Very new to all in one systems

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by cunnas, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. cunnas

    cunnas
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    Hi all
    I currently have a Yamaha AV amp which is about 7 years old now. I also have an Energy Take 5.2 speaker system.

    I plug my V+ and XBOX 360 in to my amp and I will also hopefully have a BluRay to stick in there soon.

    However, I am thinking of selling what I currently have and going for an all in one system - partly down to space, partly down to wanting something new!

    However, I have never had an all in one before and have a few questions if that's ok?

    • What comes with an all in one? Do you get the DVD, speakers, sub etc - does it come with an amp - or is that built in to the DVD?
    • Can you plug other devices in to the all in one system or does it just work with the DVD/Blu Ray it comes with?
    • If I get an all in one system with a DVD player, can I in theory replace the DVD sometime in the future for a Blu Ray and still plug in my devices etc?
    • Are there any particular brands and models that are 'good'? I'm thinking I will get £150-200 if I sell my current gear so my budget is not going to be huge - can probably stretch to £400 tops

    Sorry for what are probably very basic and stupid questions!
     
  2. cols

    cols
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    There are two all in one types, dvd systems, and av receiver systems.

    The dvd systems have a dvd player, the amp is built in to it, and speakers. As a result you cannot remove the dvd player without losing the whole system. Also they have limited inputs, only one optical and an rca phono, sometimes less. So you can't connect much up to them without switches and converters.

    The av receiver systems are an amp with speakers. Usually it's a passive sub so the speakers can't be changed or upgraded. They have multiple inputs, so you can connect up various equipment to them.

    With your budget you can look at the better av receiver systems such as htsf1300, htss1300, htddwg800, av63+

    These all take LPCM (decoded uncompressed audio) over hdmi, meaning hd audio from blu ray players with onboard decoding of dolby true hd / dts hd ma (such as s550 or ps3). They also decode dd and dts as you'd expect.

    They have several inputs for hdmi, optical, digital coax and rca phono.
    Hope that helps :smashin:
     
  3. cunnas

    cunnas
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    thanks very much for all the info, it's very useful to know there are 2 types of all in one system! I'll have a look at the models you have suggested and let you know how I get on. This all hinges on being able to sell my current system though!

    When you say LPCM - how does this work? Am I able to connect my XBOX, V+, PS3 etc to the amp via HDMI or do I continue to just plug these in to the TV? Sorry, am a bit confused when you say it uses LPCM over HDMI.
     
  4. too_funky

    too_funky
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    LPCM is bassicaly high deffinition digital sound. Its a completely uncompressed audio data signal. Audio codecs such as Dolby Digital, DTS and mp3, wma etc are compressed digital audio codecs, during the compression they loose some of the original audio quality. So they are called 'lossy' codecs. LPCM is the basis of Dolby True HD and DTS HD and all other 'lossless' codecs such as wav etc becuase it is umcompressed so has not lost any audio quality.

    However the the uncompressed LPCM (Dolby True HD etc) files are much larger than the compressed (Dolby Digital etc) ones. Therefore it was not possible to fit a film/game's audio track on a dvd disk unless it was compressed. However with the invention of blu rays (which have alot larger storage capacity than dvd's) this is now possible. This means much higher audio quality can be enjoyed.

    The benfit of hdmi cables is that they can transfer 7.1 LPCM surround sound. As the transfer is digital, there is no degredation of audio quality as the signal travels down the cable. Although the hd sound can still be converted to analogue and transfered via analogue cables. But you would need very expensive cables to minimise the degredation of the analogue signal. You would also need many more analogue cables instead of just the one hdmi cable.

    So LPCM over hdmi offers best quality and least cable/hassel. However hdmi audio equipment is still very expensive so many people still prefer to use expensive analogue cables rather than upgrade all there existing equipment to make it hdmi compatible.

    So basically you can either splash out on a very expensive hdmi audio capable amp, or get a cheaper non hdmi one and get expensive cables if you want to get the benifit of hd sound.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  5. cunnas

    cunnas
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    nice one, cheers Funky. Think I defo want to upgrade and am definetely going for an all in one to save the hassle of seperates. I quite like the 'tallboy' speakers too. Fingers crossed I can sell my current gear!
     
  6. cunnas

    cunnas
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    One thing I am a little confused with is how to tell the all in one dvd/amp systems apart. I just searched for Home Cinema on Amazon and got the following page...

    Amazon.co.uk: home cinema - Electronics & Photo: Electronics & Photo

    Is there any way of telling which comes with a DVD with limited inputs and which comes with an amp?

    I'm re-thinking my budget and think £200-275 might be all I can stretch to. Can you recommend an all in one amp system with tallboy speakers for me?
     
  7. too_funky

    too_funky
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    Sorry about my rant above didnt mean to put you off seperates ;) probs a bit off topic. However iv also just upgraded for a £300 budget and for that kind of money hdmi audio is just not possible as you will spend all your money on buying a hdmi audio capabale amp, and have no money left over for speakers. And there is no point having hd sound unless you have decent speakers to reproduce it anyway. So if i were you just rule out hdmi audio as an option (like i did). Like i said before you can still get very good sound if you get some decent analogue cables. Infact iv just advised another person in the forums as how to upgrade for that budget. Ill post my reply to it below, may help you too.
     
  8. too_funky

    too_funky
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    Iv recently just upgraded to an amp/speaker setup with a £300 budget. However rather than buying a package i bought amp and speakers seperately. I wasnt bothered about hdmi switching or anything like that so i just looked for an amp with good sound quality, (bearing in mind that i couldnt afford hdmi audio). I dont think the amp in that package supports hdmi audio either. So for the best audio quality i picked up a decent second hand denon amp from the classifieds section for £50 meaning i could leave the rest of my budget soley for buying decent speakers. And although there second hand, your buying them off 'av nuts' :p so its odds on that they have been well looked after and will be a decent piece of kit.

    The amp i got sounds brilliant and has many more inputs than the one your looking at, only difference is that it doesnt have hdmi switching. If your tv already has enough hdmi inputs for all your equipment then hdmi switching is pointless. Therefore rather than spending more money on a more expensive amp with all the 'bells and whistles' that i didnt need i was able to dedicate the majority of my budget on ensuring i buy good speakers.

    I then bought the Jamo 5.1 package, which is essentially just a convenient 5.1 bundle of their seperates. Which means because they are also sold as seperates, you can easily buy two more matching speakers if you want to upgrade to 7.1. If you look around the forums and some other reviews then you'll see that the jamo's are widely regarded as the best quality £200 5.1 package you can buy and got what hifi 5 stars etc. I highly reccomend them for your budget. Then with the rest of your £300 budget you still have some money left over to get some decent cables.

    Hope this helps :)
     
  9. cunnas

    cunnas
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    a final point to add is I don't necessarily want/need 5.1. A good 2.1 system is suitable for me.
     
  10. cunnas

    cunnas
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    am getting a little confused now sorry 'too funky'!

    All I know is I want an all in one system
    I am not fussed about HD audio or anything like that
    I want to be able to connect my Virgin, 360, PS3 to the amp via HDMI
    I don't necessarily want or need 5.1 - 2.1 is more than fine for me
    I want tall boy speakers
    I want something under £300
     
  11. cols

    cols
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    htsf1300 or htsf1200 - both have tallboys and take LPCM over hdmi, they have 3 hdmi inputs, 2 optical, digital coax and rca phono.
     
  12. too_funky

    too_funky
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    Right to answer your question about telling them apart, a general rule of thumb is that nearly all packages described as a 'home cinema kit' will be a dvd player all in one. However many of the dvd player all in one systems have extra inputs for hooking up other pieces of kit to your speakers. They can easily be found for under the £200 mark. This can work very well if your not fussed about upgrading your speakers and only have a few things to connect up.
     
  13. cunnas

    cunnas
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    Thanks again mate, all your help is greatly appreciated! And sorry for the numerous posts!

    I want to avoid an all in one with a DVD mainly because I already have a DVD and will probably soon get a BR to replace it. I definetely want an all in one with an amp, not a DVD. I'm also not fussed about upgrading the speakers as once I have this I aim to keep it for quite a while. The Sony ones seem to be quite popular so will keep my eye on the prices of those.
     
  14. cols

    cols
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    in a nutshell, LPCM is decoded uncompressed audio.

    Surround sound is on the dvd or blu ray as a compressed audio format. It can be dolby digital or dts on dvd's, and dolby true hd or dts hd ma on blu rays.

    This needs to be decoded and when that's done you get LPCM. They can be decoded in the player or in the amp.

    The systems i mentioned will all decode dd and dts.

    However they cannot decode the hd audio formats.

    But that isn't necessary as with a blu ray player that can decode them (eg ps3) you'll get hd audio.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  15. too_funky

    too_funky
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    yup iv gotta hand it to colspark, cant find a better solution than the sony htsf1300. There tall boy, decent speakers and have plenty of inputs and come in just under budget. In fact if id none about them when i was upgrading i might have even been tempted myself :p
     
  16. cols

    cols
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    Ps the systems i've mentioned will take audio over hdmi, optical, digital coax, or phono.

    So with something that can output audio over hdmi, such as ps3, xbox360, blu ray players etc, you'll just connect it to the amp with hdmi, then hdmi from amp to tv.

    With something that outputs audio over optical or digital coax, eg dvd player or satellite box, you'd connect direct to tv with scart, and direct to amp with optical or digital coax.

    It's not just about hd audio - the systems have enough spec to take whatever you throw at them and are compatible with old and new tech.

    The only thing they can't do is decode hd audio but with ps3 or a blu ray player which offers onboard decoding that isn't necessary, as they take lpcm over hdmi.
     
  17. cunnas

    cunnas
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    thanks again fellas, the Sony it is then! I'll be back if and when my gear has been sold to see what the latest is!
     

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