New slim TVs and a case for better sound

Televisions are getting slimmer every year. Manufacturers are faced with a real problem. How do we get good sound from this TV? The answer… we can’t!
There is no place for the speaker to have any type of cabinet to be able to properly “tune” the speaker for optimal performance.
Another problem surfaces when we take a look at the various audio formats that may be delivered along with the picture. Stereo and monophonic audio work fine, but if the audio is Dolby Digital or DTS surround sound there is a problem. In almost all cases the stereo mix is a combination of all of the surround channels into just 2 channels. This can cause a problem with dialogue audibility and a real lack of detail in the sound.

So, What can you do? If you follow the bait given by the television manufacturers you buy one of their “HTB” (Home Theatre in a Box) systems. Although very cosmetically pleasing, these systems generally suffer from some major shortcomings. The Blu-ray player is usually “built-in”, so if you have a Blu-ray failure you have a complete system failure! There is a decided lack of inputs for other source components, CD player, computer, satellite etc. And most importantly THEY DON”T SOUND GOOD!! Even though you get 5-7 speakers and what they laughingly call a “subwoofer” they are very cheaply made and usually are made with thin plastic cabinets. In most cases the actual speaker is one paper cone speaker – no tweeter and no crossover. Give one a tap, and the hollow sound you hear will be passed along to any sound this speaker makes when it’s playing. These systems will move sound around your room but it sure isn’t going to be anywhere like the audio that the producers planned for their production!

Look at some of the systems made by NON TV manufacturers and usually you will find that for a little bit more $ you get a whole lot more performance! This is a system that you are going to live with for the next 10 years or more – do yourself and your ears a favour, check them out. You’ll be glad you did!

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