I’ll have TV with Sound-bar, please.

Milo at peace with the world

Milo at peace with the world

The latest to hit the commercial world is a sound-bar. I heard people talk about it in the Bowral Strawberry coffee lounge. ‘How is your sound-bar going?’ The question was put by a lady in her late fifties bravely wearing tight white jeans and a floppy top with those hanging wings that at times can conveniently hide the possibility of a bulge here and there. The receiver of the question was a man wearing a bright pink striped shirt and a hat shaped a bit like a Dr Livingstone helmet. I had seen him before. A well know Bowral eccentric, of which there can never be enough.

The conversation got lost with the embarrassing and unashamedly endless high-pitched barking of our Jack Russell, Milo. Despite all our efforts, Milo still goes nuts at the sound of a Harley Davison. We have asked several motor bike riders, before they mount their bikes, to allow Milo to have a good sniff and total freedom to whatever he might want to engage in. Bite the muffler or attack the pistons etc., even the rider. Milo does nothing he just stares at the bike. What goes on in his wise little brain? However, he does know we don’t like this behaviour and tries to be extra nice afterwards. He kind of wags his tail and settles down, but only after he has disturbed the serenity and peace of all the other latte sippers.

But, back to the issue of the sound-bar. Some months ago a large electrical retailer went belly up and into liquidation. No buyers could be found to try and rescue and save the hundreds or so retail shops scattered around Australia. There are now big signs on the Dick Smith shops ‘Closing Down,’ all items MUST be sold. This draws in the bargain hunters. We have been, for some time now, contemplating buying a larger TV, especially one with a better sound. The ears are getting worse with the approaching station’s terminal.

It wasn’t really urgent. We rarely watch TV much, prefer the sound of silence, as they say. If sounds are sometimes heard, they are most likely be our domestic voices; ‘How did you sleep’, or,’should we go for a walk now or later?’ Sometimes a more pertinent question;’Does this rubbish go into the red-lid bin or is it for the yellow one?’ Of course, the Danish-Swedish productions we always watch. ‘The Bridge’ we would stay home for, and perhaps even our own ‘Janet King’ with Marta Dusseldorp.

After all the weighing of the pros and cons we walked into our own Dick Smith shops. The atmosphere somewhat gloomy. The shop looked as if it had been visited by bandits. The salesgirls looking sad with dust now allowed to settle on empty shelves previously occupied by IPhones and ear-attachments. A computer cable resting listlessly on the floor. Where would they now find another job? Business is all so reckless now. Consideration for alive people seems to have got lost lately. Have you noticed that too?

We stared at a row of special 40″ TV’s with the DICK SMITH logo emblazoned on the carton boxes featuring a brightly coloured Italian village hugging a steep cliff on the Mediterranean coast somewhere. Perhaps it was the Amalfi Coast! One could almost just have the box on a stand in the living room? Anyway, we asked for ‘the best price’ which came in at $399.-. ‘How is the sound, I asked?’ ‘Oh, not bad really,’ she said, looking sideways. ‘Ok, we will have it.’

After unpacking, and almost giving up on trying to wrench it out of it’s carton box, we turned the TV on. I thought I was hearing a message from the Station Master or my IPhone. The sound was like an announcement through the speakers on the platform of Bowral rail-station, ‘stay in front of the yellow lines, please.’

We had to go out and ask if anything could be done. My brother who inherited the same lack of hearing gene from our mother, spent $ 1200 on a ‘surround sound’ system to supplement the squeaky TV sound. The google machine was cranked up and after much research, a Phillips sound-bar was chosen. We bought the thing from Bing Lee for $ 299.- including a sub-woofer. It was a revelation. The sound superb and TV watching improved greatly.

A long story! Aldi is now selling 40″ TVs and separate sound-bars. Can you believe it? No wonder Bowral is excited and people ask each other; ‘How is your sound-bar going?’

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31 Responses to “I’ll have TV with Sound-bar, please.”

  1. Carrie Rubin Says:

    Although we have a flatscreen TV with wonderful sound, we still have two old box TVs. Do I dare admit that in this day and age?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I remember my parents buying their first TV, Carrie. It was a wooden TV with two large dials for sound and changing channels. It was on legs that were splayed outwards like a cow with a large udder in need of getting milked. It would have been around 1958 or so.
      Now the technology of a TV is so complicated it needs a PHD to understand and work out the remote control, but it has multiple USB outlets. Oh, great!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Carrie Rubin Says:

        I hear you. I used to easily be able to hook a DVD player or VHS recorder up to my TV, but now there are far too many gadgets and mystical powers associated with them for me to even know where to begin.

        Like

  2. Master of Something Yet Says:

    Wouldn’t the sound bar stop the sound waves from rolling across the lounge room?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. rebeccadavies Says:

    Sometimes I ignore the TV completely, turn my soundboard and ‘woofer’ up really loud and dance round the living room with ITunes! It’s very liberating! Try it! It’ll send Milo wild!
    A lovely post- thank you.🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Julia Lund Says:

    I do love an eccentric – the world would be far less interesting without them. And I’m with you on the Scandinavian dramas. We’re recording a couple at the moment so we can binge-watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. rod Says:

    Right, but what IS a sound bar?
    I keep hearing about them without knowing what they do and how they do it. I assume it’s some kind of stand-alone amplifier which comes with speakers.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Rod. the buzz thing now world-wide is ‘sound-bar.’ Ours is a Philips, matt black and about a metre long. The woofer is a separate speaker in its own black box, giving a rich bass sound which sometimes can be quit alarming as well as having awakening properties.
      It has its own remote device, also black matt. The top button is; on/off. Below this single button are many buttons with ‘coax and optical’, aux–audio in, then below that ‘usb–a mysterious blue button with a quibble and HDMI Arc,’ further down; a going ‘left and going right’ directional buttons, then buttons with ‘+ signs.’ (three in total). Below that again (we are now half way) three ‘—minus signs’ with in between ‘bass and treble signs.’ Then a button with a ‘crossed speaker’ and ‘sound’ button. Followed by more buttons saying ‘off, surround and on, ‘ -audio sync +,’ then the finale’…’dim and night.’

      Like

  6. gerard oosterman Says:

    This is a very good article. Please take the time to read it. Submitted by Sedwith;
    https://asidewrite.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/from-the-panama-papers-files-i-love-money/#like-2150

    Like

  7. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Sound bar huh? Never heard of the apparatus. I disconnected from cable so I don’t watch TV anymore. Saved myself abuot 1,300 dollars.

    Lots of dogs hate the sound of cycle. Don’t know why. Some of mine go nuts when one is cranked up at the property that abuts my property.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. shoreacres Says:

    I was sure I left a comment here. Perhaps WordPress judged it inadequate, and threw it into spam. It happens.

    In any event, this is all a mystery to me, too. I’ve never heard of a sound bar. My first thought was of karaoke: a bar where people produce sound. (This is why I thought I commented. I had to look up how to spell “karaoke.”)

    This sound bar is something that can be tossed in the “irrelevant” bin, since I don’t have a television. If I absolutely have to watch something, I usually can find it on the computer, but even so, I’m not much of a watcher. I’ve stopped worrying about it.

    Liked by 4 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Linda, TV is not essential. It can so easily leave one feeling nauseous. The gadget can become addictive. Before you know it, viewers become indifferent to all those images of struggling boat-people clambering on rocky shores, yet still somehow manage a smile, showing goodwill and hoping for a better life ahead.
      As for the sound-bar, they do manage to make sound and music so much more lovely. It enhances the experience, especially when deaf.

      Like

  9. sedwith Says:

    Best thing about a soundbar is a flash drive full of reggae in the back of the tv. I love the bass!

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the bass is what I also wait for. The woofer is right underneath my chair and it vibrates when the heavy sound rolls in. It reminds me of the days I built my own speaker boxes. They were huge and doubled as coffee tables.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Lottie Nevin Says:

    Oooooh, I loved watching The Bridge! I could do with a sound bar and maybe even a sound bra – the one I’m wearing has definitely seen better days😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    We swapped from an old-fashioned TV to a thin flat one a couple of years ago and a careful salesman explained that the sound would not be as good as, apparently, there is now way with the thin bodies to get the same quality of sound. So, as we listen to opera on ours, we also bought a sound bar and woofer and it’s not bad (but I don’t think it’s as good as the old TV). I’m glad Milo is at peace now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The old TV was flat and had a reasonable sound. The new TV is larger 40″, and even flatter, hardly has a frame around it. The sound was dreadful even to my deaf ears.
      The sound-bar makes a big difference, but of course does not filter out those gruesome scenes of coroners slicing the murdered victim’s liver in Silent Witness nor the horrible war footage showing drones finding their ‘target’.
      The Midwives and the TV series with a female detective and her distinctive lovely sonorous voice is what we still like to watch.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. auntyuta Says:

    “Consideration for alive people seems to have got lost lately.” Have I noticed that. Gerard? I would say that indeed I’ve noticed it for a long time already.
    I just read an article by Kaye Lee in The Australian Independent Media Network. The jobs of Australian workers are not protected, are they? Even people with good qualifications have no guarantee of being able to keep their job. And getting new qualifications may often not get you a new job either. The jobs go somewhere overseas where companies can pay lower wages.

    Like

  13. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I used to pride myself on my ability to hook up all the entertainment equipment we got with no problems. Not so now. When we buy anything electronic today, computers, printers, etc. we include the service call to hook it up. Seems as though instead of making things simpler, they get more complicated. Maybe we don’t really need all this stuff. You can’t even buy a simple radio which just plugs in. Remember those small hand-held phones even the kids had in the car? All you needed was an index finger.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, Kayti. Many of those new electronics are actually alive with a mind of their own. Our sound-bar only works intermittently or it has such a complicated mixture of choices it becomes totally incoherent.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Patti Küche Says:

    I sort of don’t know what you are talking about here. Is that a good thing?

    Like

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