Buying Advice - Home Cinema Amp


Standard Member
Please can someone help me...

I have just purchased a 9series Panasonic professional plasma panel, SKY HD Box and PS3, BUT I have no sound system.

Has anyone got any advice about what products I could look at so that I can get a decent sound from this system. Ive never really even considered amps etc but as the plasma panel comes speakerless I need some help.

I do have a very old Sony 5.1 home cinema system which has 5 speakers so should I just use these speakers and buy a new Amp or will I need to invest in new speakers as well?

Any help would be most appreciated. I am not looking to break the bank as the stuff I have bought already has almost cleaned me out but obviously I want to get the best out of this new equipment


Active Member
Why not just start wth your existing Sony system to get you going? Then you can look to upgrade but at least you're up and running.

You may well be better posting in the Integrated Amps & Receivers section or the All-in-one systems section depending on your budget.


Standard Member
Thanks for the advice. I am not sure that my old sony system would work.

The PS3 and HD box both use HDMI and so I dont know how the SONY would tie these together and feed into the Plasma Panel.

I was thinking I needed an AV receiver that handles two HDMI inputs and has one HDMI output to the panel. Could I then just use the existing speakers from the SONY and plug them to the new receiver?

Ive also got 2 B&W speakers from my old HI FI system so again not sure if I could utilise them.

I was considering the SONY STR DA1200ES but maybe I dont need this???


Well-known Member
You actually have quite a few options/decisions and budget will play a part here too.

Both the PS3 and Sky box can be connected to an av amp via a digital optical cable, this should give you fairly decent sound and it will carry dolby digital ect.

If you go for a fairly new AV amp then it is likely that it will have a form of HDMI switching (please note that this normally only acts as a switch and will not do any processing for audio).

If you decide that you want to take advantage of the new audio formats such as Dolby true-hd then you could consider the Panasonic SA-XR700. This will process the audio from both your devices via the hdmi cable. This is one of the very few amps out there that is capable of this and Im not sure I would recomend wholely, itsnew technology and many more amps will be released later this year bettering the panasonic.

My view is, if your old sony amp can keep you going for the moment then it could be a wise move in the long run. Give it til Sept/Oct and there will be a whole load of new AV recievers offering the latest features.

Or if your feeling flush forget what i just said and get down to Sevenoaks Brighton and pick up an Arcam AVR250 for £595. It wont do any of the fancy stuff but it will sound a hell of a lot better than any other amp for the money ;)


Standard Member
Thanks Canti. I'll try and connect up the very old SONY and see how I get on. If it works, Ill take you advice and wait a bit for more AVs with the new technology as you suggested

Just to be clear are you saying that I connect the PS3 and SKY HD box to the panel directly via HDMI, but connect both the PS3 and SKY box to the SONY (Its a DAV-S300 BTW) via a digital optical cable for sound only?


Standard Member
Ive just checked my old SONY and it hasnt even got an input for a digital optical cable.

It basically has jack inputs for 'Video 1' and 'Video 2'. Video 1 has 6 inputs (3 video out, 3 video in) and Video 2 has 3 inputs.

Can I just connect the SKY box to the 'audio out'/'audio in' jacks within Video 1 and the PS3 to the 'audio in' jack (there is no audio out) within Video 2?

Sorry if I am being stupid or this makes no sense!!


Well-known Member
If your using your old amp then you might only be able to connect the analogue audio outs of both the PS3 and Sky box to the amp. The PS3 comes with an AV cable you can use. Im not certain but I think you can specify what audio output you want on the PS3, not tried using hdmi for video and analogue for sound.

If your screen has two hdmi inputs then connect both devices directly through hdmi. If it has one then you might have to try component video for one of them, that is until you get an amp with hdmi switching.

Let me know how you get on.


Standard Member
In the end I just cut the ends off 2 of my old SONY surround speakers and wired them directly into the TV. OK so its basic for now but means I can get by until more AMPs deal with 3 HDMI inputs and 1 output, as well as offer DTS HD etc. Not sure when this will be!

It also means I need to replug the HDMI cable each time I swap between the SKY HD box and the PS3, but hardly lots of effort in the short term.

Thanks for your help.

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