Foresight and flexibility

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.