Several months ago I decided to purchase a set of Bluetooth headphones so I could, on occasion, watch TV in the bedroom late at night without disturbing my wife. At one time I had a wireless headphones set that worked well for this purpose but they were simply very bulky (both the charging unit and the headphones themselves). I attempted to use a jail-broken iPod as well but I wasn’t satisfied with that either.
The TV itself doesn’t support Bluetooth so I decided to purchasing a Bluetooth audio transmitter. In this case, one manufactured by TaoTronics, which is small and reliable. Overall the device is very good but there is a slight delay in the audio that is noticeable relative to the action on TV, especially with dialog, though I grew accustomed to it rather quickly.
In additional to a new Blu-ray player, last weekend I also purchased a Philips Sound Bar (CSS2123) for our living room HDTV. The speakers included with the 32″ HDTV are OK. They’re not the worst. The ones in my smaller HDTVs are so bad they must be connected to external speakers to be tolerable.
Still, we like to watch movies in the living room. I didn’t want to deal with full-surround sound. That would require a heavier investment of money and space. Instead, I decided to add a relatively inexpensive sound bar.
Audiophiles may not care for this set but we both have enjoyed it. Music, movies, and television sound really good though movies that I have ripped from DVD to an Apple TV format do not (This was done using Handbrake. I’m not sure why – the quality may have not been good before but it’s only become apparent with the use of better speakers – my next test is to rip to a slightly different format or to try movies purchased through iTunes).
The set cost $99 at Wal-Mart. It includes the sound bar itself, a wired sub-woofer, and a remote. During the first movie that we watched I had to turn the sub-woofer down. It was actually much deeper than I was expecting and I didn’t want to annoy any of our neighbors.
I haven’t experienced any major problems though when I tried to use a coaxial digital connection only the sound effects from the Apple TV came through. None of the audio for Netflix, or from our Tivo, worked. I suspect this has more to do with the different audio formats (stereo versus true surround) and for now I only have it connected to the TV via the headphone jack, which is split out to RCA adapters that go into the sound bar inputs (stereo only).
Updated 05/22/2013: So far so good. We haven’t had any problems with the sound bar.
The Short Version: I cataloged our movies with Delicious Library 2 but needed to replicate the data in Home Inventory. Delicious Library provides an export to CSV function and Home Inventory can import CSV files. Now I have the data for our library in both programs and using an iOS program for Home Inventory I can also maintain and view a backup copy of the database on my iPhone.
I’ve had a copy of Delicious Library (version 1) for several years. It’s a well-designed commercial Mac program for cataloging movies, CDs, games, and books. The latest version (Delicious Library 2) includes more features and categories. Both versions support barcode scanning, which I’ve always done with the built-in iSight camera. It can look-up product information using Amazon and automatically download product images, title, retail value, and other pieces of information.
A week or two ago we decided to catalog all of our movies after a visit to Wal-Mart. While there we browsed the cheap movie section but we were reluctant to purchase for fear that we already owned them. When we returned home my wife downloaded an app to her iPod for cataloging movies. I decided to open up Delicious Library and paid $15 to upgrade to the latest version.
We both spent at least a couple of hours scanning or manually entering information for our movies.