Audio / Video Introduction
Even the playback equipment like DVD and BluRay Players are all the same on the inside. A $200 BluRay player plays the same crystal clear digital picture that a $3,000 BluRay player can produce. They will even have mostly the same popular features.
Televisions are similar to this because high definition is high definition no matter what TV is showing it. A pixel on one TV is the same as the pixels on all the other TV’s All TV’s today have 1,000,000 or more pixels and the same 1080i and 720p hi-def formats. The only real choice you need to make today is how big you want the screen to be, and maybe how many inputs does it have for all of your devices. Other than that, they are all black and screen sized 16 x 9 with a remote control.
Don’t sell the cars or the kids, don’t get that 3rd mortgage to have a nice home stereo or home theater system. It is not necessary. My entire home theater system (Amp, BluRay player, DVD player, HDTV set, 7 speakers, high grade wires) cost under $3,000. And most of it was purchased almost 9 years ago. The prices on HDTV’s and BluRay players have come way down since then. I paid $800 for my LG HDTV set 9 years ago. Today a better LG HDTV set of the same size and features cost $300. Supply and demand for the products have brought the prices way down.
Breaking The “Wattage” Myth
I had someone tell me that he needed to buy better speakers because they could only handle 150 watts, but his amp could crank out 200 watts. His listening area is only 18′ by 12′. The truth is, he will never hear 150 watts in his living room. The volume level would have to be beyond the eardrum busting volume level to push 150 watts from his 200 watt amplifier.
Wattage does not mean loudness. It means power to produce good volume without distortion. A 35 to 50 watt amplifier is usually more than enough power to make it loud. But you would have to push a 35 watt amplifier close to its limits to make it loud. This forces the power amplifier transistors to work much harder and they will become hotter in temperature. This can not only make the sound become a little fuzzy or distorted, but it can also lower the life of the power transistors in the amp. Power transistors are designed to work within certain limits. If you push those limits, you take a lot of life away from them and they will die a quicker death.
The low bass tones is what requires wattage. Midrange and high treble sounds do not require very much wattage to produce high ear-piercing volume. But a good deep thumpy bass line takes more wattage to produce. Have you ever heard some guy in his car with the volume cranked way up, and his music sounded distorted? That is because his stereo did not have enough wattage to produce the music clean at higher volumes. If his stereo had higher wattage ratings, his music would still be just a loud, but it would sound very clean and clear.
Power depends on the size of a room. Larger rooms have more space to fill with sound pressure, so it takes more wattage to keep the sound clean. It also depends on the acoustics in the room. Hard wood floors offer a more roomy, spacial sound, but carpeted floors offer sound that is warmer with less echo or spacial sound. It is why big movie theaters have curtains covering all of the walls, and acoustic ceiling tiles. These things absorb echo and remove that spacial stadium sound.
The Power-full Truth
Most people only need 100 watt stereo systems in their home. 100 watts is more than enough power to produce earth quaking, glass shattering audio levels, without distortion. In fact when you turn up the volume and listen to your favorite music real loud, or when you crank the volume off your favorite action movie so the dishes in your neighbors house are vibrating, you are most likely only using about 35 to 40 watts maximum.
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