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Practical Home Theater:
A Guide to Video and Audio Systems

Now available in both print and Kindle editions

14th Edition, dated 2015, for sale from Oct. 2014 to Oct. 2015.
Click the links below to be certain you're getting the latest one.




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Read more about the book
Read more about the author
Read what the critics are saying
Visit Mark's homepage
ISBN-10: 1-932732-16-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-932732-16-0






Inside Mark Fleischmann's
Practical Home Theater
• How to buy HDTV and surround gear
• Do you need 4K Ultra HDTV or 3DTV?
• Interpreting TV, speaker & amplifier specs
• Smart TV and streaming from mobile devices
• Buying Blu-ray, DVRs, satellite, antenna gear
• The new Dolby Atmos and other surround standards
• How many surround speakers are enough?
• The truth about premium cables
• How to set up a home theater system
• What to check when things go wrong

About the book

How can an average person navigate the maze of audio/video technologies in a home theater system? Turn to Mark Fleischmann's Practical Home Theater: A Guide to Video and Audio Systems. The 14th edition has been thoroughly revised and updated for 2015 with freshly written sections on Ultra HD (or 4K) TV and Dolby Atmos surround sound.

The ultimate answer book, it tells you everything you need to know when shopping for HDTV and surround sound gear including how to read a spec sheet, how to separate fact from hype, and how to get good value for your money. The book weighs the pros and cons of video display technologies such as LED-backlit LCD, plasma, and projection systems, plus next-generation OLED displays. It dispels the confusion surrounding such topics as 3DTV, smart TV, 1080p, refresh rates, exotic screen shapes, and the new HDMI 2.0.

The book goes into depth about the new Dolby Atmos surround standard. It also explains the differences between other Dolby, DTS, THX, and Audyssey surround technologies as well as high-resolution audio downloads. It covers all formats under the sun including Blu-ray and DVD, DVRs, streaming from a multitude of devices, and wireless connectivity. And it explores often ignored topics such as buying a DTV antenna, power-line accessories, and cables. A richly detailed connections chapter tells how to hook up every component.

By knowledgably guiding readers through the briar patch of video and audio, Practical Home Theater has become the standard reference work for home theater buffs. This edition is dated 2015 and will be sold between October 2014 and October 2015. Readers are warned to buy only the latest edition. Future annual editions will continue to track changes in home theater technology.


About the author

Author of Practical Home Theater and Happy Pig's Hot 100 New York Restaurants, Mark has been a technology writer and expert on home theater for more than 25 years. He currently serves as audio editor, news columnist, and reviewer for Sound & Vision, formerly Home Theater. He has also served as founding editor-in-chief of etown.com, senior editor of Video Magazine, audio critic of Rolling Stone, and columnist for Audio Video Interiors, DigitalTrends.com, Premiere, and The Village Voice. His writing has appeared in Bloomberg Personal, CrutchfieldAdvisor.com, Details, E-Gear, Entertainment Weekly, The Men's Journal, Newsday, Spin, The Ultimate AV Guide, The Washington Post, and many other publications. He has lived in New York City since 1975. Visit Mark's homepage.


What the critics are saying

"If you've been looking to have all your home theater questions answered in one place, this book will do it."

—Brian C. Fenton, Sound & Vision

"Practical Home Theater ... succeeds as both a primer on existing technology and a preview of emerging technology like digital television.... For less than the cost of a DVD, it'll remove the power of intimidation from your home theater."

—Kevin Hunt, The Hartford Courant

"Seasoned journalist Mark Fleischmann ... loves the subject and glories in its highest possibilities. But he also knows mere mortals are not tech experts and can't afford to spend more for their TV set than their car."

—Jonathan Takiff, Philadelphia Daily News

" ... A sweeping guide.... Affords much useful information in an accessible tone. Just as any shopper would need to do, he breaks down home theater into the manageable topics of television, surround sound, picture and sound sources, accessories and connections."

—Lawrence B. Johnson, The Detroit News/USA Today

"His somewhat avuncular tone ... will appeal to those who are completely raw to the inputs and outputs of home theatre but appreciate the advantage of some intelligence. If nothing else, you may get to show up the mass-market retailer peddling home theatre, or perhaps hold your own against the specialist retailer."

—Paul Best, The Age (Australia)

"Mark is well qualified to write about this subject.... An excellent primer for consumers, retailers and manufacturers.... It's both enjoyable and educational at the same time."

—Steve Smith, This Week In Consumer Electronics

"If you're interested in building a home theater you'd be doing yourself a favor by checking out [this] book."

—Grant Clauser, E-Gear


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