It wasn’t that long ago I was enjoying my immensely powerful 7.1 surround system. Well I could, I lived in a detached house with plenty of room. Now though, I currently live in an apartment which I love, however sharing a block with 5 other people means I have to consider the neighbours and there simply isn’t the room to accommodate 7 speakers and a meaty subwoofer.
So, for the last few months I have been enduring the lacklustre sound of TV speakers. As televisions become thinner and thinner, speakers have less room available and the sound quality inevitably suffers. Soundbars have become an option for those who are looking for a speaker system that takes little room, yet still offers superior sound compared to those tiny built-in speakers found on most HDTVs.
With a world seemingly entranced by smartphone and tablet technologies, it is more than just a little bit disappointing that many devices including my iPhone 5s and iPad come equipped with a single speaker. They may be adequate for watching the odd short video, to listen to a sample of a song or to converse with friends – however when it comes to listening to music, it doesn’t exactly blow your socks off. True the volume is actually quite impressive on many modern devices these days, yet it certainly won’t fill a room or offer a wide range of frequencies.
We therefore have a few key choices… To equip ourselves with a set of headphones – fine for the personal experience. Secondly purchase a speaker system with an equipped iPhone or even iPad dock, although not everyone chooses an Apple device. For the best compatibility however with a wide range of devices, Bluetooth is the best option and with an Aux-In input also – the Xenta LT-201 Bluetooth Speaker includes the basic requirements that should appeal to any individual who owns a diverse range of hardware.
Yet another streaming media device is released to the market, to tempt us into expanding the capabilities of our television screens. We are becoming swamped by a never ending mountain of hardware that is designed to bring digital content to our homes via the Internet and even with this rampant frequency, I find myself intrigued by a new box released by Sky.
Why I hear you ask? Well, quite simply… price!
Although subscription services for UK television including Sky and Virgin Media have for years been considered a ‘premium’ viewing experience, non-subscription alternatives are now pushing back hard to show their impressive credentials. Recording, On Demand, media streaming and many more features are steadily appearing on purchasable set-top boxes, with the idea of tempting you away from the typical subscription based service providers you may have originally exclusively considered.
The HDR-1010S is the latest set-top box from Humax to take advantage of Freesat (via a satellite dish), as well as offering a new feature known as Free Time.