Home Cinema advice

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  • kentmonkey 10 Jan 2009 19:47:16 22,473 posts
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    I've got to get a new TV for the lounge as the old one sounds like it's going to blow up (horrible noise coming from the back of it).

    However the 5.1 Home Cinema system we have at the moment (Sanyo) only works with a Sanyo TV. Bizarrely if you put any other make of TV through it, it either doesn't work or works but has terrible lag so everything looks like a badly dubbed advert.

    I've had a look at a few of the cheap ones on Currys and Amazon website, but none of them look like they have phono inputs, therefore I wouldn't get audio out of the Sky box (I don't have a Digital Audio slot on my Sky box).

    So anybody know of a reasonably cheap 5.1 Home Cinema system that will do the job? Don't really want to spend more than £150, the cheaper the better really. We never have it that loud anyway as the walls in our house are really thin.
  • MrTomFTW Best Moderator, 2016 10 Jan 2009 19:50:59 47,491 posts
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    Hmmmmm, maybe this the kind of thing I've been thinking of... How do these home cinema things work - do you plug your Sky/consoles into the back and then the system into the TV or what?
  • kentmonkey 10 Jan 2009 19:52:48 22,473 posts
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    All depends whether you want Digital input or not. In essence it's how you described either way. I just want phono inputs though, plus a Digital for future-proofing would be nice. Not that bothered though.
  • MrTomFTW Best Moderator, 2016 10 Jan 2009 19:54:51 47,491 posts
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    Well I've got my 360 connected to my TV via HDMI, and the Sky via SCART... Oh and my Wii via S-video. I guess ideally then I would be looking for something that could accept their inputs, feed through to the HDMI port on my TV? Then I could have nice sound for everything rather than through shitty TV speakers.
  • kentmonkey 10 Jan 2009 20:02:38 22,473 posts
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    Hold on a minute. If I connect it via HDMI to the TV, will that then play whatever is coming through the TV? i.e. I connect the Sky box via Scart to the TV, and then the 5.1 Home Cinema system via HDMI to the TV, that the Home Cinema system would play the audio of whatever was being played on the TV?

    Where's Silentbob/Phage/one of the other technologically savvy forumites when you need them?
  • BravoGolf Moderator 10 Jan 2009 20:36:17 12,771 posts
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    kentmonkey wrote:
    Hold on a minute. If I connect it via HDMI to the TV, will that then play whatever is coming through the TV? i.e. I connect the Sky box via Scart to the TV, and then the 5.1 Home Cinema system via HDMI to the TV, that the Home Cinema system would play the audio of whatever was being played on the TV?

    Where's Silentbob/Phage/one of the other technologically savvy forumites when you need them?

    If you TV does Audio Out over Coaxial, Optical or HDMI then yes you can output the audio of whatever is being played on the TV to your 5.1 system.

    Edit: Though it won't be in 5.1. If, for example, you're inputting into TV from Sky via SCART then you'll only ever be routing that original audio source via the TV, assuming you have audio out, to the amp. In short, stereo/2.1 though some amps can do Pro Logic II and what not and pretend it's 5.1
  • BravoGolf Moderator 10 Jan 2009 20:38:24 12,771 posts
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    If you're looking for cheap easy solutions for short term quick fixes then the Acoustic Solutions stuff in Argos used to be pretty decent though I've never used them myself. If you want to play your consoles etc in 5.1 then you'll need digital input, the more inputs the better.
  • kentmonkey 10 Jan 2009 21:27:55 22,473 posts
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    The Home Cinema I've got at the moment is a Sanyo one, that does 5.1 from the DVD's but then some sort of pseudo 5.1 for the Sky box (audio from TV is via two phonos at the moment, but as I say that TV is going).

    So ideally a system that would do the same would be brilliant. I'm not too worried about the audio for games, as I almost always have my headphones in (lovely Bose ones, sound brilliant) whenever I game.
  • kentmonkey 10 Jan 2009 21:55:16 22,473 posts
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    The trouble with the Acoustic Solutions, err, solution, is that the Subwoofer would need to be connected to the audio device. In my house, due to the layout, the subwoofer is about 12 feet away from the TV, and there's no way of getting it closer.

    Therefore I do need one of the DVD/5.1 Home Cinema jobbies, so it can slide in on the shelf under the TV and easily connect, and I can use the speaker wire connected to the existing sub.

    Alternatively just a cheap 5.1 decoder/amp would work I suppose, with phono and digital inputs.
  • deem 10 Jan 2009 22:18:03 31,653 posts
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    I'd strongly recommend waiting/saving, and stretching your budget another £100.

    You could get a great separates set-up from Richer Sounds for £250, that would cover all your bases, and give you room to expand - plus give you much higher sound quality.

    I think you'll be doing well to meet your requirements for £150.

    How do your existing speakers connect to the current box?
  • kentmonkey 10 Jan 2009 22:24:35 22,473 posts
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    They connect via speaker wire deem.

    Thing is, as much as I would like a nice set-up (I use to love my audio - was a DJ for a few years so used to have all the best equipment at home), the walls in our house are ridiculously thin so we have to have it on really low otherwise you can hear next door (and we've had to go round to them before as there's was too loud and we couldn't hear our TV, so I don't want to inflict the same on them and be a hypocrite).

    Plus we're really stretching our budget as it is having to get the TV and a new Home Cinema setup, and with the current climate (both of the sectors we work in are not having a good time at all), and our cars having had to have a lot paid out on them over the past few months, we're really trying not to spend too much.

    That sounds very sob story and world's-smallest-violin, wasn't meant to be. Just realisation that we can't afford more than that, and there are other things that really need the money spent on, especially when we won't get the most out of a better system (much as it pains me to say).
  • deem 10 Jan 2009 22:33:22 31,653 posts
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    Fair enough, but from my experience, a decent amp does wonders at low volume levels.

    Why not keep your existing speakers, and go for a a decent Amp?

    SOmething like this http://www.richersounds.com/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=SONY-STRK880

    Has 2 HDMI inputs, 2 Component inputs, 3 Composite, 2 Optical inputs & Coaxial.
  • kentmonkey 10 Jan 2009 22:38:40 22,473 posts
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    I did look at that funnily enough, and it looks ideal, but they don't have any online stock and my local store didn't have any.

    That would be ideal though.


    They do have this one http://www.richersounds.com/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=YAMA-RXV361 without HDMI.

    or they do have this Yamaha with HDMI http://www.richersounds.com/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=YAMA-RXV363

    Although as I would then use the PS3 as the DVD upscaler/Blu-ray player and that has Digital Out, and as the 360 is in a different room, the one without HDMI would probab;y do and be within budget. I would just have to have the TV going through Phono's but I think from those specs that it would do a pseudo 5.1 (like we're getting now for DVD), have I understood that right?
  • deem 10 Jan 2009 22:43:16 31,653 posts
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    20 hours left and it's only £45 at the mo...

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Sony-STRK-880-Home-cinema-amp%2Freceiver_W0QQitemZ150319729163QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxZ20090107?IMSfp=TL090107133002r25384

    To be honest, I think you'd be mad to buy an AV receiver that didn't have HDMI.
  • kentmonkey 10 Jan 2009 22:46:05 22,473 posts
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    I might give that a go, cheers.

    Would I really need HDMI though, as we don't have Sky HD and the PS3 would connect via Digital out? I'm probably missing something, but I can't see where I would need HDMI until we got Sky HD (which isn't likely to be anytime soon at all).
  • deem 10 Jan 2009 22:47:45 31,653 posts
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    What do you mean the PS3 would connect via digital out? Optical? That's obviously not going to give you a video signal...
  • kentmonkey 10 Jan 2009 22:49:10 22,473 posts
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    Ah no, sorry. I mean connect the PS3 to the TV via HDMI, and then the audio to come out of the optical out on the back (I call it digital, which is incorrect I know) into the Amp.
  • kentmonkey 10 Jan 2009 22:58:47 22,473 posts
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    Actually, would I need an active sub with any of those amps? The one I have at the moment is passive, and I've already spotted (via Amazon reviews) that the cheaper Yamaha amp I linked above needs an active sub. Not sure about the more modern and more expensive one I linked to.
  • Deleted user 10 January 2009 23:12:02
    deem wrote:
    Fair enough, but from my experience, a decent amp does wonders at low volume levels.

    Why not keep your existing speakers, and go for a a decent Amp?

    SOmething like this http://www.richersounds.com/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=SONY-STRK880

    Has 2 HDMI inputs, 2 Component inputs, 3 Composite, 2 Optical inputs & Coaxial.
    I have no idea what the hell an amp is for but I really want this.
  • Deleted user 15 January 2009 18:47:12
    mowgli wrote:
    deem wrote:
    Fair enough, but from my experience, a decent amp does wonders at low volume levels.

    Why not keep your existing speakers, and go for a a decent Amp?

    SOmething like this http://www.richersounds.com/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=SONY-STRK880

    Has 2 HDMI inputs, 2 Component inputs, 3 Composite, 2 Optical inputs & Coaxial.
    I have no idea what the hell an amp is for but I really want this.
    Can someone tell me why I need to pay £200 for this? What does it do that is so special I've been looking at it for over a week now.
  • Deleted user 15 January 2009 18:49:30
    mowgli wrote:
    deem wrote:
    Fair enough, but from my experience, a decent amp does wonders at low volume levels.

    Why not keep your existing speakers, and go for a a decent Amp?

    SOmething like this http://www.richersounds.com/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=SONY-STRK880

    Has 2 HDMI inputs, 2 Component inputs, 3 Composite, 2 Optical inputs & Coaxial.
    I have no idea what the hell an amp is for but I really want this.
    :)

    To amplify sound of course.
  • Deleted user 15 January 2009 18:51:29
    ? How do you mean. I really really am totally and utterly clueless about this.
  • Dougs 15 Jan 2009 18:51:43 84,597 posts
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    mowgli wrote:
    Can someone tell me why I need to pay £200 for this? What does it do that is so special I've been looking at it for over a week now.

    It will make your current set up sound like it's built in monitor speakers. Or something.
  • Deleted user 15 January 2009 18:58:13
    mowgli wrote:
    ? How do you mean. I really really am totally and utterly clueless about this.
    Speakers won't make much noise without power and sound going in to them will they?
  • deem 15 Jan 2009 19:12:10 31,653 posts
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    mowgli wrote:
    mowgli wrote:
    deem wrote:
    Fair enough, but from my experience, a decent amp does wonders at low volume levels.

    Why not keep your existing speakers, and go for a a decent Amp?

    SOmething like this http://www.richersounds.com/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=SONY-STRK880

    Has 2 HDMI inputs, 2 Component inputs, 3 Composite, 2 Optical inputs & Coaxial.
    I have no idea what the hell an amp is for but I really want this.
    Can someone tell me why I need to pay £200 for this? What does it do that is so special I've been looking at it for over a week now.

    £149?

    You can plug in shit loads of HD and SD sources and have 1 cable running to your TV, then up to 8 speakers, and it'll make everything sound like you are at the Pictures.
  • Deleted user 15 January 2009 19:15:24
    ish :)
  • christourlord 15 Jan 2009 19:49:18 2,658 posts
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    Deem definitely speaks the truth... I just bought an Onkyo AV receiver and am in the process of filling my living room with B&W speakers, bought from eBay. Once I've got everything, it will have cost about £500 (I'm picking up my final two speakers on saturday), but I've done it over a couple of months, so it doesn't feel like I'm spending as much money as I actually am.

    /in denial
  • Deleted user 15 January 2009 20:14:13
    CrispyXUK wrote:
    mowgli wrote:
    ? How do you mean. I really really am totally and utterly clueless about this.
    Speakers won't make much noise without power and sound going in to them will they?
    Yeah but when ever I've been looking at 5.1 sets they have always included a DVD player that takes the place of the amp and is half the size. Why is this big silver amp thing better? So if I bought this I could slowly pick up speakers and build up a mini home theater instead of splashing out on a whole set at once.
  • Deleted user 15 January 2009 20:15:36
    deem wrote:
    mowgli wrote:
    mowgli wrote:
    deem wrote:
    Fair enough, but from my experience, a decent amp does wonders at low volume levels.

    Why not keep your existing speakers, and go for a a decent Amp?

    SOmething like this http://www.richersounds.com/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=SONY-STRK880

    Has 2 HDMI inputs, 2 Component inputs, 3 Composite, 2 Optical inputs & Coaxial.
    I have no idea what the hell an amp is for but I really want this.
    Can someone tell me why I need to pay £200 for this? What does it do that is so special I've been looking at it for over a week now.

    £149?

    You can plug in shit loads of HD and SD sources and have 1 cable running to your TV, then up to 8 speakers, and it'll make everything sound like you are at the Pictures.
    Yeah I've been watching it all week and it says out of stock, and the only other place I have seen it it's 220.
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