Just about a year ago, I posted about my technical quest to simplify our AV stack and augment its capabilities. Updates here and here and here.
While we're getting good 5.1 sound out of our Harman Kardon AVR245, it's not a push-button experience (yet). We've got the Harman Kardon HKTS-14 speaker system and in our setup, the front speakers are mounted to the wall on either side of the plasma TV, the center channel is perched on a shelf above the TV (the subwoofer is tucked in the corner) and the sleek HK stands for the surround speakers are stored at the front of the room and pulled around into surround position only when we're watching a movie that warrants the surround experience.
Why do they get stored at the front of the room? Our two little girls would undoubtedly knock them over if left in place post-movie (during the day), and I'd likely catch the wires walking by them since we've got hardwood floors. The net effect is that the majority of the time we don't listen to programming in full surround mode, as the surround speakers are stashed in the front of the room where the aural effect is minimal, at best.
While I could spend the time and energy to route the wires through the wall and attic to mount the speakers on the wall in their proper surround location, that's a wiring headache I'll put off for a long time to come, thankyouverymuch.
But now, David Pogue's column today in the NYTimes about Bluetooth and the End of Audio Wiring has got me thinking of a wireless solution our problem. Surely there's a bluetooth solution to be had here, right? I mean, given the A2DP protocol, I can bluetooth stereo signal streaming wirelessly from my AVR245 to the surround speakers mounted on the wall.
But how to do this?
Google searches on bluetooth stereo surround speakers seem to indicate there's more supply in non-North American markets, but here's a list of Bluetooth Stereo Speaker Suppliers in China that will only grow over time, right?
So what are the prerequisites before I'll add A2DP to my system? I have to be able to use my existing speakers. I've paired them purposefully for the entire system and I don't want to have to buy any bulky speaker to mount on my walls that'll unbalance the system.
What this means the gadget/widget I'm looking for will need to be a combination speaker mount/Bluetooth access point that talks to a Bluetooth gateway plugged into my AVR245. Bonus if there's a way to cut down on the battery consumption needed to run the speaker access points.
But if I can find something like this, I'll leapfrog straight over 5.1 sound all the time and start exploiting the AVR245's ability to pump out 7.1 sound.
Of course, if I get the speaker situation taken care of, then I really should upgrade to a HD-DVD player, and maybe I can use that upgrade moment to swap out TiVo for the DirecTV HR20 we've got... hmmm, better not start this just yet.