A Review by: Alphonso Soosay
Flat HDTV screens these days are very impressive and affordable to have but please do not neglect the Surround Sound it requires at any level.
As large LCD, LED and Plasma HDTV flat-screen TV’s come down in price and it gets thinner and thinner, some LED TV’s are barely an inch thick, there is precious little space inside for the built-in speakers. Unlike the old analogue picture tube sets, which had tons of space for decent size speakers, manufacturers of thin, sleek LCD, LED and Plasma flat-screen displays have to install minuscule speakers to retain the ultra-slim look. Consequently the sound is often strictly “Lo-Fi”, like a cheap kitchen radio. It makes sense to upgrade sound quality to match your great high-definition TV picture. Most broadcast HDTV audio standard now includes Dolby Digital in up to six channels of excellent hi-fi sound (5.1) and most major TV series and sports broadcasts include it too. So please match your big-screen HDTV images with equally great multi-channel “Hi-Fi sound played through quality speakers.
Cheap Boxes type AV surround receivers start at $250/- or less on some brands and you can upgrade gradually when the specials are on, start with a good pair of bookshelf speakers for the front channels, adding the surround channels and subwoofer later on when required. You will miss out on a great deal with audio if you don’t upgrade the aural to match the visual. Research has shown that systems with great sound and mediocre video will deliver a more pleasing experience than one with great video and mediocre sound. The bottom line is to keep the budget well balanced for a start but keep improving on the audio quality as high quality audio can actually enhance the impression of the video performance. If you have already purchased the HDTV, then a high quality surround system will improve all aspects of your “Home Theatre Cinema” like experience.
Home Theatre Consultant