We want to help NFL fans save a ton of cash so they can enjoy the Super Bowl at home in their basement luxury box instead of paying $686,000 for one at Met Life Stadium. With these useful 5 utility apps that cost less than $5 combined, a fan can set up their HDTV and Home Theater sound system like a pro. Use them to tweak things before the Olympics starting next week Thursday too.
While the NFL prepares Met Life stadium for the Broncos and Seahawks facing off in a potentially fun snow-filled game, most fans will watch at home with friends and family. Use the apps listed below to get ready for the Big Game by calibrating TV color, 5.1 system sound and the basement luxury box’s spacial setup.
THX Tune Up – Free
THX Tune Up connects the iPad to a HDTV either through a HDMI cable and the $49 Apple HDMI adapter or through an Apple TV and AirPlay. Once connected, the app walks the user through the steps of getting the best picture and sound out of their TV or stereo system. It can’t change controls on the electronics, but guides users in tweaking things manually using their remote or the buttons the TV/Stereo.
THX Tune Up helps with the following picture adjustments (quoted from App Store):
- Aspect ratio – ensure your TV displays shapes & sizes correctly
- Brightness – make certain shadow details & night scenes are clearly visible
- Contrast – confirm white detail is distinct on your television
- Color – make sure colors are bright & vibrant but not cartoonish
- Tint – check skin tones look natural & are not too green or red
The app uses the built-in camera to measure the color and tells the user to adjust the TV’s color controls.
HDTV Calculator – $.99
While HDTV Calculator doesn’t look pretty, it’s still worth a download at only $1. The app helps users calculate a few things. It helps HDTV set owners calculate the ideal viewing distance for their size TV. The above THX app won’t do that. Enter the size of the set in inches from corner to adjacent corner and the app will calculate the best distance to put the couch back from the TV or projector screen. The app also works in reverse for people planning to buy a set. Measure the distance from the couch to where the set will sit or hang and the app figures the right size TV for that room.
People can find this info free online, but the app does all the calculations for the user. It’s a one-trick pony, but this one trick makes viewing more enjoyable.
Why bother? The app’s description makes perfect sense:
If you sit too close to an HDTV you won’t be able to see the full picture and you may even see the pixelation of the screen. This could fatigue your eyes and neck and limit your viewing or gaming enjoyment. However, if you sit too far away from your new HDTV you could be missing out on the finer details that make high definition televisions so amazing.
TV-Tools – $1.99
TV-Tools works much like HDTV Calculator, but with more information. Some just want the get the job done, so we included HDTV Calculator. Some want to know the how and why of such technological ideas, so we include TV-Tools. It costs $1 more, but does essentially the same job while explaining the terms and technical details.
Multi Measures – $.99
For those who just bought a new HDTV and/or stereo system, a good set of tools will help in hanging it or running speaker wires. If a fan doesn’t own a good tape measure or level, Multi Measures might help and save people money.
The app comes with a bunch of tools that might not fit this situation, but a few will help the new HDTV or stereo multimedia receiver owner create an awesome viewing experience in the basement luxury box.
The Plumb Bob, Split Bubble Level and Surface Level helps get the TV hung straight on a wall. The ruler will measure distances so the person can get good measurements for HDTV Tool or TV-Tools above or to figure the lengths of speaker wires (get 16 gauge wire or higher). In addition the app comes with a protractor, seismometer, timer, decibel meter, teslameter and metronome.
Theater Tool – calibrate your home theater – $.99
Theater Tool will help owners of a 5.1 surround sound home theater speaker system. It helps balance the sound from a stereo or 5.1 speaker system. Run the distance apps above to first find the right spot in the room to sit and then run this one to help balance all the speakers for the best sound mix to enjoy the bone crushing hits or Peyton Manning yelling out the capital of Nebraska. You know – Omaha.
This requires an iPhone, iPad or an iPod Touch with a mic. It listens for sound and tells the user which speaker needs boosting. It saves users as much as $50 to hundreds of dollars for professional equipment that does the same thing.
Don’t expect as much as the pro tools, but this works better than your ears will probably do.
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