High End Home Entertainment System, An Expensive Lesson

by JT on June 30, 2010

Thinking of getting a high end home entertainment system? Get ready for an expensive lesson. After installation costs, get ready for maintenance costs.

Long day. We had to rework our entertainment system because our remote control units went on the fritz. Yes, you read that right. Our remote controls quit working so we had to resort to manually operating our TVs. But this becomes particularly cumbersome given that our manual set up for our televisions happens to be in an inconvenient area of our house. We’ve got a weird, complicated set up where all our TVs and projector and DVDs are all wired up to one central brain in this one room. And sometimes, when one unit goes wrong, all the rest follow suit.

How did we get to this point? You see, it was during the peak of the dot com boom when we somehow committed ourselves to buying and installing this rather expensive home entertainment system that had a central controller. Yes, we were crazy. Yes, we thought we had the money back then — or so we thought — and we ended up treating ourselves to something we thought was cool and awesome.

When you come by and check out our entertainment system, you’ll think that it’s a fine piece of work. But it’s one of those things that looks great on the outside but is quite a pain to use. When it works well, it’s slick. But when it stops working (which happens way more often than with normal television sets and non-networked electronic devices), it quickly becomes a time and money sink. The whole thing is hard to maintain and has very expensive upkeep. It’s our fault for falling for the siren song of luxury, during that one brief period in our lives when we thought we were “set”. Now that the dot com bubble era is but a fading memory in the annals of Silicon Valley history, and we’re no longer paper millionaires, we have to live with the consequences of our impulsive decisions and this lemon of a home entertainment center.

Well, we’ve learned our lesson — that sometimes, you don’t even get what you pay for.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Money Beagle July 1, 2010 at 10:32 am

Always amazing to look back at things that made sense at the time and see how they had no chance of ever really making sense.

Sounds like a cool system but yeah definitely complicated.

I guess the one positive is that in this day in age, for an electronics system to last 10 years or so is pretty good. So at least you either bought a system that was able to keep up relatively well or you’ve withheld the urge to upgrade for the latest and greatest technology (that will be obsolete in a year anyways), or some combination of the two.

2 Jose July 1, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I used to have one of those “high end” stereo systems from an esoteric brand…with components costing 4 digits BUT I sold it all – at a tremendous loss but I am happy now. As your article states, this is all about mindless spending and to project our so-called “success” by impressing others. My system had regular glitches and breakdowns that required expensive repairs until I “woke up and smelled the coffee” – I sold it all! I just have a rather smallish LCD TV and an iPod now – that’s it – and I am living it!

Well, we’ve learned our lesson — that sometimes, you don’t even get what you pay for.

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