Advice please on purchasing a surround set up


Standard Member
Hi All, New to the forum and relatively new to AV.
I have a Panasonic TH42PZ82B with V+ box and Sony DAV-F200, and bought a PS3 to go with it at the weekend. I haven't been hugely happy with the Sony player since I bought it as it is not as immersive as I was told it would be by the shop, even though I realise it is only 2.1. The reason for its purchase was due to room shape where I can not install rear speakers.
So my question is can anybody reccommend a different, more immersive 2.1 system (i don't need the DVD player element now as I have the PS3 for that). Or am I better off buying a 5.1 set up even though the rear speakers will have to positioned to side of the listener rather than the rear. I hope to get £200 ish on ebay for the Sony and can afford around another £150 in addition, I don't mind buying secondhand if the price & system is right.
Thanks :D

BTW I have a pair of KEF Q50 speakers for my hi-fi which I would not be adverse to integrating with the surround set up if that would be a better option.
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Distinguished Member
2.1 wise, have a look at the Onkyo HTX-22HD at £300, which can be made 5.1 by adding the additional speakers for £100 or so. It can process audio over HDMI and therefore you can hear the latest lossless hd audio formats such as dolby true hd and dts ma.

5.1 wise, the cheapest route to HD audio from your PS3 is a system such as the Sony HT-SS100. Sony h/c systems in my experience are better than most of the others from Panasonic, Samsung etc.

However, as you've already found a Sony all-in-one type system with small speakers lacking, separates might be the way to go. It would be tight on your budget but you could start with an AV receiver plus bookshelf speakers, then add the rest later as funds allow. £150 will get you an entry level new receiver, so second hand would be a good option. If you go new, Cambridge Audio would be a good place to start, no HDMI audio but they more than make up for it in terms of out and out sound quality. Take a look at the LPCM receiver thread above as the receivers there are only a few years old and will give you HD audio from your PS3.

Having the rear speakers at the side is not an issue tbh, as long as the rear speakers are aimed at your ears that is what counts!


Standard Member
Thanks for the quick and detailed reply. The Onkyo was something I have been researching but I wanted to find out how good it was in 2.1 mode. Does it give a 'virtual' surround experience or is it just like the Sony where you only have additional sound coming from a different point in the room but doesn't 'surround' you. Perhaps I am expecting too much from 2.1
However I do like the idea that you can upgrade the Onkyo at a later date when funds allow.

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