Essential HDTV accessories

An HDTV is just a TV with a pretty picture until you add a few important accoutrements. The dozen add-ons shown here will greatly enhance your HDTV watching experience.

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Home-Theatre Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR805


I recommend getting a receiver that can decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio sound tracks from Blu-ray Disc. One such receiver is the Onkyo TX-SR805; another is its not-yet-released successor, the TX-SR806. Some Blu-ray Disc players will decode high-definition audio tracks and send them on to your receiver, but you'll get better audio quality if you arrange to have your best piece of audio equipment — your receiver — handle the decoding.
Some low-end receivers will output only video, not audio, through HDMI. In that case, if you want to listen to audio through the TV, you must connect an additional digital audio cable (most TVs do accept such inputs, fortunately). That's not a problem if you listen to audio exclusively through speakers connected to the receiver; but if you're trying to minimise the number of cables in your setup, look for a receiver with HDMI audio capabilities.

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Essential HDTV accessories

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