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Published: Thursday, 2/14/2008

Update and Organize Your Entertainment Center

(ARA) - It's time to clear the clutter and clean house now that spring has made its very welcome reappearance.

Think beyond the closets and kitchen and take a look at your entertainment center, already in dire need of a facelift, to determine what can be discarded and what needs a serious upgrade.

First things first -- you've heard all the rave about high definition TVs (HDTVs) and you've seen the amazing picture clarity when you were able to sneak a peek at the electronics store.

The cost of these big-screen wonders has dropped significantly in the last year and with even more of your favorite channels available in HD, it is certainly worth the investment. Besides, you can replace that bulky and outdated TV with a space-saving flat screen that will be the envy of your family and friends.

Make sure you actually have HD programming to go along with that HDTV. Recent studies by the Leichtman Research Group show that nearly one-half of the 24 million households with HDTVs do not realize they need the necessary hardware from their cable or satellite operator to view programming in high definition.

Six million of these households don't even realize the programming they are watching isn't in high definition!

As for that mess you call your video library, let's face it: the scores of VHS tapes with the titles crossed-out can be quite an eyesore.

The disorganization can be frustrating, not to mention the space taken for storing it all.

Consider upgrading to a digital video recorder (DVR) that is integrated into your set-top box like the ones offered by satellite TV providers. DVRs empower you to watch what you want, when you want, allowing you to customize your viewing experience.

Record hours of your favorite TV programs and movies without the need for bulky tapes and DVDs, then access them all through your remote, fast forward and rewind and even pause live TV. You'll never miss another exciting episode and you certainly won't miss your VCR.

Further simplify and streamline your home theater by eliminating extra accessories and cabling.

Experts recommend condensing cabling if possible, and plan your home theater in advance to avoid a setup that looks more like a snake pit. Cable sheaths cover and condense your cables and are available at most electronics stores.

Also, use a universal remote to coordinate the vast array of electronics in your suite and take command with one simple device.

A final space-saving option is to look for electronic components with dual functionality like a multi-room HD DVR satellite receiver. Courtesy of ARAcontent

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