Music/Xbox/TV Audio through home cinema system - Can this be done?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by joelm1988, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. joelm1988

    joelm1988
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    Hi,
    I'm looking to kit my flat out with a decent sound system, but I'm struggling to figure out exactly what I need and how it would all work together.

    I currently have my Xbox 360 connected up to my 40" LG LED TV and the sound simply plays through there. I want to hook up some sort of speaker system to handle both the TV audio (programmes etc.) and the Xbox audio. As well as this (and where I'm getting lost) I would also like to be able to play music through the speaker system from my Macbook Pro. Preferably I would want to do this without constantly having to swap wiring about.

    The only other bit of kit I have which may be of help is an Airport Express, which can make speakers wireless. Sorry for being vague in what I need, but I can provide more info (product codes etc.) if needed!

    Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. joelm1988

    joelm1988
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  3. davepuma

    davepuma
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    Ideally you need a system or AV amp/receiver with three optical inputs assuming that the TV has optical out. What audio connections are available on the TV? What model of TV is it?

    TV - Home Cinema via optical or RCA phono
    Xbox 360 - Home Cinema via optical (which model of Xbox 360 do you have?)
    Apple Airport Express - Home Cinema via optical using mini-toslink to toslink cable or analogue 3.5mm to phono cable

    Unfortunately the systems you linked to are short on inputs, so I would suggest visiting the all-in-ones forum for suggestions on systems within your budget that can handle your sources or look at a separates or AV receiver/speakers package solution. A lot of the budget kit only has 2 x optical inputs, so you would need to convert 1 of them to digi-coax using a suitable converter.

    If the home cinema system only has 1 optical input, you would need a 3 way manual optical switch and short optical cables.

    The Samsung system you linked to has 1 optical input and 1 analogue input. The Philips system has 1 optical input, 1 digi-coax input and 1 analogue audio input.

    Thinking out loud, the Samsung system would need the optical switch for the TV and Xbox 360 and aux/phono for the Apple Express.

    The Philips system could also use the switch or a better solution would be to convert 1 of the sources to digi-coax, therefore it would be say, Xbox 360 to optical, TV to optical to digi-coax converter / digi-coax and Apple Express to aux phono input.

    The built-in Bluray player will enable you to play bluray and DVD discs and enjoy surround sound, it's as simple as that.

    Personally I would rather get a system that did not require switches or converters but you're going to have to increase the budget for that.
     
  4. joelm1988

    joelm1988
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    Thanks a lot for your reply. I'm trying to understand as much of it as I can, and I think I get what you're saying. For a start my Xbox is the newest (slim) version and my TV model number is LG LE4500:
    http://www.lg.com/uk/tv-audio-video/televisions/LG-led-tv-42LE4500.jsp

    I will take your advice and have a look in the one box forum for good systems within my budget. I think the problem I am having is that I can't yet visualise how it would all work together! For instance when it is all connected properly, say to the Philips package, and I was watching TV or gaming, how would I then switch to listening to music via either a wired connection or wireless with the airport express? Would one source of audio always take preference, or is that where switches come into play? Would I manually need to flick a switch to choose wether audio comes from my tv/xbox or macbook?

    Apologies for my lack of knowledge!
     
  5. davepuma

    davepuma
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    You would select the relevant input on the home cinema e.g. opitcal/D-IN or analogue/Aux. With the devices connected to an optical switch, you would obviously have to manually move the switch.

    The Airport Express would only be wireless from MacBook/iTunes to the Aiport Express, it has to be connected via cable to the home cinema system. You would then select Aux for analogue or the digital input if you were using the mini-toslink to toslink cable.

    If you are after a more seamless solution, then I would bin the idea of getting an all-in-one and investigate a separates based setup. Then it will just be a case of selecting the input on the AV receiver i.e. you won't have to get up from the couch to move switches around. They are messy and clumsy to operate. The Philips system at least one input per kit but you would need the converter.
     
  6. joelm1988

    joelm1988
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    Ah I see, I think maybe you're right. I am really looking for something that works much more effortlessly, so I think I need to start looking more into separates even if it means stretching my budget a little further.

    Do you think something like this from Richer Sounds would be able to handle what I am aiming for?
    http://www.richersounds.com/product/av-receivers/sony/strdh510/sony-strdh510

    I know this is probably quite a budget piece of equipment but I still have to keep my budget in mind and would obviously still need to buy a speaker package!
     
  7. davepuma

    davepuma
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    It has 2 optical and 1 coax input plus analogue so would be fine with tv and Xbox connected via optical and airport express either connected via digi coax using a converter or via analogue.

    For a few quid more you could get something with hd audio decoding eg Sony 520, Onkyo 309 or Yamaha 371.

    The Onkyo HTS-3405 or Yamaha YHT-196 might be worth a look if the budget is tight. The speakers are poor but obviously reflective of the price.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011

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