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Home Theater

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Common Terms


A High-Definition Multimedia Interface cable is the modern standard for trasmitting high-definition digital video and audio. HDMI cables can carry both standard and 3D video as well as surround sound audio and internet. For this reason, most modern game consoles and televisions use HDMI to interface with computers or set-top boxes.


RCA connectors, also called phono connectors, are analog cables and have been used for years to transmit standard definition video and audio. RCA cables for home theater are usually seen in triples: a yellow video jack, and the red and white stereo audio cables.


The Sony/Phillips Digital Interface Format is used for transmitting digital audio. It can carry multiple channels and is often used in home theater systems where HDMI does not carry audio


NTSC and PAL are two types of encoding video signals: NTSC is used in the Americas, while PAL is widely used in the rest of the world. Devices designed to play NTSC content cannot play PAL content, and vice versa.

Sur­round Speak­ers

5.1, 6.1 and others refer to speaker configurations. A 5.1 speaker system has five (5) satellite speakers and one (1) subwoofer. This is the standard method of referring to speaker configurations. For instance, a 3.3 sound system would be a strange one with three satellite speakers and three subwoofers

Movie nights are great – get the family together, go out into Portland to a theater, and watch a movie. Everyone bonds and it’s great, but the effect is somewhat diminished when the kid in front of you in the theater is screaming and the lady behind you insists on giving advice to the characters and the teenager on your right won’t stop texting. So why don’t you make the switch to a home theater? You don’t have to worry about any of those issues, and with today’s technology, you can use it for just about anything you can think of. You can hook up your computer to your Blu-ray player, or stream internet radio from your iPad or smartphone. The possibilities are inexhaustible. The only hurdle you’ll have to jump through to get to this tech utopia is the initial setup, and that’s where Nerds On Call comes in.   We can set it all up for you! We’ll even go shopping with you – no really. We’ll make the trip to a local electronics store (here in Portland) and help you pick out all the components you’ll need to make your home theater really become the envy of the neighborhood. We make nothing off commission – we’re not motivated to get you to buy the most expensive speakers or the biggest TV – just what you need. A home theater system should be relaxing from start to finish. You shouldn’t have to worry about what parts to buy, how to assemble it, or how to use it and we can make sure it stays that way.   Here at the Portland Nerds On Call, we know our town well – we know where the deals are and how to find them. After all, we Nerds are always buying electronics for our own home theaters! So give us a call on the phone or chat with us right here on the website to get started!

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Questions nerds often hear about Home Theater

  • Is Home Theater expensive?

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