free. Are you a new HDTV owner as well? Read my list of essentials after the break.

  • HDMI cables. These are needed to connect different sources to your TV in order to get HD-quality content. However, you don't need to overspend: the cheap cables available online at places like Monoprice and Amazon work as well as the expensive ones.
  • Blu-ray player. There are also great deals on Blu-ray players for the holiday, so I'll be scooping one up for high-resolution movie action.
  • Mac Mini. I would love to have this tiny computer set up with Plex to have access to all of my media. You don't need to splurge though; the Apple TV is a cheaper, though more limited, way to go.
  • Universal remote. Between game consoles, TiVos, and cable boxes, having one universal remote to take care of it all sounds like a great way to keep your home entertainment system hassle-free. Since I'm just looking for the basics, something like this inexpensive programmable remote seems like it will work for me.

What are your home theater essentials? Share your recommendations in the comments!

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thecolor thecolor 6 years
SWITCH/HUB: a switch for your streaming devices may be need (if you've not already set one up for other things). Since many newer devices come with internet capabilities, you'll want to use them.... BUT, you won't want to fork out more cash for the wireless adapter(s) and wired is always more reliable and faster, 'specially if you're pulling more data down more frequently. RECEIVER: If you run HDMI (which is cleaner (1 wire for audio and video)) then you will need to make sure your receiver is up to the job. Of course, If you use only the TV's speakers (assuming it has some) then no worries. MOUNT: It's possible too you may want to mount your new screen (so a good mount is a nice thing to have). Not everyone likes to sit their monitor on a stand, preferring a cleaner "hovering" look with hidden wires. One option for some is to take the fake fireplace out of your wall and put your TV there. Not only will it be easier to hide the spaghetti of wires you'll likely have with all your new and or old toys combined, but it makes for (sometimes) a better viewing level then over/neck crick. UPS: while a UPS (Universal Power Supply / aka a battery) is not always necessary (you could go with a simple surge protector), none of us like losing settings in our devices when the power takes a dive. Not to mention, as technology becomes more sensitive, things like brownouts (not a full outage but a (and not always noticeable) can be bad for your gadgets. Of course we all know outages are just bad period (full drops of juice / aka blackouts). A UPS will also provide you with a consistent voltage; typically regulating the amount a device needs as opposed to just giving it anything (like a surge protector / to much or to little juice). DLNA software DLNA software for your computer(s)/mobiles. While networking devices is nice and convenient... sometimes simply having DLNA software/APP can be nice for finding all kinds of things (that the software will index for you). Photos, music, videos, etc. can all typically be displayed on capable devices. AND, if your ISP is not all that up to par, DLNA is only as slow as it's routing device. So, while you may have the occasional "Prime Time" slow down/NetJam with Netflix or Hulu or the like, items already stored in your home network can be streamed locally using DLNA or comparable software (for your device(s) immediate enjoyment. Lastly, CONTENT!! The more you have, the more you can play with your newly purchased toys! Ü Bottom note: Many TVs now a day will come with a basic BD/DVD player (packaged/free). If you do upgrade to HDTV, consider looking for a package that includes even the most basic BD player or ask 'em to throw it in. Worse they can say is, "no". If you get one, you'll not only enjoy the Blue Ray quality but it will play all your old stuff too and some even more! Some BD players have all the network applications that some TVs don't. Netflix, HULU, VUDU, BlockBuster, Amazon, Pandora, etc. etc. So, if you get an awesome monitor with nothing but a fancy display, the BD player can do the rest (assuming you've not resorted to a computer or other type of multi streamBox.) Ü Hope my five bucks is helpful! :D
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