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Put my geekness to work, felt good


General Zot
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This weekend I went over to check out our cleaning lady's (and friend) home theater setup. Since her boyfriend moved out last year, he took the components he wanted to keep (Outlaw seperates, infinity mains) and left the rest (HDTV, VCR, DVD, Yamaha receiver, etc.) So her family has been without anything beyond cable and TV sound for about a year.

 

I get there and the only connection is from the wall to the Directv box and on to the HDTV (via a single cable mind.) Luckily, there is monster wire connected up to the receiver in the back for all 5 channels, it just isn't connected to any speakers. So she needs to head out to a family party, my wife takes the kids out to get them off me, and I dig in. First up, wire everything (using mostly S video) into the receiver and run a line to the HDTV. Connect the progressive DVD to TV also using a cheapie component cable I had brought. I hunt around and she has two sattelite speakers sitting on a chair there, 2 large mains (hooked up as surrounds?), a leftover infinity center, and a Sony sub sitting next to the TV on the fireplace/mantle. I think she wanted me to just put the sattelites as the mains, but no way with those mains lying around. So I totally rearrange the mains to either side of TV, sattelites in the back, Put the sub behind TV next to the wall (more to hide it's bulk than increase the sound), and hook up the center. Turn it all on and it looks good but sounds like hell :D

 

Then I dig into calibrating the receiver by ear and get it sounding pretty decent. Had an Avia disc and a sound meter, but these are cheap speakers and she already expressed a desire to dump them (so why bother just yet?) After that, I tuned the HDTV to around where it needed to be. I have the same type (Mitsubishi), so it was fairly easy to remember what mine was set at and just guesstimate her best settings. Also had a spare red push filter that I installed for the HDTV component input.

 

Around now the kids are back and Linda (the owner) stops back in. She was floored, we watched a little LOTR: Fellowship to test it out. She almost skipped going back tot he party she was so impressed (and likely starving for some good sound after all that time.)

 

We packed up and left, she enjoyed the heck out of it last night. I didn't know she had a full inground pool and hot tub in the back yard. Definitely need to 'tweak' it some more next weekend and bring all our suits.

 

Just thought I'd share. Feels good to put the geek fetishs to helping someone out. I have a feeling our house will be spotless next time she comes over to clean, hehe...

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Great story. I find every time I start a new job, sooner or later my rep as an HT geek slips out and I end up going to four or five co-workers' houses and calibrating their systems. In fact I just sold another SVS sub to a co-worker this morning (not from me, he ordered it from SVS based on my recommendation).

 

The only frustrating part is when they ask me to suggest components that would bring them theater-rivaling sound and then tell me their budget is $500. :bh

 

None of them have hot tubs or pools, though...clearly I need a better class of co-worker...

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The only frustrating part is when they ask me to suggest components that would bring them theater-rivaling sound and then tell me their budget is $500. :bh

 

One of my work collegues thinks I'm being incredibly unhelpful and just winding him up because I won't recommend a good quality 40"+ hi-def screen for less than ?1000, and keep insisting that he should spend roughly double that, get a smaller screen or do without HD. I know how you feel.

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