Ceiling speakers For Workmens Club advice

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by securitycraig, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. securitycraig

    securitycraig
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    Our local workmens club has had a refurb and has 2 televisions in opposite corners of a square room. Originally the sound came from the televisions, complaints progressed as they do from this type of club so I have volunteered my services as an electronics engineer and with the new ceiling just installed I mentioned that if we install ceiling speakers then everbody will hear the sky sports match.

    Which speakers and amplifier would you feel would put a big smile on all the members?
     
  2. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I think we need a few more details.

    What are the TV's? Brand and Model?

    How big is the room?

    Is there anything unusual about the room that we should know about? Odd shape and similar? Where are the TVs relative to the people in the room?

    Is this strictly for TV watching and background music? Or are there other purposes for which the speakers might be used?

    What are the options for the placement of the amps relative to everyone and everything else? For example, in a Pub situation, you probably want the amps behind the bar. If this is more of a social club setting, then the amps could be more open and accessible.

    Also, will the TVs ever have different content. One TV with people watching sports, and the other TV with people watching news and entertainment?

    Do you need zones of sound? For example, slightly louder near the TV where people are watching and listening, and quieter away from the TV where people are engaged in conversation?

    What is your preferred budget range for this project?

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  3. securitycraig

    securitycraig
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    The room is square and there is a sky box for each of the 2 televisions where I was proposing to take the audio feed from. The room is about 10 metre x 10 metre. People sit all around the room. And the TVs are on the wall diagonally opposite each other. One tv may have racing channel on and the other football. It is only a social club so Not very often will music be played. All amps will be behind the bar next to the sky boxes. I have to put forward a costing to the committee. Thank you
     
  4. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Well to start with, you need at least two independent amps. One for each TV. That is the only way you can have independent sound for each TV. However, there would be a way for one amp to feed the other, so both amps could play from the same source, or they could each play from independent sources.

    The main thing is the amps need to have Pre-Amp outputs on each amp.

    The next issue is the TVs. This is going to work best if the TV have Analog Audio Outs on them. If you can give us the model numbers of the TVs, and assuming they are not too old, we can look them up and check the owner's manual for AUDIO OUT connections.

    The alternate, if they do not have AUDIO OUT, is to add a couple of external DACs (Digital to Analog Converters). I'm making some assumptions about the TV you have. If they are digital capable TV, like LCD or Plasma, then either of the two suggested methods will work.

    Next, I'm not familiar with the details of the Sky Boxes. They may have their own Audio Out, which simplifies things, but limits the sound out to TV programming.

    10 meters is about 32 to 33 feet, sorry, my aging mind only works in feet.

    The speakers can be clustered somewhat near the TV, so that those away from the TV are not getting direct sound, but at the same time, the sound will still cover a wide area.

    Next we need to decide how many speaker and of what quality it will take to cover that space. Opinions will vary, but I'm guessing minimum 8 speakers. Four (2 left, 2 right) somewhat clustered in the ceiling near one TV, and another four (2 left, 2 right) somewhat near the other TV. That will spread the sound across a reasonable area, yet not inundate the entire room. People can still sit in the corners away from the TV and have reasonable conversations.

    If you get decent stereo amp, and you get 8 ohm speakers, then the amp should each be able to drive 4 speaker. I would say you need at least 6" speakers, though you might do better with 8 inch.

    So, two stereo amp with pre-amp outputs, and minimum of four speaker for each amp.

    Again, we need some sense of the budget. I realize that is what they are waiting for you to tell them, but we at least need a range.

    I would say, best guess, £200 for each amp, and ideally £100 or more for each speaker, though perhaps, in a pinch, a bit less. So, as it stands, we are looking at about £1000 or more, plus labor to install everything.

    As an example, on the speakers, here is a list of SpeakerCraft in-wall in-ceiling speaker, notice that the lowest is £75.

    HiFiGear.co.uk - In-Ceiling/In-Wall Speakers - SpeakerCraft

    If circumstances come about that require more than 8 speakers it gets complicated because a single standard reasonably cost Stereo amp will have a hard time driving more. Though there are some wiring tricks we can use to arrange more speaker into an impedance that will work with standard amps.

    Look at this thread for an explanation of how to wire speakers in various series and parallel combinations to keep the final impedance in the working range of the amp.

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/speakers/1570919-venue-installation-issue.html

    In post #4, the first diagram showing FOUR 8 ohms speakers wired in such a way as the final impedance remains 8 ohms, is probably as extreme as you would ever have to go. Rather than the suggested 4 speakers per stereo amp, it would allow 8 speakers per stereo amp. (4 left, 4 right). I can't imagine you needing more than that.

    How does that suggested budget sit with you? You might be able to find cheaper speakers, but with lower cost comes lower sound quality, and I suspect, if anything, the real problem with the TV speakers is that when you turn them up, as I'm certain you must do, the sound quality becomes terrible.

    An alternative, would be some very substantial bookshelf or floorstanding speakers. One set of floorstanding for each TV, or perhaps two sets of wall mounted bookshelf for each TV. These would play louder and clearer, and that alone would be a massive improvement over the internal TV speaker which are typically trash.

    Placing floorstanding or bookshelf could cause some problems. Again, I can't see the place, and I don't know the general atmosphere. If this place is civilized, then some high mounted floorstanding near each TV, might give you what you need. If the place gets a little rowdy, you don't want floorstanding where they can get knocked over. Though there are ways of addressing that within reason. In this place, best to mount bookshelf up high out of the way.

    In-ceiling will give very uniform sound in the room, and having sound, in essence, everywhere, means it doesn't have to be quite as loud. Having floorstanding or bookshelf, localizes the sound a little more. It is going to be louder to those who are close, and less loud away from the speaker. Again, depending on your circumstance, that could be a plus or a minus.

    Even a simple pair of bookshelf speakers on each TV is going to be a massive improvement on the internal TV speakers. The internal speaker are tiny, and when turned up the grow very distorted, and sound terrible.

    So, you have a few issues to resolve.

    1.) Budget - How do the number I've given seem to you. Is £1000 to £1200 way out of reach.

    2.) TV AUDIO OUT - we need to determine if the TVs have analog Audio Out connectors on them. Alternately, that the Sky Box (sorry, again not familiar with these) have Audio Out. The alternative, I speculate, will add about £300 to £500 to the budget.

    3.) What are your real needs and goals? I'm guessing as to what it would take, but I can't be sure. If you simply want the TVs to sound better, that can be reasonably cheap. If you really want to fill the room with sound, though not necessarily loud sound, then that means more speakers spread over more area. But without some sense of what the room needs, anything I suggest is just pure speculation.

    I'm speculating 4 speaker or 8 speaker, but under the right circumstance, perhaps a simply pair (1 left, 1 right) would be enough to give you what you need. It would move the sound out from the TV and more into the room, and better speakers would give you better quality sound.

    All things are possible, but we need some sense of the real requirements.

    You could start with two amps, and two in ceiling speakers (1 left, 1 right) for each TV, and see how that goes. If you feel that is not enough, then add 2 more.

    Lastly, virtually anything is going to be an improvement over the tiny internal speakers of the TV, so even the most minimum improvement in terms of amps and speaker, is still going to be a substantial improvement.

    If someone could bring in a small stereo with bookshelf speaker, and connect that in place of the TV internal speaker, that would give you a very good idea of what you can expect for improvement, and might nicely inform your decisions from there.

    Just a few thoughts.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  5. SeanT

    SeanT
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    If they are plasmas / LCDs with external speakers and speaker outputs, I've achieved good results in the past on a very tight budget by just fixing a pair of JBL Control One speakers either side of the TV and connecting them to the normal speaker outputs, but I wouldn't run more than one pair of speakers this way.

    Anything more advanced than this and you're going to need to deal with controlling the volume of each source and set of speakers, unless the TVs have a ***variable*** audio output, which would mean you can use an in-ceiling amp and matching speakers - and continue to use the TV remote to adjust the volume. I'd still tend to use in-wall / on-wall for programme audio combined with ceiling speakers, most ceiling speakers aren't that hot unless you spend £££

    If you can't do either of these you'll want a basic mixing desk with say 6(or 8 for adding a microphone?) inputs and 4 outputs to do source selection / volume, with a 4 channel amp, or two stereo power amps. I've not seen a sky box without audio outputs. Obviously if you use the sky box audio output you can't watch freeview / freesat from the TV directly, suspect this isn't an issue though.
     

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