We figured the new TV, being digital and a flatscreen and modern all, we didn't need to have all that sound, it was just us, and we could crank it up loud enough to hear the dialog, right? Didn't need the THX sound, it would be just fine.
Well, not exactly. Turns out the price you pay for a flatscreen is a built-in speaker the size of the one inside an iPhone. Yeah, you can raise the volume so you can hear the dialog just fine, but any music that might be played in the b.g. suddenly sounds like the mothership responding to the little musical ditty in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
That is to say, the speaker buzzes like twelve hives of demented bees if the volume is above a certain number, and since no two shows seem to use the same levels, there comes a time in the evening when the speaker cries with the effort.
Not a pleasant sound.
What to do?
You can get a wireless home theater rig now, but I didn't want to be spending that kind of money, so I poked around and found there is a newly-emerging industry that is designed to give you the kind of sound the old B&W TVs had back in the day when the speakers were big enough you could plug your guitar into them and take the paint off the walls ...
Found one for a reasonable price, a plug-and-play unit that sits on the table under the tube, got a couple small speakers in it, and all I had to do was stick the optic cable from the TV into it and plug it into the wall. Got plenty of volume, no more buzz.
Never a dull moment ...