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More Digital Home How-To

  • How-Tos: How to find and replace a missing video codec

    A reader wrote to us complaining that she couldn't get video files to play in Windows Media Player. Our Helproom expert diagnosed a missing codec, and set about solving the problem.

  • How-Tos: How to build a DIY media server

    Access music, video and photos from anywhere in the house. We show you how to create a home media server from an old PC

  • How-Tos: How to set up a dedicated home media server

    With a dedicated box, you can access music, video and photos from anywhere in the house. We show you how, using a WD TV Live Hub.

  • How-Tos: HDMI vs. Component Video

    A "Comcast gentleman" told Shari26 to replace her HDMI cables with component ones. She asked the HDTV & Home Theater forum for advice.

  • How-Tos: Take great underwater shots

    Brightly colored landscapes, intriguing sea life large and small, and the shadowy hulks of rusting shipwrecks are only some of the photographic subjects that await you and your underwater camera. There are few places more beautiful to photograph but, like scuba diving, underwater photography requires an understanding of this strange but intriguing environment.

  • How-Tos: Choose an underwater housing for your digital camera

    Taking pictures underwater is one of the most exciting (and challenging) photographic adventures you’re likely to undertake. When you’re playing in, on, or under the water, choosing the right equipment is critical when the only thing standing between your camera and water is a few millimeters of plastic or aluminum sealed with a sliver of an O-ring.

  • How-Tos: How to Calibrate Your HDTV

    We all know that we're supposed to get our HDTV sets calibrated by an expert if we want them to look their very best. (We also know that we're supposed to floss daily.) But in this era of THX-approved presets and LED-backlit 3D TVs, how much difference does a professional calibration make? I decided to find out for myself with my new LG 60PZ750 plasma TV.

  • How-Tos: Video Chatting for Newbies

    Video chat is all the rage these days, thanks to new services such as Google+ Hangouts and Skype/Facebook integrated video chat. Video chatting is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends--seeing loved ones' faces on a computer screen is almost like actually being there.

  • How-Tos: Tips for taking great smartphone photos

    You probably don't carry your fancy-pants DSLR camera with you all the time, but your smartphone--along with its built-in camera--is in your pocket everywhere you go. That's why these days the most popular camera used to upload photos to Flickr isn't a camera at all, but the iPhone.

  • How-Tos: How to convert videos for a phone or tablet, for free

    If you've got a library of downloaded videos and want to play them on your smartphone or tablet, you might find out they're the wrong file type. Some tablets and phones can only play specific file types, and only a few devices support high definition files. The easiest thing you can do to get these files playing is to transcode them to a different file type and resolution that matches your device. Our software of choice for this purpose is Handbrake -- it's a lightweight, powerful and very easy to use video transcoder that works on Mac OS X, all flavours of Windows and Linux.

  • How-Tos: Run a small business from your smartphone

    You know that running a business can be tough. Luckily, you have technology on your side.

  • How-Tos: How to Get Any File to Playback on Your Android Phone

    Android may be a versatile OS, but the little green robot can run into trouble when it comes to certain file formats. RAW photo formats such as .NEF won't show up in the default Android's image and video Gallery app. Even common video file formats such as .AVI and .MKV will stop most Android phones in their tracks.

  • How-Tos: How to rip audio from your Blu-ray discs

    [Editor's note: The MPAA and most media companies argue that you can't legally copy or convert commercial DVDs for any reason. We (and others) think that, if you own a DVD, you should be able to override its copy protection to make a backup copy or to convert its content for viewing on other devices. Currently, the law isn't entirely clear one way or the other. So our advice is: If you don't own it, don't do it. If you do own it, think before you rip.]

  • How-Tos: How to Work Outdoors

    Laptops, tablets, and smartphones are supposed to make us mobile: Freed of cumbersome desktop technology, we can work anywhere we want. Why, then, don't you see legions of people at parks, beaches, or even sidewalk cafes typing away on their laptops? Mainly because they simply can't see their screens.

  • How-Tos: How to access iTunes on a Google Android device

    BlackBerry owners have support for iTunes built in, but users of other mobile platforms aren't so lucky. For Android handsets, doubleTwist is a mobile app that lets you access anything in your iTunes library for playback on your phone. Download it from doubletwist.com and allow it to access the Registry.

  • How-Tos: How to use BBC iPlayer on an Android device

    Here's how to catch up with your favourite BBC shows on your Android device.

  • How-Tos: How to connect an HDTV to the network to view iPlayer programmes, photos

    How to connect your TV to your home network, so you can watch programmes and view photos from the web.

  • How-Tos: Calibrate Your Home-Theater Audio

    Sound is a big part of a satisfying home-theater setup, and people tend to give a movie higher marks when they watch it with good surround sound audio than with simple stereo. So improving the audio listening environment in your family room or living room may yield a much more immersive HDTV viewing experience.

  • How-Tos: How to tune a TV tuner to pick up digital TV

    A reader is having trouble changing his TV tuner from terrestrial to digital TV. Here's our advice.

  • How-Tos: Check Transit Schedules With Google Maps

    Google unveiled today a new feature for Maps, which adds a layer for transit systems. So now you can use Google Maps to manage your public transit commute in much the same way you might check for traffic conditions.


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