Home Design Guides: Home entertainment

Surround sound technologies

5.1 and 7.1 surround sound technologies

What's the difference between a 5.1 surround system and a 7.1 system, in practical terms? Which is right for your setup?

Viewing angles for TVs

Not all televisions are created equal in terms of the angle at which you can appreciate the picture. Learn more about viewing angles, and find out how best to position your TV.

Screen resolution

The resolution that your television or display is able to display pictures at will determine how 'sharp' the image is. Find out why, and what to look for in terms of resolution.

What is an 'aspect ratio'?

The ratio between the height and the width of a video image is called the 'aspect ratio'. Learn more about different aspect ratios, why they exist and when they're likely to matter.

What size TV should I buy?

Screen size, as well as determining who has bragging rights, affects your ability to enjoy your TV or display. It's very easy to go 'too big' too. Find out what's right for your needs.

TV wall mounts

Most TVs these days can be mounted using special standard-sized third party mounting hardware. See what options you have as far as mounts go, and why different options are better for different situations.

Projector screens and the moiré effect

The fine resolution of modern projectors, in some cases, can create an unwanted 'pattern' as it interacts with the texture of your projector screen. See why this happens, and how to deal with it.

Acoustic transparent projector screens

Also known as audio transparent projector screens, these allow sound to penetrate through your screen from speakers placed behind the picture.

All about HDTVs

High definition televisions (HDTVs) can work using LED, LCD or plasma display technology, and come in many different sizes featuring all kinds of special features and variations. Find out what the real differences are.


Projectors are becoming a far more popular and viable option for home video, thanks to their improving capabilities and plummeting prices. Find out what to look for when you choose a projector.

Set top boxes (STBs)

A set top box is an important piece of hardware for anyone who doesn't have a digital TV tuner built into their TV. Find out if you need one, and what to look for in a set top box.

Projector screens

If you're investing in a projector, it's also important to consider what you're going to project it onto, and how that will affect the picture. The right projector screen can make a massive difference to your picture quality.

Standby power consumption and TVs

That's right - even if you're not using it, there's a good chance your television will slowly be chewing away on power. Is your TV an expensive electricity vampire?

Home theatre lighting

Getting the lighting just right will turn your home theatre from 'just another room' into a place where you can set the lights to create the right mood and establish a true cinema-like atmosphere.


Is 3D TV the way of the future? Everything you need to know about 3D TV, including what it is, how it works, what types are available and whether it's worth it.

What is HD TV?

What's 1080p, and do I really need it? How is it different from 1080i, or 720p, or 576p? What does it mean in terms of resolution and picture quality? Find out what these terms mean, and why they're important.

Home theatre seating

An important part of good home theatre design is seating comfort. This includes not just what style of seats you choose to use, but how they're positioned in the room, how many you install, and even what they're made of.

What's the difference between SD and HD set top boxes?

Not all set top boxes are equal - and if you're on the market for one, it's important that you know what you're paying for. Find out what the difference is between SD and HD set top boxes.

What's the difference between a DVR and a PVR?

If you're looking to replace their VCR will most likely have to choose between a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) and a Personal Video Recorder (PVR). But what's the difference?

Woven vs perforated projection screens

A quality screen is vital to the successful installation of a projected home theatre. Learn about the pros and cons of woven and perforated screens.