First attempt at 5.1 surround sound (PS3, Sky HD) - Am I doing this right?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by jimbo3176, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. jimbo3176

    jimbo3176
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    I recently purchased a Sony KDL-32V2500 screen, PS3 and Sky HD. The PS3 and the Sky HD box are connected via HDMI to the two 'HDMI in' ports in the back of the screen. I would like to achieve 5.1 surround sound from the PS3 and the Sky HD box.. and I naively rushed into buying a Sony DAV-DZ230 thinking that it must have the necessary inputs because its new and kinda matches the telly.

    :oops:

    I am completely new to this, so I have done some homework (reading this forum and others late at night - like now), but I couldn't find a post that answered my queries 100% and I want to be sure in case I purchase the wrong thing again. I have come to the conclusion that I think I need:

    An AV receiver with a minimum of 2 optical inputs
    An digital optical lead to run the audio from the PS3 to the receiver
    An digital optical lead to run the audio from the Sky HD box to the receiver
    A set of 5.1 speakers

    I have a budget of about £1000.. for the receiver I am looking at the Sony STR-DA1200ES in black, mainly because it's not too pricey and matches up nicely with my other Sony stuff. I now plan to use the PS3 for movies aswell as games so there is no need for a seperate DVD player.

    For the speakers I really like the Mission M-Cube set.. I know the reviews of them seem to suggest you can get better sound for the same money.. but I am not an expert on sound and for me the look of them is as important as the sound.. and they look nice! I have been used to a £150 all-in-one system for the last 5 years, so I should notice an improvement I hope.


    Here are my questions:
    1. Is this the correct way to connect these items?
    2. Is there anything else at all that I need to buy to make it work?
    3. Do I need a special cable to be able to view the on-screen display/setup for the receiver (as it will not be connected to the screen)?


    Thanks in advance for any shedding of light. :smashin:
     
  2. sp_harris

    sp_harris
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    You might want to read through a few other threads on this forum about the Sony 1200 - My understanding is that you can't get the 'full' HD sound from a blu-ray film over HDMI. Sony 1200 doesn't support LPCM [HD sound through HDMI] processing, only pass through.

    This thread might interest you.

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=446948&highlight=lcpm
     
  3. hoppaz

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    To answer your questions:

    1) Nope - you should get an amp that accepts hdmi cables (as this carries sound and video signal) and use hdmi cables and not optical ones. You connect you devices to the amp and therm run one hdmi cable to you tv (so you don't have to scroll through the av input button on you tv remote!). Some of the modern amps upscale tv inputs so if you connect other devices i.e. a dvd player via say component the amp with upscale the signal to high def which can improve things. Optical cables can't carry the bandwith for HD audio.
    2) You need an amp that accepts uncompressed LCPM over hdmi which the sony 1200 doesnt but I think the 3200 and the 5200 does (search this forum as it has been discussed just to be sure). This will allow HD audio over hdmi.
    3) if you connect as stated in answer one you should get the menu.

    Personally fully fledged HD surround amps are due sept (they should accept all the HD surround types) and I would wait till then. If you go for one now I think only certain HD formats are supported but I am not 100% sure on that one.

    If you have gone and bought an blue ray player you might as well get the benefit of HD audio which is superior than the audio you get today by an optical cable.

    Never heard the m cubes but search the speakers part of the forum and see what people review them as. More often than not other people recommend similar options (these are poeple who have heard a number of speaker systems so can provide their own opinions).
     
  4. martin@wolfy

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    I did not think that Sky HD outputted 5.1 via the HDMI connection and only does so through the optical output. Please correct me if i am wrong.


    Wolfy!!!
     
  5. Don Guido

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    To my knowledge it doesn't. (Sky - outputting sound through HDMI - at least not on my Sky box)

    I would certainly recommend you atleast stepping up to the Sony 3200ES as it supports LPCM (which will allow your Blu-rays to sound nice.

    I have a similar setup to yourself and am using the PS3 as Blu-Ray/CD/DVD player so for me its important that the amp does everything.

    The Sony 5200ES has a few features more than the 3200, notably some upscaling (though many have stated it doesn't do this that well)/ really nice on screen menu/ its a bit more poweful too.

    As regards speakers check out the Kef 1005/2005.2/3005 bundles which are great for movies (price range from 350 - 1000). What HiFi rate Q Acoustics 1010 (£500) for both music and movies, there are also older speaker packages like the Mordaunt Short Genies which can now be had for sub £500

    If you shop around you could put together a 3200ES with some speakers and cable for circa £1000. If you really haggled, you might get the 5200ES with speakers in that price range too.

    There are also other decent AV amps around too - check out the reviews of the Onkyo674se (I think that's the correct model number), though as mentioned above if you can afford to wait till later in the year you will get amps that will handle the newer HDMI 1.3 Sound formats - though of course you can always get stuck in a cycle of forever waiting for the latest and greatest.

    Kind regards and good luck

    Guy
     
  6. jimbo3176

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    Thanks everyone for the replies so far.

    I was vaguely aware of this, is the improved sound worth going a little bit over my budget for? Will I notice much difference with it wired up to a set of 5.1 speakers than are only about £700?



    That is ok for the PS3, but I was under the impression that the only way you can take audio from a Sky HD box to a receiver is to use the optical?



    If it is true that I need the optical for the audio from the Sky HD box, and I went for the STR-DA3200ES instead.. how would I connect it all up.. would it be:

    PS3 connects to receiver via HDMI (carrying audio and video)
    Sky HD box connects to receiver via HDMI (video) and optical (audio)
    Receiver connects to screen via HDMI?

    It really is a minefield so thanks again for any help :smashin:
     
  7. Don Guido

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    That's how I plan to connect mine - dont have the TV yet :D
     
  8. hoppaz

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    Apologies if this is true. However, HDMI is still the best way to connect to his tv (both his sky and ps3) and instead run an optical cable via the optical out instead to the amp from the sky box.
     

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