Who the hell invented surround sound anyways?Posted: July 12, 2004
Whoever invented Surround sound must have never been in an average living room. In the last 4 years, I have lived four places. Besides how scary it is that I’ve been willing to move that many times (twice already this year, once 2000+ miles away), it’s amazing how I’ve managed consistently chose places that seem to have a big hole in nearly every wall which prevents running cables around to behind my sofa(s) for my surround sound speakers. In every place I’ve lived, the living room seems to be a gateway to everywhere else, when in reality what I want is it to be the destination. I don’t care to go anywhere from my living room. Once I’m there, I’m fine with traversing any other room to get where I need to go, as long as there’s only one small hole in the walls of my living room for a doorway.
In fairness, both my wife and I are to blame for choosing this shitty place. One, I was guilty for choosing this place to begin with (which Mel has no problem reminding me of), but she was the one who looked at this apartment. When I came back from Cayman, I’d never seen the place. However, I’m digressing, because that’s not really relevant to this rant.
We have been able to harness the airwaves for almost 100 years now. Transmitting audio over the airwaves was a close second to transmitting short bleeps of on and off. So, why the hell am I still worrying about cables for my speakers 100 years later? Seriously, there’s no reason that in 100 years someone hasn’t found a way to eliminate nearly everything but the power wire. If Tesla hadn’t died early, we might have all had wireless power too (and cancer). Even in the last twenty years, I don’t understand why everything I have still doesn’t talk wirelessly. I don’t care if it’s digital, I’d be fine with analog wireless that everything uses to talk. Every computer on the Internet can speak the same language, why can’t every device in my entertainment center send video and sound to each other wirelessly? I can receive television signals from miles away, but my Tivo can’t talk to my tuner and my television that’s less than 3 feet away.
I’m still not seeing the Bluetooth equipped tuner yet. I thought Bluetooth was going to revolutionize the way everything hooks up? So far, the only application I see is getting your cell phone to talk to a headset or your PC wirelessly. It really should be taking over home entertainment. Having amplification in the tuner isn’t really necessary anymore. There’s no reason they can’t fit a 50 watt amplifier in my 10″ speakers and a 10 watt in my 3″ surround speakers. There’s no reason I can’t tell my speakers through a dip switch which channel (front left, front right, front center, etc) I want them to listen to and play. I don’t think I should have to pay extra for this, not at this point anyways. Where’s Apple in my home entertainment life, making everything as easy as an Airport base station?
Someday, after I move, I’ll just stack everything up in the Entertainment center, plug it into the power and start watching TV. Unfortunately, it seems like everyone’s ignoring this ease of use. Whoever gets it first will get my money, that’s for damned sure.