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Please help an A/V novice!

themagician

Standard Member
Howdy.

I've never had anything fancy in the way of Home Cinema before so have decided to treat myself to a decent setup.

I have spent ages looking for all the components, and I'd just like to get some confirmation from the pros on the following.

This is what I've got my eyes on so far (not set in stone by any means)

TV - Panasonic TX-P50G10B :: Panasonic TX-P50G10B PLASMA

PVR - Topfield TF5810 :: Play.com (UK) : Topfield TF5810PVRt 500GB Upscaling Freeview Twin Digital Tuner

AMP - SONY STR-DH500 A/V Receiver

Now I'm new to the whole idea of AMPS. As I understand it all the inputs come into this and this is then hooked up to the TV via an HDMI cable.

So I would connect the PVR, Wii, Speakers, Computer to the AMP? I've checked the specs and it looks like that would all work with the items I've picked out above.

My PC has an HDMI output, so I figure there's no problem connecting that up to the Amp also - I am very keen on playing videos from the PC -> TV, maybe blu-ray in the future if I get a blu ray drive for the PC.

In terms of speakers, I'm not 100% sure on this. Am I precluded from using any particular type. The number of inputs/outputs for the amp is quite extensive -

ampo.jpg


What kind of speakers should I be getting? Digital / analogue? Will I notice a difference on the majority of stuff? From the above grid I can't even tell what output I'd use for Amp -> Speakers

Can you see anything that would set off any warning bells in your mind (apart from my obvious lack of a/v savvyness)?

Thanks in advance.
 
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davepuma

Distinguished Member
Now I'm new to the whole idea of AMPS. As I understand it all the inputs come into this and this is then hooked up to the TV via an HDMI cable.

The feature you quoted is called video conversion or upconversion. The Sony you linked to, does not do this. The 2400ES is about the cheapest of the current Sonys that does it at £400. The Denon 1610 is a good quality receiver that performs upconversion.

So I would connect the PVR, Wii, Speakers, Computer to the AMP? I've checked the specs and it looks like that would all work with the items I've picked out above.

As I mentioned above, you would need an amp that performed upconversion of analogue to HDMI for you to do this, otherwise, for example, if you connect a source via component video (green/blue/red), you would need to run another component video cable from the amp to the TV (or simply connect directly to the TV if you have only one source using that cable/signal type).

My PC has an HDMI output, so I figure there's no problem connecting that up to the Amp also - I am very keen on playing videos from the PC -> TV, maybe blu-ray in the future if I get a blu ray drive for the PC.

Remember PC's are built by just about everyone these days and use various components. Without knowing the specs of motherboard, sound and graphics card, it is impossible to say how it would connect. HDMI in graphics cards is relatively new and it is only on recent cards that audio is also carried over HDMI (esp. multi-channel audio). It shouldn't be a problem connecting both audio and video via an amp though once you know the specs of the PC's components.

In terms of speakers, I'm not 100% sure on this. Am I precluded from using any particular type.

What kind of speakers should I be getting? Digital / analogue? Will I notice a difference on the majority of stuff? From the above grid I can't even tell what output I'd use for Amp -> Speakers

It is important to match the power rating and impedance rating (ohms) of the amp with the speakers. Most AV Receivers will happily drive >8ohm speakers. Speakers connect from the speaker outputs which are usually binding posts (or on cheaper amps, spring clips, which aren't as good). The subwoofer (active = powered) connects from an RCA pre-out connection to the subwoofer.

Do you have an overall budget?
 

themagician

Standard Member
The feature you quoted is called video conversion or upconversion. The Sony you linked to, does not do this. The 2400ES is about the cheapest of the current Sonys that does it at £400. The Denon 1610 is a good quality receiver that performs upconversion.

Ah, I'm very glad I asked now as this was something I wasn't aware of. Thanks for the recommendation - liking the look of the Denon AVR1610 so will go for that I reckon.

Remember PC's are built by just about everyone these days and use various components. Without knowing the specs of motherboard, sound and graphics card, it is impossible to say how it would connect. HDMI in graphics cards is relatively new and it is only on recent cards that audio is also carried over HDMI (esp. multi-channel audio). It shouldn't be a problem connecting both audio and video via an amp though once you know the specs of the PC's components.
I built it (I'm slightly better with PCs than with TVs :)) and the graphics card is a GeForce 9800GX2 on a P5k mobo and I have the SPDIF lead that came with it for carrying audio over the HDMI connection - so I'm moderately confident that will be OK..

It is important to match the power rating and impedance rating (ohms) of the amp with the speakers. Most AV Receivers will happily drive >8ohm speakers. Speakers connect from the speaker outputs which are usually binding posts (or on cheaper amps, spring clips, which aren't as good). The subwoofer (active = powered) connects from an RCA pre-out connection to the subwoofer.
:eek: Binding posts eh? So the wires from the speakers need to be stripped and inserted into those. What sort of 5.1 speaker set would you go for then with the above in mind?
Do you have an overall budget?
Round about the £2k mark, but I am flexible.

Many thanks for your help, it's very useful indeed.
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
Q-Acoustics, Wharfedale Diamond 9HCP(same site) or MA Radius/Vector (see Peter Tyson) would be a good start.

You can use bare wires or 4mm banana plugs (useful at the amp end) for the speaker cables.
 

themagician

Standard Member
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