Any enhancement to surround sound effect from TV?

Kent Wood

Standard Member
Hi All,

I had recently bought my first LCD TV (Philips 37PFL5603D - 37" Widescreen 1080p Full HD LCD TV) from Walmart. The picture is fantastic and knocks most of the competitors out! :smashin:The sound is good but the TV surround sound feature is not good enough to experience the surround sound effect.

I would like to experience the surround sound effect without the need to buy a new soundbar / Full Home Theatre System. Anyone here have any idea how to create this surround sound effect in my living room? :lease:
 

Kent Wood

Standard Member
Hi Wad2002,

Thanks for the reply, but I do not want to buy a soundbar or a 5.1 Home Theatre System as I have limited budget after buying the TV.

Do you think it will be a good idea if I buy 2 external surround speakers that able to connect to the TV and position them at the back of my sofa to experience the surround sound effect? :)

Or anyone here have a better suggestions?
 

Karlos D

Novice Member
well, putting two speakers behind you will most definately surround you with sound, but if you're talking about getting discrete audio channels (so you can have sounds "moving" around) you're probably going to have to shell out some more cash

proper "surround sound" adds much more than just noise all around you - it allows sounds to move front-to-back, as well as left to right, giving a much richer experience.

Sorry!

Karlos
 

Stung

Novice Member
In fact it is possible to achieve a pseudo surround field by adding two rear speakers to an existing stereo setup. Its called the Hafler Circuit. The results are subtle and will not be a 'mind blowing' experience. But it does give some pleasing result for the cost of two inexpensive speakers.

This is how you wire up the extra speakers:-
A single wire from front left +ve terminal (this can be from either the amp or the front speaker) to rear left +ve terminal.
A single wire from rear left -ve terminal to rear right -ve terminal.
A single wire from rear right +ve terminal to front right +ve terminal (again, this can be on the amp or the front right speaker).

I experimented with this many many years ago.

Intresting article here:
http://www.audiosignal.co.uk/Resources/A_year_of_surround_sound_A4.pdf

There are many more articles on the subject. Just google Hafler Circuit.

Have fun.
 

moogoat

Novice Member
Still doesn't change the fact that five discrete channels provide an entirely different experience than simply amplifying and duplicating the sound on four or five speakers.

I would rather have 2.1 than five speakers irritating me from every corner of the room at the same time.
 

Karlos D

Novice Member
Ugh, the Hafler circuit may have been "revolutionary" in the early 70s when it was discovered, but so was the Ford Capri.

You don't say if you're using the internal tv speakers or not. I suspect the easiest and best increase in sound quality would come from using a pair of external speakers for the L+R channels, connecting them to the audio outputs of the TV - you'd probably notice more of the "surround" that the TV attempts to create. On that note, bearing in mind there's been 40 years of exponential electronic development since the Hafler was developed, there's a good chance that you'll get more advanced surround field processing out of the tv than the cross wiring your speakers in a hafler circuit.

If you are using external speakers and have a spare second set, by all means, try wiring up a Hafler, but i suspect you'll not be too impressed if the surround you're getting out of the TV isn't impressing you - but also try having the rears wired in parallel to the fronts, in serial with the fronts, both in and out of phase.
Your results and preferences may vary... but a proper 5.1 will knock a soundbar and any configuration of speakers and homebrew wiring into a cocked hat -The bay of fleas has second hand a/v amps for less than the price of a night out too, and even a discrete 4.0 system would be leaps and bounds above anything else.


(addendum)
the Hafler circuit only plays the "difference" between the front channels thru the rears. if you've got a 5.1 source, say a dvd, then the tv will convert this to 2.0 stereo for it's own internal speakers (most probably using left and right channels, and adding the centre channel to both of the front pair for dialog, and mixing the rears at a lower volume, possibly with a little bit of a time delay if it's trying to be clever)

Basically, all a Hafler Circuit doing is extending the stereo field and putting the speakers behind you...

Front Left plays left output
Front Right plays right output
Rear Left subtracts right output from left and plays that.
Rear Right subtracts left output from right and plays that.

(BTW, not having a go at the guy who suggested it, i'm just pointing out that it's not going to be groundbreaking, which Stung also said)
 

Stung

Novice Member
I agree with Karlos_D in that by adding external stereo speakers to your current setup (this depends on if your TV has the facility to support external speakers) will most probably improve your sound tonally, produce a better stereo separation and soundstage. This should also improve the pseudo surround sound imaging created by your TV’s electronic trickery.

However, it doesn’t automatically give you a better sound quality. The old rule of ‘Garbage in, garbage out” still applies. If your sound source and amplification isn’t up to scratch then don’t expect ‘quality’.

Generally, I wouldn’t expect too much from the sound that your TV produces. At best, you’re going to get stereo sound for music and regular programs. For movies you’re going to get 5.1 down mixed to stereo.

The Hafler circuit will produce, like I said, a subtle rear effect. But none of this is going to be anywhere near as good as a 5.1 setup. If you watch a lot of movies from a 5.1 source (BluRay, DVD, Sky, Virgin, etc) then I would highly recommend going down the 5.1 path.
 

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