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Let there be sound!

It’s one thing to sit down, relax and watch some TV, but it’s another thing to be totally immersed in it. Sometimes you just want to eat your morning Cheerios and catch the weather—but other times you want to feel like you’re a part of the program you’re watching. In past blogs, I’ve talked about having a 7.1 surround system, which I love, but last night my world was flipped upside down with something I’d never experienced before.
Sound bar
The sound bar.

I’m getting ahead of myself though. I should explain how I stumbled upon this new-to-me technology.

I like variety. With variety (and TDS TV’s awesome wireless set- top boxes) comes the desire to move things around—literally! But, since my 7.1 system isn’t wireless, that meant more nail holes in the wall, more conduit to hide all the wires, and a general pain in the neck feeling. I wanted something a little more hassle free but that could still give me the booming entrenched feeling that I like while watching movies or sports. Enter, the sound bar.

A sound bar is not even that big, but these little bits of technology usually have 4-6 speakers inside and a subwoofer that attaches wirelessly to the sound bar. Don’t even get me started on how one bar of speakers can’t produce the same sound that 7.1 can, and really don’t get me started on how a wireless subwoofer is bound to get out of sync with the rest of the audio. As it turns out, you truly don’t have to get me started, because as usual, my Neanderthal concerns were unfounded.

Austin's sound bar 4My Sharp sound bar has dual HDMI inputs, so I can plug my TDS TV set-top box into the HDMI 1 port and then my Blu Ray player into the HDMI 2. I then run one last cable from the HDMI OUT port of the sound bar into any of the four inputs on my TV, and we’re good to go.

Many sound bars on the market only have 1 HDMI input, making the customer flip flop cables if they want to watch TV in surround sound, and then a movie later in the night. Others don’t even offer HDMI as an option and require you to use an optical audio cable instead which, from what I understand, can limit the true surround capabilities—but unless you’re an audiophile, you will probably do just fine. I would certainly recommend buying a sound bar for the wireless TDS TV consumer, but do the research on how many ports you want, and what cables you have laying around first.

I’m very happy to be living life without the further restraints of living in a hard-wired world. Thanks to my new wireless sound bar, and my wireless TDS TV, I have the freedom to rearrange my furniture whenever I’d like. No more concerns with jacks, nails or wires—and I still maintain get a my part-of-the-program mentalityexperience. Not too shabby.

—Austin

About TVTesters

Austin and Eric are “friendly testers” for TDS TV. They’re both TDS employees who volunteered to be guinea pigs try our newest product and put it through its paces in their homes. They’re not getting paid to use TDS TV or share their opinions, but they’ve offered to share their honest insights here. Austin: I’m a technology nut with a deep rooted passion for sports. Being able to watch every game for the teams I root for is essential. When I heard about TDS TV at the office, I couldn’t raise my hand fast enough to volunteer to test it out. Whether it’s a new set-top box, interface, or channels, I’ll be testing them and providing my honest feedback. Eric: I’m a sports geek and a techie nerd. I play/watch just about every sport and I love to mess around with electronic gadgets. At TDS I have experienced everything from dial-up Internet to a super high-speed connection and have tested products before. My wife is sort of a TV co-tester since we watch most of the shows we record together. I think it’s pretty cool I get to share my TDS TV experiences here!
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