Connecting iPod to sound system, TV lamps and extended warranties

Week of July 9, 2005

Q: If I were to invest in a MP3 player, I’d like to make it more versatile and connect it to external speakers so that I could use it for home entertainment, i.e. gameroom, deck, etc. I used to have a Cambridge Soundworks system with a self-amplified subwoofer and 2 satellites. I bet that would work nicely in a smaller space. They sounded great but are small. Do you know of anything else along those lines or larger?

-Barry Werber, Bridgeville, PA

A: Your best bet is to use your player with a component system, i.e. a receiver and speakers. That way you can choose any speakers on the market to perfectly fit your space.

You can connect an MP3 player, or any device with a headphone output to the receiver’s audio inputs using a Miniplug to RCA adapter. The miniplug end connects to the headphone jack and the RCA end goes into any audio inputs on the receiver (except the phono input). Adjust the volume on your player to ensure

If your player has a docking cradle with a Line Out connection, use that instead as it will result in cleaner sound and you do not have to adjust the volume control.

Q: My big-box store says that all TVs that use LCD or DLP technology have a projection lamp that needs to be replaced at least every other year for $400-500. A 4 year extended warranty for a 60 inch set is about $400. Is this really so or are they trying to sell me an extended warranty with inaccurate information?

Tom Lang, Edina, MN

A: Most of the lamps are $200 to $300 each and are user-replaceable, so they are definitely overstating the price.

Lamp life varies per set and bulb sample. A lamp rated at 1000 hours could last 800 hours and it could last 2000 hours if you got a good production sample.

$400 is not unreasonable for a four-year policy on a multi-thousand dollar 60 inch DLP or LCD TV. If you get one lamp replacement out of it, the $200 is worth the piece of mind. I don’t usually recommend extended warranties but in this case I would go for it because you are likely to get at least one lamp replacement out of it. If you were buying a tube or LCD panel TV I would recommend you pass on the warranty.

Comments are closed.