Video Games St. John's NL
December 1, 2005 By Scott Wasser
Ready for another rousing round of Donkey Kong, I dig the game cartridge from a box and pull the Nintendo Entertainment System out of the closet. Then the console goes onto the coffee table. Its power cord must reach the wall, its A/V cable the television, and its wired controllers the couch. This means moving the coffee table 7 inches closer to my 25-inch Zenith.
With the console in place and the Donkey Kong cartridge in its slot, I pull out an RF converter/adapter to link the Nintendo system to the Zenith’s antenna input. Squeezing between the wall and the television stand, I grope behind the Zenith with one hand, contort my body and my other arm like a Cirque du Soleil acrobat, and make the connection.
That was 20 years ago. Today, controllers are wireless and RF adapters are as scarce as suits and ties are at a beach volleyball contest. Sure, plenty of Sony PlayStations still perch precariously on coffee tables, but video game consoles and PCs are increasingly becoming integral components in home theaters, not mere toys to be dragged out of a closet for a few hours of playtime.
Making Gaming Better
Clockwise from upper left: Voodoo PC’s Aria media center PC in its bright-red, home-theater-friendly chassis; Sony’s EyeToy video game camera system for PlayStation 2; Gyration’s wireless mouse, which works without a hard surface; and Monster Cable’s premium-quality component video/stereo audio cable for Xbox. (Click images to enlarge)
“We set up gaming for every home theater we put in,” says Marilyn Sanford, president of Vancouver, British Columbia, custom installer La Scala. “We really believe that gaming is a fundamental growth area for entertainment in the home.”
Rich Green, founder of Palo Alto, Calif., custom installer Rich Green Ink, takes it a step further. “Gaming is the future of our industry,” says Green who, like Sanford, is a member of the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) board of directors and its Certification Council chairman. Even ultra-high-end audio/video equipment maker Goldmund agrees: “Video games are now installed in most of our systems,” says company president Michel Reverchon. “Not so much for the person who buys the system, but so other family members can enjoy the system, too.”
While Green strongly believes that a dedicated gaming room is the best choice for most families, he concedes that, “You can effectively combine gaming into a home theater environment.” After consulting with Green and others in the home entertainment and gaming industries, we developed a seven-step to-do list for introducing video games into your home theater.Select Your Screen
Any television technology works fine for gaming, although Green warns that flat-panel LCDs can have a hard time handling fast-motion games if their pixel refresh rate is too slow. He recommends refresh rates of 16 milliseconds or faster. Sanford, meanwhile, warns...