Fast-Tech vs. Slow-Tech: Why We Don't Build BluRay Players Into Soundbar Systems

Posted by Tom Hannaher , Thursday, November 18, 2010
When we started ZVOX in 2003, one of our first ideas was to create a single-cabinet home theater system that included a DVD player. The idea was appealing because the product would save shelf space and reduce wiring needs. But it was a bad idea then and it's a bad idea now for one simple reason. "Fast-tech" products should not be integrated with "slow-tech" products.

Fast-tech products like Blu Ray players, Apple TV and Google TV are constantly changing. Buy one and a year later it's out-of-date and over-priced.

Slow-tech products like high quality speaker systems tend to be much more stable. An early ZVOX prototype system from 2003 is still in use in our founder's kitchen. And Henry Kloss enjoyed the same KLH stereo system for 40 years.

So if we had integrated a DVD player with a ZVOX system in 2003, the whole system (not just the old-technology DVD player) would now be out of date. By keeping our slow-tech ZVOX speakers separate from all those fast-tech products, we extend the useful life of our systems.
If you buy a ZVOX sound system today, it should continue to work well with your future electronic purchases for many years to come. That may not be good for our business, but it's good for you.


Dave M said...

I like the logic here, and the distinction between "fast" and "slow" tech. What are some other items that you think fit into the "slow tech" category?

Ronald Stetz said...

Another reason a BluRay player, or any disc player, should not be in a sound bar: Speakers 'rattle', move air so one can hear things-music and voice. This shakes everything in the box at least a bit. Shakes are not good for any disc player. Elaborate cushions, or vibration dampeners are use to lesson how much vibration transfers from one AV component to another. Having the 'shakiest' item, the speakers, in the closest proximity to the most vibration-sensitive item, the disc player, is just inviting sound and video distortion.

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