Surround sound Novice - Please Help

Adam R

Novice Member
Hi All, I know a bit about my plasma TV, PS3 Sky HD set up etc but I know nothing about a dedicated 5.1 surround set up.

I currently have the following:

Panasonic TH42PZ85BA
SKY+HD
PS3
Xbox 360 etc

I have the Panny, sky HD & PS3 connected to an old £99 acoustic solutions 5.1 surround sound system mod no:DS533 which is ok but the small surround sound spaeakers seem a little weak.

I know nothing about AV receivers or amps or even what the difference is! Av receivers seem to be a biy of a mine feild to me with so many different options available!


Anyway, what I would like to know is is it possible to get a decent surround sound set up for about £200-£300 inc amp & 5.1 speakers?
If so what options, makes or specifications do I need to look for for my set up?

I do quite like the Kef KHT1005's but they are £199 so not leaving me much spare for an amp.

Please help a complete novice & point me in the right direction :lease:
 

crisdo98

Standard Member
I'd check this link out at richer sounds for a decent AV receiver.
ONKYO TXSR506-SIL at Richer Sounds - HI-FI Separates, Home Cinema, Speakers, MP3 DVD Portables, Plasma LCD, etc.

I think the problem you're going to have it that you'll run out of optical fibre inputs as most these only have 2 at the back and possibly 1 at the front.

Other recommend the Onkyo 506 for it's value. There are some cheap pionner speakers over at Play.com that I also have but they tend to not be in stock at the moment :( . sounds is good and I'd recommend them for their price.

Play.com (UK) : Pioneer S-V240-QL Home Cinema Speakers : Electronics - Free Delivery

All the best.
Chris
 

Adam R

Novice Member
I think the problem you're going to have it that you'll run out of optical fibre inputs as most these only have 2 at the back and possibly 1 at the front.

Other recommend the Onkyo 506 for it's value. There are some cheap pionner speakers over at Play.com that I also have but they tend to not be in stock at the moment

All the best.
Chris
Thanks Chris, my Sky HD box is currently outputting 5.1 via Coaxial to the acoustic solutions surround sound so 2 optical inputs is not a problem. However, being a novice at surround sound, I am usure of the difference between 5.1 surround through optical or coaxial. Is one superior to the other?

The Pioneer speakers are nice but I was looking fore something a little less obtrusive. Maybe 4 x bookshelf speakers, a centre & sub or 5 satellite speakers & a sub. The wife would never go for floor standers!:rolleyes:
 

steeevo1

Active Member
re the optical coax question, i have tried both and havent noticed any differance in sound, maybe if you had a sound meter on them it may show a differance but to human ears they seem the same, hope this helps a little....steve
 

dwhite

Well-known Member
There should be no difference between optical and coax as they are both carrying the same digital signal, just a different transport method (optical is light, coax is electrical).
 

Adam R

Novice Member
Thanks for the heads up guys. :thumbsup:

I'm tempted to go for a second hand Amp but not sure what I should be looking for! what basic specs do I need it to have for a PS3, Sky HD etc?

P.s what is the difference between a Surround sound amp & an A/V receiver?

THanks again
 

sp_harris

Active Member
I'm tempted to go for a second hand Amp but not sure what I should be looking for! what basic specs do I need it to have for a PS3, Sky HD etc?
Sounds like a good idea - you will get more for your money and some of the people on here seem to trade their amps every 10 minutes.

For Sky and Xbox 360 you only need an amp that accepts optical (almost all of these will decode the Dolby signal).

For PS3 you can also use an optical connection, however if you can find an amp that accepts PCM over HDMI (might be stretching your budget here) you can then also get HD sounds from Blu-ray.
 

Adam R

Novice Member
Ah ha, thanks Jaycee. I'm not too bothered about it having a fm tuner so I guess that will give me a bit more of a saving.:smashin:

Thanks SP_Harris:smashin:

What sort of total wattage or per channel wattage should i be looking for in an amp?:confused:

Also, should I be looking for an amp with HDMI inputs/ Is that the best way to go for my set up or will Optical & Coaxial give me the same performance? I'm really confused about this part, I see some people use hdmi & pass through the amp to the TV & others use seperate optical to the amp & HDMI to carry thr video signal direct to the TV!
 
Last edited:

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: CES 2021 Special - Sony, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, TCL and Hisense TV news and more...
Top Bottom