Im Clueless. Need help with system.


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Dec 31, 2007
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I dont realy know much about this stuff so I need some help. Im looking for a 2.1 setup or like two floor standing speakers. I want to connect the TV sound, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Sky+. I have no idea how it works, I mean how to you connect that all to an amp thing as well as the TV. I dont want to spend too much.

Need to be able to play music as well.
how to you connect that all to an amp thing as well as the TV.

The connections would go something like this:

XBox to AV amp - HDMI
PS3 to AV amp - HDMI
Wii to TV - component (the audio out from the TV to the AV amp will cater for the Wii audio to AMP)
SKY+ to AV amp - Optical audio
SKY+ to TV - RGB SCART (video)
TV to AV amp - either optical or anologue audio depending on what is available
AV amp to TV - HDMI
How much is "too much", you will need to be more specific if you hope to get any suggestions? Decent floorstanding speakers cost but if you're referring to the 'tallboy' type speakers that ship with home-cinema-in-box (all-in-one) type systems, your best bet is to go to the all-in-ones forum and ask there. Sony do systems such as the HT-SF1300 (not sure of current models or if that one has been replaced) that have 'tallboy' speakers and an amp unit that have sufficient connections for modest setups and they don't have a built-in DVD player that you will never use. The Sony I mentioned is 5.1 but I'm sure there are 2.1 systems out there with 'tallboy' speakers.

Otherwise, you're looking at £250 or so for a decent budget AV receiver (amp) and then add some speakers and cables. It really depends on your budget.

How everthing connects will depend on the available connections and specs but I will list the basics:

TV audio is usually output over analogue RCA cables (red/white) or (digital) optical. Some Philips TV's use digital-coax. As you have Sky+ with twin tuners, do you use the TV's tuner much? If not, I would leave it for 'quiet' listening via its built in speakers

The Xbox 360 outputs audio over optical. Newer HDMI models can output audio over HDMI but would need a compatible amp. Not all HDMI amps can accept audio over HDMI, some simply pass the signal (untouched) straight to the TV and use the amp to switch HDMI sources, resulting in a single HDMI cable to the TV.

The wii only outputs audio in stereo over analogue RCA (red/white) cables. Therefore, an option would be to connect both video and audio to the TV and then run the audio cable from the TV (providing the TV outputs external audio) to the amp resulting in both TV and wii audio or in other words it will output audio over whatever is playing. As the output is stereo, the amp can mix this to give a pseudo surround effect, although not really applicable in 2.1

The PS3 can output standard surround sound formats in bitstream (raw) over optical. The formats in question are the old vanilla formats; Dolby Digital and DTS. However, the PS3 is also a bluray player and with bluray, you can access lossless audio tracks inc. Dolby True HD and DTS MA which the PS3 can decode, in addition to the standard audio formats previously mentioned and output as something called LPCM (look it up on Wiki) over HDMI. These formats are 'high definition' audio formats. More details on HD audio formats can be found HERE. Optical lacks the necessary bandwidth and HD audio can only be output from the PS3 over HDMI.

BTW, any system or amp can "play music" but how accomplished they are at stereo playback depends and how big your expectations are. If you already have a good stereo system, playing music on an AV setup would be a bit of a step down.

To recap, your requirements are 3 optical inputs as a minimum and at least 1 analogue audio connection. Unfortunately many budget and all-in-ones lack this but you can add external switches to get around it (for optical).
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Sony STRDH800 7.1 Receiver £280
Tannoy SFX5.1 £200

= £480

Sony STRDH800 7.1 Receiver £280
KEF KHT1005.2 £230

= £510

Sony STRDH800 7.1 Receiver £280
Whardale Diamond 9 HCP 5.1 speaker package £350

= £630

ONKYO TXSR506 £200
Tannoy SFX5.1 £200

= £400

ONKYO TXSR506 £200
KEF KHT1005.2 £230

= £430

ONKYO TXSR506 £200
Whardale Diamond 9 HCP 5.1 speaker package £350

= £550
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Also, check out the Marantz 4002 (£260). Good performer with music since it had a rrp of £500 when first released. HD audio via PS3. Only 2 hdmi inputs and 1 output and if your tv is 24p you would need to ensure the PS3 has it's "forced 24p" option turned on. IMO it's a bargain.
Thanks for you inputs guys. However it looks like its going to cost a fair bit, and I dont realy want to waste money on a cheap system when I can just save up for something better because I want something of good quality.

For the time being if I were to get some harman kardon soundstick II and plug them in the tv 3.5 jack do you think its worth it. I know it probably wont be the best quality, but perhaps better than the speakers in my LE40A686. Or anything else for around £100.
The TV has analogue & digital audio outputs. So could I use either of those with the AE Aego?
There's the Onkyo HTX-22HD for under £300:

The Onkyo HTX-22HD is a high definition, 2.1 channel (upgradable to 5.1), home cinema speaker system featuring HDMI 1.3 connectivity, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, a powerful integrated amplifier and subwoofer and stylish stereo front speakers. Perfect for Blu-ray/DVD players or games consoles, it offers instant HD audio entertainment.

• 2 HDMI Inputs and 1 Output (with Deep Color,x.v. Color, Lip Sync, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digtal Plus,
Super Audio CD and Multi-CH PCM)
• DTS Surround Sensation Speaker Technology
• Onkyo RIHD for System Control
• VLSC(Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry)
• Audyssey Dynamic EQ for Loudness Correction
• Audyssey 2EQ to Correct
Room Acoustic Problems
• 2 Optical / 1 Coaxial Digital Inputs
• 2 Audio Inputs
• Pre Out for Surround Back Speaker
• Theater-Dimensional Virtual Surround Function
• Remote Control Supplied
• 16 cm A-OMF Diaphragm Woofer
• Aero Acoustic Drive for Powerful and
Natural Sound
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