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TV Speaker

JRW

Novice Member
Hi,
I'm a pensioner and we have just updated our tv to a Panasonic TX P42G30B Plasma. Great tv but the sound isn't a patch on our old sony which had two extra speakers I could just connect into the back of the set and then have at the back of our lounge. The back of the new Panasonic looks like the flight console of the Enterprise to me! There's no mention of external speakers in the instruction manual I fear that all this technology is beginning to scramble my marbles and I need help! Is there some kindly soul out there who can point me in the right direction? I believe that I will need an amplifier but then which speakers do I buy or can I get them with the amplifier already in, and how do I connect it all up?
Any advice gratefully received.
Regards
John
 

Quaddy

Prominent Member
Hi John, there will be plenty of other ways of doing what you suggest, and what i am about to also

but if you wanted a cheap, but effective upgrade on your tv speakers, you could lets say look to spend, about ~£20 on a set of logitech s220 2.1 speakers, they would simply connect to the headphone jack on your panasonic, and 'take over' the sound, you could then use your existing remote to presumably raise the headphone out level, and thus controlling the speaker volume also.

as i say this is a way for a relatively cheap method, without getting into amplifiers and full speaker setups

am sure others will chime in with other examples!

hope that helps.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
There are lots of options but will depend on what budget you have and what you want to achieve. Are you looking for surround sound or just better stereo sound?
 

GloopyJon

Distinguished Member
Hello John!

As the other posters have said, it depends on your budget and your goals. To simplify an incredibly confusing subject, when you first approach it, you basically have four options. I've placed them in increasing order of cost.

1) Use TV speakers
Accept that modern TVs have a great picture but not so great sound and just watch Bananarama videos with the sound turned off.
Cost: zero

2) Powered speakers
The solution that Quaddy mentioned - plug a pair (or trio, if 2.1 - i.e. two main speakers plus a subwoofer) into the headphone socket or the pair of "Audio Out" sockets towards the bottom left of the panel of connections (that's probably better but you may then need to find the setting on your TV for external sound, which will turn off the TV speakers. Plugging into the headphone socket will probably turn off the internal speakers without doing that).
The speakers would need to be powered and amplified - basically, if they have jack or cinch inputs (headphone socket or audio inputs matching the AUDIO OUT sockets on the TV) then they are amplified; if they just have bare wire speakers connection then they aren't.
This will give you better, but not great, sound, limited to stereo.
Cost: minimal, from £20.

3) Stereo amplifier
This is where it starts getting serious, and this is many people's preferred option, particularly if they don't watch action films (which are the most likely to use surround sound) or if they also want to use the speakers for playing music. You get a stereo amplifier and a pair of speakers (unpowered, this time!), connect the AUDIO OUT sockets on your TV to the amplifier and away you go. If you have other sources, such as a DVD player, you can optionally connect those directly to the amplifier instead of going through the TV, and you can also connect a CD player etc. for music.
This will give you good to excellent sound, but no surround sound.
I have this setup on one TV, with a nice amp and speakers (cost together about £1800, including cables), and it sounds great.
Cost: anything from £100 to several thousands! Realistically, you can already get something that will sound pretty good for £2-300.
[Alternatively, if you already have a stereo system, move it to the TV and use
that, at zero cost!]

4) AV Receiver
The ultimate solution is an AV (audio visual) receiver, which is a surround sound amplifier with video processing. The AV receiver basically acts as the hub of all of your sound and video - you connect all of the sources (TV aerial, satellite tuner, DVD/BD player, game console etc) to the AV receiver, and then that sends the sound and video to the (separate) speakers and TV respectively.
Obviously, this costs more than stereo because you have at least 3 times as many speakers (and amplifier circuits). My setup cost me just under £2000 a couple of months ago.
Advantages: gives you full surround sound (anything from 5.1 to 9.2), simplifies connections to the TV, gives you more connectivity options. On the downside, it can be quite complicated and you may find the multiplicity of remote controls very confusing (I do!).
Cost: a basic package, receiver + surround speakers, can be got for £2-300, I believe. From then on, the sky's the limit. Something pretty decent can probably be found for around £500.

I hope this helps. Now you can pick your solution and start narrowing down the options!
 

neoELITE

Established Member
A soundbar would probably replicate what you had. Like anything electrical, you can spend a relatively small amount at the budget end or spend more at the higher end.

In my own personal opinion, a soundbar without a sub doesn't do that much to improve your TV speakers and unless you buy something nearer the £1000 mark, you won't be buying a decent one. I'm not a fan of them at all.

If it is purely TV that you want connected up and nothing else, a stereo amp and a pair of bookshelf speakers will vastly improve your sound quality.
Cambridge Audio TOPAZ AM1 Black | Stereo Amplifier | Richer Sounds
Wharfedale DIAMOND 9.0 Black | Speakers Per Pair | Richer Sounds
£120
 

JRW

Novice Member
Many thanks for your help, but I want to keep the existing tv speakers live and just add to them with a reasonably decent pair of small speakers. As using the headphone jack would knock out the tv speakers I will have to look at some other way.
Regards
John
 

Quaddy

Prominent Member
you can simply connect any pair of speakers via the rca out usually at the back of the tv, this will then not knockout the speakers and you can combine both, as already mentioned.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
The only problem with using the RCA outputs is this is a stereo signal and the OP seems to want surround speakers. There old TV by the sounds of it used to have prologic so would create the surround effect and then send it to rear speakers. Their new TV will not do this and having the same stereo signal at the rear as the front is at best not going to give surround sound and at worst just sound bad. An AV receiver will need front speakers connected to work so I do not see an option where the OP can continue to use the front speakers of the TV and add rear surround speakers.
 

Quaddy

Prominent Member
PSM1, i dont see the poster referencing surround at all, in fact in his last post he says;

"but I want to keep the existing tv speakers live and just add to them with a reasonably decent pair of small speakers"
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Quaddy: If you look at the first post they mention connecting the speakers to the TV and having them at the back of the room. My old CRT TV had the same thing and basically gave you surround sound while using the TV speakers as fronts. Now I could be wrong but that is how I understand the first post. Also why else would you want to continue to use the TV speakers with upgraded fronts from a stereo amp etc?
 

JRW

Novice Member
Thanks for your help Quaddy, slowly I'm learning what I need and I'm getting there. Yes, I've identified the RCA out at the back of the set and am going to source some reasonable speakers preferably with a built in amplifier. Then hopefully I will be able to achieve better sound which is all I'm after, not stereo, not surround, just an additional pair of speakers to compliment the existing ones in the tv which are tinny and feeble compared with the old TVs but I suppose that is the compromise for slim modern sets and super picture. Anyway, I appreciate your help without getting complicated. (In the army we used to have a saying, 'The kiss principal' (Keep it simple, stupid!) it works every time. Thanks again and I'll let you know how I get on.
John
 

Wilseus

Established Member
hopefully I will be able to achieve better sound which is all I'm after, not stereo

Is there any particular reason that you want to "keep" the existing TV speakers on? If you add better speakers but combine them with the TV speakers, it'll just sound terrible.

There's an option which I don't think anyone's mentioned though and that's an add-on such as the Q Acoustics Q-TV. Not cheap, but not as expensive as a full blown amp and speakers either and it's virtually invisible.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
JRW- Thanks for clarifying your requirements as it seems I had misread what you were trying to achieve. As Wilseus I am confused why you want upgraded front speakers and the TV speakers on at the same time. having 2 sets of speakers producing the same sound can mean the sound interacts with each other giving poor sound quality (reinforcement/cancellation of sound). hence if you get a set of active front speakers from the RCA outputs on the TV you really want to turn the internal TV speakers off. Even if you do not get interaction of the sounds they are lower quality than the external speakers so will add nothing to the sound so will be of no benefit being on.
 

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