We recently bought a new flatscreen TV, and when we set it up, we immediately found out that the built in speakers sound horrible!  This TV was very expensive.  Whats up with that?

The recent trend of consumers purchasing large, high defenition flat screen TVs has been great for seeing every last detail of that Sunday afternoon football game.  However, one thing that has suffered greatly is the audio quality.  As TVs get smaller (or should I say thinner), the room for the speakers gets squeezed down to practically nothing.  Some TVs try to combat this by firing the speakers backwards into the wall, hoping to disperse more sound that way.  But what if your TV is mounted in the corner, or is not directly on a wall?  Well the sad reality is that its going to sound pretty horrible.  But you have some options!  A small set of bookshelf speakers would definitely fix the problem, but a newer and much more elegant solution has become increasingly popular - Soundbars.  These relatively small bars can be mounted below (or above) your TV and usually blend in very nicely.  They have much higher quality speakers in an enclosure, something your TV speakers lack.  Some even have small hide-away subwoofers to help boost the low frequencies.  Many of these units can even be learned to your TVs remote, meaning when you turn the volume up and down on the remote, the sound from the soundbar goes up and down too.


Do you sell "wireless" speakers?

The term "wireless speakers" is somewhat of a misnomer, and a few things need to be understood before the question is answered.  First off, even if the audio transmission from the source unit to the speaker occurs wirelessly, the speaker still needs a power source of some sort.  This can be solved by using batteries - however they need to be changed fairly frequently and as such most people do not view this as a viable solution.  Because of this, the speakers would most likely still need to be plugged into a wall outlet, thus negating their claims of being truly "wireless".  Additionally, you almost always will have a decrease in signal quality if the audio is transferred wirelessly, meaning the speakers will not sound nearly as good as a pair of your normal, wired speakers.

Typically, when someone requests wireless speakers, what they are really saying is that either they dont think they can get speaker wires to a paticular location, or that they do not the wires to be seen.  In either situation, having a professional stereo installation will solve either/both of these issues.  However, if after understanding the above concepts you still feel that "wireless" speakers are the best fit for you, then the answer is yes, we do regularly stock speakers that are able to transmit the audio signal wirelessly.

I have so many remotes that I can't even remember which one does what.  Can you help?

It has happened to everyone.  You are heading out of town for the weekend, and you realize that the person watching your house might want to watch some TV.  What happens next is inevitable - you write a lengthy paragraph explaining which remote does what, and the complicated process needed to make the system function.  Wouldn't it be nice if there was a better way?  There is.

We sell a wide variety of programmable remotes capable of operating your entire home theater system.  Imagine being able to turn your tv on and off, adjust the volume, and change the channel all from one remote.  You can take it a step further and control interior lighting, curtains and drapes, and even audio sources in other rooms all from the same remote.  The process is easier than you think, and makes your system a breeze to operate!

I have an old (insert piece of audio equipment here) and it doesn't work any more.  Can you guys fix it?

We see this fairly often.  Someone comes in with an old power amplifier, CD changer, record player, or other piece of vintage home audio equipment that is no longer functional and hope that we can return it to working order for them.  Typically if it is a minor problem such as a blown internal fuse, dirty contacts, or broken connectors we can fix the problem in fairly short order.  However, most of the problems that we see are unfortunately more complicated and are either beyond repair or not worth the expense it would be to fix.  Equipment damaged by things such as lightning strikes, water damage, or sustained misuse almost always fall under this category and will most likely need to be replaced. 

Our standard answer is that we would be more than happy to take a look at it for you (for a small fee of course), but to not get your hopes up too much, as a majority of products we look at are not able to be repaired.


I want to have a great sounding stereo, but I don't want to be able to see it.  What are my options?

Twenty years ago, it was not possible to get a good sounding stereo without having speakers take up half the room.  While there will always be certain acoustic fundamentals that cannot be changed, home audio equipment has come a long way since then.  We now stock many speakers that are small enough to mount them in inconspicuous locations, helping them blend into the room.  Additionally, many companies now produce in wall speakers that are capable of producing top-notch sound quality.  These speakers, designed to be mounted in the wall or ceiling, can have their grilles painted to match the decor of the room, helping camouflage them even further. 

A few things do need to be kept in mind however when trying to create a stereo that blends into the room as much as possible.  Typically in these situations room asthetics are more important than having the utmost in sound quality, and customers are more than satisfied with the performance of their audio system.  There is a reason though that all of the premier high end speaker systems still have a fairly large footprint.  Despite what a few companies try to convince you, it is not possible to have a speaker the size of a can of soda reproduce sound in the exact same way that a grand piano does.  Knowing the limitations of each equipment type/size and having a full understanding of your own expectations for your system will always yield the best results.


Our living room has a vaulted ceiling with all wooden paneling.  The new stereo we got is louder in the kitchen than it is sitting right in front of it.  Why?

This question brings up the singularly most important yet often overlooked element of your home stereo system - Room acoustics.  Even the most high end audio system will have extremely poor sound quality if placed in the wrong environment.  Hard surfaces such as drywall ceilings and walls, hardwood floors, and large glass windows can all create strong audio reflections.  These reflections can boost certain frequencies and make the sound of the system very unnatural.  In extreme circumstances they can even cause acoustical problems in other rooms or parts of the house.

So now that we are aware of the problem, what is the solution?  Well unfortuantely there is no magic bullet that instantly cures all of the acoustical woes that your paticular room may have.  Every room is unique and needs to be diagnosed on a case by case basis.  Sometimes altering the location of the speakers is the most pain-free solution to the problem.  Other subliminal room treatments such as a large rug or thicker drapes can also help improve the sound quality of the room. 

If you have an issue that you would like our input on, we offer free in home consultation.  Thic can get you started down the right path to having your home audio system sound great.


What is the difference between DLP and LCD projectors, and can you really tell a difference anyways?

Each type of projector operates differently, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. 

DLP (which stands for Digital Light Processing) is a patented technology created by Texas Instruments.  It uses a reflective chip with mirrors that wobble back and forth, with each mirror representing a "pixel".  Each mirror directs light either into the lens path to turn the pixel "on", or out of the lens path to turn that pixel "off".  Typically, a single chip does the projecting of the red, green, and blue channels.  Because of this design, in a DLP projector, only one color is actually being displayed at any given time.  It alternates so quickly that the human eye typically cannot discern the difference.

Advantages of DLP are higher contrast ratios than LCD projectors.  They are also typically smaller than LCD projectors, and at entry level price points they do not have as much pixelation.

LCD projectors on the other hand have small LCD panels that the light passes through to produce the picture, typically one panel each for red, blue and green.  LCD projectors typically have better color saturation, producing much richer colors than a comparable DLP projector.  LCD projectors also produce sharper images and offer more lumens of light output than comparable DLP projectors.

Disadvantages of LCD projectors are their lower contrast ratios.  They are not able to create blacks and shadows as sharply and richly as DLP projectors.  LCD projectors also have more pixelation than a comparable DLP projector.

Researching the two types and viewing examples of each is the best way to determine which type will suit your needs best.