Please help! Newby needs help with 5.1 surround sound purchase.

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by shamilt1, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. shamilt1

    shamilt1
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    My first post so hi everyone. I am getting some new AV kit very soon - a Samsung LE40F86, a PS3 ( for my main DVD upscaler/ Blu ray player) and either Sky HD or wait until spring for freesat HD. Anyhow, I want a 5.1 surround system ( without a DVD player) for hooking it all up to. I have a budget of around £250. I have looked at the JVC TH-L1 and this one looks okay, but just wondering if there is anything better in this price bracket. I'm also considering the HTD870RSS - selling the DVD HDD recorder that it comes with will mean it will only cost around £250. Something I really need to know is, do the PS3 and Sky HD have to run through the surround system by HDMI and optical to get 5.1 surround, or can I just link the PS3 and Sky HD directly to the TV by HDMI and just run the sound from the TV to the amp somehow. Just wondering because I have been put off a few possible systems (such as the HTDDW890) because they only throughput DVD to 1080i - if I run my PS3 1080p upscaled DVD through this system, would it reach the telly in 1080i or 1080p? I am confused. Please help me my head hurts. Sorry if this sounds daft, but I am new to all this.
     
  2. davepuma

    davepuma
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    I don't know of any all-in-one systems that can process HD audio or are HDMI 1.3 certified etc. Most of the ones that do that have HDMI simply switch it. So, if your TV has sufficient inputs, connect direct to the TV for video and the amp for audio only via digital coax or optical. Sky HD only outputs 2.0 channel audio over HDMI, so a separate optical connection is required. The PS3 can output audio over HDMI but requires a compatible amp/receiver e.g. Sony 910. There is a separate forum for all-in-one units, Pixmania have a good selection under "amp and speaker packages" IIRC. The Sony HT-SF1100 would be a good budget buy but remember if you go down the all-in-one route, you pretty much have to ditch the lot when it comes to upgrading. I have heard a few all-in-one systems in my time and the Sony ones were quite good, whereas a mid priced Panasonic one was absolutely terrible. I would be more inclined to save a bit more ££££s and go for a budget amp and speaker package like the Jamo A102 HCS5, which is popular at the moment or the MS Premiere 5.1 package. Both can be bought for around £190 to £210 or so. Add a budget receiver, e.g. Sony 710, Onkyo 505, Denon 1508 etc, or Cambridge Audio 540R V2 (bargain at £150). and you will be away. If you can spare a few more £££s the Sony 910 is a perfect partner for the PS3.
     
  3. shamilt1

    shamilt1
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    Thanks for your reply. The Tv has 3 HDMI inputs. So does this mean I run the picture via HDMI straight to the Tv, and the sound to the amp via optical? If this is the case then it doesn't matter about the throughput of the amp and my choice opens up even further! :thumbsup: I have never had surround, only ever used the Tv speakers, so I'm sure I will be more easily pleased than most, thats why the budgets a bit tight.
     
  4. shamilt1

    shamilt1
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    Is there any advantage of running HDMI through an amp rather than straight to the TV?
     
  5. sp_harris

    sp_harris
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    Main advantages of running HDMI through the amp are:

    1) To get HD Sound formats from Blu-ray and HD-DVD (Normal Dolby Digital can still be done using optical cable)

    2) To make switching easier, i.e. when you tell the amp to switch to DVD it will switch the sound to DVD input and also send the DVD video feed from amp to TV. Some amps will allow you to plug all video and sound sources into the amp then send video output to TV via 1 HDMI cable.

    If you are not bothered about getting the latest HD sound formats, have plenty of connections on the TV and are not looking to spend much, then I wouldn't worry about an amp with Video capabilities. Send all video sources to TV then connect them to the amp via optical/co-axial cables, etc...
     

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