Friday, January 30, 2009

IN WHICH JFRO TRIES TO BRING HER AUDIO INTO THE 21ST CENTURY

The summer of 1987, I was living in a house with a bunch of other college students. One of them had an elaborate set-up with the stereo connected to the TV. This was when TV shows broadcasting in stereo was a new thing, as was having a real soundtrack for a mere TV show with songs viewers had heard before and enjoyed. I was amazed every time Crime Story came on how awesome it was to hear "Runaway" in stereo. Of course, I didn't have a real stereo then, just a boombox, so I couldn't create it myself (I had this funny portable record player where you put the LP in sideways).

In 1990, I finally purchased a stereo system, a Sony receiver and dual tape deck and a Technics turntable. I didn't start buying CDs until I got a computer for grad school in 1995, because I objected to how much more expensive they were than LPs. Then I hooked up my computer to the stereo. I only had a cheap crappy CD player for a few years until it died, then just used my DVD player after I got one in 2000.

So, last year I got a HDTV and Apple TV and learned about some new cables like HDMI (Apple TV) and component (DVD player). This made my receiver seem a little shabby, not to mention having to get up every time to adjust the sound for all these different machines. So I used Consumer Search, which I like because it summarizes different consumer web sites and magazines like Consumer Reports to pick the best product in different categories. It told me that the Onkyo TX-SR204 was the best receiver in the cheap-ass category.

It took me a while, but I finally have my DVD player, Apple TV, tape player, record player, and HDTV hooked up and emitting the finest audio they are capable of. Well, technically I need 3 more speakers and a sub-woofer, but I'll work up to those a bit at a time. In preparation for the miracle of 5.1 sound, I bought a couple of optical audio cables for the DVD and Apple TV. These are so powerful, they come with little plastic condoms over the ends to keep the awesome from leaking out. As this was not mentioned on the packaging, it took me a little while to figure out why they weren't fitting into the holes. The LG TV manual also neglected to mention anything about audio. Apparently, they think you should watch HDTV while listening to their crappy internal speaker. Finally, I found a tiny hole with a teeny black-on-black picture of a headphone on it (because people are really gonna put their face five inches from the TV and listen to a show with headphones).

The Onkyo can also be hooked up to my computer, so I was psyched try to digitize more of my 300 or so LPs, but now my turntable is giving me trouble. It's always something.




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Now playing: Groove Radio
via FoxyTunes

2 comments:

dr_somneblex said...

With a system like that you could become a full fledged Hikikomori. I will join you, we can get some of those glider sleds from Wall-e and we will never have to leave your place again!

ash966 said...

You're preaching to the choir there sweetie!