Question I have a newbie question about the use of AV receivers

hdmaniac123

Novice Member
I know nothing about AV receivers. Never used one. So I am curious.

I have used 5.1 speakers with the computer in the past. All I had to do was plug in 3 jacks to the 3 females on the motherboard.
The only cost was the price of the 5.1 speakers.

But now that I am using a LED TV & want a 5.1 setup I am told that I need an AV receiver.

Probably a stupid question but why doesn't digital cable set top boxes or modern TVs offer a 5.1 output just like DVD players & computers offer ?

Why this extra need for a AV receiver ?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
5.1 isn't simply the portrayal of the same audio via multiple speakers. Discrete surround sound is mixed in a studio where the person mixing the soundtrack is in a studio surrounded by the speakers. You need an AV receiver to perform the decoding of the surround format and to also try recreate the ideal enviroment needed to recreate the space in which a soundtrack was mixed.

An AV receiver incorporates decoding, audio processing and amplification for each speaker. You'd simply not be able to incorporate this into every consumer device and it would also substantially effect the cost of devices if ever implemented. Sources are devices you access the audio via and you then convey the audio to an AV receiver for it to process and amplify that audio. Not everyone wants surround sound or can accomodate the speakers it needs. Why should they be paying for the required amplification and additional processing when buying other devices?

Your STB and an AV receiver are 2 entiely different entities and there's no reason why they'd be amalgamated.

There's also the additional audio and video source switching and it is very unlikely that you'd get every device including the same number of imputs as you'd get with an AV receiver. Even soundbars fall short when it comes to providing the same input and output options you get with most AV receivers.
 
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hdmaniac123

Novice Member
Why should they be paying for the required amplification and additional processing when buying other devices?
In case of DVD players & computers there is no amplification but a "millivolts" output just enough to satisfy the input of a self amplified 5.1 speakers.

I read your reply very carefully. Thanks a lot for the reply.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Only in the more expensive players will you now get analogue multichannel outputs. In mat instances, theese still require an AV receiver to process the sugnals being conveyed. You'd also still need amplification for each speaker in all instances. PLayers do not ordinarilly include inbuilt speaker amplification. THere are some units refered to as all in one setups though, but they are usually no where near as capable as more dedicated AV receivers.


You cannot drive passive speakers without amplification.
 

hdmaniac123

Novice Member
Only in the more expensive players will you now get analogue multichannel outputs. In mat instances, theese still require an AV receiver to process the sugnals being conveyed. You'd also still need amplification for each speaker in all instances. PLayers do not ordinarilly include inbuilt speaker amplification. THere are some units refered to as all in one setups though, but they are usually no where near as capable as more dedicated AV receivers.
I purchased my last DVD player 10 years back. I have no idea how they are these days.

You cannot drive passive speakers without amplification.
When I said "self amplified speakers" I meant something this >>click here

A lot of brands offer these speakers namely Logitech, Creative.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
That 5.1 setup actually include the processing and amplification you'd get with the AV receiver. Such setups are again more often than not compromised and sold more as a lifestyle product as opposed to being made for or targetted at home theatre enthusiasts.

You're just seeing things without the knowledge of knowing exactly what an AV receiver does. The speaker package you link to doesn't appear to have any decoding so the source would need to do this and there;s also the issue as to the calibration and or room EQ correction?

It is possible to do away with the AV receiver, but only if you'd a source that can do the decoding and if you've either the amplifucation needed to drive passive speakers or several active speakers.


The AV receiver does all of this and also functions as a video/audio switch for several sources.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
An audio/video receiver (AVR) is a consumer electronics component used in a home theater. Its purpose is to receive audio and video signals from a number of sources, and to process them and provide power amplifiers to drive loudspeakers and route the video to displays such as a television, monitor or video projector. Inputs may come from a satellite receiver, radio, DVD players, Blu-ray Disc players, VCRs or video game consoles, among others. The AVR source selection and settings such as volume, are typically set by a remote controller

 

hdmaniac123

Novice Member
@dante01
If you have the patience just one more question.
If I buy a 5.1 or Dolby Atmos Soundbar will I still need a AV receiver ?
As you can see I am a total newbie.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
No, a soundbar integrates the amplification, the processing and the speakers within the same cabinet. You do sometimes get soundbars that come with or have the option of adding an additional sub and or surround speakers.

Make sure that the one you go for has all the inputs and outputs you'd need. They will not include as many inputs as an AV receiver.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Another feature to look out for on a soundbar would be HDMI ARC or preferably the more recent eARC version of this.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Audio Return Channel (ARC). If both the TV and the soundbar or AV receiver are compliant then it allows a TV to output audio to the soundbar or AVR using the HDMI connection between them. THis cable is ordinarilly only used to convey video signals to the TV, but ARC allows it to also be used to send audio from the TV to another compliant device. You'd then be able to use this to access audio sourced via the TV's own apps or audio sourced via devices connected to the TV. It removes the need to make seperate audio output connections from the TV to the soundbar or AVR.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I am using this TV >>Click here
Is my TV compliant ?
I will have to search for the manual. Its somewhere in the house.
No. You're TV doesn't have eARC it is far too old. It may not even be ARC capable. Look at the HDMI inputs on the TV and see if any has ARC printed by it. With Panasonic that is usually HDMI 2.
 

hdmaniac123

Novice Member
No. You're TV doesn't have eARC it is far too old. It may not even be ARC capable. Look at the HDMI inputs on the TV and see if any has ARC printed by it. With Panasonic that is usually HDMI 2.
The HDMI ports on my TV is below the screen, facing the floor. I looked at them using a torch light. There is absolutely nothing printed anywhere near the HDMI ports.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
If wanting to convey audio sourced via the TV to the soundbar then you'd be best off using the TV's S/PDIF optical audio output. The soundbar should have an optical audio input.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
@dante01 @gibbsy

Now that we know my TV doesn't support ARC when I purchase a soundbar how will I connect it ?
Your TV doesn't have an optical output, at least I cannot see one in the specifications. It may be time to retire the old girl.
 

hdmaniac123

Novice Member
If wanting to convey audio sourced via the TV to the soundbar then you'd be best off using the TV's S/PDIF optical audio output. The soundbar should have an optical audio input.
Okay but I think I wont be needing it coz I am planning to buy Amazon Fire TV Stick and cancel my Digital Cable connection.

So from what I can tell given my lack of knowledge the connection will be like this :

Amazon Fire TV Stick >> Soundbar's HDMI in >>Soundbar's HDMI out >>> TV's HDMI

Am I thinking correctly ?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I purchased this TV on 2018. Just 2 years ago.
Wow. I was thrown by the HD Ready display. I can now see that it has two HDMI in, no mention of ARC. There is no optical out. There is a single 3.5mm audio output that will send analogue signals to a connected device, this is the output marked as 'headphone'.

All I can find on your model is here:
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Okay but I think I wont be needing it coz I am planning to buy Amazon Fire TV Stick and cancel my Digital Cable connection.

So from what I can tell given my lack of knowledge the connection will be like this :

Amazon Fire TV Stick >> Soundbar's HDMI in >>Soundbar's HDMI out >>> TV's HDMI

Am I thinking correctly ?
That would be fine.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Amazon Fire TV Stick >> Soundbar's HDMI in >>Soundbar's HDMI out >>> TV's HDMI
That should work but you would have to find a soundbar with HDMI out.
 

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