Of course, you can get 'free' advice from a number of different sources. however, each one has its problems, and ultimately it does have to be paid for. The choices that are available fall in to 4 categories
Mainstream volume retailers
You know who we mean, they sell every electrical appliance, from phones to fridges, TVs to toasters. Independent research has shown that the 'advice' that is given varies enormously in its accuracy, and its impartiality. In fairness, given the range of products then it is impossible for them know anything more than the most basic facts about the products in their department; a great place to buy an extended warranty but you are unlikely to get up to date technical information!
Specialist / independent retailers
Depending on how specialist, then you will get better advice. However, the usual rule is that the better the advice, the more expensive the prices are. The specialists simply cannot afford to spend significant amounts of time discussing your requirements unless they believe that there is a very good chance of you purchasing from them. Furthermore, they will often only sell a small selection of equipment from a limited range of suppliers
There are many, many magazine titles covering all of the various technologies. These are often a good starting point as they give a view of what's available, and plenty of advertisements from suppliers of different equipment. Some even offer 'how to' guides giving general setup advice. However, they cannot, of course, offer personalised, specific advice for your particular problem (unless of course you write to their letters section and are lucky enough to get a reply!)
A huge and fabulous resource. However, the quality, accuracy and relevance of the advice varies hugely. The problem is that you need to be technically knowledgable to be able to separate the good from the bad... again not much help when you just want to get the job done.
or, you can talk to us!
We will always offer initial advice completely free of charge, tell us what you want to do and we will let you know if we can help.