By Don Lindich
Week 32, 2016
Q. I get Amazon Prime Video through my Smart TV, and the TV’s audio quality is horrid. I have an Oppo BDP-105 Blu-ray player with fantastic audio quality, connected to an excellent sound system. Is there any way to send audio from the TV to the Oppo? Though the Oppo supports a few streaming services, Amazon video streaming is not one of them. I would like to get PBS as well, if possible.
-M.K., Milwaukee, WI
A. The best and easiest way to accomplish this is with a $39 Amazon Fire Stick. Connect it to the rear HDMI input of your Oppo Blu-ray player and the Fire Stick will provide Amazon Video, PBS, and a host of other services, all through the Oppo’s excellent audio and video processing.
I will be writing more about the Fire Stick soon. It is a simple and inexpensive way to add a lot of streaming services to any TV with an HDMI port.http://amazon.com/firestick
Q. I tried to preorder the ZVOX AccuVoice TV Speaker and the link provided in your column does not work. Can you please provide me with the link for the pre-order promotions?
-T.L., Manchester, NH
A. I received a bunch of emails like this last week, as well as some expressing confusion on how the promotion works. The promotion is available through Kickstarter, not the ZVOX corporate website. I spoke with ZVOX and unlike most Kickstarter projects which only go into production after funding, the $249.99 ZVOX AccuVoice TV Speakers have already been manufactured. The speakers are on the way to the USA and will ship to customers starting in September. They used Kickstarter for the launch as it was the easiest way to provide introductory offers and educate consumers.
The link I provided was shortened to make it easier to enter in a web browser. I tested the shortened link http://www.tinyurl.com/zvoxpreorder and it does work, so readers may want to try that first. The full link is: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/715950056/zvox-accuvoice-tv-speaker-with-smart-hearing-aid-t but if you do a Google search under the terms “Kickstarter AccuVoice” you will find the page at the top of the rankings.
When you are on the page, you will see boxes on the right that say “Pledge” and “Select this reward” when you click it. The pledge is the amount you will pay for the reward, and your card is charged after the promotion expires on August 26th. The offers that were still available at my deadline are listed below.
Buy the AccuVoice Speaker for $155, saving $95, buy the AccuVoice Speaker for $175: saving $75, two for the price of one – two AccuVoice Speakers for $249, and buy two speakers for $299, saving $200.
You may wonder why there is an offer for $95 off and an offer for $75 off. There are a limited number of each offer so after the $95 off promotion sells out you have to choose another offer. So, the earlier you act, the better the offer, though all of them look pretty good to me. Even saving $75 off a $250 item is a really nice deal.
I did get to hear the speaker last week and it does exactly what it says it does: it makes voices much easier to hear, while improving overall sound quality. My senior citizen father was visiting when I hooked it up and when it first started playing he exclaimed, “Boy, is that clear!” I don’t have the space to write more about it this week but the vocal reproduction reminds me of their bigger soundbars, which is definitely a complement.