Garrett is as Garrett does

An autoblogographic view of things.

'Garrett is as Garrett does'

A new (digital) shrine to the Electronic Demi-God

March 6th, 2008
by garrett

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My birthday present arrived today – a Sony STR-DG910. Naturally, I needed new components and controllers to take full advantage of the digital capabilities of the receiver. I also acquired from Amazon:

Eager to play with my new toys hear the difference, I started unpacking the new arrivals and tearing down the older equipment. Understand that this is a major undertaking, as our A/V setup is not trivial:

It was a rat’s nest of power cables and hookups woven into the entertainment center that took several hours to dis-combobulate, sort, clean ( mop & dry ), and re-combobulate. My entertainment center is a unique piece of ‘work’ ( my wife has other euphemisms for the word ‘work’ ) and it’s designed for maximum flexibility:

Style is not something you get from $100 worth of plumbing supplies...

Style is not something you get from $100 worth of plumbing supplies...

Yes that’s 1/2″ steel pipe as the framework. ( Since that picture was taken I’ve added four ( of the six ) speakers underneath the center and replaced the customized Xbox with a stock Xbox 360. )

The Entertainment center itself was easy to move around and clean. The A/V equipment was a bit more problematic.

You see, I tinned my speaker wires when I installed them on my previous system. The newer posts on the back of the receiver were not happy about the thickness and inflexibility of tinned, 12-gauge stranded wire. It took nearly 20 minutes just to hook up those 10 posts…

The optical cables were really being a pain in the arse – they weren’t slipping in and clicking into place like the instructions said they should. Reading a little earlier in the instructions could have saved about 10 minutes of frustration – the cables are equipped with tiny, clear protective caps that need to be removed before installation. D’oh. Things went a lot smoother after that…

Arm-deep in the mess, I realized I needed two more cables. The wife offered had offered to help, so I asked her to hit the nearest electronics store (Radio Shack) to pick some up. My wife is a wonderful and caring person who would do anything for me and I love her completely. She is very intelligent, but wouldn’t blink at dropping a hundred dollars for a few cables if she thought it would help. With this in mind, I said farewell and warned: if anyone hands you a something with the word Monster Cable on it , to put it down immediately and step away from the package. Sure enough, when she showed the clerk the two sample cables and said, “I need one of these [HDMI] and one of these [digital optical],” the clerk took her right to the Monster Cable rack. Eventually she found some less expensive ones. I almost feel sorry for the clerk who thought he was going to finally hit his sales for the week – only to be shot down by an informed consumer. Almost.

On the flip-side, hooking up all components was much easier with the HDMI and the auto-calibration feature of the receiver was immensely helpful in confirming everything was fully re-combobulated.

Next up: Programming the Remote!

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