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Complete newbie in need of help

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by NiGHTS, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. NiGHTS

    NiGHTS
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    Hi, as you can see this is my first ever post, so go easy on me. :)

    I know you're probably sick of all the 'n00bs' asking questions, but I thought I may as well give it a shot anyway seeing as you guys obviously know your stuff.

    Right, so I bought this (http://www.electricalscentre.com/acatalog/36_PICTURE_FRAME_3_TVS.html) TV after a lot of researching into a lot of other sets. It hasn't arrived yet though, so I've got a little bit of time to buy some bits and pieces I need to set it up. This is where I need some of your collective expertise.

    Basically, I don't really know anything when it comes to the sound/cabling (Plus anything else important) side of things. I don't know the difference between an amp and a reciever (If there is a difference at all! :p ), I'm not sure which cables are best...nothing. So I need you (If possible) to basically give me a beginners guide (Jargon free if possible :p ) to the whole thing (Pros/Cons regarding different types of equipment, cabling, etc) along with some recommendations for equipment I should buy and where I could get it from.

    This new system is basically going to be a gaming sancturary for the most part if that makes an sort of difference. I know I'm going to need one of those scart block things due to the huge amount of scart cables from all the consoles, so could you recommend me some of these too if possible.

    My budget isn't going to be huge (My job doesn't pay THAT well :rolleyes: ), but feel free to list prices and I'll tell you if the bits and pieces are within my price bracket. I know cabling is going to be important (I've always been picky about picking the right cables for my consoles), so price isn't as much an issue there. If something is so utterly superb, that it'll be worth the huge amount of money, then I'd probably be willing to save for a bit longer.

    So there you go. Yet another annoying newbie asking stupid questions, but please bare with me. I know I'm asking a lot of you, but as you can see I'm completely and utterly lost when it comes to the whole subject.

    Thanks in advance! :thumbsup:
     
  2. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    Recommending equipment is a little difficult as you havent said what you are looking to achieve. The TV comes with a 'basic' surround sound set up, are you intending to use this or looking to build a seperates 7/5.1 setup?

    The first question is very easy to answer - an amp is exactly what it sounds like, a receiver is an amp with a built in radio tuner.

    With the set you have bought the best picture will be achieved through component cables and the best sound through a digital (either coax or optical) connection if you are intending to use the surround sound built into the TV rather than a seperate system.

    Normally I would recommend connecting the DVD to the TV by component cables for the picture and connect the sound via a coax cable but I note that you state that you mainly want to use the set for playing a games console. If this is the case you may want to connect the games console via component instead of the DVD to get the best picture - you can certainly do this with the PS2 and the Xbox by buying an upgraded cable - Sony make their own 'standard quality' one, the likes of Game do budget versions and Ixos advertise high quality versions (though I have never used any of them to varify their claims. You would then connect the console via digital connection (optical for the PS2 not sure about the others) to the TV - personally I would recommend QED cables but Ixos tend to also be good and cheaper.

    If you do the above then connect the DVD via an RGB scart lead to one of the 2 RGB Scart sockets on the TV and another digital audio cable for the sound (the set has 1 optical and 1 coax input but thankfully the DVD has both so which ever you dont use for the games console use for the DVD). Whilst there are arguements over which is better coax or optical with a TV surround sound setup I very much doubt you could tell any difference unless the dvd/games console is to be 10m+ away from the TV.

    If you decide that the DVD picture quality is your main priority or you use an older games console that doesnt offer component outputs then just reverse the setup - connect the DVD via component and the console via RGB scart.

    If you are wanting to bite the bullet and buy a seperate AV amp/receiver then there are a world of possibilities and you would need to suggest a budget for people to make suggestions on as they can range from a couple of hundred £ to getting close to 6 figures.

    Does anyones job pay THAT well in their own opinion?
     
  3. NiGHTS

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    Thanks Astaroth, that helped shed a bit of light on things.

    I'd rather have a dedicated sound system than the one that comes with the TV to be honest, as I'm sure the sound quality wouldn't really be anything special. I don't think I'll be after a 7.1 system though, as that sounds a bit excessive at the moment. 5.1 should do me fine for now, unless 7.1 isn't too much more expensive of course.

    My budget isn't really set in stone, so if I give you guys a rough estimate of around £1000, could you give me some recommendations from that? I'd be willing to spend a little bit more if it was worth it though. I'm guessing I'll be needing a receiver/amp, speakers and lots of cabling right? If possible, when you recommend something, can you give me a link or something to where I could buy it. That way I can have a look around for the cheapest prices.

    Regarding the console/DVD cabling, it's probably best if I connect the DVD player via componant, as I'd have to keep swapping the cables around for the consoles otherwise (Unless there's some kind of componant block similar to the scart blocks), which is one of my main gripes now. Unless there's a noticeable difference in quality between RGB and componant, I don't think it really matters anyway.

    Out of interest, are the all in one sound systems any good? I'm guessing a hand choosen system would probably be a better choice right?

    Thanks again Astaroth. :thumbsup:
     
  4. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    Almost all amps these days are 7.1 surround and therefore the only additional costs are for the extra rear speakers and the cable to connect them - though if you buy a 7.1 amp it will still run perfectly happily in a 5.1 set up, giving you the chance to buy the extra rears later.

    There will be almost no difference between interlaced component and RGB Scart however component does offer the option of using progressive scan which 'should' always look better. The DVD that you are getting supports this and I know the PS2 does - I am not into my games consoles so I cant comment on the others.

    I used to own a all-in-one system back in my student days but must admit that I have not been interested in them since and so have not followed their development. All-in-one solutions are obviously a convenience thing - all the parts match each other sonically and asthetically, easy to connect up and you get all you need in a box - but in my personal experience they attempt to meet everyones tastes and so most people think they are ok but very few love them.

    I am not aware of a 'componant block' however (depending on which av amp you bought) an av amp can accept multiple video inputs and switch between them as you choose different inputs. I have a Denon avr 2805 (at online prices arround £500) and it can accept 3 componant inputs plus it will also accept a large number of s-video/composite inputs and outputs them all via progressive scan componant.

    The Denon AVR 1905 (£215) and 2105 (£325) are both excellent (and award winning amps) the main difference between the 2805 and 2105 is that the lower model wont set up s-video/composite to progressive scan component (not a major issue in my opinion) - the major difference between 2105 and 1905 is that the 1905 doesnt have an auto setup (which is very useful in my opinion).

    The speakers would depend on wether you want a set of the mini-'lifestyle' speakers, a set of full sized bookshelve speakers or full sized speakers with floor standers for the front left/right channel.

    For interconnects - you would potentially only need a single additional video interconnect between the av amp and the TV and a connector from the av amp to the sub-woofer. For speaker cable it is worth spending a little on the cable for the front 3 speakers (something like QED silver anniversary £5/m is good) and then some cheaper cable for the long runs to the rear speakers (£2/m should be more than good enough)

    I hope this helps you - if you want more specific advice on which speakers to get then I would suggest that you put a new post on the speaker forum as they will know their stuff better than me.
     

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