Too often we’ve lost sight of the primary reason for owning great audio and video
equipment - immersion in the music or movie. I speak with clients all the time who
come to me with a “shopping list” of must have features and specifications, all bundled
with a limiting range of options for squeezing these into both home and budget.
Fortunately, we can usually work through these items to end up with a genuinely
satisfactory solution for long term enjoyment.
However, I run into many cases where some key decisions on equipment or layout have
been made without really considering the end result as a means to enjoying the artists.
These decisions have been made on the basis of which item is on sale in a given week,
the need to put up the partition walls in the family room at the current stage of
construction, or the perceived need for a range of features which may never be used.
The end result is a compromised setup which suffers from excess complexity, less than
optimal viewing comfort, and poor sound caused by improper speaker and listening
positions and random room acoustics. Bottom line - something that was supposed to
bring real satisfaction ends up being a frustration which is difficult to use and lacking in
real ability to take you into the performance.
The solution? Foresight and flexibility. Consider the room layout (and in new
construction the room dimensions) with a view to comfortable viewing positions and
good acoustical performance. Be willing (where possible) to arrange room furnishings
to optimize your enjoyment of your home entertainment. Consider a simpler system
which can deliver better core performance within your budget, or where possible, extend
the budget to accommodate the extra features you want without compromising the
quality of the sound or picture.
Great results from your home entertainment depend on getting the system right - and
this includes everything from your room to the equipment and, importantly, the setup
and calibration of that equipment.
Send me your comments and thoughts, I'm always curious to hear from other enthusiasts.