Tune Up

I just rewired my home audio/video gear — for the entire house. Wait a minute, you say. Didn’t I read in this very magazine 6 years ago that you built a house and wired it to the hilt? And 2 years later, you put in a home theater, complete with the world’s most famous bar stools outside of Cheers?

Well, it is true that I had a killer setup done by my first installer that went to my Great Room and fed TiVo, DirecTV, and all the other goodies needed to impress — and it worked just the way I wanted. About a year later, I discovered the wonderful world of Sonos, and installed four zones. That was followed by the building of the Man Cave, the gym, and the mighty home theater by three different installers with their own individual ideas. My large and roomy A/V closet got full and messy very quickly.

Finally, one day after spending 30 minutes in that closet with a flashlight, my glasses, and my 51-year-old eyes trying to find which of my three 8-port switchers my Apple TV went into, I said, “Enough!” It was time to call in an expert. The closet was redone in a fashion that worked for me: units stacked in a way that made sense in the right racks; wiring with labeling that I could easily read and understand. I also needed a new receiver for the home theater, so I got the Pioneer Elite VSX-52 (shown above) with seven HDMI inputs. (More details about what I did are on the iPad edition of this issue.)

I may swap out more gear fairly soon. Technology changes, and, like you, I’m always interested in new products. It’s just the nature of being a consumer electronics enthusiast. We gotta switch it up.