We have the knowledge
First things first, you need to consider how mobile you want your TV to be once it's mounted. Do you just want it flush against the wall, or do you need it to be able to move away and swing out into a variety of viewing positions? Once you've worked this bit out, it's simply a case of choosing the right bracket for the size of your TV.
We stock a huge range of brackets that fit practically any television, as well as ceiling mounts for projectors and wallmounts for soundbars, but if you can't find the right solution on our website or in-store, your local team will be happy to look into special order options for you.
Should I use speaker stands?
You may be wondering why we refer to 'standmount' speakers when these are commonly known as 'bookshelf' speakers. The answer is very simple; they are designed to sound their best on a stand. Dedicated speaker stands absorb excess vibrations from your speakers that would normally colour the performance, leading to a somewhat muddled sound. Your speakers sound clean and clear - with defined bass that doesn't overpower and a more pronounced stereo effect.
We stock a range to fit different sizes of speakers and different preferences for sound quality, so be sure to ask for a demo at your local shop!
Is specialist furniture worth the cost?
In short, yes. You're not just paying for designer looks and fancy materials; a lot of thought goes into making sure TV stands and hi-fi racks are both practical and offer a performance advantage too. Built-in cable management, for example, means you can neatly tidy away your cables to avoid unsightly spaghetti behind your equipment.
The right stand can also bring about an improvement in sound quality. It not only gives a more stable platform for your prized equipment, but it also absorbs any vibrations, however small, produced by one piece of equipment without transmitting it to another. This is accomplished by making the shelf out of specialised materials and / or using spikes on the base.
Ultimately, a quality rack ensures that your system doesn't just look its best, it sounds it too.
Do cables really make a difference?
There's a lot of misinformation out there in terms of speaker cables and interconnects. Sometimes there are wild claims of dramatic transformations in performance and, on the other side, claims that they make no difference whatsoever.
Like many things, the truth lies somewhere in between. Upgrading your leads can be a great way to bring a new lease of life to an ageing system, or to simply ensure you're getting the absolute best out of a new one. Don't forget, it's not just your cables; the rack or stand that your system and speakers are placed on, and even your mains extension lead, all have a bearing on the final sound quality.
Other than accessories, the biggest impact on performance is the room your system is in. If you have lots of hard surfaces, high ceilings and square walls, it's likely to sound shrill and imprecise. The addition of soft furnishings, such as rugs and heavy curtains, can absorb reflected sound so what you hear is cleaner and more distinct.
If you want to know more about how to make your system shine, give your local store a call or pop down for a chat. Remember, we can take care of installation too.
What are the differences between HDMI cables?
HDMI is the go-to cable choice for sending HD signals from a digital source, such as a Blu-ray player, to a TV or projector. In essence, there are four types of cables on the market. These are Standard, Standard with Ethernet, High-Speed and High-Speed with Ethernet. These certifications guarantee a level of performance as detailed below;
HDMI Standard: these cables will reliably transmit 1080i or 720p video.
HDMI High Speed: these cables will reliably transmit resolutions of 1080p and above, including 4K.
HDMI Standard/ High Speed with Ethernet: offering the same level of capability as the normal variants with the included ability to handle Ethernet functionality when connected to compatible devices.
It is important to note that when a cable is certified, it is tested against strict criteria with specific components, guaranteeing a certain level of performance. We stock cables from a variety of manufacturers who pride themselves on using only the best materials and exceptional build quality to ensure the highest level of performance. This naturally lends them to creating cables that often exceed the required specifications of the set HDMI standards.
HDMI is a resilient standard with robust error-handling capabilities. An HDMI cable will either work or it won't. A poor or failing HDMI cable will exhibit symptoms such as your TV not displaying an image or presenting a 'No Signal' message, displaying a partial image or showing ‘sparkles’ (white dots on the image). These are all signs that the cable is faulty or not fit for purpose.
When using longer runs, it is advisable to purchase a cable that has been tested and guaranteed to work at the required lengths. The longer a cable is, the higher the resistance and thus a higher chance of signal issues. In order to guarantee a high level of performance, many manufacturers will opt to use higher quality cables, sometimes thicker, with better insulation to keep signal loss to a minimum. Some newer cables also incorporate an active chip built into the cable construction, either discreetly in the head shell of the connector or in the middle of the cable. This addition helps to maintain the signal integrity over longer cable runs.