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On September 18, 2008, in Culture, by peterb

As sometimes happens, I began writing a long and detailed article about how I have given up on having my stereo receiver be part of the “AV” system my TV is hooked up to. Quickly I discovered that psu wrote the same article a year and a half ago, in more detail and with better reasoning.

So I’ll just say that tonight is the night I gave up. I unhooked the receiver and speakers, decommissioned the classic Xbox and the DVD player (anything I want to watch anymore I stream from iTunes, and I can use the 360 as a DVD player in a pinch), and moved them out of the room.

The results are interesting. First, my cabinet now has space for games. The room has more space. The wiring in the cabinet is 250% less tangled.

There are other side-effects, though, too. The receiver was always on when I played games. This meant it was always warm. This means the cat slept on it. So in addition to being a fire hazard, it was probably contributing to a substantial portion of my electric bill, not to mention global warming.

I tried Rock Band through the TV speakers. No, it didn’t sound as completely awesome — but it was good enough that I’m willing to pay the small cost in sound quality to regain the use of my living room.

Now if I can just replace the stupid Rock Band controllers with wireless ones, I’ll really be cooking with gas.


3 Responses to “Message Unreceived”

  1. snogglethorpe says:

    Sounds about right to me… I’ve found that while I sort of _like_ high fidelity when it’s present, when you get right down to it, it’s not really all that important. I seem to notice when it’s there, but not when it’s missing.

  2. mlehrian says:

    I did the same thing in my basement about a year ago. It was just too complicated for the family use (which input for which source, wait, which audio setting, huh?) And don’t tell me to get a Harmony remote because that’s just admitting that the system has failed. Anyway, I ran everything straight into the TV and bought a set AudioEngine 5 powered stereo speakers and a subwoofer and plugged them in. It sounds great and has the added benefit of being about to plug AirTunes or an iPod into the speakers. I lost surround sound, but it turns out that I just don’t care that much.

    The receiver should just die. It’s no longer a useful piece of equipment. I mean, what is it? A gigantic switch box with a radio and a multi-channel amplifier. I don’t care about the radio. The TV should be the gigantic switch box. The thing that’s missing is optical out from the TV to a multi-channel amp for surround sound. But, most modern TVs have passable simulated surround sound. If not, most have audio out jack so you can at least plug in a nice set of powered stereo speakers.

    For me, I just want a TV with a nice onscreen UI for controlling the entire system and a decent 2.1 audio setup – virtual surround sound would be nice. TiVo for TV time shifting. tv for movies and music. DVD player for movies that I don’t want to bother to rip. And maybe an iPod dock input and an AirTunes input.

  3. Alex says:

    My receiver was banned by my wife from the living room along with the surround speakers.

    P.S. I never could figure out how to get the audio and video synched correctly. This seems to be the biggest problem with the digital age of a/v.