Sound and Vision
Any Bowie fans out there today?
I’m not an electronics geek. It’s been a long time since I went and shopped for such things. The last time we bought a flat screen TV…oh boy. What an experience! I almost cried when I realized they don’t even make a console TV anymore then I nearly had a full-blown panic attack looking at the prices! Then to try to wade through all of the Geek Speak. It was a nightmare! Anyway, that was several years ago and we bought the TV and we brought it home. We hooked it up and have been watching it ever since. We’ve been very happy with it….mostly.
It’s HD and Analog. For the years we’ve had it we’ve mostly watched the Analog versions of our favorite channels because the sound is better. Yep, it is. For ‘they’ told me about ‘great sound experiences’…nah, not so much. In fact, when watching a movie we have to turn the sound ALL the way UP to hear it. Not so good. But for regular TV watching it’s just fine and dandy.
Until last month when my cable company decided to ditch all of the Analog channels and go ‘All Digital’. For a months and a half we suffered with ‘this station is no longer available on this channel’ and we slowly learned how to ‘tune’ the TV. Channel 8 was gone it was now channel 8.1 and so forth. We tried reprogramming the TV to get rid of the annoying static messages but it didn’t work. The sound was bad. We found ourselves believing we were going deaf as we kept turning up the TV. This week the cable company got rid of the static messages and now those channels have static and only static.
This is progress. This is an upgrade. I know, I know.
Yesterday after hubby came home he turned to me, sighed, and said he’d like to get a surround sound system for the TV in the living room.
See…some of you already knew what the problem was, didn’t you? I did too. But when we bought the TV there was no way I was paying all of that extra money for SPEAKERS. TVs come with speakers! Damnit!
He swore we would get something that would ‘just plug into the TV…it’ll be easy…you’ll see.’
Now that our cable is ‘all digital’ and honestly we’re not going deaf and to keep that from happening, as a preventative measure, we went to Best Bud yesterday and looked at surround sound systems.
The very first thing I saw as I ventured to the TV Department was….a turn table! Oh Happy Day! I thought I was in an antique store for a moment🙂 And it had a buddy! TWO turn tales! I squealed and hugged them. I did. I miss vinyl so very very much. I also miss boom boxes and component stereo systems. iPod, iTunes, it’s just not the same. Hubby led me away from my old friends…one of which was only sixty bucks and I wanted it, Precious, I wanted it. BUT I don’t have all the stuff, like speakers, that would go with it. LOL
We walked down the aisle with fifty thousand TVs hanging on the walls and I heard; Don’t look at the lights.
So I didn’t.
We found the surround sound systems. Hubby took a quick pass down the first aisle and then went to the second. I walked slower having no idea of what I was looking at or why the little tiny speakers should cost so much. When I was young we had SPEAKERS. They were four feet tall and two feet wide and they rocked the house…quite literally, things would fall off the walls all the time.😉
I also didn’t understand why some said ‘blu-ray’ and others said ‘DVD’, I found myself wondering just when sound and vision merged in this fashion. I stopped in front of one set of tiny speaker, a ‘bar’ speaker and a big ‘sub-woofer’….$229.00 read the price tag. Which was quite a bit lower than most of the price tags around it. ‘Sony’ said the label whereas some of the others were companies I’d never heard of. I called hubby over; “What about this one?”
He looked at it, called the associate over. They kibitzed a bit. He grabbed the box, we headed for the check out with a stop in the Movie Department. I wanted “Bullet to the Head” cuz I love Sly and it’s got to be really awful. I wasn’t paying $30.00 for the ‘special’ blu-ray/dvd combo pack with ‘digital copy’. Instead, I replaced hubby’s lost “Avatar” (not my favorite but ok), I picked up “Shutter Island” (I hate DiCraprio but I love this movie it’s very good) and let nostalgia take me away for $9.99 with “True Lies” (my favorite Arnie movie of All-Time).
As we were waiting in line to check out hubby said: “I think it has a DVD player in it.”
I said: “What the hell do we need that for? We have two blu-ray players.”
He began giving me a lesson in Component Stereo Systems that I didn’t need.
I said: “Well, should we get batteries? Do they need batteries?”
He said he’s worry about it later.
Before I could say: “Hey, let’s get something else.” We were on our way home with the new surround sound stereo system.
Here’s something else I didn’t realize at the time; surround sound means Surround Sound.
This was NOT ‘plug n play’. He spent two or three hours last night getting this thing up and running. He took photographs and paintings off the walls to hang up these tiny speakers and now as I type he’s running cable under the floor to put speakers on the other end of the living room. Yeah, Batteries Not Required because they’re not wireless.
Oh double-bother. I have cable hanging on my walls. Oh well, at least most of it is covered by the TV.
But it was as he was hooking up the DVD player to the system and again giving me that lesson in Component Stereo Systems that I don’t need cuz I know how it works! Geez…it was then that I realized we got such a ‘great deal’ on the system because it is outdated. It’s BRAND NEW but still outdated. (Love how that works, don’t you?) The other surround systems went from $300.00 to…well…let’s just not go there! Made my stomach churn. I can’t imagine what this thing was priced at whenever it was considered state-of-the-art. That’s when I realized what they were trying to tell me when they put ‘blu-ray’ or ‘DVD’ on the labels! LOL
I said I wasn’t an electronics geek, didn’t I?
Anyway, he got it going pretty good last night, everything but the speakers he’s running under the floor right now. We turned it on. I popped in “True Lies” and…wow! What a difference. I can hear it without it being on full blast. The sound is much richer. I’m not missing the little nuances any longer. It really is like being at the movie theater, well, when the movie theater had surround sound now they just have a huge honking speaker up front. Thing blares and sometimes crackles.
Not that I’m complaining, I actually miss crackles, pops, and hisses but not skips, I don’t miss those.🙂
Now my sound is as ‘digital’ as my HD flat screen TV and all is well. Until they come out with the Next Best Thing anyway.