tv output misery. What do I need/should I get?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by mikeplow1961, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. mikeplow1961

    mikeplow1961
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    Hi all
    I'm after a bit of advice on what people think I should get to complete my tv setup.

    I have a 50 inch 1080 plasma (LG) which I'm very happy with. Connected to it are a Dreambox DM800HD, a very occasionally used XBOX 360 and a Revo HTPC running XBMC which I use for streaming all my movies/music etc from my server elsewhere in the house, icefilms etc

    I'm happy with the set up apart from the sound from the lg set which, as with most big flatscreen tvs, are a bit poor to say the least, especially where music is concerned.

    So I decided to buy a cheapish set up 2.1 speakers to give it a bit of oomph. Ordered a set of Speedlink Vivos and tried them on my pc first with some music and video. Very pleased.

    Went to hook them up to the pc only to find that my tv has no rca audio out sockets and no headphone socket. ********, ********, ********. Curse you LG. Christ, what would it add to the cost to put a headphone socket
    in?

    I digress. Finding the only audio output on the damn thing is optical toslink, I headed over to ebay to look for an optical to anaolog converter. Thirty quid later it arrives, using a 5v adaptor and eating up another of the rapidly diminishing AC sockets. Never mind, I'll soon be hooked up and can finally enjoy the new Fall album with some oomph behind it.

    But wait, what's this? That doesn't sound very loud. Ack, it's not amplified. The tv remote doesn't have any effect on the optical output? The only way I can adjust the volume is to get off my lardy backside and use the knob on the front of the subwoofer??? Gah!!

    My dismay and forehead slapping at what should have been obvious to me was further heightened by her indoors asking innocently, 'Is it still not working? How much have you spent already?'

    Woe, as you can probably imagine, is very much me.

    So, knowledgeable AV types, here is the situation.

    I don't want or need a 5.1 or more setup. Our living room is pretty small and her indoors is not down with the wires around the living room thing. I don't ever play dvds. All my media is streamed and I'm happy enough with stereo as I listen to music a lot.

    Do I....

    Buy a second hand av amp WITH A REMOTE to feed the tvs optical out and hook up my speakers to that?

    or

    Buy an all in one system, even though I won't use the player ever, feed the toslink into that and just use two speakers and sub?

    or

    Buy a more powerful 2.1 set of speakers with a remote and use the digital to analog convertor?

    Recommendations? Advice? Mockery? All received with equal gratitude.
     
  2. StevieBuck

    StevieBuck
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    You could've avoided all this if you'd asked us first! :D ;)

    Seriously though, how much money would you be willing to spend on another system?

    I just replied to another thread where someone was looking at the Onkyo HTX-22HDX. This is a 2.1 system which can be expanded to 5.1 at a later date if you wanted. It has a remote and several digital inputs, including optical and HDMI (good for HD audio from your HTPC!). The current price on Amazon is just under £200.
     
  3. mikeplow1961

    mikeplow1961
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    I'm more of a screw up now, ask questions later kind guy. :)

    Lovely as the Onkyo is, I think it would be a bit overkill as all I'm looking to do is get the tv's optical output to a half decent sub and speakers. (And Amazon are listing it at 276 today. Must be getting near Xmas!)

    Something with a single optical input and an amped output is all I need really. I can probably get away with spending a hundred, maybe a bit more, before the missus has another attack of the vapours.

    I guess if I used the opti to analog convertor I could use a hifi amp but I'd rather avoid using the convertor if poss.
     
  4. bsuttie

    bsuttie
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    Does your TV not have any Scarts?

    If you're just looking for stereo analogue out you could take the audio out of one of the Scarts.

    Doesn't get round the volume control issue unless you can switch the Scart out to variable and turn the TV speakers off.

    regards

    Brian
     
  5. StevieBuck

    StevieBuck
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    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  6. mikeplow1961

    mikeplow1961
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    Yes, the Scart will only carry the tv's tuner output, it's non switchable.

    Blimey, your earlier link points to the exactly the same item, two different prices.

    £191 is around double what I was hoping to pay but I'm very tempted. Just the connectivity options make it worth while and the fact it'll just be using one AC outlet instead of 3 (if I went for the DAC - Amp - Speedlink speakers route.) It would also mean I could move the Speedlink speakers onto my desktop PC in the dining room and the Creative ones on that could go to my missus for her laptop which has truly the most terrible speakers ever. And I can ebay the DAC unit.

    Dither.
    And the system itself is nondescript looking enough that I can say it cost half the amount and she won't query it.

    Dither.
    And as luck would have it I'm on a month's trial with Amazon prime so can order now and get free next day delivery.

    Dither.
    And she's out tomorrow night so I have a free evening to setup and play around with it.

    Dither.
    And she'll be made up if she can watch the Crap-Factor final with glorious sound.

    Dither mode off.
    I'm buying one.

    Thanks for the advice. I will return to let you know how I get on with it.
     
  7. mikeplow1961

    mikeplow1961
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    Well, the Onkyo HD22dx arrived on Friday and I have to say I couldn't be more pleased thanks so much for the recommendation. The sound is clear, the bass incredible.

    The only problem I have is when switching from the sat receiver to the htpc it seems to be causing xbmc, which I have running fullscreen all the time, to be displayed in the top left corner of the screen. I've not had time to investigate it yet but I run xbmc at 720 pixels high to free up more memory and the Onkyo might be somehow forcing it to 1080. Will have to investigate when I have more time but thrilled with the system and will be adding the other three speakers before long.
     

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