Blu-ray Discs to Apple TV


I am writing this post the day before the October 2013 Apple Event where new iPads, MacBooks, Mac Pros, and a new OS X version known as Mavericks will all be announced. Rumor has it that a new Apple TV (ATV) will be coming soon too, but may not show up until a bit after the event. There’s even some question as to what it will be. The important thing, at least to me, is that Apple keeps […]


YouTube Video and Downloads

DownloadHelper - Media download Firefox extension

We got off to a good start, but we’ve been quiet of late. I’ve got lots of ideas for posts that are coming, but c’est la vie, I haven’t written them yet. However, I have recently done a couple of screencasts having to do with downloading YouTube videos. On my personal blog I wrote about the paradox of YouTube’s terms of service as it relates to the technology of “progressive downloads”. The conclusion is basically […]


Ripping a DVD Using HandBrake

handbrake rip

HandBrake is a free program that will encode (“Rip”) a DVD movie to your hard drive. In this recipe, we’ll show you how. It goes without saying that this applies only to DVD movies that you own, and that you will only use the encoded files in your own home. Otherwise, well we just won’t speak about how much trouble you’d be in.


Play a DVD with VLC (Windows)

VLC player Windows

Play a DVD with VLC (Windows) from Home Theater Cookbook on Vimeo. Ingredients 1 – A Windows computer with a DVD-ROM drive. 1 – The VLC Player program. 1 – A standard DVD. Directions Insert the DVD movie or video you want to watch into your Windows computer. There generally is no default program set for a DVD inserted into a Windows computer. What you are likely to get is the AutoPlay dialog asking you to select the […]


Play a DVD with VLC (Mac)


Play a DVD with VLC (Mac) from Home Theater Cookbook (on Vimeo). So here’s the first recipe, and it’s a pretty simple one. We’ll play a standard DVD using the VLC player program.


DVD Ripping, Shrinking, Copying


A Somewhat Long Introduction Here’s a question that was forwarded to me recently – “is there a program you would recommend for ripping a dvd on a pc?”. This came across my Twitter feed, so while I was tempted to write a response, it would have been a long one, meaning it would be several tweets long. Some responses were offered which included using programs such as MPEG Streamclip, VLC, and HandBrake. Another program was […]


1080P Update for Apple TV

appletv update

Apple isn’t ignoring the Apple TV, and that gives those of us who have made it a key component in the home theater a reassuring pat on the head. At Apple’s most recent event, where the focus was on the incredibly successful iPad, Tim Cook and company spent a few minutes talking about the update to the Apple TV. As it is with everything Apple, the upgrades don’t just come in the form of hardware […]


The Scorn it Deserves


As I mentioned on my personal blog, I wanted to find the most expensive HDMI cable, at least at a major online electronics retailer. I found the “AudioQuest – Diamond 3.3′ High-Speed HDMI Cable – Dark Gray/Black“. It’s almost $1,100. As I mentioned in my article about How I Picked An HDMI Cable, I spent $5.99 to have one shipped to my door. A quick calculation demonstrates that I could buy 183 of them for […]


Man Cave Makeover

new home theater system

Let me say from the outset that the space is really not cave-like, and makeover is a very loose interpretation of the word. This story is about an upgrade of a space that I would think is fairly typical, and more importantly, universal. Whether you live in an apartment, a small home, or a large home, a media room like this is typical. The acoustics are not ideal. In my case the media room is […]


How I Picked an HDMI Cable

hdmi cable end

You shouldn’t ever – ever, ever, never – spend more than $100 for HDMI cables. Really, $10 is even a bit on the high side. You’ll see $400 ones hanging in Best Buy (in the “Magnolia” section), or go online for an even bigger laugh. There are reasons to spend a little more to get certain features in an HDMI cable, those being a durable and/or fire resistant jacket around the cable that would allow […]


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