How long until AV Receivers are history & the future of home cinema sound ?

Cevolution

Suspended
The AV receiver and indeed the speakers shouldn't or wouldn't be on display in a dedicated home theatre.

What are you saying here, that people who purchase soundbars are trying to replicate the dedicated home cinema room experience, and they choose them over receivers and speakers for this reason, because receivers and speakers pose an inferior experience in this regard if they are out in the open?

People purchasing soundbars aren't buying them for their looks. They simply want something that is better than their TV's speakers that can be discretly located below the TV. As I said earlier, they are lifestyle products.

They do buy and settle for vastly inferior audio products and the quality of the experience, because of their looks... Many who purchase soundbars don't want larger speakers, recievers/amps, and subwoofers, plus more cables etc, it's not a "clean" look to them (this is
regularly said in dedicated groups on Facebook when people rate other peoples setups... Soundbar setups often get a lot more likes than very good and nice receiver/speakers/subwoofer setups on there too), therefore, they care about and place a lot of importance on aesthetics of the equipment and their homes, over performance.

Why on earth would anyone want a soundbar that is noticanle? You buy both them and AV receiver to do a particular job job, not as items of furniture you look at rather than watching the TV.

It's not just about doing a particular job for some of them, they also want to show it off to family, friends, and work colleagues, as well as others all over Facebook, Instagram etc (there are some who consistently post the same photos of their soundbar setups multiple times a week in social media group threads, even when people haven't asked to see others setups), and the general consensus amoungst these people is, that soundbars 'look' much nicer.

They also aren't very technically minded in the world of home theatre equipment, they believe they are though, and the only people they ever talk to about it all is like minded people, with the same opinions and knowledge.
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
What are you saying here, that people who purchase soundbars are trying to replicate the dedicated home cinema room experience, and they choose them over receivers and speakers for this reason, because receivers and speakers pose an inferior experience in this regard if they are out in the open?
No, and nothing I posted implies that. The statement I made and that you quoted simply states what is ordinarilly the case with home theatres. Owners do not ordinarilly want the hardware to be the centre of attention and they are basing their purchases upon the way the AV receiver and or the speakers function. THe best home theatre setups have the harfware out of sight where it cannot distract the people using it.

Sounndbars appeal to a different market sector (the lifestyle sector), but still one that doesn't particularly want the presence of said soundbar to be apparent. They are not buying a soundbar to replace an AV receiver, they've bought one to try improve upon the audio they'd otherwise be getting via their TV's speakers. The fact of the matter is that most of those buying a soundbar are less likely to want the soundbar to be the centre of attention than your average AV receiver owner. I guess it is why the term wife friendly springs to mind?

No, I don't think most soundbar owners are at all bothered about showing the actual soundbar to anyone. They are more concerned about it actually do what it was purchased for without actually being the centre of attention.

I don't think anyone is purchasing a soundbar to act as a piece of decorative furniture?

As there are in most cases, there will be exceptions to this though, but I suggest that they are in a minority and that they are the exception to rule as opposed to being the rule. The fact you see these exceptions online is not proof that they are representative of soundbar owners in general.

As to quality then I guess this depends upon just how much you are willing to spend? There are some pretty good sounding sounbars out there. Some of them will have better perdormance when compared to some of the budget speaker packages many partner their entry level AV receiver with.

There's also the fact that most people will be talked into purchasing a sounbar when making a purchase of a new TV. A salesperson isn't as likely to try sell a new potential customer an AV receiver and there are far more retailers selling TVs and soundbars than there are more specialised stores retailing TVs, AV receivera and speakers. Some retailers even discount the sounbar if purchased at the same time as the TV.

Soundbare are relatively easy to both setup and accomodate and far more accessible for most consumers unless actually looking for a more dedicated home theatre setup. They are more lifestyle orientated that AV receivers and I'd suspect that mosr buyers wouldn't want an AV receiver anyway because it hasn't the same lifestyle appeal as a soundbar in terms of it being inconspicuous within what will more than likely be their loungs or living room.

Asking whether their popularity and increase in sales wil cause the extinction of the AV receiver is a bit like asking whether the increased popularity of headphones and their increased sales will cause the demise of speakers? Nope. Different horses for different courses and the AV receiver isn't quite ready for the knacker's yard yet :)
 
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Cevolution

Suspended
No, and nothing I posted implies that. The statement I made and that you quoted simply states what is originally the case with home theatres. Owners do not originally want the hardware to be the centre of attention and they are basing their purchases upon the way the AV receiver and or the speakers function. The best home theatre setups have the hardware out of sight where it cannot distract the people using it.

Sounndbars appeal to a different market sector (the lifestyle sector), but still one that doesn't particularly want the presence of said soundbar to be apparent. They are not buying a soundbar to replace an AV receiver, they've bought one to try improve upon the audio they'd otherwise be getting via their TV's speakers. The fact of the matter is that most of those buying a soundbar are less likely to want the soundbar to be the centre of attention than your average AV receiver owner. I guess it is why the term wife friendly springs to mind?

No, I don't think most soundbar owners are at all bothered about showing the actual soundbar to anyone. They are more concerned about it actually do what it was purchased for without actually being the centre of attention.

I don't think anyone is purchasing a soundbar to act as a piece of decorative furniture?

As there are in most cases, there will be eceptions to this though, but I suggest that their are in a minority and that they are the exception to rule as opposed to being the rule. The fact you see these exceptions online is not proof that thy are representative of soundbar owners in general.

I don't have time at the moment to thoroughly respond to everything you have said, however I will say this - I do think you're out of touch if you have formed this opinion... You clearly haven't spent enough time on home entertainment social media groups if you think this (which is where most of the world that has enough of an interest goes to these days to post about these things). The majority of people don't even purchase soundbars, they use their TV speakers, it's people that have a higher interest in home entertainment to begin with that will often go that step further, and purchase a soundbar. For instance, those that are into gaming and regularly play them... And many of these people certainly do love showing their setups off and want the soundbar to be seen as a part of it. Which leads to me the following point, if they didn't want to have their equipment to be the centre of attention and stand out, and wanted less distractions, then they certainly wouldn't use coloured lighting in their rooms to enhance the look of their setups, and while watching movies and playing games... It's truly amazing just how many actually use coloured lighting (it's not always coming from behind their TV's either) while watching and playing content, and believe that it improves their experience, as well as makes their setup look even more cool and bling to themselves and others. I don't know when this exactly become a trend, but it's extremely common to see people using coloured lighting on Facebook movie and gaming groups.
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
The manner in which you've arrived at you conclusion is like saying all AV receivers must have problems because you see far more instances of such issues being reported online than you see adverse and favourable reactions. The number of post you see online regardless of the subject matter cannot be used in the same way you'd attain information via a survey. You've no actual sales figures or research to substantiate your assumption.

No, the vast majority of soundbar owners didn't buy a soundbar to act as a piece of decorative furniture.

You are just seeing what a minority may like to portray online and not what most people will be doing with their soundbar.

Most peoplw are not bothered what make their TV is, what colour cables are used to connect it or whether their soundbar is illuminated by LED lights.

No idea why you assume all soundbar owners are doing what you suggest all of them do?
 
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Cevolution

Suspended
The manner in which you've arrived at you conclusion is like saying all AV receivers must have problems because you see far more instances of such issues being reported online than you see adverse and favourable reactions. The number of post you see online regardless of the subject matter cannot be used in the same way you'd attain information via a survey. You've no actual sales figures or research to substantiate your assumption...

On the contrary, in my original post I merely said the people do choose to purchase soundbars over receivers, speakers, and subwoofers because of how they look in their homes, often they make their decision to purchase a soundbar based on aesthetics, which they do (and that in my opinion they all look the same, and are boring)... It's something that they do care about and place it high on their list. You then basically went on a rant saying how silly this is, and that you disagreed... Everything you have said is nothing more than speculation, based on what you feel you have observed, with no evidence provided to backup your opinions and theories. It should be me asking you where is your data to support your claims that the majority of people who buy soundbars don't want them to be seen? Where is that study? However, you are quick to say to me that my observations from social media surrounding peoples behavior and habits with these products which suggests differently from what you are trying to tell me is correct, doesn't represent the majority, and isn't enough evidence, when your comments are no different... At least I have given you a reference to go and explore.
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
No, people purchase a soundbar because it is less obtrusive than an AV receiver. Neither are there to draw attention to themselves. A soundbar is ordinarilly designed to not be noticed because it has to sit in close proximity ro the screen. Who realistically wants their attention drawn away from the screen to look at the soundbar?

Stop telling me I've said or implied something I haven't.

What you are suggesting is that Soundbar owners are all stupid and that they just buy them to illuminate them with LED lights. Your proof of this appears to be you visiting a site where some and not all soundbar owners have done this.


Social Media? Try living in the real world. I don't use social media because it is unsocial. All you are relating is what people on social media may be doing with their soundbars and I doubt that everyone on social media is doing the same as everyone else?
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
 

dlaloum

Active Member
The issue ultimately revolves around licencing...

The media owners, want to protect their material, and so will only allow the data stream to travel over DRM protected paths (ie: HDMI)

Then the various companies have developed encoder/decoder algorhythms along with various value added features, which they then licence, and are a required part of the system.... Dolby, DTS, additional licence costs are imposed for other features including THX, IMAX, and Room EQ (Audyssey, DIRAC, etc...)

So now you have a box with at least 7 amps in it, at least 7 channels of DAC, and enough CPU grunt to process / decode the audio stream, and for convenience you need to ensure the video stream remains pristine, (or is even improved by image enhacement to a higher resolution, or higher dynamic range) - so you need a GPU as well - which also provides the On Screen Display.

Given all the seperate licencing cost, it is remarkable how cheap the AVR's can be!!

But simple, it ain't.

If there were no DRM on the base media - then the TV could decode it, and forward a simple PCM stream to a multichannel DAC/Processor - most of the rest of the features would become optional - and each manufacturer could incorporate them without licencing overheads. - Costs of AVR's would drop 50% or more...

Yep - no sign of it happening any time soon.
 

Cevolution

Suspended
No, people purchase a soundbar because it is less obtrusive than an AV receiver.

State the obvious why don't you... Nowhere have I disputed this.

Neither are there to draw attention to themselves.

Wrong, 'some' people purchase a soundbar for this reason, however, there are others that like them (or a receiver) to be seen and shown off as a piece in the room (this in no way is referring to myself)... This doesn't have to mean while they are watching or playing content, especially when the lights are off. You seem to have this idea that the equipment not being seen is right, and that everyone shares your opinion on this and is what they want and aim for. You can disagree with me on this, and my observation from places such as Facebook and other social media platforms, and think that there aren't many who want this, but for you prove this wrong, you need to provide evidence, otherwise, really, you just need shut up... Why should I or anyone else listen to you, and take what you have said as fact?

A soundbar is ordinarilly designed to not be noticed because it has to sit in close proximity ro the screen. Who realistically wants their attention drawn away from the screen to look at the soundbar?

Stop telling me I've said or implied something I haven't.

How about you stop telling me I've said or implied something, you have said a lot of sh*t, putting words in my mouth.

Whollllliat you are suggesting is that Soundbar owners are all stupid and that they just buy them to illuminate them with LED lights. Your proof of this appears to be you visiting a site where some and not all soundbar owners have done this.

No, I haven't said that they are all stupid at all, you see, that's a prime example of you putting words in my mouth again. You are claiming that people don't want their soundbars to be seen and their setups to be the centre of attention in the room, I am saying that I have seen enough to disagree with this, and I simply used the coloured LED backlighting example to illustrate, that plenty do like their equipment to stand out and to show it off, which is why they use them.

Social Media? Try living in the real world. I don't use social media because it is unsocial.

I think it's you that needs to live in the real world... Again, please provide a source to these supposed facts of yours to back yourself up, where have you determined this from? Is it from talking to people you know, and visiting a few home theatre websites like this? Facebook has much greater numbers to represent the real world than any home theatre forum, or that your family and friends can provide. I don't really like social media all that much, I prefer home theatre forums, however I am at least a part of communities on there, and do interact with people on them... If you don't use social media, then that says enough, you're not qualified to make a determination and judgement about it.

Reason for editing: Noticed a spelling error
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
Which section of facebook do you suggest I start with, the part with the flat earthers or the bit where all the Qanon people hang out?
 
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D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
Isn't this a form of social media that we're on now, having an online banter about soundbars vs proper setups? Forgive my ignorance, I'm old, but AVF does not strike me at all as just a technical communication forum.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Isn't this a form of social media that we're on now, having an online banter about soundbars vs proper setups? Forgive my ignorance, I'm old, but AVF does not strike me at all as just a technical communication forum.



Not really, a mod rarely appears on social media to tell you to get back on topic. THey don't even intervene if you threaten to start a holy war.

I also don't see many people posting photoshopped images of themselves sat by a swimming pool here. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong forum?

I think its mostly people spying on other people they once dated on social media sites? Is that why people frequent AVForums?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I'm hazarding that these forums are as close as you'd realistically get to social media here at AVForums:



There's apparently no Holy War forum yet though and I'm not sure as to where all the flatearthers are posting?
 
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Deleted member 901590

Guest
I also don't see many people posting photoshopped images of themselves sat by a swimming pool here. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong forum?

Yes, you need to check out "photos of our equipment" thread. :)

I think its mostly people spying on other people they once dated? Is that why people frequent AVForums?

You know that you broke my heart Dante. :(

a mod rarely appears on social media to tell you to get back on topic

More seriously. OK, thank you, I didn't understand but get that is the main difference.

Back on topic...

I think that, if we go back in time, there would be people asking if the "the mini system" will replace hi-fi separates. There are whole list of difference questions (many here on AVF) like "will BR die due to streaming" etc.

Fact as I see it is, enjoy it while we can. But, in all likelihood, there will always be enough of us geeks who want a proper sound. And unless there is a massive technical revolution in the design of tiny little drivers in small boxes, the soundbar will never be like a proper system.

Think, for example, how many hundreds or more AVF members have tried upfirers and are not pleased. And, in most cases, the speakers and amplifiers for those upfirers have far exceeded the attempts of soundbars "to create an immersive sound".

There is only one reason that I consider now and again getting a soundbar. That's because I have a bit of an issue with other people in the house understanding how to use the AV system. My TV sound is unbearable (you actually can't hear what people are saying) so I've thought "can I use a soundbar as a cheap interim for daytime TV?".

And, do you know what holds me back? That I think even on BBCNews or CBeebies I would be irritated even for 5 minutes by the SQ 🤣
 

Cevolution

Suspended
Isn't this a form of social media that we're on now, having an online banter about soundbars vs proper setups? Forgive my ignorance, I'm old, but AVF does not strike me at all as just a technical communication forum.

You could make the argument that this site is also a social media platform, since there is a general chat section, and other sub-forums, not related to home theatre, however, the difference is, that the demographic here is small in comparison and has a higher interest, and greater knowledge, experience and expertise with regards to home theatre equipment in general, whereas Facebook and other social media platforms like it, are where the masses congregate (many of them don't have the same level of understanding as people on sites like this do), therefore social media groups can more accurately demonstrate from a broader perspective, what the masses think and why they make the decisions that they do, and it's gives you a greater idea of how they use certainly things, such as home theatre equipment.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Not really, a mod rarely appears on social media to tell you to get back on topic.
Funny you should say that.........

I would rather like it if you all stopped talking about social media and, err, get back on topic. We have a General Chat board where the good and evil of social media can be talked about.
 

Khazul

Well-known Member
No, people purchase a soundbar because it is less obtrusive than an AV receiver

I actually doubt that. I think you assume people are even properly aware of the existence of good AV receiver and the kind of immersive cinema like experience they can bring. For most people growing up listening to music on ear buds and watching streams on a computer and maybe satellite TV you may find that proper HiFi and AV systems are just not on their radar at all and don't enter conscious thought at all.

For soundbars, when you have sales people adding low end models in at a discount with a TV purchase, then that gets them on the radar of a buyer and maybe even gets a purchase especially given how bad the sound is on many of the thinner TVs. Kind of like basic DVD and BD players used to get pushed with TV purchases.

Almost all of the once common high street hifi stores have gone with the result that people just dont come across this kind of gear anymore when dragged around the shops on a sat afternoon (which always used to be the good escape while you wife went round clothes shops). That was of course before the pandemic hit which will probably further diminish high street shops to the point where even your wife has probably lost interest in high street shops too.

So, these days, Hifi and AV receivers are probably mostly something sought after by people who already known about them and are already looking for one, or just maybe come across them while online shopping for something else (best price for a TV or whatever).

For those who have actually bought a system and are now getting a negative response from their wife etc and thinking of going back to a soundbar, well that might be because you compromised in the first place. I see far too many hifi and AV systems poorly setup and positioned it badly resulting in a poor experience compared to what could have been. I suspect that those of us who really know how to get the best from these systems and pushed for doing it properly and are able to explain and show why etc have far greater acceptance because the value of it in terms of improving a viewing /listening experience is much more obvious.
 
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D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
I agree @Khazul and by the way:

That was of course before the pandemic hit which will probably further diminish high street shops to the point where even your wife has probably lost interest in high street shops too.

Hilarious and so true!

The other thing I find (and I'm sure many of you all do too) is that when people around we are selling the idea. Not on purpose, just by accident sometimes.

I remember a old lady friend we had round last year, Toy Story 2 was on (reasonably quietly) for the grandson and she said "is that thunder outside?" (scene where they're crossing the road to escape the Wotsit man) 🤣

My son in law observed the new subs the other day, "don't know why you bother with the subwoofers, they don't do much, sounds like my car stereo has more bass than this". I didn't even credit him with a "that's because the TV is on for the kids just at background level". Instead, everyone had left the room later on, with just him and I, super-conveniently the stampede scene just started in "The Good Dinosaur". Volume temporarily up to -16dB and I thought his head was going to fall off in surprise!

Anyway, just saying that one big way people in general find out about proper systems is by experiencing them.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I actually doubt that. I think you assume people are even properly aware of the existence of good AV receiver and the kind of immersive cinema like experience they can bring. For most people growing up listening to music on ear buds and watching streams on a computer and maybe satellite TV you may find that proper HiFi and AV systems are just not on their radar at all and don't enter conscious thought at all.

For soundbars, when you have sales people adding low end models in at a discount with a TV purchase, then that gets them on the radar of a buyer and maybe even gets a purchase especially given how bad the sound is on many of the thinner TVs. Kind of like basic DVD and BD players used to get pushed with TV purchases.

Almost all of the once common high street hifi stores have gone with the result that people just dont come across this kind of gear anymore when dragged around the shops on a sat afternoon (which always used to be the good escape while you wife went round clothes shops). That was of course before the pandemic hit which will probably further diminish high street shops to the point where even your wife has probably lost interest in high street shops too.

So, these days, Hifi and AV receivers are probably mostly something sought after by people who already known about them and are already looking for one, or just maybe come across them while online shopping for something else (best price for a TV or whatever).

For those who have actually bought a system and are now getting a negative response from their wife etc and thinking of going back to a soundbar, well that might be because you compromised in the first place. I see far too many hifi and AV systems poorly setup and positioned it badly resulting in a poor experience compared to what could have been. I suspect that those of us who really know how to get the best from these systems and pushed for doing it properly and are able to explain and show why etc have far greater acceptance because the value of it in terms of improving a viewing /listening experience is much more obvious.



What I'm aware of is that most people don't want an AV receiver and multiple speakers.

Maybe they are not aware of the possibility of using an AV receiver, but I'm pretty sure that soundbars would still outsell AV receivers even if they were.

You have to be an AV enthusiast to want to invest in an AV receiver and most people don't really want to accomodate it and the associated speakers in their living rooms.

Will you be getting better audio via an AV receiver? It definately isn't a certaintity that you will and ultimately depends upon the soundbar and what speakers you are comparing it to.

As I keep saying, soundbars are lifestyle products and they are not intended to replace AV receivers.

AV receivers have never been that important to most people. Most people were never going to buy an AV receiver. They are buying soundbars though.



AV receivers are a niche market and always have been a niche market. Soundbars aren't even targeted at that market and they are designed to appeal to people wanting something easy to use, easy to setup and easy to accomodate. AV receivers don't really meet any of these criteria so are unlikely to appeal to the same market.
 
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Cevolution

Suspended
There truly is this unformed idea amongst some amateur average consumer enthusiasts, who are aware that receiver/speaker/subwoofer setups exist, that soundbars are just as good quality if not better than receiver/amps/speakers/subwoofer setups, that are similarly priced, I've witnessed it quite a bit... My apologies for referencing Facebook again, but it's not an uncommon opinion to see on there, however, I did also see this nonsense being discussed on an enthusiast website earlier today, Blu-ray.com (scroll down to post #34):


Reason for editing: Inserted a word.
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
As to the quality issue. Maybe go tell the person who reviews most of the soundbars reviewed by AV Forums that they all sound bad and then ask him what AV setup he's got to compare those soundbars to.

This idea that soundbars sound terrble is ridiculous.

Steve Withers owns a Trinnov Altitude16 processor and uses a Storm Audio PA 16 MK2
power amp to drive MK speakers. He doesn't appear to have issue with giving praise to the audio performance associated with many of the soundbars he reviews. Is he one of these ill informed/dillusional enthusiasts?

Will those soundbars sound the same or better? No, but they don't sound terrible either.


If someone didn't want or couldn't accomodate an AV receiver then I'd happilly suggest they look at a soundbar. Not sure why there's any reason not to?
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
mr-banter-has-arrived.jpg
 

Cevolution

Suspended
As to the quality issue. Maybe go tell the person who reviews most of the soundbars reviewed by AV Forums that they all sound bad and then ask him what AV setup he's got to compare those soundbars to.

You have this weird habit of taking the conversation way too far in the opposite direction from what has actually been said... You need take up another hobby so that you don't take this one as obsessively and seriously as you seem to... I'm happy to send you $50, it's sounds like you really need a root, to unwind, so I'll happily pay for that for you.

This idea that soundbars sound terrble is ridiculous.

Who said that soundbars are "terrible", quote exactly where that had been said?

Steve Withers owns a Trinnov Altitude16 processor and uses a Storm Audio PA 16 MK2
power amp to drive MK speakers. He doesn't appear to have issue with giving praise to the audio performance associated with many of the soundbars he reviews. Is he one of these ill informed/dillusional enthusiasts?

No one said that he is ill informed or delusional (however, since you bring it up, he is paid and sometimes gets free stuff, so it's not necessarily within his and the sites best interest to be honest and completely objective with everything), just another situation where you are reading more in it, and inserting words into peoples comments to suit your own narrative. Show me exactly where he has said that soundbars are superior, or pretty much on par with separate receiver/amps, speakers, and subwoofer/s audio setups that are in a similar price range, which have been setup and calibrated well?

Will those soundbars sound the same or better? No, but they don't sound terrible either.

Again, nobody said this, therefore, what we are really disputing then is exactly how close they really do come percentage wise... If you think soundbars come quiet close to the audio quality of receiver/amp, speakers and subwoofers, then we do disagree.

If someone didn't want or couldn't accomodate an AV receiver then I'd happilly suggest they look at a soundbar. Not sure why there's any reason not to?

Who suggested if they actually had valid reasons and honestly couldn't accomodate without excuses a receiver, speakers, and subwoofer/s, that they wouldn't suggest that they look at a soundbar instead?
 
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