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Posts by Chuck McKenney

Goodbye Ping-Pong, Hello Widescreen Theater By Arlen Schweiger A basement rec room ditches the ping-pong table for widescreen fun. Rear-projection TV, big cabinet loudspeakers, ping-pong table, foosball table, sports memorabilia, wall-to-wall paneling and fireplace: This Ohio basement's furnishings made for a sweet all-night hangout. Sometimes basements need to grow up, though, and this one was ready to graduate. It wasn't as simple as plopping a screen on one of...
Pro Advice on Wireless Outdoor Speakers By Lisa Montgomery Installation experts share their favorite setups for an outdoor audio system. My husband and I are losing friends fast. It's not that we're horrible people. It's just that they can't stand to listen to our music system anymore. Whenever we get together with our friends—and typically happens at our place—the tunes get turned on. We've got a great music collection, nobody complains about that, but the playback...
Reviewing the PlayStation 3 Remote Options For most heavy home theater and gaming users, Sony's PlayStation 3 has been the best option as a Blu-ray player. It's got storage, streaming options and ... oh yeah, it even plays games. But the system's control options have always been criticized by those who plan to integrate it into their home theater system. The PS3's remote uses Bluetooth—the same technology many cell phones use to connect to ear pieces—instead of IR,...
Park the Theater Here By Lisa Montgomery Owners forego their three car garage in lieu of 850-square-foot home theater. What do you do when there's no space inside your house for a home theater? Look outside. Pining for a place where the whole family could hang out, the owners of this prize-winning pad turned their three-car garage into an 850-square-foot home theater. Getting the area into shape would test the design skills of the crew at Pompton Plains, N.J.-based...
Beach Home's Patio Offers More Than Sunsets By Arlen Schweiger This Malibu home is a gracious host, thanks to a robust outdoor entertainment system. When it comes to outdoor spaces, “on the beach in Malibu” speaks for itself. This secondary residence of philanthropist Wallis Annenberg offers much more to enjoy than sunsets over the Pacific. Really, who wants to look at ocean views when there's a 46-inch high-definition TV out on the deck? Who needs to walk in the sand...
Backyard Resort Surrounded by Sound By Lisa Montgomery Loaded with 34 speakers, this backyard sounds better than poolside at a four-star resort. The well-traveled owner of this outdoor oasis has visited a number of vacation resorts, and like most vacationers, he enjoys relaxing with music by the pool deck. It was an experience he wanted to replicate in his own backyard (in Connecticut and not the Caribbean, mind you), but with certain upgrades. “He wanted to have...
6 Turntables for Your Vinyl Collection By Robert Archer Music fans young and old are driving a format that was given up for dead only a few years ago. Here we are, several years into the 21st century and instead of examining a state-of-the-art technology or format like downloadable music, many music fans are rediscovering two long, lost friends: vinyl albums and the turntable. According to the “2008 Year-End Shipment” statistics from the Recording Industry...
Sports Bar, Lounge Home to 8 Screens By Steven Castle With seven TVs and a 110-inch home theater screen, this football fan is guaranteed not to miss a play. Football is not just a one-screen affair in this house. The action can be on as many as eight video displays in the space alone. Four 40-inch Sony LCDs flank a 52-incher in the lounge area, and three more 32-inch Sonys float over the bar. As if that's not enough, there's a 110-inch screen in the nearby home...
Irish Eyes Are Smiling in Theater & Pub By Arlen Schweiger This lower-level remodel is a brew of sophistication and entertainment, including a bar and dedicated theater areas. What's not to love about an Irish pub? Free-flowing music, beer and conversation serve up hours of entertainment. These Pennsylvania homeowners were inspired to renovate a lower-level media room using their large collection of Irish walking sticks as a springboard for an Irish pub theme. But...
Disco Room Also Home to Exotic Aquarium By Lisa Montgomery Touchpanel controls motorized ceiling hatch, disco lights, music and 15,000-gallon aquarium. How do you define fun? Does a night curled up on the couch in front of a big-screen TV tickle your fancy? Perhaps conversing with friends over a couple of cocktails is your idea of an enjoyable evening. When you're ready to let loose, though, great music and an awesome dance floor is a combination that's hard to beat....
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